Following her number one hit, “Drivers License”, that stayed on Billboard’s Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks, Olivia Rodrigo finally released her first full album “Sour” on May 21. With the pop star rising to fame at age 18, teenage angst is made very clear throughout the album, which seems to bode well with the majority of her audience.
The very first track, “Brutal” seemed to set the tone of the album with heavy influences of rock and alternative vibes, something that truly hasn’t been perfected by any “Gen-Z artist” until now. The aggressiveness of her lyrics as well as the music was something that I actually enjoyed right from the start. It is very clear that this can be considered a “breakup” album. However, Rodrigo shifts back to a melancholy melody with “Traitor” immediately after. The lyrics mixed with the melody turns “Sour” from a headbanger to a tearjerker. The album does a fantastic job of portraying the rollercoaster of emotions that follows love, heartbreak and growing up.
The album continues with the softer, dream pop genre until we reach “Good 4 U,” which is personally one of my favorite tracks. The song gives hardcore “early Avril Lavigne” vibes which took me by surprise. Rodrigo goes back to the rock, alt-pop genre and delivers even more angst through her lyrics. The song became Rodrigo’s second No. 1 hit on Billboard Hot 100 Charts, making “Sour” the first debut album to receive two No. 1 debuts. The music video is also still trending top-10 on Youtube and includes a hilarious psychotic ex-girlfriend-slash-highschool cheerleader Rodrigo (which parallels her acting on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+).
The album shifts to an acoustic number, “Enough for You”, which is quite heartbreaking to listen to. Teenage insecurities start to show in the lyrics towards the middle, which I think is a really realistic change of tone. The beginning of the album gives “it’s your loss” energy which morphs into another alt-pop song like “Jealousy, Jealousy” (my second favorite from the album). Then there seems to be closure with the last two tracks. The album finishes off in beautiful notes, and the anger, pain, and jealousy all turn to “Hope Ur Ok” which suggests quite literally what the title implies.
One of the reasons why I believe this album is doing so exceptionally well is due to the way her audience can completely empathize with the state of mind that is being portrayed by another teenager, and it would be a lie if I said tears were not shed while listening to some of the tracks myself. With the newer generation being out of touch with “old school” ideas, Olivia Rodrigo does an excellent job at keeping the essence and capturing the realness of what it is like to be a teenager.
The full album “Sour” is available on all streaming platforms including lyric videos for each track on Youtube.