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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

A punch to the guts

“GUTS (spilled)” album review
Mattie Baker
Gutsy. “GUTS (spilled)” is former Disney star, Olivia Rodrigo’s second album. Her first, “SOUR”, won her three Grammy awards in 2022.

“GUTS (spilled)” by Olivia Rodrigo was officially released this past Friday, and has revived the original album (“GUTS”) and pushed it back into the mainstream. That, along with the recent beginning of the “GUTS World Tour,” has made this quite a big year for Rodrigo. So, in honor of the release of “GUTS (spilled),” it’s time for an album review.

Song: all-american b*tch

Rating: 7/10

Notes: First of all, I love the anger. Personally, I’m all for women being angry, so yes, girl, feel the rage. I also appreciate the accuracy; it pretty much sums up being a girl in the United States. Should it replace the national anthem? Who’s to say. 

The lyrics award goes to: “And I’m alright with the movies that make jokes ‘bout senseless cruelty/That’s for sure.”

Song: bad idea right?

Rating: 2/10

Notes: I’m sorry, but it is a very bad idea. All of it. If I were to really get into why, I would start with the blatant romanticizing of toxic relationships, but it’s art and I’m not going to take it that seriously. Truly, it just doesn’t make sense to me or sound very pretty in my ears. In my head, I really think they recorded this song in a junkyard and were just banging on the trash cans the whole time. Or at least, that’s what I hear.

Lyric award: “The biggest lie I ever said.”

Song: Vampire

Rating: 9/10

Notes: I am ashamed that I like this song so much, but I will not back down. The vibes are so good, and I feel like I’m running through a castle at midnight in a flowing dress. Is it a little cringey? Maybe. But that’s because it’s real and it’s true. Sorry, real feelings make you cringe. 

Lyrics award: “I’ve made some real big mistakes/But you make the worst one look fine.”

Song: lacy

Rating: 8/10

Notes: When I first listened to it, I was like, ‘oh so she’s insane.’ And, again, I love insanity, so I love this song. Plus, we’ve all got a Lacy, okay. I think we all know that person who seems made to be the best version of ourselves. This song is very relatable and pretty, yet also vile in a coquette way. 

Lyrics award: There are so many good ones but, “I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you.”

Song: ballad of a homeschooled girl

Rating: 6/10

Notes: I just have to say Olivia is giving me whiplash with the order of these songs; they go from rock’n’roll to depression way too fast. Anyway, I think the lyrics are all pretty good and the song flows nicely…still, I can’t help but imagine a junkyard when I hear all the loud noises. I feel that part of the problem is that Olivia herself isn’t entirely sure what she wants it to be, which I think is allowed in this album because the chaos kind of matches the vibe of the whole thing. But just because it is allowed doesn’t mean I love all of it. It’s one of those things that I don’t like, but I can understand why other people would like it. 

Lyrics award: “I made it weird, I made it worse.”

Song: making the bed

Rating: 10/10

Notes: Honestly, probably my favorite song on the entire album. It does have a little bit of the grunge-type rock in it, but I think in this case it really works with the song. It’s all about how she can only blame herself for the way she feels, and having a hard time understanding why she does the things she does. The commentary on self-destructive tendencies and the harsh reality they bring pair incredibly with the highs and lows of the song’s rhythm. And the instruments and vocals come together to make something honest, heartbreaking and complex. 

Lyrics award: All of it.

Song: logical

Rating: 8/10

Notes: This is definitely giving “favorite crime” from “SOUR.” I like how at parts it sounds like she’s just saying the thoughts that come into her mind and how natural and smooth it feels. I also like how it tells more of a full-circle story, starting with her explaining their relationship, and then ending with her accepting that their relationship wasn’t healthy. It covers the universal experience of people, especially women, being made to believe things or “gaslighted” by a partner and illustrates how even though they are the victims, they are often the ones left feeling guilty. 

Lyrics award: “I know I’m half responsible/And that makes me feel horrible.”

Song: get him back!

Rating: 5/10

Notes: Unfortunately, it’s giving basic overplayed radio pop song. I like some of the lyrics, but it also reminds of that song “abcdefu” and I get PTSD. Like you’re angry but I’m not sure if it’s in a cool way…I do really enjoy the brutal honesty of it, though. You know, I don’t really think it’s trying to be cool or really anything other than just what it is, and I appreciate the raw emotion in that. 

Lyrics: “I wanna meet his mom/Just to tell her her son sucks.”

Song: love is embarrassing

Rating: 6/10

Notes: First of all, so true queen. Infatuation blinds people to the seriousness of the issue. Honestly some of it reminded me of Avril Lavigne though I really could not say why. 

