Whether you know her from her hit single “drivers license,” her role as Nini Salazar-Roberts in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” or even way back from her role as Paige Olvera in “Bizaardvark” — Olivia Rodrigo’s name has been flooding the media lately. She just dropped her debut album, “SOUR,” on May 21 and it is heartbreaking in the best possible way. I deem it a “no skip” album. This is something I have never done before, but this album deserves the title.
I’ll admit I haven’t always been Rodrigo’s biggest fan. I first saw her on “Bizaardvark,” which was not my cup of tea and forgot about her until she appeared in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” While I grew to like her as an actress after seeing her take on a different role, I was skeptical about her music career. However, any skepticism I had was thrown out the window when I heard her first single “drivers license,” released on Jan. 8. After that, I was hooked. She has released two singles since then: “deja vu” and “good 4 u,” both absolute masterpieces.
When “SOUR” dropped, I listened to the entire album in one sitting at midnight and instantly fell in love with it. “SOUR” is the ultimate break-up album that will tear open any old wounds or have you scream-singing songs about exes who betrayed you, even if you have never dated anyone.
Songs like “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” “enough for you,” “favorite crime,” “traitor” and “happier” will have you bawling with their relatable lyrics and sad melodies. They sting and tug at your heartstrings, but they’re worth it. I am a huge fan of ballads so I listen to these tracks more than the others on the album. I believe “favorite crime” is underrated. The song highlights the experience of going through criminal efforts to be with the one you love. It beautifully captures the idea of being someone’s “favorite crime,” even though you lost them in the end.
There are a few songs on the album that aren’t about heartbreak. The first track on the album is “brutal,” and it’s completely unexpected — everyone assumes “SOUR” is purely a break-up album. “Brutal” has an incredible beat and is laced with a certain teen angst that makes you want to scream it at the top of your lungs in the car with the windows down. In the song, Rodrigo complains about everything wrong with her life, but it’s the relatability factor of her complaints that people are drawn to, as well as the head-banging instrumentals.
Continuing with the relatability factor is “jealousy, jealousy,” in which Rodrigo expresses her insecurities and jealousy when she sees other girl’s lives and physical appearances in media, which is an experience many people (including myself) have had. I wasn’t sure if I vibed with the song at first, but the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me.
The last track on the album is “hope ur ok,” where Rodrigo explains some unfortunate situations of people who she knows who aren’t accepted by their families because of who they love. The track has comfort and warmth that will encompass those who need it most. It caps the album off excellently, leaving you with tear-stained cheeks.
One thing I must note is that Rodrigo, on top of her incredible vocal and instrumental talent, has a talent for writing bridges. Every track on this album has such a powerful bridge that captivates me each time I listen. My favorite track on the album is “1 step forward, 3 steps back.” The soft piano of the track is the perfect accompaniment of the gentle, yet painful lyrics. It is the song that speaks to me the most.
Upon release of this album, Rodrigo collaborated with Sour Patch Kids, creating a box of “SOUR” Patch Kids with her face on them. There is speculation that since the Sour Patch Kids slogan is “Sour. Sweet. Gone.” Rodrigo’s next album will be titled “Sweet” and include love songs. Only time will tell. While I prefer gut-wrenching ballads, I may need a “Sweet” album to heal from “SOUR.” Even though she just released this album I need more of her music ASAP. If you want to experience some good old-fashioned heartbreak with a hint of teen angst, go give “SOUR” a listen! You won’t regret it!