After Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single “Driver’s License” broke chart records, many expected the 18-year-old to be a one-hit wonder — her debut album “Sour” proved skeptics wrong.
Rodrigo created an emotional rollercoaster of an album that is perfect for anyone who is going through a breakup or loves to cry to sad music.
The album starts with “Brutal,” an angsty song in which Rodrigo lets out all her frustrations. It’s a great song to scream in the car with friends, bulleted with the line “God, it’s brutal out here.”
Rodrigo shows off her vocals and songwriting abilities in the ballad “Traitor.” Having written all the songs on the album herself along with her producer, the story of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart starts here.
Rodrigo mirrors her personal inspiration Taylor Swift in “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” using a sample of the piano from Swift’s song “New Years Day.” This produced a soft and melancholy background that mixed well with Rodrigo’s heart-wrenching vocals.
“1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” recounts her tumultuous relationship with her ex-boyfriend and screams of how young love is intoxicating, difficult to walk away from.
In “Deja Vu,” Rodrigo used funky sounds, vocal layering and a lot of falsetto, making it a hypnotic diss track.
“Good 4 U” is one of the few upbeat songs on the album. The “get over your ex-partner” anthem blew up on TikTok. Just like “Brutal,” the single is great for letting out some steam — I had fun blasting this in my car for the past week.
“Happier” showcased Rodrigo’s soft side, another piano-heavy ballad where she hopes her ex-boyfriend is “happy, but not like how you were with me”. This song has a childlike melody to it emphasizing the innocence of the relationship while contrasting with the maturity of the lyrics.
Going through a breakup myself, I can relate to this mix of emotions Rodrigo portrays in “Happier.” It’s hard to move on when your ex-partner already seems over the relationship.
The album ended with a heartfelt love letter to old childhood friends Rodrigo has drifted from, an emotional finale that everyone can relate to.
“Sour” is an impressive first album for the young Rodrigo. Her songs are clever, relatable, and fun, making it hard to dislike her music.
I’m obsessed with this album and I’m excited to see what Rodrigo will do next.
4 out of 5 stars