On May 21st 2021, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album, Sour, which was produced and co-written by Dan Nigro. This artist previously released the singles “driver’s licence,” “deja vu,” and “good 4 u,” all of which charted in at least the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100. Sour contains many heartbreakingly sad pop songs that capture the anxiety, confusion, and anguish of going through a breakup. When listening to this album, it feels as if you are going through the pain with Rodrigo. Her music is relatable, specifically to teenage girls.
Olivia Rodrigo said in an interview with Zach Sang that some of Sour’s inspiration came from Taylor Swift. Rodrigo captures Swift’s spirit and style in her album by singing about being a teenager and other related hardships – this is what Swift is known for. Plus, the melody for “1 step forward, 3 steps back” was pulled from the Taylor Swift song “New Year’s Day”. Sour is about sorrow and what it is like to go through a breakup as a teenager when the person you were with moves on. This can be heard throughout the album but specifically when Rodrigo sings “deja vu,” in the lyric, “Do you get deja vu when she’s with you,” as well as in the song “traitor“: “It took you two weeks to go off and date her.”
Sour takes its listeners through all different stages of a breakup. It begins with the song “brutal,” which is fast paced, and expresses anger. The song opens with a soft violin melody and soon becomes rock, where an electric guitar and drums can be heard. Olivia sings about how cruel her life (and life in general) is. “1 step forward, 3 steps back” is beautifully written and demonstrates the insecurity and uncertainty of being a teenager and navigating relationships. This song includes a flawless combination of Rodrigo’s soulful voice and a soft minor piano melody that illustrates true sorrow and pain. It incorporates a slow tempo while the lyrics feel relatable and powerful. “Jealousy, jealousy” also stands out due to the catchy and appealing beat that mixed a number of musical elements to complement Rodrigo’s lyrics. The songs in Sour come together to create this exceptional album that brings you through a wide range of emotions while maintaining the main theme of heartbreak and sorrow.
Olivia Rodrigo’s first step into the music industry has left a memorable first impression. Rodrigo and Dan Nigro’s collaboration created extraordinary lyrics that capture the pain, loneliness, insecurity, jealousy, and anxiety that many teens resonate with. Ultimately, Olivia Rodrigo has created a well done and relatable pop album that blends pop, R&B, acoustics, and soft rock together in a way that will never leave you disappointed.