Olivia Rodrigo’s Debut Album was Far From “Sour”

An honest review of chart topping album “Sour.”



Rodrigo’s album cover picturing her with “SOUR” spelt out on her tongue and stickers covering her face.

Ashleigh Thorson, Staff Writer

Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” is the perfect record. It combines familiar genres with Rodrigo’s own flair through stories of her teenage years and the intimate emotions she’s felt. While she could be compared to other artists like Taylor Swift and Paramore in terms of her style of writing and tone of songs, her ability to write songs that are uniquely hers is what makes her record so compelling. 

Prior to releasing “Sour,” Rodrigo had released three singles. All of them left me craving more of her song-writing and the emotions she had to share with the world. 

When she released her album, I was left with no words to describe her musical talent. I had been transported into Rodrigos’ messy teenage world. Her record dives into the depths of emotional stress and explores feelings that aren’t socially acceptable, especially for teenage girls. 

I was hooked. 

Her song “Traitor” encapsulates anger, sadness, and betrayal in the aftermath of a breakup. With lines like, “Guess you didn’t cheat/ But you’re still a traitor,” she captures what it feels like to see your ex in a new relationship while you’re still reeling from separating. 

“Driver’s License,” her first single, is an anthem for heartbreak. The lyrics remind me of a “Fearless” era Swift, and her vocal range in this song is similar to Billie Eilish. However, Rodrigo is in a league of her own with this song. 

At first look, it can seem as though Rodrigo is including too many sad ballad songs of heartbreak, but she’s shown versatility in how she writes these stories. 

“Favorite Crime” is a folk, indie pop ballad that explores a beautifully written tragedy of seeing all the red flags of a relationship in the broken aftermath of it. Rodrigo uses analogies like “Used me as an alibi/Crossed my heart as you crossed the line,” and “I hope I was your favorite crime,” further proving her talent as a songwriter. 

While “SOUR” does have a lot of ballad songs, it includes several angsty, frenzied-teenager songs as well. Rodrigo also explores the cruelty of teenage years in “Brutal”, spending too much time on social media in “Jealousy, Jealousy”, and sharing intimate stories of friends in “Hope Ur OK”. 

Her ability to craft these excerpts of her life via her lyrics is what makes her song-writing so different from pop songs being released today. Most mainstream pop songs are repetitive and don’t emotionally grab listeners, whereas her lyricism tells a narrative of passion throughout the record. 

Her third single, “Good 4 U,” is an upbeat breakup song about the emotionally messy side of a breakup with grunge, pop, rock, and alternative styles. It tells the story of seeing an ex move on so quickly after a breakup and not giving a second thought about Rodrigo. 

Her final song on the record, “Hope Ur OK,”  is the perfect way to end this album. It’s such a somber song, but lyrics like, “Hope he took his bad deal and made a royal flush,” and “I hope you know how proud I am you were created,” give the song a sense of hope; eventually after all is said and done, it will be how it’s supposed to be.

Whether it’s car rides and strawberry ice cream in “Deja Vu,” taking “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” in a relationship, or finding someone great, but not someone better in “Happier,” it’s true that Rodrigo has outdone herself in this album. 

While she has a lot to learn, she has crafted some beautiful songs on her first record, and one thing’s for sure: this is just the beginning for Rodrigo.