Olivia Rodrigo

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Sour (2021), 6/10
Guts (2023), 5/10

Los Angeles-based Filipino-American singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo, a former Disney teenage actress, was the stunning revelation of 2021, when she was still only 18. Between january and september she sent five singles into the top 10: Drivers License, a classic heartbreak piano ballad with echoes of Everything But The Girl and a gospel choir, the Taylor Swift-ian Deja Vu (with more electronic arrangements), the rocking Good 4 U (not quite punk-pop, a lighter version of the Go-Go's), the stately and almost funereal Traitor and the teen-angst power-ballad Brutal in the vein of the riot grrrls of the 1990s but more rapped than sung, and became the first artist in history to debut their first three singles in the top 10. When her album Sour (Geffen, 2021) came out, she became the youngest solo artist ever to debut at number one on the Billboard charts. The album, a breakup concept drenched in pain, produced and co-composed by Dan Nigro, includes the singles and adds the sarcastic melodrama Happier but also contains a lot of filler.

Guts (2023), again produced and co-composed by Dan Nigro, spends more time in ballads like Vampire, probably influenced by Taylor Swift's immense popularity, and less in the gentle punk-pop of Pretty Isn't Pretty. The Alanis Morissette-sque angst-rock of Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl is proof that she could be much more.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )