SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo Review: “Anything but bitter”

18-year-old, Olivia Rodrigo, has released her debut album SOUR, the brutally honest yet beautifully told stories that she tells in her song writing shows that although a teen, she knows how to make a record. After first listen it’s left us feeling anything but bitter.

Early 2021, Rodrigo released her debut single driver’s license which took the world by storm. In the UK it kept its place at the top of the charts for nine weeks, making it the longest running debut single to hit UK charts for 15 years. The song of the year, driver’s license, was only the beginning as Rodrigo teased fans with two more single releases deja vu and good 4 u. It was clear from these drops that Rodrigo’s song writing was incredibly captivating. 

The album begins with the first track, Brutal. In the intro of the song the voice of Rodrigo is heard saying, “I want it to be, like, messy.”, before a cascade of rock percussion. The album itself uses a lot of minor keys in the songs, on top of major melodies – mixing the two shows the contrast and the messiness of what she’s experiencing. This messiness is exactly what is described in Brutal, her pitiful broken heart and ego as she navigates her way through newfound fame and life as a teen in today’s world. 

Traitor serves as a beautifully tragic letter to a past love. What Olivia experienced in this relationship is relatable. The anger felt towards an ex, because although they didn’t cheat – it’s as good as. The tale of ‘the girl they tell you not to worry about’ and Olivia’s side of the story is fabulously told.

The fresh talent of Rodrigo has been compared to the likes of song writing legend Taylor Swift. 1 step forward, 3 steps back delivers a beautiful Swift melody to which she is credited. driver’s license and deja vu, gifted a hint of Rodrigo’s song writing talent, this album has given us so much more. The beautiful lyrics that she uses in happier and favourite crime resonate deeply with those who have had their hearts broken and who can share these moments with Olivia. 

At such a young age, Rodrigo has battled with self-image issues which she shares on track number nine, jealousy, jealously. The constant comparisons placed upon young woman to what we see online has become a huge issue. Rodrigo explains her own struggle with these comparisons and her jealousy of people she doesn’t even know. “All I see is what I should be” but the truth is we can’t meet these unrealistic expectations and the way she puts this into song form is truly wonderful.

Signed copies of the Sour CD and Cassette.
Photo Credits: Emma Barton

The final song on the album hope ur ok is a beautiful way to round up her debut. A message to the people she once knew about their own struggles with the hardships of life and how they need to know they’re not alone in the way they feel but that she’s so glad that she had the privilege to know them. 

Olivia Rodrigo has shown us her raw talent on SOUR and at such a young age she has shown artists how to debut an album the right way. I look forward to my signed copy in the mail. 

Written by Emma Barton

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