Olivia Rodrigo is not a one-hit wonder. After the breakout success of "drivers license" earlier this year, the 18-year-old has released her debut album, SOUR, a mere four months later-- and she's ready to tell us exactly how she's feeling: "God, it's brutal out here," she mutters on the opening track. From this moment, listeners are catapulted into Rodrigo's vignettes of heartbreak and insecurity, solidifying her voice as one of this generation's most honest pop singers.
SOUR is adventurous for Rodrigo, who was a relatively under-the-radar Disney actor until a few months ago.
After listening to the album a third time, ruminating on my own past heartbreaks, the lyrics of the raucous "good 4 u" came into my mind. Rodrigo's clawing cynicism was determined to squeeze out any emotions I was hiding: "I've lost my mind, I've spent the night / Cryin' on the floor of my bathroom / But you're so unaffected, I really don't get it / But I guess good for you. " What else could I do in that moment but give in to the uncontained devastation Rodrigo was pouring out for me? The cathartic grunge of "good 4 u" may not have existed if it weren't for the runaway success of Rodrigo's first tearjerker, "drivers license".
Few people on Earth can know how Olivia Rodrigo feels right now; even by today's standards of viral fame, her rise has been exceptional. On January 7, she was playing in the celebrity minor leagues, the not-quite-18-year-old star of the Disney+ show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. By January 12, she had smashed streaming records and blanketed TikTok with her debut single, "drivers license," a piano-driven power ballad steeped in suburban malaise and teen anguish.
If the past 12 months have been the weirdest in memory, then spare a thought for pop riser Olivia Rodrigo. This time last year she was a Disney star - fast forward and she's a global icon three singles in, a teen voice already being touted as one of Gen Z's finest. Debut album 'Sour' arrives weighed down with hype and expectation, an 11 track song cycle that aims to make its mark.