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Wondering about the Wonderkid Olivia Rodrigo and the highs and lows of teenagehood

Wondering about the Wonderkid

Olivia Rodrigo and the highs and lows of teenagehood

by Erin,
first published: May, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

Rodrigo has managed to capture a snapshot of youth in a relatable and cathartic way without being cliched.

Olivia Rodrigo

It is likely that you have heard of Olivia Rodrigo at this point in time. Her first single 'drivers license' is one of the biggest songs of the year-being certified triple platinum by the RIAA and propelling Rodrigo to even more massive fame following her stint as a Disney Kid. At 18, she's slotted herself into stardom with relative ease.

With this celebrity comes expectaion for the album. Would it be a fully realised project or a collection of 'Drivers License' knock offs on repeat? Luckily, Rodrigo achieved the former as she manages to craft an album that explores teenagehood and heartbreak in a way that feels authentic, her experiences paint the album with melancholy and mischief and none of it comes off as farce.

'SOUR' has Rodrigo alternate between two modes. There are the piano ballad confessionals variety and the upbeat pop-rock types that sound like a nostigic reimaging of early 2000s pop rock. The song 'Deja Vu' fits well into the latter and is one of the highlights here. The gradual build in the instrumentation, soaring vocal and pertinent, detailed lyrics, missing  '...watching re-runs of Glee' with your ex and the thought that their new partner '..she knows Billy Joel / Cause you played her Uptown Girl'.

'Favourite Crime' is another highlight, a longing ballad supplemented by gentle guitar. Rodrigo looks back on a dead relationship with some hope that it was worth the suffering she endured for it.

'SOUR' ends with 'hope ur ok', as Rodrigo says goodbye and offers well wishes to those she has left behind throughout her life, wishing that '...I hope your happier today'. It feels an appropriate ending as Rodrigo definitively closes this chapter in her life. It  signifies that experience has made her grow as a person throughout the album and that she is more mature by the end of the record than the bitter girl that appears on the messy sounding lament, 'Brutal' which the collection opens with.

Whilst some songs fade into the background and aren't nearly as memorable as possible - Rodrigo has managed to capture a snapshot of youth in a relatable and cathartic way without being clichéd.  She has crafted an album that navigates the highs and lows of teenagehood in a way that feels both vunerable and euphoric.


Erin has a wide and diverse interest in music which she maintains is unsullied by the mostly impenetrable musical nonsense her father foists upon her.

about Erin »»



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