By Olivia Espinoza
Olivia Rodrigo’s highly anticipated debut album, “Sour” further proves she is pop’s newest star. Her Billboard Hot 100 chart topping singles, “drivers license,” “deja vu,” and “good 4 u,” were merely a glimpse into her stunningly heartwrenching, yet slightly chaotic debut album. The majority of the album follows the single story of the gloominess and pain young love brings, while sprinkling in her take on being a teenager in the 21st century.
With the new age’s pop-punk revival, Rodrigo adds to the mayhem with intense tracks, such as “brutal,” “jealousy, jealousy” and “good 4 u.” The tracks have major influences from the previously acclaimed pop-punk band Paramore, while accomplishing her own gritty take. The record “Sour” kicks off with “brutal,” giving the listener an unexpected jolt into the album, describing the anxiety of fulfilling your teenage years since adulthood is just around the corner.
Later in the record, “jealousy, jealousy” holds more of a unique sound due to its smoother tone, expressing how social media has made our generation more envious of other people’s lives, rather than living contently within our own.
Following the intense intro of “brutal,” Rodrigo shows off her peak storytelling abilities throughout the rest of the album. The listener follows the artist in the aftermath of her breakup, through all of the steps of grieving. You can’t help but rage out and get choked up as she takes you for an emotional ride. Saying that Olivia Rodrigo’s pop-punk take at the young age of 17 is impressive would be an understatement.
The tracks, “traitor,” “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” and “enough for you” bring you into the trenches of Rodrigo’s emotions, allowing no escape with her heavy lyrics and instrumentals. With hints of inspiration from Taylor Swift and Lorde with her melancholy lyrics, these tracks express how agonizing it can be trying to be everything for your partner when the effort is not reciprocated.
“I feel like a song is so much more special when you can visualize and picture it, even smell and taste all of the stuff that the songwriter’s going through,” Rodrigo told Apple Music.
She truly accomplished such while continuing her story with, “happier” and “favorite crime.” The instrumentals of “happier” remind the listener of a waltz, while the lyrics go into the depth of feeling spiteful yet envious of the ex-partner moving on, however not wanting them to be happier than you are. The track gives the listener the image of slow-dancing with an ex-lover and saying everything you wish you had the courage to tell them.
Then, “favorite crime” completes the story with the stunningly heartbreaking metaphor of how their relationship felt like they were committing crimes against and for each other. Then, he commited the final crime of breaking her heart.
The final song on the album, “hope ur okay” feels like a homage to the friends in her past that she failed to keep in contact with. The friends she mentioned seemed to have struggled to be accepted by their families due to being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Even with the sudden new found fame Rodrigo has earned this past year, she wants the people in her past to know she still cares about them and hopes they receive the love they deserve. The song has the ability to bring anyone to tears, including myself.
Impressively, Olivia Rodrigo wrote this pop album hit at only 17 years old. The artist gave herself some pretty big shoes to fill for her future albums, yet her career is just getting started. If you have recently been heartbroken, have 35 minutes on your hands and need a good cry, stream Sour by Olivia Rodrigo.