• Counselor Talks @ Auditorium Mon-Tues
  • Boys Soccer vs. Senior (V/ JV / JV2) 04:30 p.m. @ Clark Stadium Girls JV2 Soccer vs. Lake Highlands 04:30 p.m. @ Kimbrough
  • Girls Basketball vs. Marcus (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @Plano East Girls Soccer vs. Lake Highlands (JV / V) 06:00 p.m. / 07:30 @ Kimbrough
  • Boys Basketball vs. Marcus (JV / V) 06:15 p.m. / 07:45 @Marcus H.S. Wrestling: Senior Night 06:00 p.m. @ Plano East
  • Band Winter Concert 07:00 p.m. @ Auditorium
  • Academic Decathlon Regionals All Day
  • Speech & Debate Tournament All Day @ Flower Mound Boys Soccer vs. Hebron (V/ JV / JV2) 04:30 p.m. @ Kimbrough Girls Soccer vs. Hebron (JV / JV2 / V) 04:30 p.m. @ Hebron Boys Basketball vs. Lewisville (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @ Plano East Girls Basketball vs. Lewisville (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @ Lewisville Academic Decathlon Regionals All Day Speech & Debate Tournament All Day @Flower Mound Computer Science Contest 07:00 a.m. @ B1 Military Ball 05:30 p.m. @ Holiday Inn
The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

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The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

‘GUTS’ Review: Analysis of Growth in Sour Times


With the release of her debut single, “driver’s license,” three-time Grammy Award winner Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm with her raw lyrics and relatability. Rodrigo’s debut album, “SOUR,” released in May of 2021, received critical acclaim and praise shooting her to stardom. As she took a two year break from music, many fans waited for her next project with high anticipation. On September 9, Rodrigo released her highly-anticipated sophomore album “GUTS.”

Citing iconic artists such as Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morisette and Fiona Apple as some of her influences, many songs on “GUTS” reveal 90’s influences. Songs like “ballad of a homeschool girl,” “bad idea right?” and “get him back!” utilize heavy percussion and electric guitar showing off her punk rock style. These songs exhibit her experimental side and musical style development. Her 90s style music isn’t limited to just the punk rock style. Her songs “pretty isn’t pretty” and “love is embarrassing” put a more mellow, 90s rock style to use, blending her classic style and experimental side.

Unlike many other singers, Rodrigo’s sophomore album doesn’t discuss much about the fame she gained after the release of her hits. In true Olivia Rodrigo fashion, Rodrigo discusses themes that are relatable to today’s youth, exploring topics such as growing pains, romance, self-confidence and relationships. It’s clear that Rodrigo’s lyricism evolved along with her. On “GUTS,” the lyrics vary from heartbreaking and playful. In “bad idea right?” Rodrigo shows her more lighthearted lyricism with “Yes, I know that he’s my ex/But can’t two people reconnect?/I only see him as a friend/The biggest lie I ever said.” Rodrigo also explores beautiful metaphorical lyrics in her lead single “vampire” with “I’ve made some real big mistakes/But you make the worst one look fine/I should’ve known it was strange/You only come out at night/I used to think I was smart/But you made me look so naive/The way you sold me for parts/As you sunk your teeth into me, oh/Bloodsucker, fame f***er/Bleedin’ me dry like a godd*** vampire.” Regardless of the changes Rodrigo’s style underwent, it is evident that her incredible lyricism only got better.

Where Rodrigo shines is in her gut wrenching ballads with lyrics that rip into the heart. In “making the bed,” Rodrigo seemingly discusses feelings of self-hatred with a haunting, droning backing. Rodrigo stays close to her roots with beautiful piano ballads. In “the grudge,” Rodrigo discusses being wronged by a person. In “logical,” Rodrigo discusses the confusion that comes along with love and romance. Similarly, Rodrigo also has beautiful guitar ballads like “lacy” with haunting vocals and ambiguous lyrics. 

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Like many of the songs on “SOUR,” Rodrigo excels in the bridges of her songs. In “get him back!,” Rodrigo uses contrary statements in her lyrics like “Oh, I wanna key his car, I wanna make him lunch/I wanna break his heart, stitch it right back up/I wanna kiss his face with an uppercut/I wanna meet his mom and tell her her son sucks.” In her true fashion, she also has some heartbreaking bridges. In “the grudge,” Rodrigo builds up tension with crescendoing orchestral backing and beautiful vocals. With lyrics like “ Your flower’s filled with vitriol/You built me up to watch me fall/You have everything and you still want more,” Rodrigo is still able to plunge a knife into the listeners heart.

The final song on “GUTS,” “teenage dream,” creates a full circle moment for Rodrigo, ending with the piano ballad she is so well known for. Rodrigo began her debut album with the song “brutal” which discusses the idea of a teenage dream. Rodrigo seemingly debunked the fantasy around it with lyrics like “And I’m so sick of 17/Where’s my f***ing teenage dream?”. With “GUTS,” Rodrigo ends with the same concept she started her debut album with. Instead of debunking the teenage dream, she questions it and shares her fears of growing up. She pulls a classic Olivia Rodrigo move with the chorus lyric “But I fear that they already got all the best parts of me/And I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream.” 

After being thrust into the spotlight, Rodrigo’s sophomore album exudes growth and shows fans a new side to her music, while maintaining the heartwrenching style she’s renowned for. It deviates from her usual style, taking a gamble with 90s influences and playful lyrics. For Rodrigo, it takes guts to move away from a style that brought her so much success in the past. “GUTS” is a beautiful display of growth for a beloved artist who, along with her fans, is growing up. 

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