It feels like it’s been years since someone had the kind of overnight success and overwhelming support that 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo is currently experiencing. An actress known primarily for Disney+ exclusive, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Rodrigo’s proper debut single, “drivers license,” was the kind of once-in-a-career moment that every artist strives for. Her vulnerable and heart-wrenching songwriting has become a cultural phenomenon, forming an emotional connection to listeners of all ages.
While most of SOUR is in the same narrative vein as her lead single, her powerful tone, beautifully desolate vocal breaks, and poetic lyrical flips that rival Taylor Swift make this debut album a deeply moving and cathartic experience that has the power to bring anyone back to the days of their most devastating high-school breakup.
That tangible, freshly-wound passion amplified by the conviction of an actress is amplified even further because we hear it develop and change over the course of the album – many of these tracks contain some kind of timeframe reference to how long it has been since the breakup, and we hear Rodrigo going through the stages of grief and processing things in chronological order.
To whomever believes young love is often trivial, we present Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR in counterpoint. It’s hard not to feel like we’re witnessing a cultural icon with a decades-long career being born right in front of us.
Best Track: “drivers license”