“SOUR” Album Review

By Lila Troum

On Friday, May 21, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album Sour. This engaging, emotion-filled album had me sobbing within minutes of listening to it, and I think it’s truly a wonderful piece that Rodrigo has dreamt up for us. With 11 songs, there are 34 minutes to this album so I was able to truly listen to each song before racking up my thoughts on them. 

Track 1: brutal 

This is a punky, angsty song that threw me off guard first listen. The introduction is slow, but the build-up to the verses and choruses is intense and a little too much for me. I analyzed this song as coming to fame at a young age and being consumed by it. This wasn’t my favorite track, but I really liked the idea of kicking the album off with an (instrumentally) upbeat song. 

Track 2: traitor

The angelic introduction to traitor does not prepare your ears for the complete desolation that will hit you. This song made me cry the first time I listened to it, and I think the premise surrounding the song just hits a sour chord. The lyric, “God, I wish you thought this through before I went and fell in love with you,” really forced me into a position where I had to think, which I wasn’t expecting. The idea of watching your s/o start to fall for someone while you’re in a relationship with them is upsetting, and I think Olivia captured this idea beautifully. 

Track 3: drivers license

This song needs no introduction because this song has been around since January. I think it fits well with the composition of the album, it’s a sad breakup song, but I skipped it the first few times I listened to the full album because I’ve heard it too many times. I’ve done a previous analysis on this song, but the gist falls around associating someone with something and not being able to let go of that thing, this being, in Olivia’s case, driving. 

Track 4: 1 step forward, 3 steps back

This was my favorite song, first listen, on this album. Sampling Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Day, which is so incredibly obvious, even just listening to the first five seconds of each song you will hear it, this song is beautiful. Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff helped write the song and its concept, the music, it’s all just pleasing to the ears. Surrounding emotional abuse, and the way that it ropes someone into a relationship, the psychotic, yet very real, way it consumes someone and they need it. I think Rodrigo did a great job with this. 

Track 5: deja vu

Another song we’ve all heard before, deja vu. Sitting at track 5 is nice because I felt as though it was a nice buffer song between all the slower, sad songs. Not that this one isn’t sad, but its beat is a little happier and hasn’t made me cry yet. The name pretty much makes up the whole song, watching a past flame adapt a past relationship’s characteristics into their new one. Asking if they get deja vu because of how they’ve molded their relationship into what was once someone else’s. The whole thing is fairly sad, but it’s pretty good yelling in the car song, so I found it hard to shed a tear to.

Track 6: good 4 u

This song is a lot like brutal but on a higher, better level. It’s got that same angst and anger, though it’s more cohesive and, well, relatable. This song debuted on May 14, a week before the release of the album, so most Rodrigo fans were able to familiarize themselves with it, but hearing it on the album felt a lot better because it’s a good change from the ‘I’m sad’ songs to an ‘I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!’ This song is basically about the idea that ‘even though I’m not okay I’m sooooo glad you are (but not really!)’ 

Track 7: enough for you

Another emotionally heartbreaking song, and relatable song for most teenagers, I think, enough for you surrounds the idea of not being enough for someone after relentlessly trying to be. Changing yourself, and putting in your best effort to have them then leave and pin it on you is exactly what this song is about. “You always say I’m never satisfied but I don’t think that’s true, ‘cause all I wanted was to be enough for you.” This line never fails to make me tear up, and I think it can kind of sum up the whole song.

Track 8: happier 

This track, also not my favorite, surrounds the idea of watching an ex move on a month after you’ve ended things, and wishing them the best to an extent– don’t be happier than you were with you. The instrumental in this sat a little oddly with me, but I still liked this song. 

Track 9: jealousy, jealousy

I liked the change of pace with this one, the song about the pressures of social media, especially for women, to look a certain way. You’re instantly pulled in with the bass line of the song that kicks you into a chorus of relatable terms, “girls with paperwhite teeth and perfect bodies,” which grabs your attention even more. I think this song featured especially nice vocals, though this one wasn’t one of my favorites.

Track 10: favorite crime

A metaphor, this song is truly spectacular. Definitely one of my favorites off the album, this song just really hits a soft spot. The idea that you gave someone you’re all just for them to tolerate it is all too heartbreaking and all too relatable. The bridge is beautiful, the outro is intense and perfect for a good scream-cry, this song is really nice.

Track 11: hope ur ok

I didn’t know what to expect going into this song, but it wasn’t what I got. I like it a lot, though. Olivia Rodrigo wishes her best to those who aren’t a part of her life anymore, those who struggled a lot. It’s a pretty emotional song in an odd way, because it’s just a bunch of goodbyes to me. The bridge, “Address the letters to the holes in my butterfly wings, nothings forever, nothing’s as good as it seems,” really resonated with me for some reason, and I think this is debatably one of the saddest songs on this album. It’s the perfect outro song. 

Here are my rankings for this album:

#Song
11 step forward, 3 steps back
2traitor
3favorite crime
4enough for you
5good 4 u
6hope ur ok 
7drivers license
8happier 
9jealousy, jealousy
10deja vu
11brutal

Overall, this album is so beautiful and is so wonderful as a debut album. I’m in love with the tracks and I’m excited to memorize these songs and sob over them continuously. 

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