Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR” is the Biggest Debut Album of the Year

Album cover of

published under fair use.

Album cover of “SOUR,” Rodrigo’s latest effort.

Gabriella Larsen

 Four months after the release of “drivers license,” pop’s newest star, Olivia Rodrigo, releases an 11-song album called SOUR, filled with breakup songs like “good 4 u,” “traitor,” and “happier,” likely about her former co-star on Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Joshua Bassett, whom she was formerly in a relationship with. He has since been linked to another Disney star.

Rodrigo rose to fame rapidly. On Jan. 7, she was playing Nini on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. On Jan. 12, she had broken streaming records and topped charts with her debut single “drivers license.” Since then, she’s been a musical guest on SNL, been on magazine covers, and sang at the Brit awards. 

Few people can understand how Rodrigo is feeling after her rise to fame, but many can relate to her songs on SOUR. Some are quick to criticize Rodrigo for focusing on her breakup, but fellow teenage girls (and boys and they) can relate to Rodrigo’s feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy, and heartbrokenness. 

Rodrigo’s failed romance is the center of SOUR, opening with the song “brutal.” The song opens with sad strings but quickly changes to grunge-sounding guitar. She criticizes the way pop culture romanticizes teenage years. The album continues with breakup songs like “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” about a back and forth, manipulative relationship with someone she loved despite how she was treated. Beyond the breakup and revenge songs, Rodrigo airs out her own insecurities, with lines like, “I wore makeup when we dated ‘cause I thought you’d like me more” on “enough for you.” In “jealousy,” Rodrigo sings about the comparison to other girls on social media and wishing she was someone else. 

Rodrigo’s debut album is the biggest of the year, sitting at the top of the latest Billboard chart, and is also No. 1 in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, and Australia.