Every Olivia Rodrigo Song, Ranked


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Record-breaking pop-punk singer-songwriter and Disney star (you don’t usually have that descriptor second) Olivia Rodrigo has just released her highly anticipated second album, GUTS. The absolutely batshit crazy success of her debut record, SOUR, left fans desperate for the next chapter in the star’s music career, and finally, it’s arrived. 

Critics of Olivia Rodrigo say that all her tracks sound the same, or at least similar. But even if you get ‘Deja Vu’ from a Rodrigo song, chances are you’ll enjoy it. GUTS is a natural (and, yes, safe) follow-up to SOUR: there’s a string of high-quality, high-energy pop-punky bangers, and purple still rules. Overall, I’m not complaining. 

Like her discography to date, GUTS features some amazing moments, and some very average moments, so I’ve ranked them! I’ve also thrown in some High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Soundtrack too, just because. Let’s do this.

#26. ‘Just For A Moment’ – High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Soundtrack (2020)

It’s hard, probably impossible even, to try and write a song that fits next to a soundtrack as iconic as the original High School Musical tracklist. And this ranking would never pit Olivia Rodrigo next to the geniuses who wrote ‘Stick To The Status Quo’. 

Olivia and Joshua Bassett’s voices sound gorgeous here, and if ‘Just For A Moment’ wasn’t associated with a TV show with such a ridiculous title, it may have done really well on the pop charts. Lyrically, there really isn’t a lot going on here. Boy meets girl, they have butterflies or whatever — boring! Where is the vicious betrayal? The pettiness? Oh right, it’s in every song from her two albums. Gotcha.

#25. ‘bad idea right?’ – GUTS (2023)

SOUR had an undeniable girlish innocence weaved through the lyricism. Yes, she’s angry, but Olivia wasn’t displaying any overt sexiness in her debut album. ‘bad idea right?’ is one of the first times we see her really own her sexual agency, albeit involving someone who is a bad idea, right? “And I told my friends I was asleep/But I never said where or in whose sheets”. The production energy of ‘bad idea right?’ has great texture, but I think the one-note chorus melody is a little fatiguing after a while.

#24. ‘logical’ – GUTS (2023)

After hearing the lyrics “How do you lie? How do you lie? How do you lie?” in ‘vampire’, I wondered if Julia Michaels was an inspiration for some of the album’s development, and lo and behold the pop songstress herself makes a writing appearance with ‘logical’! Lyrics like “two plus two equals five” are just a little too first-draft for me, though. 

#23. ‘The Rose Song’ – High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Soundtrack: Season 2 (2021)

With far less generic production than ‘Just For A Moment’, ‘The Rose Song’ could pass as a B-side to SOUR. It has a gaudy amount of corporate Inspirational String Synth, and lyrics that make you go ‘Yeah! Self love!’, which is pretty one-dimensional for Olivia Rodrigo. However, there is a lyrical sophistication here that plenty of artists still can’t quite reach  — for example “You watched me wither and now you’ll watch mе bloom”. 

#22. ‘love is embarrassing’ – GUTS (2023)

It might be the swooping melody or the scathing lyrics here, but ‘love is embarrassing’ feels like the Swiftiest track on GUTS. I love the way the track explores the very teenage experience of being too cool to be in love. That all-too-well feeling where you have enough  self-awareness to know you’re overreacting, but you’re not able to actually do anything about it. Your identity is entirely re-written, and you start to unwillingly revolve around their world; even though they never invited you into their orbit in the first place.  

#21. ‘the grudge’ – GUTS (2023)

“And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal” — like, my god. ‘the grudge’ has some incredibly dense lyrical moments, as well as pops of vocal power in the chorus in an otherwise pretty moody ballad. I think this track will grow on people as the album ages. It reminds me a little of ‘Liability’ by Lorde; a desperately lonely track amid an album of power and punch. 

#20. ‘hope ur ok’ – SOUR (2021)

‘hope ur ok’ closes out the SOUR album, and has been recognised as the most streamed track by the least streamed song in an album; a sentence that gave me an immediate aneurysm. The lyricism of this track is outwardly painful. Rather than hearing your own narrative of love and loss and all the general mess that comes with romance, ‘hope ur ok’ transports you to a moment in the past, where you were an observer of someone else’s pain.

Olivia beautifully spotlights the transient extras of our lives whose hardships you’re reminded of every once in a while. Where are they now, all these years later? “I hope you know how proud I am you were created/With the courage to unlearn all of their hatred/But, God, I hope that you’re happier today/’Cause I love you/And I hope that you’re okay.” Ouch.

