A Young Artist With Mature Talent: 'Sour' Album Review
She bravely shows her vulnerability, and we should thank her for it.
There is a reason why Olivia Rodrigo is a rising star. Her debut album, Sour, has mastered the juxtaposition of experienced songwriting and a fresh-faced performance. The only other young artist I know can do that is Taylor Swift, which explains the comparison between the two ladies.
Sour explores the phases of Olivia's terrible breakup, as well as the hardships of being a Gen Z teenager (especially in the spotlight). All of her feelings spill out in eleven gut-wrenching tracks. She bravely shows her vulnerability, and we should thank her for it.
Olivia has a beautiful singing voice. It's delicate, angelic, and powerful. Her first single, "Driver's License", features the raw pain in her vocals. No wonder that song has touched our heartstrings. Even Saturday Night Live couldn't resist such a sad tune. They did a sketch with these manly men singing along to "Driver's License".
As I mentioned before, Olivia has been compared to Taylor Swift for her talent in songwriting. That comparison is evident in the second single, "Deja Vu." Olivia even gave a songwriting credit to Taylor. In the song, she makes similarities between herself and her ex's new girlfriend. These similarities prompt her to ask the ex-boyfriend if he ever gets deja vu.
So when you gonna tell her that we did that, too?
She thinks it's special, but it's all reused
Want more Taylor-inspired songs? You'll find that in the acoustic ballad, "Favorite Crime." Olivia explores a Bonnie and Clyde type of romance ruined by toxic behavior.
And I watched as you fled the scene
Doe-eyed as you buried me
One heart broke, four hands bloody
Another Taylor song is "Traitor", where Rodgirgo has a unique take on betrayal and cheating. The boyfriend didn't cheat on her, but it felt to her like he did.
It took you two weeks
To go off and date her
Guess you didn't cheat
But you're still a traitor
Production and Style
Sour may be considered a pop record, but it's more diverse than that. Olivia dares to different genres, from pop/rock to indie/folk. The singer created the album with help from music producer Daniel Nigro. They managed to produce and record all the songs while in quarantine during the pandemic.
The opening track, "Brutal", is infused with a fuzzy electric guitar sound. It's the perfect way to reflect her time in the spotlight.
"One Step Forward, Three Steps" back features a muffled piano effect that makes a typical sad song more distinct from the other sad songs.
"Jealousy, Jealousy" is unique in its use of jazz elements and a bumping bass line. It matches well with the frustration of living up to the high standards of social media.
It is hard to find any flaws with this album. Olivia has the voice of a rebel and an angel. Her writing is mature yet youthful, making her relatable to every listener. The production is a welcome surprise compared to other Disney stars who venture into music. Olivia could have become a typical pop princess, but she's much more than that. She is staying true to herself just by being unquestionably honest. The girl's got a thriving career ahead of her.
Sources: MSN, Variety, americansongwriter.com
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