Sour | Olivia Rodrigo

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Sour

American singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo released her debut studio album—Sour—on May 21, 2021, through Geffen Records. Written by Rodrigo herself and her producer Dan Nigro, the album was recorded and released during the COVID-19 lockdown. It was originally planned to be an EP, but Rodrigo expanded it into a full-length album after her debut single “Driver’s License” went viral.

Sour combines alt-pop and pop, ranging from bedroom pop ballads to energetic pop-punk. The main theme surrounds adolescence, heartache, and failed romance. Rodrigo commented on the album, saying that it explores her discoveries and perils as a 17-year-old teenager, with its title serving as a reference to common emotions that young adults and teens often experience. Read more about Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour album reviews here!

Critic Reviews

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  • The Oxford Student

    Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is the perfect debut album. It draws on familiar genres and themes, which is probably why Rodrigo has been compared so much to the likes of Taylor Swift (who is credited on ‘1 step forward, 3 steps back’, a song which interpolates Swift’s ‘New Year’s Day’) or Paramore (for songs like ‘good 4 u’). While it has echoes of these other popular artists, Rodrigo brings her own vocal and songwriting talent to the album. 

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  • Rolling Stone

    On her debut album, the singer wields the breakup angst and intimacy of “Drivers License” like a glittery dagger.  

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  • The Guardian

    The record-breaking 18-year-old follows her smash hit Drivers License with an impressive debut album of pop-punk screamers and delicate balladry.  

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  • Pitchfork

    Four months after “drivers license,” pop’s newest star offers a nimble and lightly chaotic collection of breakup tunes filled with melancholy and mischief.  

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  • Vulture

    Sour is a great start. Eventually, Olivia Rodrigo will be back, and she’ll be better. 

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  • PopMatters

    Olivia Rodrigo creates something uniquely and unabashedly her own simply by refusing to be anyone but the current version of herself—messy emotions and all. 

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  • Clash Magazine

    Marked by excellence from front to back, ‘Sour’ is the sound of a bold talent operating on their own terms – potent in its execution, revealing in its lyricism, it’s a record that finds Olivia Rodrigo effortlessly claiming her status as pop’s newest icon, and one of its bravest voices.  

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  • Variety

    Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ Is One Sweet Entreé Into a Lifetime of Music-Making. 

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  • The Washington Post

    Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ is a world-beating breakup album on a jagged little path to greatness. 

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  • AV Club

    The beauty of SOUR is that Rodrigo isn’t trying too hard to convince young listeners she understands them; she achieves this naturally, because in all the ways that matter, she is still one of them. She’s a master storyteller, with delightfully petty “spicy Pisces” lyrics that keep her sympathetic as she attempts to accept her worth. 

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  • NPR

    Olivia Rodrigo's 'Sour' Is Pretty Sweet. 

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  • Slant Magazine

    Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Is a Sharp, If Myopic, Portrait of Adolescent Angst.  

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  • Music Matters Media

    Some of the songs on SOUR were oversung, however, overall the album was a stronger showing than most up-and-coming artists have on their debut albums. 

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  • The Wall Street Journal

    The introspective album from the teenage singer-songwriter proves that she’s no one-hit wonder. 

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  • EW

    Sour doesn't try to be "the next" anyone; instead, Rodrigo distills her life and her listening habits into powerful, hooky pop that hints at an even brighter future.  

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  • Teen Vogue

    Some day not long from now, Olivia Rodrigo is going to write a song that utterly destroys me, that tears out my insides. Until that happy day, Sour is an exceptional place to start.  

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  • MSN

    A stunning portrait of adolescence. 

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  • Vinyl Chapters

    Sour is a wonderfully written album brimming with emotion that’s further propelled by the ache and raw power in Olivia Rodrigo’s vocals. This is a pop album that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  

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  • Pop Goes the Weasel

    ‘Sour’ is a remarkably composed statement of intent from an ambitious 18-year-old.  

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  • Swansea Student Media

    There’s certainly magic to be found in Olivia Rodrigo’s misery with Sour leaving listeners nothing but sweetness.  

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  • Slate

    A concept album is a daring first act, but the 18-year-old isn’t afraid to try. 

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  • NME

    After 'Drivers License', pop's brightest new thing proves she's not just a flash-in-the-pan, but a multidimensional artist who's in it for the long haul.  

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  • RIOT Magazine

    Less bombastic, more insular, SOUR’s invitation to (re)visit adolescence is a comforting reminder that–for some of us–those times are over–thank god.  

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  • Atwood Magazine

    I was so impressed by how everyone was obsessed with her overnight, and it almost made me not want to listen to her music because I was scared I was going to be disappointed. Glad to say I was not, and I think her album shows immense promise. I can’t wait to hear what she’ll cook up when she’s a little older and gets to live and explore more. 

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  • The Star

    Sour, which is a collaboration with songwriter-producer Dan Nigro, makes multiple musical moves, from grungy guitar-rock on Traitor to delicate folk-pop on breakup songs like the almost-ready-to-forgive Happier and the anxious Deja Vu. The returns diminish toward the end of the album, but on the whole, it's an impressive enterprise from a young talent with a bright future.  

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  • The Daily Listening

    t’s a compelling tale of genuine honesty, grit, and bravery from a teenage girl who isn’t afraid to bare her soul to the entire world. They’ll criticize, mock, marvel, love, and lift her up all at the same time, but that’s the price of being a true artist. Sounds like someone we know and love dearly, and if our predictions are accurate, Rodrigo will reach the success of Swift’s caliber in no time if she keeps writing songs like these. Pretty sweet, indeed. We can’t wait to see what’s next. 

