Four months after “drivers license,” pop’s newest star offers a nimble and lightly chaotic collection of breakup tunes filled with melancholy and mischief.
The matter of failed romance is central to Sour, a nimble and lightly chaotic grab bag of breakup tunes, filled with both melancholy and mischief. Rodrigo’s first trick: Seconds into the lugubrious strings that open the record, she and her producer, Dan Nigro, abruptly switch to grunge guitar and distortion. Abandoning both the gossamer falsetto and the emotive belt that power “drivers license,” Rodrigo adopts a wry sprechstimme on “brutal” to rattle off her grievances: self-doubt, impossible expectations, her inability to parallel park. “Where’s my fucking teenage dream?” she snarls, wisecracking about the way pop culture romanticizes youth. It’s not particularly elegant—it’s not meant to be. Bucking expectations about the kind of sounds she might gravitate toward? That’s just part of the fun.
Olivia Rodrigo - SOUR Album Review (7.0)