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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

No Skips on Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘GUTS (spilled)’ Deluxe Album

Olivia Rodrigo delighted fans when she announced the deluxe edition of her beloved sophomore album during the encore of her show in Chicago on March 19. “GUTS (spilled)” was released just three days later on March 22.

The deluxe album includes five bonus tracks, four of which appear across four different-colored vinyl pressings of the original album. The fifth and final track, “so american,” was brand new and likely recorded after the initial release of “GUTS.”

The bonus songs are certainly less cohesive than the rest of the album, but not less worthy of their place on the Billboard Hot 100. They’ve received praise and attention, though perhaps less than if they had been released alongside the rest of “GUTS” in September, if only for lack of marketing. 

The first bonus track, “obsessed,” is a surefire smash and the most aligned with Rodrigo’s typical sound. Already a fan favorite because of its unexpected feature on Rodrigo’s setlist for the “GUTS World Tour”, “obsessed” quickly became a hit. The song is exciting, catchy and purposefully petulant. 

First-year Martyn Dahl highlighted that this song is one of Rodrigo’s best and noted that teasing her fans with the song gave it a chance to gain momentum.

“I think it was a really smart marketing tactic for her to not release it and then play it live on her tour. The choreography is so good — you know everyone was watching that,” Dahl said. “I think it’s one of the best songs on the album.”

First-year Grace Zhang shared a similar opinion.

“I really like the song. It’s catchy, the lyrics are relatable and I just think she perfectly embodies someone who’s jealous of their ex,” Zhang said.

Strikingly different from the first bonus track’s adherence to Rodrigo’s style, “girl i’ve always been” demonstrates Rodrigo’s exploration of other genres. The song is cheeky and blurs the line between pop and country music. Rodrigo’s southern twang is entirely artificial but charming nonetheless. Hopefully, Rodrigo will continue to explore more dimensions of her music. Although she has been immensely successful, she cannot afford to get stuck on any single sound.

First-year Amanda Ariunzaya found that Rodrigo’s music is becoming impersonal and perhaps uninteresting.

“I think she has so much more potential than teenage angst music,” Ariunzaya said. “[Rodrigo’s first single,] ‘driver’s license,’ was great because it felt so personal and bittersweet. Her new music feels a bit hollow and lacks the same emotional rawness.”

In contrast, “scared of my guitar” is reminiscent of Rodrigo’s “SOUR” era, but is far more heartfelt than hollow. The song is an overthinker’s anthem; Rodrigo details a relationship that she knows isn’t right but that she won’t leave. The story of self-deception is set to the perfect chord progression: genuine and raw to match the lyrics. The bridge features a beautiful build — one of Rodrigo’s specialties — as she sings, “I pretend that it’s love,” like a mantra.

Though underrated, “stranger” is probably the best of the bonus tracks. Its sound is youthful, but it is one of her most mature songs; “stranger” is honest, hopeful and comforting. The lyrics are simple but strong: “There’s nothing left for me to know / I had to stay, you had to go / And it was mean but it doesn’t matter anymore.” The bonus track is also in conversation with many of her old songs, like “enough 4 u” and “Can’t Catch Me Now.” The piece shows that Rodrigo can approach love with maturity and still maintain her incredible talent for songwriting. This is a good sign for the future of her music. 

Finally, the last bonus track, “so american,” is — surprisingly — Rodrigo’s first love song. It’s a windows-down, sing-your-heart-out and dance-after-the-first-date song suspected to be about her current boyfriend, Louis Partridge, and is probably the first of many.

With a total of 17 tracks, “GUTS (spilled)” has no skips. It adds to the variety and nuance present in the original release of the album while showcasing Rodrigo’s limitless range of songwriting skills. Coupled with her world tour, the deluxe album’s release ensures that Rodrigo remains a strong figure in the pop music sphere.

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