SOUR (kinda bland)
- Suhavi Dhillon
This 18 year old doesn't need an introduction. With a debut album that has struck the chords in so many hearts and climbed to the top of the ladder in a significantly short amount of time, Olivia Rodrigo has reached a level of fame very few 18 year olds are able to achieve.
In her album, she turns the choking pain of heartbreak into relatable lyrics, expressing teenage angst in a way that makes you think, this isn't fair, these can’t be the best years of my life! She doesn't over-complicate her words; they are simple in a way that feels raw, unfiltered and genuine. The meaning isn't a game of hide-and-seek, just a declaration of her anguish that the general youth can connect with.
Illustrated by Avani Gupta
Alas, I won’t wax poetic of her poetry anymore, let’s get right into it:
‘brutal,’ a song in which the lyrics feel like a diary entry in the way that they display pure feelings, she says, ‘If someone tells me one more time "enjoy your youth, " I'm gonna cry,’ because she doesn't, she is insecure, anxious, unable to take a stand for herself as she’s stuck in between trying to mould herself into a person that she likes versus a person that others would like and that despite her best efforts, she feels like she’s getting nowhere, that she would prefer to simply disappear.
‘traitor,’ ‘drivers license,’ ‘happier,’ and ‘deja vu,’ are songs that talk about the actual break-up itself. She is replaced, he moves onto another girl but she isn't able to get over him, and she questions his feelings during the period of their relationship.
"Guess you didn't mean what you wrote in that song about me 'cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street"
These lyrics in particular have garnered a lot of attention, inspiring a popular Tiktok trend, they reference how promises made are broken too often, too easily, how it leaves her feeling like a shell of herself and how unfathomable it is to her that he simply doesn’t care, that it didn't even take him a week to move on, did she really matter so little to him? That he may not have been a cheater, but he is a traitor. Deja vu has a sarcastic undertone as she asks him if he’s ever going to tell his new girlfriend that all their date ideas are recycled. In happier, she selfishly wishes that he doesn't feel happier in his new relationship, that he’s happy but he doesn't forget her.
‘good 4 u,’ is a brilliant addition to the album because it changes the pace, it’s faster than the other songs and she’s more feisty in this one. She’s sassy, she’s angry and she isn’t holding back, rightfully so. The chorus is exceptionally catchy, (seriously like, GOOD FOR YOU LOOK HAPPY AND HEALTHY NOT ME IF YOU EVER CARED TO ASK) (sorry it’s been playing in my head on loop,) it’s easy to understand why it’s been making its way around Tiktok and reels.
‘1 step forward, 2 steps back,’ personally, I feel like this one is particularly underrated in the album. It’s a soft song and the lyrics do a good job of displaying her confusion.
‘jealousy, jealousy,’ is a song that I didn’t particularly like, the beats and chorus just weren't my type of music.
‘enough for you,’ is a breakthrough because she realises that nothing she could’ve done would’ve been enough, that the fault did not lie within her.
‘favorite crime,’ is a song I didn't really have many thoughts on, it doesn't catch your attention and the lyrics aren't anything very special, though, ‘one heart broke, four hands bloody’ was well crafted.
The spot for my favorite song from this album goes to, ‘hope ur ok.’ Olivia writes about a young boy she knew, who had abusive parents and a girl from middle school whose family didn’t accept her. She hopes that she knows that they have someone out there, that she cares and that she’s glad they were born.
As for my overall thoughts, the album just doesn't flow well. The break-up songs feel very repetitive, it’s not that they don't tell a story, they just tell the same story over and over again (same text, different font, if I may.) I also would’ve liked to see more anger, if for nothing but a change of pace because listening to all the songs together, I felt at some points that I couldn't tell when one song ended and the other started, it felt like the same song playing over and over again. The songs alone might have had a different effect though.
‘hope ur ok,' while arguably one of the best, doesn’t really have much of a connection with the other songs on the album, it feels like the odd one out.
I do not think Rodrigo has given us something we’ve never seen before. I understand that the purpose of the album was to be about heartbreak but for me all the repetitions took away from the depth of the album. Maybe, I really am just too young but I don’t think this album was revolutionary-and it doesn't have to be. I think people who hate on SOUR simply because it’s pop and they don’t like seeing young women thrive are just as stupid as people who think SOUR is the second coming of Taylor Swift.
I wouldn't necessarily seek out any of these songs, but I wouldn't skip them if they played on the radio.