Lyrics: “Just watch as I crucify myself/For some weird second string.”

Song: the grudge

Rating: 8/10

Notes: Can you tell I am sad based on my reviews? It is the perfect mix of angry and sad and I love the angry sad vibes. There is just something about when people are so angry they’re sad and so sad they’re angry. She’s angry at herself and the other person, but she’s also sad she lost them. There is real grief in this song and I love it. I think we’ve all lost someone in a way we wish we could change. 

Lyrics: “And we both drew blood, but,/man, those cuts were never equal.”

Song: pretty isn’t pretty

Rating: 7/10

Notes: The whole point of the song is that beauty standards are flimsy and ever changing, and I totally agree. It’s definitely a very social commentary type song. Meanwhile, the music is a slower kind of rock that I found both calming and energizing. I would have rated it higher but I was really waiting for some big, important lyrics, and as good as it was it just didn’t feel like it reached its own potential.

Lyrics: “And none of it matters, and none of it ends.”

Song: teenage dream

Rating: 9/10

Notes: I did not know this song existed somehow. But, of course my first thought was, ‘Katy Perry?’ Seriously though, I love the message of it. This song offers so much in terms of relatability, especially for the younger audience. It criticizes the way people romanticize being young, and make getting older seem like a life sentence. How so much pressure is put on the young, but at the same time they’re being told to enjoy having “no responsibilities.” In all, Rodrigo does a beautiful job of expressing that growing up is full of contradictions. 

Lyrics: “Will I spend all the rest of my years wishin’ I could go back?/I’ll blow out the candles, happy birthday to me.”

Song: obsessed

Rating: 5/10

Notes: If I were to condense this song into a phrase it would be: the grunge sister of “lacy.” It’s very loud and energetic, which I liked. But unfortunately, the flow wasn’t flowing for me. It felt sort of jumbled together, again like it wasn’t sure what it was supposed to be, and it just wasn’t something I could totally get behind. That being said, the lyrics are still really good (as always, Olivia) and I honestly love that it ties so much into “lacy.” 

Lyrics: “But every time you call my name/I think you mistake me for her.”

Song: girl i’ve always been

Rating: 5/10

Notes: I was so shocked when I listened to this because not only is the music country-ish, but Olivia herself is doing a country accent. Well, either that or I’m crazy. I guess everyone is just in their country era. She definitely wrote this after writing “Can’t Catch Me Now” for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” because it’s so Lucy Gray Baird. It is definitely a different vibe than the rest of the album, and left me a little confused. 

Lyrics: “I’m a candle in the wind.”

Song: scared of my guitar

Rating: 8/10

Notes: I really like this one because it’s about how personal belongings can be more personal than the person themself. People tend to place more of their trust in objects and ideas, rather than other people because it is safer. The things you love become the things that know you best. But that can become a curse when you don’t want to know yourself. The song also touches on the contrast between good and right, and how hard it is to come to terms with that difference. Because of all of these things, this song is one of my favorites on the album. It’s softer than many of the others, but that subtlety only amplifies the feeling of it. 

Lyrics: “So I lay in your arms and pretend that it’s love.” 

Song: stranger

Rating: 7/10

Notes: This one is much more hopeful and happy, which makes me happy for her. It centers around healing from a past relationship, and accepting that whether good or bad, all of our experiences make us into the people we are. It is a little bit more country-twang-ish than most of the other songs, but not as much as “girl i’ve always been.” 

Lyrics: “You are the best thing that I’ll ever keep so far out of my life.”

Song: so american

Rating: 7/10

Notes: This is the only love song on the entire album, which I think is a great way to end it. It’s all about the bliss of being happy with someone. I think it really highlights how her life has changed and how far she’s come as an artist. Truly, it’s just a beautiful song, with a little bit of that Rodrigo-rock style, of course. 

Lyrics: “He’s like a poem I wish I wrote.”

To wrap things up, on average I rated the songs a 7/10, and separately I rated the album a solid 9/10. It is a definite step up from Olivia’s first album, “SOUR,” and has some of the best lyrics I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. In short, “GUTS (spilled)” is low-key the ultimate “I’m just a girl” album and is my number one album recommendation.

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About the Contributor
Mattie Baker
Mattie Baker, Reporter
My name is Mattie Baker, and this is my first year on staff! I've always loved reading and writing. My goal this year is to write a complete book. My dream job, at the moment, is to work at Barnes & Nobles and drink Starbucks on the daily. I'm obsessed with action movies like "Bullet Train," "John Wick" and "James Bond." I also have a passion for art. I've been taking extra art classes for over 10 years! Later in my life, I hope to be a storyboard artist and author.

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