A release day ranking of every song on Olivia Rodrigo’s new album GUTS
Vampire is a strong contender for best song of the year
Olivia Rodrigo is fucking it. Do not believe the naysayers. This is a pop star with a pen that won’t quit, an artist who knows exactly what she’s doing and in full creative control. I saw a tweet earlier today that said “oh to be a teenage girl when Olivia Rodrigo is releasing music” and it’s so true. Like Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo is making music from her people, to her people. It doesn’t feel like a record label making a pop artist release the music they think young people might like, it feels real. She just gets it. I’ve listened to GUTS three times now, and I’m on my fourth as I’m writing this. As I love to do, here’s a release day rundown of every song on GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo, ranked from worst to best.
Loses me in the first two lines with the terrible “Lacy, oh Lacy, skin like puff pastry”. In the shit lyrics trenches with Katy Perry’s opening lines of Swish Swish. You’re better than this, Liv!
11. pretty isn’t pretty
The most paint by numbers song I’ve heard about body image in years. Big 2010 vibes. Just listen to Ugly by Sugababes and save yourself the trouble.
Listened to this one a fair few times now and something about it fails to resonate with me. I think GUTS is stronger than SOUR, actually – because it slams on the rock harder and is all the better for it. With Logical, I feel like Olivia Rodrigo goes back to the balladry of SOUR but it doesn’t have the impact of her debut on that front.
9. teenage dream
I’m not sure what it is, but for me Olivia Rodrigo never manages to fully knock her final songs on her albums out the park – and of all the GUTS songs ranked here, it’s Teenage Dream not kicking quite like it should that disappoints me. I love the blowing out the candles happy birthday to me moment, but can’t help but sit here and wish she just gave us a Katy Perry cover. I’d really have bowed at that.
8. the grudge
It’s alright but it should have been about the horror film of the same name. That I would like to hear.
7. making the bed
Now we’re cooking with gas. The top 7 Olivia Rodrigo GUTS songs ranked kicks off with this mid tempo song that yearns and twists its way through doubts, regrets and metaphorical and literal bed making. Gorgeous stuff. When the guitar gets heavier and drops out to just piano at the end? I love it.
6. ballad of a homeschooled girl
Great vibes to this one. Her delivery on the verse is like she’s been the lead singer of an angsty 90s band for decades. I’m dying to go and see Olivia Rodrigo live and it’s songs like this that I can’t wait to hear her belt out. I love that all the lads she fancies are gay, she’s just like me!
5. get him back!
Assuming this is the next single because it’s at the top of all the playlists on Spotify for release day. If it is, it’s a wise choice. The blasé delivery on the verses and the chanty chorus make it feel like a spiritual successor to Bad Idea Right in all the best ways.
4. love is embarrassing
One of those songs when you first listen to an album and you’re just like, yep, that one’s for me. This one’s gonna get BLASTED. Instantly stirring opening that echoes Avril Lavigne’s Best Damn Thing era, and a chorus that crescendos in the closest moment this album has to Good 4 U. Have to wow. Need it to get a single release.
3. bad idea right?
The perfect second single. A killer strutting bass line that slips Olivia Rodrigo back into Brutal territory. It could border on annoying in lesser hands, especially with the constant building of “seeing you tonight”. But in Olivia’s capable clutches I’m putty in her hands for this pop rock bratty masterpiece about bad decision making that destroyed groups of girlies this summer and made everyone cause chaos.
2. all-american bitch
This is Olivia Rodrigo’s favourite song on this record, and one listen and you’d be deaf to not hear why. The tranquil cosy intro and bursting out the door with a nod to The Craft and confessional lyrics before it crashes into chaos. Just great musicality and unexpected choices that have you beaming. You know you’re in safe hands when albums start this good.
An instantly stunning and breathtaking song. Her best ever, dare I say – and if it wasn’t for Lana Del Rey dropping A&W I’d name it the best song of 2023. It’s a mammoth record that builds its pop rock sensibility steadily and assuredly. The chorus sounding like a pre chorus before you realise it’s the main event? Magical. One of her best ever vocals – almost Broadway standard in its theatricality but never feeling overbearing. Olivia Rodrigo proved with Drivers License that she could bridge with the best of them and the bridge of Vampire gives even that a run for its money. Outstanding, perfect lead single, easily ranked the best of GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo. What an album.
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Featured image credit: @oliviarodrigo