#19. ‘All I Want’ – High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Soundtrack (2020)

‘All I Want’ is the perfect cinematic power ballad. It feels so much better than the glitter-trash regularly spewed out from the hit-maker machine over at Disney Studios; all thanks to a truly talented vocalist. Historically, Disney has had a slew of talented actors double as passable singers. These actors have to spend years perfecting a craft that’s clearly not their strongest suit.

In recent years this has become less of an issue, and modern movie musicals have done well to employ theatre-trained vocalists in their ranks. Olivia Rodrigo has such a sincerely natural ability that has her shining as a singer in ‘All I Want’, but with all the necessary emotional delivery needed for the small screen. It feels like opportunities on the HSMTMTS set got all the traditional pop out of Olivia’s system, leaving her ready to flex all the pop-punk muscles when it came to her own releases. 

#18. ‘making the bed’ – GUTS (2023)

I do feel as though Olivia falls into the same cadence patterns with her lyricism, and it’s definitely a pattern that works for her. There is, however, a difference between having a distinct style and writing a bunch of songs that end up sounding altogether pretty similar. ‘making the bed’ is the latter for me.

#17. ‘pretty isn’t pretty’ – GUTS (2023)

Look, ‘pretty isn’t pretty’ is a good track, but Olivia’s discography is literally packed with good songs. Coming to the end of her second album, this track doesn’t feel very strong and doesn’t signify to me that GUTS will enjoy the blanket adoration that SOUR received. I like the shimmering production, and I adore the flick into her high register in the chorus, but it doesn’t have an overall ‘wow’ moment for me.

#16. ‘happier’ – SOUR (2021)

The petty waltz ‘happier’ was a stand out for SOUR producer Dan Nigro, who came across Olivia singing the track on Instagram mere moments before lockdown. “I remember getting the chills when she sang the line ‘I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier,’” he told Variety in 2021. I feel as though the production didn’t need to rise to the heights it did here, and it could have existed as a more stripped-back arrangement; much like the version Dan originally fell for. 

#15. ‘enough for you’ – SOUR (2021)

The choked-up high-register vocals harness this hopeful ‘I’m trying to be what you want!’ kind of patheticness that is so relatable, it makes me cringe. It’s like the vocal delivery equivalent of standing on your tippy toes trying to be noticed by people who will never give you the time of day. 

#14. ‘1 step forward, 3 steps back’ – SOUR (2021)

Swifties’ ears perk up the moment this ballad from SOUR starts playing. Its muted piano opening is reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s similarly melancholic Reputation release ‘New Year’s Day’, but with a distinct tinge of lonely resentment. There is definitely room for this track to bloom into a cinematic rage-fueled moment — however, the restraint shown by the young artist is a big part of its appeal. It paints a candid story with hard-hitting lyricism, as every ballad on a pop-rock album should. 

#13. ‘ballad of a homeschooled girl’ – GUTS (2023)

On first listen, I swear Liv was putting on a cheeky Bri’ish accent for ‘boahsg’, but I think it’s just the commitment to garage rock ‘n’ roll that has tricked my brain here. Olivia Rodrigo has a clear affinity for movie tropes, having referenced a handful of cinematic mean girls in the music video for ‘good 4 u’, so her key repeating lyric “social suicide” feels like an obvious nod to Mean Girls. The brutal awkwardness and socially anxious lyricism is extremely pre-teen, and I kind of wish I had this song on my iPod Touch while I was putting toothpaste on my pimples to try burn them off before school the next morning. Spoiler: it didn’t work. I went to class with face burns. God, being a teenager sucks. 

#12. ‘get him back!’ – GUTS (2023)

The distant and apathetic spoken lyricism is a refreshing change from Olivia. It reminds me of listening to your talkative best friend on the phone as they rattle off updates on their love life while you sit there saying ‘mhm, yeah totally’ a hundred times. While this isn’t quite the intended sentiment of the song, the up-and-down feelings associated with a messy situationship surely always comes with a litany of one-sided conversations with a friend who will never be able to convince you to let it go. To me, this song is the external rambling necessary in figuring out how you feel about someone that you both want to uppercut, and make out with. 

#11. ‘jealousy, jealousy’ – SOUR (2021)

We do have an unfortunate me-he-he reminder (shudders in Lover). There are some criminally underrated musical moments in ‘jealousy, jealousy’, particularly the deranged and completely out-of-key piano melodies towards the end of the track. This helps elevate the feeling of drowsy poisoning that jealousy can often give you when you fall into its trap. I love the power and energy here, and I love that it reminds me a little of the title track from Fiona Apple’s Fetch The Bolt Cutters.