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  • Peanut Butter Pope

    Olivia Rodrigo has been thrusted into a gigantic spotlight – she’s eighteen, and if she’s this capable now, she surely has the potential to grow to the learnedness of Taylor Swift’s 2020 output, or even the peak reflection of Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’. ‘Sour’ has turned into somewhat of a darling – I won’t get ahead of myself, it’s a hopeful, dynamic start. 

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  • HS Insider

    Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album ‘Sour’ is an authentic soundtrack of a broken heart. 

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  • The Post

    SOUR is both new and refreshing but only because of how nostalgic and reminiscent it is of earlier forms of pop, punk and the genre that is exclusively known as Taylor Swift. Come 2021, it was time for everything old to become new again, so thank you Olivia for bringing everyone back to a better time and also helping the heartbroken forever get through periods of grief.  

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  • Alligator

    Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album proves to be cathartic rather than “SOUR”. 

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  • Her Campus

    SOUR is the perfect debut. Breaking the mold of having to either cater to a Disney channel audience or prove yourself as mature, it appeals to a wide audience. Olivia Rodrigo has already reached an incredible level of fame for a new artist, performing on SNL and the 2021 BRIT Awards, and I have no doubt that she will only continue to reach new heights. 

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  • The Appalachian

    Listeners can find flaws in most records, and “SOUR” is no exception. But Rodrigo shows promising talent, incredible range not only in vocal performance but in genre, and her love for music exudes from the lyrics she writes. Being that she’s only 18 years old, her future in music is exciting and something that the world will be watching.  

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  • Stereoboard

    A new generation of pop star is breaking the mould with songs that are intimate, dynamic, and tangibly theirs. Though hardly revolutionary, ‘Sour’ bucks the Disney alumni trend by sounding fresh and exciting, despite Rodrigo making her influences very clear from the get go.  

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  • The Utah Statesman

    SOUR isn’t successful because Olivia Rodrigo is a new Disney icon, or because she’s going through a breakup. Her breakout album is successful because it’s vulnerable, fresh, and undiluted. SOUR is exactly what the world needs: a good dance and a good cry all in one. 

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  • Beep

    Her art may not become the herald of our generation just yet, but she certainly deserves all the praise and acclaim she’s received so far. And yes, I do scream the song lyrics with my friends in the living-room most nights! 

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  • Evening Standard

    the biggest new star in the world is the perfect teller of teen tales.  

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  • The Times

    bedroom pop of the highest order.  

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  • The Edge

    Olivia Rodrigo's debut album holds back nothing, allowing us to relieve our naive teenage expectations of romance, all whilst rocking out to 11 tracks of pure musical talent.  

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  • The Indiependent

    Between this and the current season of High School Musical: The Series, it’s clear that Rodrigo is going nowhere, and is only getting started. Sour has shown us why that’s good news for music lovers everywhere.  

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  • Los Angeles Times

    Olivia Rodrigo does not miss. 

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  • The Line of Best Fit

    Olivia Rodrigo cements her success story on the explorative and heartbroken Sour.  

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  • Lainey Gossip

    Although the album is a collection of breakup songs one after another, the versatility in styles, lyrics, and lenses has expanded her audience demographic. Olivia has cracked the code.  

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  • Daily Bruin

    Olivia Rodrigo’s sweet songwriting delivers tale of teenage heartbreak in ‘SOUR’. 

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  • The Stanford Daily

    She may borrow from the current idols of the music industry, but in the end it is Olivia Rodrigo we hear and love, barefaced and beautiful. 

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  • South China Morning Post

    How lucky are we to be witnessing Olivia’s meteoric rise to pop royalty? She might be a girl on the cusp of adulthood writing about heartbreak, who got her start with kids’ shows, but don’t pigeonhole her into being “just” a Disney Channel star. Sour is just as self-aware as it is confessional, and while she does somewhat play into being an emo teenage girl, she all does it with a twinkle in her eye, making you a co-conspirator. 

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  • The Atlantic

    Olivia Rodrigo’s sharp debut album, Sour, confirms that metaphor and ambiguity are so last generation. 

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  • Exclaim

    Olivia Rodrigo's 'SOUR' Captures the Beautiful Chaos of a Teenage Brain. 

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  • Medium

    Disney darling Olivia Rodrigo’s full length debut contains some of the sweetest sounds we’ve heard in 2021. 

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  • Insider

    Olivia Rodrigo's 'Sour' is a practically perfect pop album. 

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  • Pinoy Parazzi

    A great break up album, mostly, Sour greatly captures the emotions of bitterness rolled with hope and a faint flavor of lingering affection. 

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  • SPIN

    In totality, the album is worthy of its fevered anticipation, following Rodrigo’s left-field commandeering of the mainstream earlier this year. She’s a versatile vocalist and deft songwriter who has now delivered a project that forcefully confirms she’s here to stay. A Best New Artist Grammy Award feels more imminent than ever. 

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  • The Forty-Five

    Rodrigo is guaranteed global megastardom with the release of the best break-up album since Lorde's 'Melodrama'. 

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  • Wavypack

    Alas, Sour’s narrative grows tired quicker than I’d hoped. Rodrigo’s raw talent shines, though, regardless of the less-than-polished execution presented here.  

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  • FRUK Magazine

    Overall, it is clear that the main theme of SOUR is heartbreak and the record doesn’t hide from this idea. With the strength of this album as a whole combined with the success of it’s singles. It is clear that Olivia Rodrigo is on a path to long term success. SOUR is an impeccable effort at a debut album. 

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