After smash-hit driver’s license took the world, and TikTok, by storm, budding 18-year-old starlet Olivia Rodrigo did not fail to disappoint with her debut album SOUR. An album making millennial women feel seen and heard, it is a strong contender to be the album of the summer with its relatable break up tropes and poppy yet pensive lyrics. Yet how has the young singer-songwriter managed to capture the affection of people of all ages?
Olivia Rodrigo, a breakout star from Disney’s ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’, plunged headfirst into the music industry earlier in the year with the release of driver’s license, and her career has shown no signs of stopping since then. Follow up singles déjà vu and good 4 u have amassed over 250,000,000 Spotify streams each as Rodrigo’s teenage angst and heartbreak proved to be relatable to many across the globe.
Penned to be the next Taylor Swift, Rodrigo’s poppy yet pensive lyrics draw comparisons to Swift’s multi-award-winning heartbreak anthems. Swift’s eighteen-year-old protégé has even broken a record held by the pop and country legend, as eight of the eleven tracks on SOUR are occupying spaces in the Billboard Top 10, with the Love Story singer previously being the female holder of this record.
‘Rodrigo’s music has made many women feel empowered and heard in a patriarchal music scene’
Drawing parallels to the original breakup-queen is key to understanding the addictive and relatable nature of Rodrigo’s music. Plunging many back to their teenage heartbreaks, it is comforting to hear your struggles being sung, and Rodrigo’s music has made many women feel empowered and heard in a patriarchal music scene, an ability which Swift also had at Rodrigo’s age. While the rise of TikTok trends may have contributed to the millions of streams the starlet is amassing, her lyricism has to be praised, particularly for her young age.
On this note, it is her Gen-Z and millennial relatability that makes the songs so accessible, making the listener able to draw immense parallels to their own life. Glee references in déjà vu and Instagram envy in jealousy, jealousy remind you that even the most successful popstars go through everyday heartbreaks and struggles. While the record opens with empowering and angsty pop-punk in brutal, which carries through to good 4 u, the tone of the record is relatively sombre. traitor, expressing the feelings of never being the first choice and feeling lingering heartbreak, is the latest song to be meme-ified, yet the emotional lyrics such are a stellar representation of the star’s song-writing abilities.
Similarly, enough for you and favourite crime have proven to be fan favourites. Proving relatable to those similar to Rodrigo’s age experiencing their first lost loves, and also regressing those in their twenties and thirties back to relive their past emotions, Rodrigo has managed to create a near-perfect debut which has captured generations. With her raw angst and impeccable vocals, Rodrigo is currently the most powerful woman in the music industry. SOUR is proving to be the record of the summer, and one of the standout records of 2021. At just eighteen-years old, it is safe to say that she has a bright future in the industry as she aims to empower young women across the globe.
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