Olivia Rodrigo’s Second Album “Guts” Sparks Conversation from Different Generations

By Samantha Relkin

It’s no secret that Olivia Rodrigo rose to fame quickly following the release of her debut album “Sour” in 2021. Breaking the Spotify record for worldwide streaming at the time with 385 million streams just a week after being released, fans anxiously awaited the release of her sophomore album.  

The long-awaited second album from Rodrigo, entitled “Guts,” was released on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. The lead single, “Vampire,” is a powerful ballad similar to “Driver’s License,” the lead single of “Sour.”  

Known for her ballads, Rodrigo’s songs experiment with a variety of styles. The second single off “Guts” was “bad idea right?.” Many fans noticed that it sounded like “Brutal,” another single from “Sour.” 

“Brutal” has a riff that listeners compare to the 1978 song “Pump it Up” by Elvis Costello. Rodrigo has been accused of copying or sampling songs from a variety of other artists including Taylor Swift and Paramore.  

The similarity between her songs and those of other artists has caused a reflection in fans on the style of her music. Listeners of different generations have differing opinions regarding the sound of Rodrigo’s music.  

Molly Eisenberg, a 22-year-old medical student has been listening to Rodrigo’s music since her songs from the Disney+ original show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” 

“I also like her 90s-style music a lot better,” said Eisenberg. “I think it suits her style and voice better and it differentiates her from the rest of the music that is out right now”. 

Eisenberg stated that she started listening to Rodrigo’s music because of how much Rodrigo spoke about Taylor Swift. Eisenberg thought Rodrigo and Swift’s music would be similar. 

Another Taylor Swift fan, Samantha Weintraub had a different opinion on Rodrigo’s throwback music.  

“I like her modern music better than the 90s style,” said Weintraub, a 19-year-old college sophomore. “I think Olivia’s ballad songs are better than the ones where she speaks”.  

Unlike her fellow Swifties, Dakota Smith, a recent University of Tampa graduate, stated that she can’t decide what style of music she likes better.  

“I honestly can’t pick if I like some songs better than others because they’re so different from each other,” said Smith. “I’m a fan of experimental songs so the fact that she plays around with her sound is so fun and something I look for in an artist”. 

While the younger generation debates the style of music they like best, members of the older generation are set on what they prefer.

Harriet Kovel, 78, heard “Guts” during Rodrigo’s performance on NBC’s “Today” show and was very clear in her opinion of the music.  

“Her style is easy to listen to. Smooth like Norah Jones, who I love. She sings with passion and emotion whether a ballad or rock,” said Kovel. “I laughed when she described the 90’s as vintage. I like both her 90s style pop and catchy lyrics.” 

With a laugh, Kovel added, “I can understand what she is saying”. Referencing the moments in Rodrigo’s music where she is speaking rather than singing.  

After receiving over 60 million streams on Spotify on its first day, Rodrigo is preparing to take “Guts” on the road for the Guts World Tour starting spring 2024. 

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