Ever since the release of her debut song “Drivers License” in January of 2021, Olivia Rodrigo’s newest album, SOUR, began dominating charts and teenagers’ playlists.
With the first three singles Rodrigo released, she already reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice with “Driver’s License” and “good 4 u”. Her other single “deja vu” reached number eight on the charts.
She won over the hearts of millions of people with her unique sound which can be described as a mix of Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. Robin Murray, a writer for Clash, even claimed that Rodrigo is “one of Gen Z’s finest.”
So with the release of her newest album, SOUR, on Friday, May 21, it is no shock that the album is already dominating the charts.
SOUR is Rodrigo’s debut album which contains eight new songs along with the three independent singles she previously released. Within the thirty-four minutes of music in the album, Rodrigo sings about heartbreak and what it is like to struggle as a teenager when everything is just not working out.
She experiments with a variety of sounds throughout the album. “brutal” talks about the struggles of a modern teen and contains what can be compared to an early 2000’s grunge sound. On the other hand, “1 step forward, 3 steps back” is similar to songs from one of her idols, Taylor Swift. Even her single, “good 4 u” is being compared to a song from the band Paramore called “Misery Business”.
The album also branches out from the breakup songs she originally began writing. “enough for you” talks about changing yourself for a relationship only to end up being accused of not trying enough. “hope ur ok” goes through the story of the people Rodrigo met throughout her life who she still wonders about. The song also hints at the struggles LGBTQ+ teens face containing lyrics such as “her parents hated who she loved.”
When Seventeen asked Rodrigo what inspired SOUR, she spoke about topics such as heartbreak, insecurity, and growing pains. “I wrote most of SOUR when I was seventeen, so it’s very much like a slice of my seventeen-year-old heart,” Rodrigo said. She also attributes the vulnerability and comfort in the record to the fact that she recorded most of the album in her bedroom and her producer’s garage.
Rodrigo also mentioned one of her favorite lyrics on the album which appears in the song hope ur ok. “I hope he took his bad deal and made a royal flush,” the lyrics read. The lyric means that Rodrigo hopes that her old friend takes everything bad in his life and created success for himself. Rodrigo also mentions how she believes the track was a beautiful fit for the end of the album.
According to Headline Planet, SOUR dominated the US Spotify charts on May 21 taking up all but one of the top ten spots and all the songs landing in the top twelve. Even now a week after the album’s release, the top fifty US chart is dominated by SOUR.
Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR managed to captivate a generation of teenagers through her relatable and beautifully written music. SOUR might not be completely unique from the albums gracing the music world today, but it is definitely worth a listen before forming any opinions.
Hi! My name is Cassidy and I am a staff writer for The Mycenaean. I am also a member of Book Club and Tech Theatre.