#10. ‘favorite crime’ – SOUR (2021)

Not to be mistaken as a gentle lullaby, ‘favorite crime’ has some pretty hard-hitting and deeply moving moments. It seems as though the two years in between its initial release has allowed ‘favorite crime’ to receive the praise and attention it deserved in the first place. This track is a great example of Olivia not overdoing it with the production. The desperate lyricism, going up the octave for the final “all the things I did/Just so I could call you mine” is simply breathtaking, and completely sufficient. Anything more gaudy and dramatic would have taken away from the essence of the song. There is so much emotion in a song that barely stretches over two-and-a-half minutes, and it continues to be such a standout of her discography. 

#9. ‘brutal’ – SOUR (2021)

The opening track of Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR album, ‘brutal’, immediately sent every Australian back in time to 2005. There you are, standing in some Franklins supermarket, hearing an over-compressed version of ‘Voodoo Child’ by Rogue Traders blare over the aisle speakers. Despite the instant throwback, it’s unlikely ‘brutal’ intended to rip off this Australian classic. If anything, its association has made it cooler. I would say that ‘brutal’ is a fan favourite, but honestly, most of the SOUR album is pretty universally adored. To be 17, challenging the perspective on the ‘golden years’ as a young person growing up in the spotlight really made this track stand out upon its initial release. We don’t usually get that introspection from a child star until well after they’ve had a public breakdown. 

#8. ‘all-american bitch’ – GUTS (2023)

Olivia opens up her sophomore album GUTS with ‘all-american bitch’ a quintessentially early 2000s grungy rom-com kind of track. She is practically standing on the rooftop of the school as the credits roll and a drone camera slowly pans over the suburbs à la Letters To Cleo in 10 Things I Hate About You. The wild distortion on the guitar sits under lyricism that echoes the sentiments of the Barbie movie monologue in historical detail “I am light as a feather, I’m as fresh as the air/Coca-Cola bottles that I only use to curl my hair/I got class and integrity/Just like a goddamn Kennedy, I swear.” The track kicks off Olivia’s second era beautifully. It has intensity that is less self-depreciating, and sets a tone of bad-bitchery right from the get go. We love to see it.

#7. ‘lacy’ – GUTS (2023)

You know how it feels to see a girl that just makes your blood boil — in a totally straight way, right? “I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you/Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you.” ‘lacy’ messily blurs the line between toxic obsession and candid queerness. It feels like the lyrical equivalent of Hating Alison Ashley, like there is no way Erica’s resentment of Delta wasn’t at least a little gay. Sonically, the track is lovely, and sadly pretty short, and won’t be a favourite of people entering their pop-punk era despite its sentiment being entirely on brand. I personally love the subtext of ‘lacy’, and I won’t be surprised if it becomes more of a queer anthem as the album reaches more ears. 

#6. ‘good 4 u’ – SOUR (2021)

For the new generation of Disney-watching glitter-pop-loving pre-teens, ‘good 4 u’ was the same introduction to grunge that Demi Lovato’s ‘La La Land’ was in 2008. The main difference here was that Mickey Mouse’s newest idol wasn’t afraid to use PG-13 language in her tracks. More than 50% of SOUR is adorned with some fucking well-timed cuss words. “Baby, what the fuck is up with that?” is probably my favourite from the debut album. ‘good 4 u’ is completely TikTokified in my head. I literally cannot hear it without going “good for you, you look happy and healthy, not me, not hermione, you.” An unintentional viral moment for the track, and an extremely Gen Z subversion of what felt like an inescapable marketing campaign. 

#5. ‘vampire’ – GUTS (2023)

The first taste of the new album, ‘vampire’ came along with a healthy serving of speculation about its inspiration. Who is the bloodsucker, fame fucker? A recent ex? Taylor Swift? Is it an imaginary ploy to feign sensationalised virality? Who cares! It’s catchy. Olivia’s vocals are completely insane in ‘vampire’. Her singing is always of a crazy calibre, but this single really showcases exactly why she was bestowed with the honour of performing the sacred scriptures (the High School Musical soundtrack).

‘vampire’ was the perfect introduction to GUTS as it explores the intensity and confusion attached to toxic relationships from our younger years, especially when it comes to insidious relationships that can only exist when you’re young. You can feel special when an older person shows you attention and brands you as ‘mature for your age’, which makes the realisation and betrayal sting all the more. “Cause girls your age know better” is how the perpetrator tries to blame their victim. It’s all about careless exploitation of naivety, and ‘vampire’ explores every stage of that realisation.

