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Olivia Rodrigo - Guts (Album Review)

Thursday, 14 September 2023 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Larissa Hofmann

With her powerhouse voice, lyrics that nail an under-explored young female experience and A+ student attitude to musical history, Olivia Rodrigo's second album demonstrates a pop star who is  still way ahead of her age. 

When Vampire emerged on social media in early summer, it cut through the endless stream of inane hair tutorials it accompanied. Its opening sensitive piano riff evokes David Bowie's Life on Mars at one moment, and throws you into the excesses of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the next. It is brave, astute and somehow still cool despite essentially being rock-opera.

At its best moments, 'Guts' sounds like a pile of your favourite ‘90s band shirts while making you laugh with witty, exacting lyrics.

The opener, All-American Bitch, recalls Miss World by Hole set for a modern audience, exploring the paradox of society’s demands on young women.

Bad Idea Right?, meanwhile, takes on the thoughtless process of 'tripping' and 'falling' into your ex's bed, and seems destined to become an anthem of Gen Z situationships.

Then there are the ballads. It’s understandable that about half the tracks on 'Guts' recall Rodrigo’s breakout song, Drivers License. Unfortunately, compared to the sardonic romps such as Get Him Back!, they can at times sound like formulaic afterthoughts.

Rodrigo is sensitive and dynamic, but tracks including Lacy and Making the Bed blend together as a mix of vulnerable whispering and scorned belting, with similar melodies and production. Logical is the stand out among this group — Rodrigo’s vocals are undeniably virtuosic, while painting a specific but universal picture of willing your flawed paramour to change.

Rodrigo is up front about the ups, downs, and pressure of your 20s, but if 'Guts' is anything to go by, it might also be the most fun you’ve ever had.

Olivia Rodrigo Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri February 23 2024 - PALM SPRINGS California - Acrisure Arena (USA)
Sat February 24 2024 - PHOENIX Arizona - Footprint Center (USA)
Tue February 27 2024 - HOUSTON Texas - Toyota Center (USA)
Wed February 28 2024 - AUSTIN Texas - Moody Center (USA)
Fri March 01 2024 - DALLAS Texas - American Airlines Center (USA)
Sat March 02 2024 - NEW ORLEANS Louisiana - Smoothie King Center (USA)
Tue March 05 2024 - ORLANDO Florida - Amway Center (USA)
Wed March 06 2024 - MIAMI Florida - Kaseya Center (USA)
Fri March 08 2024 - CHARLOTTE North Carolina - Spectrum Center (USA)
Sat March 09 2024 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Bridgestone Arena (USA)
Tue March 12 2024 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Enterprise Center (USA)
Wed March 13 2024 - OMAHA Nebraska - CHI Health Center (USA)
Fri March 15 2024 - ST. PAUL Minnesota - Xcel Energy Center (USA)
Sat March 16 2024 - MILWAUKEE Wisconsin - Fiserv Forum (USA)
Tue March 19 2024 - CHICAGO Illinois - United Center (USA)
Fri March 22 2024 - COLUMBUS Ohio - Nationwide Arena (USA)
Sat March 23 2024 - DETROIT Michigan - Little Caesars Arena (USA)
Tue March 26 2024 - MONTREAL QC - Bell Centre (Canada)
Fri March 29 2024 - TORONTO ON - Scotiabank Arena (USA)
Mon April 01 2024 - BOSTON Massachusetts - TD Garden (USA)
Fri April 05 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Sat April 06 2024 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)

Tue April 30 2024 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Fri May 03 2024 - MANCHESTER Co Op Live
Tue May 07 2024 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Fri May 10 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Tue May 14 2024 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed May 15 2024 - LONDON O2 Arena

Wed May 22 2024 - ANTWERP Sportpaleis (Belgium)
Fri May 24 2024 - AMSTERDAM Ziggo Dome (Netherlands)
Tue May 28 2024 - OSLO Spektrum (Norway)
Thu May 30 2024 - COPENHAGEN Royal Arena (Denmark)
Sat June 01 2024 - BERLIN Mercedes Benz Arena (Germany)
Tue June 04 2024 - HAMBURG Barclays Arena (Germany)
Wed June 05 2024 - FRANKFURT Festhalle (Germany)
Fri June 07 2024 - MUNICH Olympiahalle (Germany)
Sun June 09 2024 - BOLOGNA Unipol Arena (Italy)
Tue June 11 2024 - ZURICH Hallenstadion (Switzerland)
Wed June 12 2024 - COLOGNE Lanxess Arena (Germany)
Fri June 14 2024 - PARIS Accor Arena (France)
Tue June 18 2024 - BARCELONA Palau Sant Jordi (Spain)
Thu June 20 2024 - MADRID Wizink Center (Spain)
Sat June 22 2024 - LISBON Altice Arena (Portugal)

Fri July 19 2024 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Wells Fargo Center (USA)
Sat July 20 2024 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - Capital One Arena (USA)
Tue July 23 2024 - ATLANTA Georgia - State Farm Arena (USA)
Wed July 24 2024 - LEXINGTON Kentucky - Rupp Arena (USA)
Fri July 26 2024 - KANSAS CITY Missouri - T Mobile Center (USA)
Sat July 27 2024 - OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma - Paycom Center (USA)
Tue July 30 2024 - DENVER Colorado - Ball Arena (USA)
Wed July 31 2024 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Delta Center (USA)
Fri August 02 2024 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Chase Center (USA)
Tue August 06 2024 - SEATTLE Washington - Climate Pledge Arena (USA)
Fri August 09 2024 - VANCOUVER BC - Rogers Arena (Canada)
Sat August 10 2024 - PORTLAND Oregon - Moda Center (USA)
Tue August 13 2024 - LOS ANGELES California - Kia Forum (USA)
Wed August 14 2024 - LOS ANGELES California - Kia Forum (USA)

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