22 June 2023

22 June 2023 - Olivia Rodrigo - brutal

Wow, did Olivia Rodrigo have a couple of great years, and to her, we say "good for you!"  Her debut album, Sour, won a Grammy (Best Pop Vocal Album) and, somehow for an American artist, a Juno (there's an award for International Album of the Year given yearly).

This song, the fifth and final single from the album, is not a pop song at all.  It's more grnuge than pop, and actually got a lot of rock and alternative radio airplay.  Because it is an Olivia Rodrigo song, it was STILL a top 20 pop hit, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Written by Rodrigo and producer Dan Nigro, the song is simply dripping with teen angst (almost as if she was in some sort of misery business) and frustration.  The guitar riff sounds like something straight out of an Elvis Costello song - specifically, "Pump It Up" - but don't worry.  He doesn't care (and is on record saying that).  At any rate, the song is not what one would expect out of a 17-year-old songwriter, who is mature beyond her years and is destined for a long and acclaimed career (we hope).

The video is a Gen Z surreal masterpiece.  Just.... watch.


 In 2022, Rodrigo recorded a documentary, recorded on a road trip from Salt Lake City, called Olivia Rodrigo: Driving Home 2 U, for Disney+. As part of this, she recorded new versions of several songs with her live band, including this one.  We think this performance is a true masterpiece, and shows better than the video the raw angst that the song is trying to capture. 

We probably should have ended the post there, but instead, here's a 2021 performance of the song showing Rodrigo showing the exact opposite of angst - she clearly enjoys performing this song.

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