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Spill Your Guts! A Review of Olivia Rodrigo’s “GUTS (spilled)”

By Sophia Arredondo | April 1, 2024 

Photo Credit: Sophia Arredondo / The ASP

While on tour for her sophomore album, “GUTS,” popstar Olivia Rodrigo announced a surprise at her Chicago show which was the release of the deluxe version of her album: “GUTS (spilled),” an expanded edition of the original album, featuring five new songs.  

Throughout the album, Rodrigo explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood. She explores many topics within the theme, such as struggles with identity and coming to terms with the good and bad parts of growing up. Fans continued to praise Rodrigo’s relatability throughout her five newly added songs on the album. 

The leading single out of the latest additions is “obsessed.” The song has been a part of the setlist on Rodrigo’s tour so far. She also unveiled the music video for the song with its release. The lyrics encapsulate the feeling of jealousy and fascination from being obsessed with a partner's ex. 

“I’m so obsessed with your ex / I know she’s been asleep on my side of your bed / And I can feel it / I’m starin’ at her like I wanna get hurt,” sings Rodrigo. 

Indulging in her obsession, Rodrigo openly embraces her habits without shame. 

In the visual for the song, Rodrigo wears a black dress with a sash that says “Miss Right Now” while rocking jagged bangs, in contrast with a group of girls wearing delicate white gowns and  sashes with descriptions of their traits as ex-girlfriends. The punk-rock-infused beat catches the attention of the listener, as it fluctuates from a steady, somewhat calm, pulse in each verse to a scream-like chaotic energy in the chorus. “obsessed” unleashes a powerful feeling of teenage angst while creating a rock anthem with it. 

On “girl i’ve always been,” Rodrigo takes her music in a different direction, giving into a more country/folk vibe. The track features percussive beats with thick heavy guitar strums, with its production reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s, “Big Yellow Taxi.” It delves into the theme that while Rodrigo may not be perfect, she is still the same girl she’s been and won’t hide the unconventional parts of herself. 

The next song, “scared of my guitar” is an honest and raw take on Rodrigo’s songwriting process and how it correlates with her love life. The soft melodies of the song are connected by a single, acoustic guitar. 

“But I’m so scared of my guitar / ‘Cause it cuts right through to the heart / Yeah, it knows me too well so I got no excuse / I can’t lie to it the same way that I lie to you.” 

The yearning lyrics show us that Rodrigo’s form of self-expression is through writing songs with her guitar. She’s “scared of [her] guitar” because she is afraid of writing songs, knowing that she doesn't feel the way she should towards her love interest. In writing the song, the truth will come out and Rodrigo will be forced to face her true feelings. It isn’t new for Rodrigo to produce a powerful pop ballad. Similar to songs “Vampire” and “lacy,” Rodrigo once again creates heart-wrenching lyrics, as if straight from a diary, cultivating an emotionally relatable song, which has become a common theme throughout the album. 

The sixteenth track on the album, “stranger” encapsulates another folk sound within the songs on the deluxe version of “GUTS. Rodrigo’s wise lyricism about healing and acceptance after heartbreak is accompanied by an upbeat guitar. She communicates her feelings, creating a message of personal growth and moving forward as she now views her ex as a stranger whom she no longer shares an emotional connection with. 

Appearing at the end of the deluxe album, “so american” shocked and excited many as it is Rodrigo’s first official love song. Rodrigo’s discography includes many heart-wrenching or anger-filled songs, yet “so american” carries an upbeat, joyful tone from start to end. It has a power pop sound throughout, anchored by heavy drums and electric bass, similar to songs on the original album, such as “get him back!” and “bad idea, right?” Although the song is relatively short, it strongly depicts Rodrigo’s feelings of falling in love with a European man.

Overall, “GUTS (spilled)” marks a shift in Rodrigo’s music as she explores and experiments with various forms of style while sticking to her true self. The deluxe tracks open up about the singer’s romantic perspective and self-image, cultivating an expanded album full of the feelings of young womanhood in society.


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