‘Sour’ by Olivia Rodrigo is Music Therapy for Millennial Misfits (and Everybody, Really)
It’s honest music and earnest storytelling that flows seamlessly from track to track; raw, unmanufactured, and just the right amount of spiteful
“Stream Sour by Olivia Rodrigo if you want to stay friends.”
This has been my social media caption of choice as of late. It’s been days since Sour dropped in its entirety on Spotify, and I don’t think I’ll be over it anytime soon.
Here’s a fact: I wasn’t 100 per cent on the Olivia Rodrigo hype train when “drivers license” crept into the collective listening ear. It’s a bittersweet little tune that I would play in the background while working on mundane tasks. I always scream-sing the bridge, though; emphatically slamming a fist onto the closest available surface when she goes, “but I still *censor bad word* love you” just because I can.
In hindsight, that was probably the beginning of everything. On launch day, I put it on expecting a heady mix of “good 4 u” and “drivers license” vibes—and I was right. But also oh so very wrong.
I’ve been moved by music before, but it’s rare that I find myself confronting my past and my present simultaneously. There I was, lying on my bedroom floor, a millennial misfit oscillating wildly between fury and nostalgia.
Welcome to Teenage Angst Revisited!
Let’s talk about “brutal.” It’s a hard-hitting enumeration of the perils that come with being an 18-year-old girl, but it perfectly encapsulates a day in the life of someone my age or even older. How many times have I wanted to “quit my job, start a new life because who am I, if not exploited”? Or being told by an actual adult-y adult (because I am not, thank you very much) to “enjoy your youth” like it’s that easy?
I don’t even want to get into the semantics of parallel parking. Olivia’s right—can we not?
The rest of the tunes come together to form a stormy sea of heartbreak. It’s a been-there-done-that subject in music, but that’s exactly why it resonates: we’ve all been there. At any given point in time, someone somewhere is nursing a broken heart.
While I’ve left teenage heartbreak behind a long time ago, “deja vu” and “favorite crime” took me back in a strange hyper specific way—and I’m sure they’ve done the same to you. Picture an ex texting the same sweet nothings, quoting the same song lyrics, or sending the same flowers from the same flower shop like a reused video game asset to their new paramour. Whatever stage in life you’re in, you’d be pretty damn angry at the thought.
At its core, Sour is the story of a young girl. It’s honest music and earnest storytelling that flows seamlessly from track to track; raw, unmanufactured, and just the right amount of spiteful.
It’s brutal out here. And Olivia Rodrigo understands you.
All photos courtesy of Genius, @oliviarodrigo