Here’s a scenario: you are a one-hit-wonder whose success is so massive that anything you do next will inevitably pale in comparison to what you’ve done before. Do you attempt to branch out artistically and diversify the scope of your purview, or do you double down by going straight back to the well and try to repeat everything that made the first hit so popular?
Fortunately, it looks like Olivia Rodrigo went with the former when she released ‘Deja Vu’ earlier this month. Instead of a mournful dramatic ballad like the world-conquering ‘Driver’s License’, ‘Deja Vu’ was more indebted to ’80s synth-pop and indie rock while still retaining the teenage heartbreak that Rodrigo has now become the cultural ambassador for. It was lower stakes, but only because anything would be lower stakes compared to the apocalyptic melodrama of ‘Driver’s License’.
Rodrigo seems destined to stave off the one-hit wonder moniker: ‘Deja Vu’ is currently sitting number 27 on the singles chart, right above… ‘Driver’s License’. However, two hits does not a career make, so Rodrigo has officially announced the release of her debut full-length LP, Sour, through a post to her Instagram page.
Just perusing the song titles for the upcoming release lets you know that Rodrigo isn’t straying far from her favorite topics. ‘Brutal’, ‘Jealousy, Jealousy’, ‘Hope Ur OK’, ‘Good 4 U’ (which, just based on the syntax alone, still primes me to expect a Prince song five years after his death. Some things just never die).
This is all to say that we should be expecting more teenage heartbreak, more melodrama, more ruminations pulled straight from a teenage girl’s diary — and that’s awesome. You can be annoyed by Rodrigo’s “my life is finished because he dumped me” vibe, but to do so would be more cynical than I would ever want to be. We all remember what being a teenager was like, how every ended relationship felt like devastation, and the fact remains that Rodrigo is doing it better than anyone else in the world right now.
Check out the announcement and tracklisting for Sour down below.
3. ‘Drivers License’
4. ‘1 Step Forward. 3 Steps Back’
5. ‘Deja Vu’
6. ‘Good 4 U’
7. ‘Enough For You’
9. ‘Jealousy, Jealousy’
10. ‘Favorite Crime;
11. ‘Hope Ur OK’