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Olivia Rodrigo|SOUR

SOUR

Olivia Rodrigo

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Olivia Rodrigo became the brightest new pop star of 2021 with "Driver's License," the single that broke streaming records and kicked off a string of number one hits. It's easy to hear why the song was so popular: As she sang about the plans that fall apart in the wake of a breakup and the sheer magnitude of her very first heartbreak, the rawness in Rodrigo's voice and lyrics spoke to those her own age and provided some potent flashbacks for those a little -- or a lot -- older than her. On the rest of her debut album Sour, she delivers on the potential of that blockbuster single and then some. Rodrigo nails what it's like to be 17, heartbroken, and frustrated, and updates the traditions of the sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued songwriters before her for Generation Z. Like her hero Taylor Swift, she's got a flair for details and a willingness to share every aspect of her heartache, even (or especially) the bitter side of it; on "Happier," she sings to her ex, "I hope you're happy/But don't be happier." Her ability to pair a sizeable amount of disdain with equally big hooks recalls Lorde on the slinky self-loathing of "Jealousy, Jealousy," and there are even shades of Alanis Morissette's jagged, jilted younger woman in "Deja Vu"'s hyper-literate litany of tarnished memories. Rodrigo expands on "Driver's License" with similarly barbed and self-aware power ballads like "Traitor," which captures the pain when an ex rebounds more quickly than expected, and with the folky introspection of "Favorite Crime," where she reflects on how her desperation to hang onto a relationship made her culpable in her own pain. However, Sour might be even more vital when Rodrigo lashes out on the album's rock-tinged songs. She revels in her anger on "Good 4 U"'s sneering verses and pogo-ing choruses, letting the drum rolls build up a head of steam that the riffs unleash, and begins the album with a surprisingly punky blast of angst on "Brutal," where she tears down the idealization of teenage years ("I'm so sick of seventeen/Where's my fuckin' teenage dream?") over guitars that are the musical equivalent of an eyeroll. Moments like these lend another exciting dimension to her music, even if she takes a few steps beyond the rest of the album's fury on the tender closing track "Hope Ur OK." Rodrigo wants to be taken seriously as a songwriter, and she should be -- her combination of sweet melodies and bitter moods, her conversational flow, and her self-awareness are all skills many songwriters twice her age would love to call their own, and they make Sour a well-rounded emotional journey and strong debut album.

© Heather Phares /TiVo

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SOUR

Olivia Rodrigo

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1
brutal Explicit
00:02:23

Paul Cartwright, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Recording Engineer, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Erick Serna, Electric Guitar, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Drum Programming, Wurlitzer Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

2
traitor
00:03:49

Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Recording Engineer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Bass Guitar, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

3
drivers license Explicit
00:04:02

Daniel Nigro, Producer, Percussion, Piano, Recording Engineer, Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

4
1 step forward, 3 steps back Explicit
00:02:43

Taylor Swift, ComposerLyricist - Jack Antonoff, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Organ, Recording Engineer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Olivia Rodrigo, Producer, Piano, Co-Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

5
deja vu Explicit
00:03:35

Taylor Swift, ComposerLyricist - Annie Clark, ComposerLyricist - Jack Antonoff, ComposerLyricist - Jam City, Guitar, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Kaysch, Additional Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Recording Engineer, Bass, Drum Programming, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Sterling Laws, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jasmine Chen, Additional Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

6
good 4 u Explicit
00:02:58

Hayley Williams, ComposerLyricist - Josh Farro, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Recording Engineer, Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Alexander 23, Producer, Electric Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

7
enough for you
00:03:22

Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Recording Engineer, Bass, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Olivia Rodrigo, Producer, Co-Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

8
happier Explicit
00:02:55

Kathleen, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cartwright, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Recording Engineer, Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Programmer - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

9
jealousy, jealousy
00:02:53

Jam City, Producer, Additional Producer, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Kaysch, Additional Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Recording Engineer, Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Casey Smith, ComposerLyricist - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Sterling Laws, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jasmine Chen, Additional Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

10
favorite crime
00:02:32

Kathleen, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Nigro, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocal Arranger, Recording Engineer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mitch McCarthy, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Saxophone, Asst. Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Olivia Rodrigo, Vocal Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

11
hope ur ok
00:03:29

Daniel Nigro, Producer, Mixer, Organ, Recording Engineer, Drum Programming, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Sam Stewart, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Viafore, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ryan Linvill, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Olivia Rodrigo, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

Album review

Olivia Rodrigo became the brightest new pop star of 2021 with "Driver's License," the single that broke streaming records and kicked off a string of number one hits. It's easy to hear why the song was so popular: As she sang about the plans that fall apart in the wake of a breakup and the sheer magnitude of her very first heartbreak, the rawness in Rodrigo's voice and lyrics spoke to those her own age and provided some potent flashbacks for those a little -- or a lot -- older than her. On the rest of her debut album Sour, she delivers on the potential of that blockbuster single and then some. Rodrigo nails what it's like to be 17, heartbroken, and frustrated, and updates the traditions of the sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued songwriters before her for Generation Z. Like her hero Taylor Swift, she's got a flair for details and a willingness to share every aspect of her heartache, even (or especially) the bitter side of it; on "Happier," she sings to her ex, "I hope you're happy/But don't be happier." Her ability to pair a sizeable amount of disdain with equally big hooks recalls Lorde on the slinky self-loathing of "Jealousy, Jealousy," and there are even shades of Alanis Morissette's jagged, jilted younger woman in "Deja Vu"'s hyper-literate litany of tarnished memories. Rodrigo expands on "Driver's License" with similarly barbed and self-aware power ballads like "Traitor," which captures the pain when an ex rebounds more quickly than expected, and with the folky introspection of "Favorite Crime," where she reflects on how her desperation to hang onto a relationship made her culpable in her own pain. However, Sour might be even more vital when Rodrigo lashes out on the album's rock-tinged songs. She revels in her anger on "Good 4 U"'s sneering verses and pogo-ing choruses, letting the drum rolls build up a head of steam that the riffs unleash, and begins the album with a surprisingly punky blast of angst on "Brutal," where she tears down the idealization of teenage years ("I'm so sick of seventeen/Where's my fuckin' teenage dream?") over guitars that are the musical equivalent of an eyeroll. Moments like these lend another exciting dimension to her music, even if she takes a few steps beyond the rest of the album's fury on the tender closing track "Hope Ur OK." Rodrigo wants to be taken seriously as a songwriter, and she should be -- her combination of sweet melodies and bitter moods, her conversational flow, and her self-awareness are all skills many songwriters twice her age would love to call their own, and they make Sour a well-rounded emotional journey and strong debut album.

© Heather Phares /TiVo

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