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‘GUTS’: A track-by-track ranking of Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore record

Olivia Rodrigo released her sophomore album “GUTS” on Sept. 8. It follows her massively successful 2021 debut album “SOUR,” which spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. (Photo Credit: Geffen Records)

Olivia Rodrigo released her long-awaited sophomore album, GUTS, on Sept. 8. Already, the album has 200 million streams in the US, topped the Billboard 200 albums chart, and produced two Billboard top-ten singles. Most fans have made their own rankings; here’s mine. 

12 – “lacy” 

I think a lot of people would argue against “lacy” being this low on a list, but, honestly, I really don’t like it. I just don’t enjoy slower songs, unless I really like the lyrics. Because I don’t relate to the lyrics and the song is slower, this song is at the bottom of my list. It’s hard to rank a song on this album so low because I really enjoy all of the songs, but something has to come in last.

Favorite lyric: “Aren’t you the sweetest thing on this side of Hell?”

11 – “teenage dream”

“teenage dream” is about the fear of growing up. Rodrigo hits on being a celebrity frequently during this song mentioning things like, “But I fear that they already got all the best parts of me” and “When will everyone have every reason to call all my bluffs?” With Rodrigo writing from her celebrity perspective, I don’t really feel much of a connection to the lyrics, either.

Favorite lyric: “They all say that it gets better, it gets better, but what if I don’t?”

10 – “pretty isn’t pretty”

This song describes the thoughts of so many teens. I like how she speaks to a generation by mentioning things like using makeup to cover up insecurities, starving yourself, medication, the constant feeling of being judged and changing everything about yourself. I don’t have anything bad to say about this song, it just doesn’t stand out in the way that other tracks from the record do. 

Favorite lyric: “I could try every lipstick in every shade but I’d always feel the same.”

9 – “vampire”

“vampire” is lyrically genius, using the metaphor of a vampire to describe an ex. I could go on and on about how calling someone a vampire for, “only coming out at night” is such a good comparison. Not only that, but Rodrigo talks about people who drain her with lyrics like “sunk your teeth into me” and “bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire.” The metaphors are what make this song really good. However, since it was the album’s lead single, it’s been far too overplayed. 

Favorite lyric: “You said it was true love, but wouldn’t that be hard? You can’t love anyone ’cause that would mean you had a heart.”

8 – “bad idea right?”

Personally, I haven’t really heard a song with a storyline like this. Rodrigo sings about talking to her ex and how she “only” sees him as a friend. The way the song is written makes it feel like you’re her best friend listening to her talk about her ex and defending herself. The song is fun from start to finish, between the layered vocals and funny lyrics.

Favorite lyric: “And you’re standing, smiling at the door, and I’m sure I’ve seen much hotter men, but I really can’t remember when.”

7 – “logical”

This is simply a really good breakup song. Rodrigo talks about feeling half responsible for not leaving, which I think is something everyone experiences. Rodrigo’s frustrated lyrics and emotional performance sit atop an acoustic instrumental that makes for a truly heartbreaking song. 

Favorite lyric: “Said I was too young, I was too soft. Can’t take a joke, can’t get you off.”

6 – “making the bed”

The chorus and title of “making the bed” refer to the saying “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it,” saying that one must feel the repercussions for their actions. Rodrigo takes the blame for things like becoming famous, going to parties, and pushing away the people she loves. I like how she takes ownership of her mistakes, something I think a lot of people struggle to do. This song feels sad, yet somewhat empowering given the way Rodrigo takes ownership of her mistakes. This track’s relatability pushes it high in my rankings.

Favorite lyric: “And I’m playin’ the victim so well in my head, but it’s me who’s been makin’ the bed.”

5 – “get him back!”

I just love this song. I love how this song is about missing someone, but not in a sad way. This song makes breakups feel silly and happy. I feel like Rodrigo doesn’t necessarily miss her ex, she misses what they would do together because she mostly sings about material things. I like how her lyrics are two-sided like, “Wanna kiss his face with an uppercut,” showing the struggle of hating someone while loving them at the same time. 

Favorite lyric: “But I am my father’s daughter, so maybe I could fix him.”

4 – “the grudge”

Going back to sad songs, “the grudge” is about not being able to let go because you can’t forgive the person. When you go through a breakup, everyone tells you to forgive and forget. Rodrigo highlights how difficult it is to forgive someone. While I don’t usually like slow songs, this song is written really well, making it an exception. The lyrics are what make this song really stand out from the crowd.

Favorite lyric: “And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal.”

3 – “love is embarrassing”

Love is so embarrassing and no one talks about it. “love is embarrassing” fits into the story of this album as being the last part of a breakup. The part where you stop loving them and you realize how embarrassing it was to love someone so much. This track’s unique approach to the subject makes it my favorite kind of breakup song.  

Favorite lyric: “Waited by my phone like a goddamn fool.”

2 – “ballad of a homeschooled girl”

“ballad of a homeschooled girl” is about being socially awkward, saying the wrong thing, and calling someone by the wrong name. It’s a song that I feel I can deeply relate to. While listening to the lyrics I could seriously name a time I did all of those things. The chorus is my favorite part to listen to since I really enjoy the dramatic build-up. This is a dance-in-your-room-sing-into-a-hairbrush-type song, something that I feel deeper than Rodrigo’s slower ballads.

Favorite lyric: “Each time I step outside, it’s social suicide.”

1 – “all-american bitch”

We have made it to the top, with “all-american bitch.” I absolutely adore this song. It’s been my favorite since the first listen. The song begins with Rodrigo backed by an acoustic guitar, singing about fitting into society’s standards. Then, there’s a sudden switch to an energetic pop-punk feel with Rodrigo screaming lyrics like, “I know my place, and this is it ” and “I’m the eternal optimist.” She takes off her mask that she feels she needs to wear and reveals her real emotions. The best part of the song is when she’s screaming and it suddenly stops, she starts singing lightly again saying, “All the time I’m grateful all the time I’m sexy, and I’m kind I’m pretty when I cry”, which I think perfectly fits with the sarcasm of the song. 

Favorite lyric: “I’ve got sun in my motherf***in’ pocket.” 

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About the Contributor
Kate Johnson
Kate Johnson, Staff Writer
Kate Johnson is a junior at Naperville Central. This is her first year on Central Times staff and she plans on majoring in Journalism and Communications. She enjoys writing opinion pieces. Outside of school she reads and plays video games. She is in the Theatre club and plans on playing Badminton for Central.
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    BobJan 20, 2024 at 12:38 pm

    this is wrong