Olivia Rodrigo has shared the third single from her upcoming debut album Sour, the high energy pop punker ‘good 4 u’.
There were two observations my friend Sara offered up about ‘good 4 u’: the first was that it was “very Paramore” and the second was that it was “still the same song, different font”. I’m a professional music writer and I can’t distil the essence of this song any better.
So let’s unpack those two points. The half-sung/half-shouted verses and bubblegum pop-punk chorus are very Haley Williams, but if you’re going to emulate someone for a killer ode to some stupid guy, Williams is a top-shelf choice. Everybody needs a song they can scream to. The previously released ‘drivers license’ was a scream-cry song, and ‘deja vu’ was an “I’m way too over you to scream but I’m gonna scream anyway” scream song, so now we finally have the simplest of them all: a scream-scream song.
Now the second. Yes, Rodrigo is going back to the same lyrical well that produced ‘drivers license’ and ‘deja vu’. It’s the same song in a new musical style. Rodrigo is either milking this specific, very high profile break-up for all its worth, or she’s simply taking the feelings and emotions (and notoriety) from that break-up and channelling them into a full-length album that’s not meant to be an explicit “fuck you” to one single individual but rather a scorched earth explosion of catharsis. I will be the first to admit that it’s fun to imagine all these songs are about that other guy from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, but let’s entertain the idea that maybe this is a song for no one in particular.
Nah, it’s totally about that dude. Rodrigo has almost completed the full break-up cycle in song: the depths of despair in ‘drivers license’, the shit-talking of the new flame on ‘deja vu’, and now the shit-talking of the ex on ‘good 4 u’. Maybe this means the next single will wither the denial stage or the final moving on stage? I don’t know, but Rodrigo has obviously tapped into a gold mine with this, and I don’t see any reason why she should stop now.
Check out the video for ‘good 4 u’ down below. Sour will be released on May 21.