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  • Hiba Awais

GUTS (spilled): Unpacking Olivia Rodrigo's Five Bonus Tracks

Olivia Rodrigo stuns listeners with every sensational release, each reflecting her raw talent and variety in style. The deluxe version of her second studio album, GUTS (spilled), was announced and released last week leaving fans mesmerized by five bonus tracks. Rodrigo experiments with new sounds while sticking true to her iconic lyricism, curating the perfect follow-up to GUTS

I consider myself a casual listener of Olivia Rodrigo’s music, mostly because I tend to overplay her songs within weeks of their release. However, I think she’s more than deserving of her quick rise to stardom as she never fails to surprise with her captivating storytelling and catchy songs. I’m beyond thrilled to see where her music career takes her and how she’ll continue to amaze in future releases. 



Here’s my breakdown of Olivia Rodrigo’s five bonus tracks, enjoy! 


obsessed


Even before its official release as the first bonus track on GUTS (spilled), obsessed has been all over TikTok. Similar to her other alternative style songs, this track has an early 2000s grunge vibe which fits in well with the original album. I love how she normalizes the raw and unfiltered emotions experienced by the modern American teenager, which in this case is jealousy towards your partner’s ex. 

Rodrigo’s talent in songwriting shines through with her witty lyrics, like “‘Cause I know her star sign, I know her blood type” and “But I can’t help it, I got issues, I can’t help it, baby.” She also released a music video for this track which is cleverly themed like a beauty pageant where Rodrigo observes all of her partner’s exes as contestants. Overall, this track is my favorite out of the five bonus tracks because of its music video and early 2000s grunge style.  


girl i’ve always been


This track grew on me after the first few listens with its country-like style. The vibes are reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s early releases and Canyon Moon by Harry Styles. I appreciate the overall message about staying true to yourself despite hardships. My favorite lyrics are “And I can't say I'm a perfect ten/But I am the girl I've always been” because they emphasize resilience and the importance of self-worth.

It’s a refreshing track but I feel it contradicts the overall pop/alternative vibes of GUTS. The sudden transition from obsessed to girl i’ve always been caught me a bit off guard, which could have been purposeful to mark Rodrigo’s transition in emotions between the two tracks. Regardless, I enjoyed this track on its own and commend Rodrigo for her musical and stylistic variety. 


scared of my guitar 


Olivia Rodrigo always constructs beautiful ballads dripping with her talent in singing and songwriting. Scared of my guitar is no different, bearing complexity with each purposeful note and heart-wrenching lyric. This track feels very personal and portrays the fear of coming to terms with your emotions. Since music is Rodrigo’s form of self-expression, she personifies her guitar as the weapon of her fear. I love how each raw verse is accompanied by the gentle melody of the guitar. Scared of my guitar ties together nicely with the rest of the album and is one of her stronger ballads. 


stranger 


The storytelling and emphasis on individuality make this song stand out. Rodrigo encapsulates the teenage experience with her music and stranger reflects the pains of distancing from someone you once knew. I appreciate her optimistic viewpoint, like when she sings “Cause I was half myself without you and now I feel so complete” because it emphasizes that things do get better. Despite all the heartbreak and despair she expresses through her music, I like that Rodrigo also shows the positives like how much she’s gained from those experiences. 


so american


While I do consider obsessed my favorite bonus track, so american is a very close second. Rodrigo ties the album off so beautifully with the transition from the first track of GUTS with rejecting American standards to the last with embracing her American characteristics. I also really love how this song pairs with London Boy by Taylor Swift (not to mention how it’s definitely about Louis Partridge). There’s a sharp contrast between the original ending of GUTS with the bittersweet ballad teenage dream to light and fun so american which offers an alternative happy ending to the album. 


Olivia Rodrigo did an astonishing job with GUTS (spilled). Five bonus tracks is a surprising amount as it is, but Rodrigo managed to artistically curate an alternative ending to her original work that still embodies the American teenage experience. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to listen to GUTS (spilled) from beginning to end so you can experience the purposeful rollercoaster of emotions and empowerment in Olivia Rodrigo’s singing and lyricism.


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