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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

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Olivia Rodrigo’s versatility shines through in deluxe album release, GUTS (spilled)

The+cover+of+Olivia+Rodrigos+new+album%2C+GUTS+%28spilled%29%2C+features+the+album+cover+of+GUTS+with+a+cutout+in+the+middle.+%28Spotify+album%29
The cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s new album, GUTS (spilled), features the album cover of GUTS with a cutout in the middle. (Spotify album)

On Friday, March 22, Olivia Rodrigo released GUTS (spilled), the long-awaited deluxe version of her sophomore album, GUTS. The extended album includes five bonus songs, in addition to the 12 initially released, and is sure to throw listeners for a loop with its combination of music genres featuring new, old, rock, and indie music.

Voted Billboard’s “Best New Music” by listeners, surpassing new music from Tyla, Shakira, and Metro Boomin’, GUTS (spilled) made an instantaneous splash in the music world. Through her new songs, Rodrigo addresses past drama and pushes back against those who contradict her, creating an impressionable and relatable record. The catchy melodies and ties to the past make GUTS (spilled) a multifaceted musical joyride.

Olivia Rodrigo announces the surprise release of GUTS (spilled), an addition to her album GUTS, on the Chicago stop of her GUTS world tour. (Courtesy of the Hindustan Times)

Rodrigo’s first bonus song “obsessed” is downright addicting. Initially written three years ago, the song feels like a strong continuation of “good 4 u,” and is the picture-perfect angsty ex-girlfriend ballad. Rodrigo brazenly sings about the girl she finds herself consumed by, addressing her anxieties and ‘spilling her guts.’

In “obsessed”, Rodrigo appears to lyrically reference the original “drivers license” love triangle. However, “obsessed” comes from a new perspective, now through the lens of the insecure current girlfriend. The lyrical choice could be considered Rodrigo’s way of addressing her obsessive reaction at the time of “good 4 u.” After all, in the song, she sings “You both have moved on, you don’t even talk…I can’t help it, I got issues, I can’t help it, baby.”

The second track, “girl i’ve always been,” sees Rodrigo jumping on the pop stars-singing-country bandwagon, with her voice even adopting a slight country twang. Rodrigo utilizes the slight genre shift to reflect on her earlier acting career. Through a cheery and innocent melody, Rodrigo confronts beliefs that she’s changed as a person, declaring that while “you can’t say I’m a perfect 10,” she’s still herself. 

Unfortunately, Rodrigo’s overly sweet, breathy tone distracts from her usual impressive voice and breath control, as she effortlessly flips between vocal registers. In typical Olivia Rodrigo fashion, the melodic chorus is followed by an angsty, chanting second verse. However, while the pattern fits well in rock songs like “brutal” and “get him back,” it feels out of place and forced in the context of “girl i’ve always been,” a perkier ballad.

The third track, “scared of my guitar,” is a song about self-honesty and unsurprisingly, relationship woes, but this time with a more introspective focus. Rodrigo is able to lie to her friends and family, but her true colors only show in her songwriting. A much slower and more melancholy ballad than the other four bonus tracks, “scared of my guitar” opens up to the vulnerability of being loved while being unable to return the sentiment. 

Of all of the deluxe tracks, “scared of my guitar” is by far the most impressive lyrically, with poetic lines including “So why’s there a pit in my gut in the shape of you?” and “So we’ll stay together ’cause how could I ever/Trade somethin’ that’s good for what’s right?” Compared to Rodrigo’s typical clichés, “scared of my guitar” listeners will empathize with Rodrigo’s genuine fear of the truth: he’s not good enough, but she’s scared she won’t find someone better.

After the release of her deluxe album, Rodrigo posted this photo on Instagram with the caption “GUTS (spilled) is out everywhere nowwwww!!!!! do y’all have a fav track? ❤️” (Photo courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo’s Instagram, @oliviarodrigo)

A throwback to Rodrigo’s debut album SOUR, the fourth spilled track, “stranger,” marks the end of her heartbroken, angsty teen era, confirming she is finally over her ex. With powerful, gut-wrenching lyrics including, “I criеd a million rivers for you, but that’s over now” and “You are the best thing that I’ll ever keep so far out of my life,” “stranger” proves that Rodrigo has matured alongside her songwriting capabilities.

The song feels like an apt sequel to seventh SOUR track “enough for you,” and could be considered a conclusion to the SOUR era itself. Rodrigo even mentions “enough for you”, singing, “And if I’m not enough for you, you’re not enough for me,” hinting at the subject of the previous song. Given that nearly every song on SOUR was speculated to be about the singer’s relationship with actor and singer Joshua Bassett, “stranger” is a fitting conclusion to her past album and her past relationship.

Rodrigo’s fifth and final deluxe release track, “so american” is both reminiscent of her song “love is embarrassing” and the first real love song she has written. A far cry from her previous ballads about feeling insecure, crying over exes, and screaming her heart out, “so american” provides a sunny glimpse into Rodrigo’s romance with British actor Louis Partridge.

Fans have taken a liking to the song, and there has been no shortage of opinionated X users placing “so american” at the top of their GUTS (spilled) song rankings. However, Rodrigo’s overuse of American patriotism themes has reached levels alarmingly akin to Bruce Springsteen’s peak country era. The theme arises in earlier GUTS songs, including “all american bitch,” establishing it as a popular returning sentiment, and “so american” uses it to create an endearing meaning. That said, two songs in one album with being American as a key point feels excessive. 

While her next album is not expected for some time, GUTS (spilled) will keep fans entertained, with a song for everyone to enjoy on the diverse album. No matter which genre she chooses, Rodrigo’s musical capabilities continue to grow as she continues to branch out and further her fan base. With lyrical and musical ties to her previous album, Rodrigo continues to knit her past and present to create a sprawling story of growth, earning GUTS (spilled) four out of five feathers.

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Sierra Goldberg, Cub Jr. Copy Editor
Sierra is a freshman in her first year of journalism. She plays soccers, loves skiing and listening to music.
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Elsa is a freshman, in her first year of journalism. She can often be found playing soccer or eating Burmese food. She loves dogs, reading, and is interested in investigative journalism.
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