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The Cub

Guts (spilled): A Review


Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album “GUTS” was released in September of 2023. This was one of the most anticipated albums from 2023, as many people love and admire her music. With that being said, reviews come with honesty. And the right place for an honest review is here. Let’s dive in!


“all-american bitch”

This song starts off slow and calm. Then once the chorus begins, it is a completely different song, and I’m here for it. This song is based on how people expect you to always be happy and perfect. Rodrigo’s lyrics  detail the thought that you don’t always have to be perfect and it’s a captivating song to listen to when you want to let go. It also shows that there should be no standard to how you should act. The best part is the ending, because it helps people realize their worth, and empowers those to act however they want without caring about judgment. This song demonstrates that she is the perfect version of herself when she sings “I’m sexy and ‘Im kind, I’m pretty when I cry”.


“bad idea right?”

I think in the beginning, people did not like this song at all. And to be honest, neither did I. After listening to it a few more times, I’ve grown to love it. It sounds like a song that would be played in the early 2000s. It has a certain vibe that makes you want to get up on your feet and sing. Making this song a single on this album was a smart choice because it gives you a glimpse into the album and to anticipate more songs of this caliber.



Vampire is the first single off the album. Shortly after this song was released, it hit number one on the Billboard 100 chart and continued to be number one for two weeks. Everyone absolutely loved this song (me included). It is the perfect breakup song for many reasons. It is serious in the beginning and transitions to upbeat with a hint of meaningful and vulnerable lyrics such as “you said it was true love but wouldn’t that be hard you can’t love anyone cuz that would mean you had a heart.”. This song deserves all of the attention it gets. It is truly an amazing song.



If I could write a book about this song, I would. In my opinion, this is one of her best songs on the album. The song is soft and soothing in a way. The listener can relate to the lyrics on a personal level. This song was meant to be on the album because it is something that her fans can relate to, no matter their age. Rodrigo explains in the song how she dislikes a person because they’re perceived as “perfect” on the outside. It shows admiration, but also a little bit of envy. I think especially because she has more of a teenage audience, she knew that her feelings and emotions would be heard and understood from her point of view, and I think she did an amazing job with this song. 


“ballad of a homeschooled girl”

I can’t say I relate too much to this song because I’ve never been homeschooled before. Other than that, this song is just so powerful  because it details the struggles of socialization due to homeschooling. The whole album is based on a high schooler’s point of view and how they manage their emotions, which is why most of her songs are so relatable. This is more prevalent in today’s educational climate as more students are homeschooled. This is a great song to identify with if you have ever experienced the solitude of homeschooling. 


“making the bed”

This is my favorite song on the album. The raw emotion and heartfelt lyrics, along with the music and production is truly beautiful especially when she sings “I’m playing the victim so well in my head, but it’s me who’s been making the bed.” In the song, it’s almost like she’s trying to own up to past mistakes. This song is similar yet so different from her other songs because she adds depth to her words.  It has more underlying vulnerability that you can grasp and a perfect mix of the lyrics and music to make a powerful emotional song. 



The song starts off slow and dark. As the song goes on, the music and her voice starts to get louder and more emotional. This adds strength and authenticity to the song which her audience craves. I really admire this song and the passion behind her delivery. Every song is unique in its own way and the lyrics are so easy to connect with.  


“get him back!”

I absolutely love this song because it gives early 2000s Avril Lavigne energy that is appealing to her fans. This song has a great mixture of emotion with an upbeat sound. I can definitely see why this song gets a lot of attention because it is a feel good song. I found myself guilty of listening to this song on repeat because it’s just that good. This would be a great song to play and sing to in the car with your friends. 


“love is embarrassing”

From the title of the song, I’m guessing you’d think this song was slow and emotional; in fact it’s the opposite! I would give this song a 10/10 for when you’re feeling like you want to get up and start dancing to a song. If you’re feeling down about something and you want to get your emotions out, instead of feeling negative about a situation, I recommend putting this song on blast and just letting everything out. It can be so freeing, and I think this song was an excellent choice to put on the album.


“the grudge”

This song was one of the first to gain popularity and it’s obvious as to why. This album is important because not only is she making music that is relatable, her lyrics are real and transparent. Rodrigo sings, “Now I hold it like a grudge, and I hear your voice every time that I think I’m not enough.” “It takes strength to forgive but I’m not quite sure I’m there yet”.  She is honest with her work and truly a lyrical genius. She turns past experiences into emotional anthems for fans to let them know they are not alone. 


“pretty isn’t pretty”

This song is about a common insecurity that a lot of people have, a lack of confidence. This also touches on self acceptance. Her music sends a message about the struggles that young women experience daily regarding their appearance. One line says, “You can win the battle, but you’ll never win the war. Fix the things you hated, and you’d still feel so insecure.” This is a powerful message that many can relate to. 


“teenage dream”

This song is also one of my favorites. The song is about living in your teenage years and trying to reflect on things you could have done differently. It’s at the prime age of nineteen when this is the last year as a teenager. She is looking back on all of the years and thinking it was not what she wanted. Her lyrics, “will I spend all the rest of my years wishing I could go back?”, show her fear of growing up and wanting to go back in time to have a better life experience and a do-over. The ending vocals are my favorite part as they progressively get louder along with the music, and finally ending with the original melody.



This is the song everyone’s been waiting for! Ever since the album came out, people have been begging Rodrigo to officially release it. Before the deluxe album came out, which was on March 22nd, her exclusive vinyls had bonus tracks at the end of the album that were not released yet, one of them being “obsessed.” There were four songs you could get, and it was sort of a surprise which left fans shocked and eager to have these released on streaming platforms. This song did not disappoint, and as soon as it came out it was one out of the five to hit #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. This is such a fun song to scream to. You can definitely release some energy with this hit!


“girl i’ve always been”

I really like this song because it’s a softer song exploring different genres. Many of her fans find themselves listening to this on repeat because it reminds them of the soundtrack from “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” as Rodrigo has written a song for the movie!


“scared of my guitar”

If I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting when first listening to this song.I immediately grew a liking to it. I love that it has a slower and more calm sound. I think with this song, she’s acknowledging being overwhelmed in life and the anxiety that comes with being an artist. She expresses her fear of picking up her guitar and starting her career.



I absolutely love the guitar melody in the beginning, and how she starts the lyrics. I think this song shows growth from past relationships and positively moving on with your life. This song captures maturity and self-growth and it is really amazing to see and hear that in a song. This is truly an inspirational song. 


“so american”

When I listened to this song for the first time, it immediately went to the top of my favorites list. Her fans were very excited and thrilled because this is considered her first love song. This is a very joyous and uplifting song. It quickly became popular across all social media platforms prompting fans to add it to their playlist! 


Olivia Rodrigo did an amazing job with her album.I am excited for her future projects and goals with her music career. She has been doing excellent so far and there is no doubt she will continue to grow as an artist. I recommend giving this album a listen and hope that you like it as much as I do! 

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About the Contributor
Isabella Murphy-Rodriguez
Isabella (Bella) Murphy-Rodriguez is a part of the Class of 2025 at LHS and her first year on the Cub as a staff writer. In her free time, she loves to read and listen to music. After graduating, Bella plans to go to college to major in psychology and become a therapist. She is very excited to start writing and creating for the Cub!

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