#4. ‘drivers license’ – SOUR (2021)

Easily the reason for the meteoric and unprecedented rise of a then-17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo, ‘drivers license’ did something in 2021 that can’t be easily compared. Released about a year into COVID lockdown living, the power ballad had so much coming-of-age angst and emotion that it almost became an anthem for everything teenagers were missing out on as the world stood still. 

Earning your driver’s licence opens up a world of possibilities when you’re a teenager with no previous agency. Possibilities like driving past your ex-boyfriend’s house to try and get a glimpse at how sad he is now that you’ve broken up (he’s not sad, you’re the one that’s sad). This kind of behaviour is something I definitely did, and I definitely would never admit to it (until now).

To debut with this embarrassingly relatable honesty to an audience of millions — who can also put the pieces together and figure out exactly who you’re talking about — is beyond my comprehension. I think you can tell a song’s legacy by how quickly it’s added to karaoke booths, and the sheer speed of ‘drivers license’ making that all-important milestone proves that it will be etched onto the pop music wall of fame forever.

#3. ‘teenage dream’ – GUTS (2023)

Closing out GUTS is ‘teenage dream’; a song that, to my dismay, isn’t a direct Katy Perry reference. Is it challenging for me to listen to this song about fleeting youth and growing-up anxiety as a 26-year-old? Tragically, yes. I am, however, obsessed with the way this song escalates only to finish with some de-tuned tremolo and a childhood sample. Like, stab me in the heart why don’t you. ‘teenage dream’ closes out both the GUTS album, and essentially also closes out Olivia Rodrigo’s teen years. Her discography soundtracked teenage angst to a tee, and here she is at the end of her second record, desperately reiterating the expectation that things will get better. 

They all say that it gets better/It gets better, but what if I don’t?” is the mantra that ends this chapter for Olivia, whose life so far has been a celebration of ‘young talent’. Speaking to The Guardian, Olivia stated “They always used to praise me for being this precocious young girl…that’s so much of the praise I get, that I’m so impressive cos I’m so young doing this.” This concern is similarly echoed in ‘brutal’, but this time it comes with a side of distinct sadness. So, will we still love her when she’s no longer young and beautiful? Only until the next young thing comes along and shatters records, read all about [INSERT TEEN SENSATION] here! [INSERT HYPERLINK] 

#2. ‘traitor’ – SOUR (2021)

Where was this song when I was in Year 10? Actually, where was this entire album when I was going through the melodrama of young betrayal and first love? SOUR does well to play in the spaces between pop-girly softness and harsh grungy garage rock. Part of me wishes that lines like “You betrayed me/And I know that you’ll never feel sorry” were partnered with a face-melting guitar solo to really parallel the kind of hot-teared dejection. ‘traitor’ really paints the entire SOUR lore in a neat 3 mins and 49 seconds — “It took you two weeks to go off and date her/Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor” — talk about inside knowledge! The emotion is so unfiltered and direct in this track, it’s no surprise that she wrote it while in tears. Not appearing as a single for SOUR, ‘traitor’ has become a bit of a fan-favourite. It hasn’t been played to death, and it has the kind of belting vocals that provides pretty apt catharsis for getting over your own relationship problems. 

#1. ‘deja vu’ – SOUR (2021)

SOUR is essentially the five stages of break-up grief put into a blender and poured into an ice cube tray ready for your fourth Long Island Iced Tea. Many of the moments on the album feel like drunken texts you should definitely not send, even if they’re amazing roasts that will totally show him. ‘deja vu’ is definitely an offender of this kind of delinquency. Every line could be followed by a shades-wearing, tea-sipping smirk. 

‘deja vu’ is among the SOUR tracks that received far too much radio play, but there is something about slick delivery and lyricism that really punches the track above the others. It was the second non-Disney Rodrigo track to be released, and while its predecessor, ‘drivers license’, had a more of a ‘boo-hoo woe is me’ kind of vibe, ‘deja vu’ harnessed a much more self-confident pettiness that fans totally drank up. It’s got pop culture references and a cutesy delivery, plus a genuinely beautiful melody. 

I honestly don’t know how Olivia was supposed to follow up the major success of SOUR, but GUTS did a pretty good job. She definitely has a signature sound, and she does angry teenager really well. As she enters her early twenties, Olivia’s vibe will likely evolve, and for the better (hopefully). While it’s possible to be the voice for the melodrama of teenage-hood well into your thirties, let’s see if the next record takes a turn for the unexpected. 

Ella Sterland is a musician and writer. Her musical projects are Dreaming Soda and Bares, and you can find her celebrating female and non-binary musicians on her platform ‘Record the Resonance’. 

Image: GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo