Debut album ‘Sour’ personifies teenage emotions

May 26, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm when she released the hit single “Driver’s License”. Now, the 18-year-old has released her first debut album, Sour, which has tones of heartbreak, teenage angst, and sentimentality.

Most of the songs, masterfully written, were unequally centered around the hurt she had experienced in past relationships with boys. Some say the repetitiveness of her album is juvenile and sounds like a broken record, but in Rodrigo’s own words, “I’m a teenage girl, I write about stuff that I feel really intensely – and I feel heartbreak and longing really intensely – and I think that’s authentic and natural. I don’t really understand what people want me to write about; do you want me to write a song about income taxes? How am I going to write an emotional song about that?” While some may criticize the reoccurring theme of heartbreak in her songs, it is important to remember the age and situation of the writer.

However, there were some songs that stood out from the love songs. This includes, “brutal”, a modern approach to the woes of a teenager. While the lyrics may describe the life of a young person in the 21st century, the instrumentals and music propel the listener back to the 90’s and early 2000’s with a pop-rock feel. It is one of her more unique songs, but teens today find relatability in it.

Grouped together in a sadder, slower paced tempo, are the majority of the rest of the songs. “1 step forward, 3 steps back”, cowritten with Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff, is a highly commendable work, with beautiful melodies masking a melancholy song. The lyrics describe a toxic relationship, where emotions are ever-changing, and are very well-written. Her vocals are angelic and soft, reflecting the surrendering of herself to this emotional roller coaster. Throughout the album, her vocals are consistent with this sound, however, the meaning changes every time.

Another song worth mentioning is “enough for you”, a song which millions of girls can relate to. The story of societal standards and the responsibility of living up to men’s expectations is told beautifully. The emotion in her voice can be heard, making it more real. It is a well-known tale, but masterfully told.

The melodies, lyrics, and nostalgia induced by Rodrigo’s album Sour is a major win in the singer’s directory. Although the themes of heartbreak and angst are present in almost every song, it is expected of a teenager living in this world to write of her own experiences. Sour was a wonderful album, with wonderful music and lyrics

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