‘SOUR’ Review

Olivia Rodrigo shot by Nick Walker for the ‘SOUR’ album

SOUR’ by Olivia Rodrigo was nominated as Album of The Year at the Grammy’s last month and for that, I shall write a review on it.

Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album on May 21, 2021, following the explosive release of her debut singles “drivers license,” “deja vu,” and “good 4 u.”

“drivers license”, released January 9th, 2021, became a massive hit in just a week of its release. In my opinion, this song could easily be the song of the year. The song blew up throughout social media, everybody instantly knew and loved the song.

Now, onto the rest of the amazing tracks of SOUR. Some amazing highlights on this album are the angsty teen punk-pop “brutal”, the pop ballad, which could easily make anybody cry, “traitor”, and another amazing, more alt-pop ballad, “hope ur ok”.

“traitor,” starting off by showing that she’s not only an amazing lyricist but an astonishing vocalist too. The first verse, slow but angsty enough for you to understand the pain she was feeling singing it, moves amazingly into the chorus where there’s an amazing synth-orchestral hit making the chorus hit harder than the verse before it. The second verse going a little harder than the first, shows just how angry the pain has made her, again with the chorus hit, the chorus moves into the bridge which has that same synth-orchestral hit as the chorus, but harder this time, as her vocals pick up Olivia makes the song so much better. Slowing it down for an amazing ending to an amazing song.

“drivers license”, the song we all know and love, is the next track on this amazing album. Going through the tracklist, the song seems to flow so much better. In this track, Olivia flashes back onto memories she’s made with her ex-lover, being excited to get her driver’s license. Olivia, now without him, is reminiscing on that excitement while driving past his house. The song is your amazing pop ballad, yet instantly proves it’s even better than that as the bridge hits. With Olivia’s Taylor Swift grown lyricism, she writes an amazing bridge, hitting harder than the rest of the song.

Speaking of Taylor Swift, the next track titled, “1 step forward, 3 steps back”, takes major Taylor Swift inspiration, as she samples the song “New Years Day” from Taylor’s “reputation”. The stripped-back, piano ballad, reveals how astonishing Olivia’s lyricism truly is. The song doesn’t show many strong vocals until the ending where she hits untouchable notes, effortlessly. I truly find this song to be one of the best songs of not only this year but of Olivia’s career so far.

“enough for you,” similar to “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” we hear Olivia with her guitar, stripped back, almost like she’s singing directly to you. This song proves yet again how amazing she can be at writing a song, this track, I’m yet again astonished by her lyrics. Olivia’s breathtaking vocals with the acoustic guitar towards the ending, wrap up the song, giving it a perfect ending.

Onto, “favorite crime,” where again, Olivia sits down with her guitar and sings about how hurt she feels. This time around, the song shows how amazing her vocals can be. Layered throughout the background, Olivia’s vocals are astonishing and breathtaking. The bridge, which is easily the best part of this entire album, Olivia goes from just the stripped guitar to layers of the guitar and orchestral instruments, which sounds like literal heaven. I love this song with all my heart.

The pop hit “deja vu” would be the next on our list to cover. The song is about an ex-lover who she thinks is repeating things that he and Olivia used to do with his new partner. Olivia samples yet another Taylor Swift song titled “Cruel Summer,” from her hit album “Lover,” yet again this song is very inspired by her idol. The song’s chorus shows off how easily she can make an amazing summer hit, while still showing she has pain that has cut deep. She proves this yet again with the next track titled, “happier.”

“happier.” Similar to “deja vu,” shows just how perfect and effortlessly Olivia can make a pop hit. This time more slowly, but still just pop enough, to give it that feeling. The layered guitar strumming, synths, and piano layered on top give this song an amazing feel to it. The breathtaking bridge, filled with Olivia’s vocals, yet again shows just how amazing she can sing.

The angsty pop/punk hit “good 4 u”, shows just how angry, yet still upset she is about the heartbreak experience she’s having. She writes in this track about how her ex-lover doesn’t feel pain after their breakup, but she’s not doing well with it. In the verses, Olivia hits deeper vocals that I absolutely adore, especially as these vocals turn to the chorus where you can almost feel the anger in her voice, yet she still effortlessly hits amazing notes that are still untouchable by other artists like her.

She gives that same pop/punk feeling on “jealousy, jealousy.” In this track, she writes about how she compares herself to other people on the internet, how they’re prettier, living happier lives than she is, just how, well, jealous she is. The song with Olivia’s deeper vocals sounds smooth stripped down with the bass guitar and the drums layered throughout the background. The bridge hits and she gives that same angsty feeling as the chorus of “good 4 u,” practically screaming about how she wishes she could live a life more like theirs.

Saving the very best for last. “hope ur ok”, another beautiful pop ballad, shows Olivia’s vocals over an acoustic and bass guitar. The song has not only the most astonishing lyrics on the album but some of the most piercing lyrics I’ve ever heard. The verses have pretty terrible meanings behind them. (The next few sentences may include sensitive content.) In the first verse, Olivia writes about an old friend, who had been abused by his father, she writes about how she hopes that he took all that pain and left that situation, and all the terrible happenings, and made an amazing life for himself. The second verse talks about another old friend who was left alone to raise her brothers, as her family didn’t really care much about her. Putting me in tears every time, we have the bridge, which showcases Olivia’s vocals and amazing lyrics, chills, I truly cannot explain how absolutely beautiful this bridge is, nonetheless the song. Slowing back down for a final chorus, the song ends with the piano alone.

So, overall, I am absolutely astonished by this album and cannot find the proper words to say how much I absolutely adore it and Olivia herself. I definitely suggest listening to ‘SOUR’ and anything Olivia decides to do in the future. You’ll definitely be hearing more about her.


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