A Crime Against Music

A Crime Against Music

Eliana Linder

The new up-and-coming artist Olivia Rodrigo comes out with her first smash hit “Drivers License” about her breakup with her co-star Joshua Bassett. It took the music industry by storm, getting a whopping 76.1 million streams in total in the first week and breaking a Spotify record with 6 million streams on the first day it came out. After coming out with Deja Vu and Good 4 U she pulled together a final album called Sour which broke the UK Spotify record of streams in the first opening week with 45.7 million streams. Is she worth all the hype? She is singing 10 different songs about one breakup. Some people love her, while others feel like she is dragging her breakup along and should just get over it.

To start off, when listening to any of these songs you get a completely different feeling. Some may leave you wanting to punch something, while others make you want to cry. Listening to this album confused me, when listening to Brutal I was ready to throw some hands while listening to Happier I just cried. One of the good things about this album was that it really speaks to the viewers and has relatable content. 

Although it is relatable to many it also has many holes in the storyline of the songs and although the songs alone are very good, altogether they are sending mixed signals. No one knows how Olivia is feeling about this. The listener is getting bombarded with emotions not knowing what to listen to! The lyrics are not the only thing that is confusing everyone but also the mood of each piece with some being rock and roll, and others being gloomy.

The other main issue with this album is that many people feel she has overworked this breakup and people are bored of it. To quote my dad, “She just needs to pull herself together”. Furthermore many songs like Deja Vu and Driver’s License are overplayed on the radio making people tired of listening to the song over and over again. When I drove 2 hours the other day I must’ve heard Deja Vu at least 5 times. Needless to say, my dad changed the station. To top it all of the songs such as Traitor and Drivers License are practically identical both sappy and sad but have some type of upbeat section. After hearing so many of her songs over and over again and the fact that all of the songs are about the same breakup, this album is very redundant. 

One might be thinking that how come it got streamed so many times if it’s got all these problems? The answer: relatability. Most of the streamers of this album are Gen Z, meaning she is the same age as most of her fans. She is also writing about something that many people have experienced in high school: having a breakup. She talks about how she was in love with him and he broke her heart, and many of the teens come along on her journey to acceptance relating it to their own life. The song Brutal in particular has created a trend on the social media app Tik Tok where people say how many lyrics they can relate to. Shocker, they relate to almost all of them.

Despite the fact that this album has some downfalls it is a perfect representation of today’s society, especially the song Jealousy, Jealousy. The song Jealousy, Jealousy compares Olivia Rodrigo’s life with her ex’s new girlfriend saying she’s pretty, she goes out every night, and how she wants to be her. This is a perfect example of what social media is doing to today’s teen population. People are comparing their lifestyles, faces, bodies to people on social media and then ending up feeling below par and depressed. The specific line in this song, “I want to be you so bad but I don’t even know you” is a perfect example of how people strive to be someone else. Plus most people on the internet only post the best parts of their life and don’t show them just being themselves which can make other people feel bad about themselves or their lifestyles. 

The second song that I feel relates the most to today’s society is Brutal. This song talks about how hard the world is specifically for teenagers and the term “teenage dream” is not applicable to Olivia’s life. She talks about herself in a diminishing way and how sometimes the world is too harsh and she can’t take it. The specific line is, “But I wish I could disappear”, which relates to the all-time highs we are seeing in teen suicide currently. On the surface, this song looks like a rager but if we look at it more closely Olivia Rodrigo displays how our society is affecting teenagers’ mental health in a negative way. Not only does she display this but she also starts to tear down the walls of celebrities being perfect but shows the public she sometimes has difficulties as well.

Overall, although Olivia Rodrigo still has some kinks to work out I believe that she is truly putting her heart into this music and it is showing. She tries to display her emotions in this lyrical format and doesn’t hide her issues from the public. Look out as Olivia Rodrigo is taking the music industry by storm and it’s going to be a brutal awakening.