Olivia Rodrigo – The Rising Superstar

Jessica Garcia

Olivia Rodrigo may only be 18, but she has already made a name for herself as an actress, singer and songwriter. Rodrigo has been the star of the Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” since late 2019, where she has shown her ability to be center stage. More than a year later, Rodrigo continues to succeed in the spotlight. 

“SOUR”

Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album, “SOUR,” on May 21, 2021. The album features 11 songs narrating teenage life, filled with betrayal, heartbreak and the struggles of growing up in a social media-dominated world. Rodrigo writes from a teenage perspective, but her songs present a range of emotions anyone can understand.

Here is a run-down of Olivia Rodrigo’s album, “SOUR.”    

brutal: “God, it’s brutal out here”

The first song on the album screams pop-punk. Fed up with her “brutal” teenage years, Rodrigo angrily rejects the idea that adolescence is the golden years. As a 19-year-old, I find myself relating to this song far more than I’d like. 

traitor: “You betrayed me / And I know that you’ll never feel sorry.”

If betrayal was a song, this one’s it. Rodrigo sings about her ex moving on after two weeks to a girl she worried about during their relationship. Even if you’ve never experienced this kind of heartbreak, “traitor” makes it feel like you have.   

drivers license: “’Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street”

How Rodrigo can make driving through the suburbs the backdrop for a power ballad shows her endless creative talent. After hearing this song, I tear up at the sound of a car engine starting. 

1 step forward, 3 steps back: “Do you love me, want me, hate me?”

This song represents the pain of not feeling good enough in a relationship when a lover continuously gives mixed signals. Rodrigo includes Taylor Swift references in the song; an obvious one is Taylor’s lucky number 13 in the title. 

deja vu: “Do you get deja vu when she’s with you?”

It hurts when a former lover moves on, and it hurts even more thinking about them doing the things they did with you with their new lover. Rodrigo knows how to turn the different stages of heartbreak into songs, in this case, the pain you feel watching an ex move on. 

good 4 u: “Well, good for you, you look happy and healthy, not me”

You can never go wrong with an angsty breakup song, and Rodrigo confirms that. With the electric guitar and drums, this song sounds like it comes straight out of the late 90s/early 2000s. 

enough for you: “’Cause all I ever wanted was to be enough for you”

Putting effort into someone who doesn’t care about you always hurts, even more so

when you change for them and lose yourself in the process. Olivia Rodrigo gets that.

happier: “Oh, I hope you’re happy, but not like how you were with me”

This song features moving on in a new light. Hoping an ex is happy moving forward is the mature option, but hoping they’re no happier than they were with you still hurts less. We’ve all been there.

jealousy, jealousy: “All I see is what I should be / I’m losin’ it, all I get’s jealousy, jealousy”

Another edgy-sounding song I relate to far too much. Being a teenager is hard, especially in a social media-obsessed society, and Rodrigo sings from experience. P.S. This song’s bridge is chef’s kiss.  

favorite crime: “The things I did / Just so I could call you mine”

Rodrigo reflects on the things she did to make her ex stay with her. She seems to write this song from the point of moving forward, as she sings, “Well, I hope I was your favorite crime.”

hope ur ok: “’Cause I love you / And I hope that you’re okay”

The album’s last song features Rodrigo hoping a boy she once knew and a middle school friend were doing okay after facing difficulty when they were younger. The music is comforting, both lyrically and how it sounds– a perfect end to an album centered on grief.

“SOUR” opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, following the album’s release. It’s safe to say Olivia Rodrigo is a superstar, and she’s only getting started. Check out our Culture Columns for more trending topics.