Her paramours are enjoying these types of video games, too. “Which lover will I get at this time?/Will you stroll me to the door or ship me house crying?” she sighs over the dampened piano of “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back.” And it’s on “Drivers License” the place that realization totally crystallizes: “Guess you didn’t imply what you wrote in that tune about me,” she gasps. There are few colder jolts than studying somebody you liked was merely enjoying a task.
Olivia Rodrigo’s juggle can be embedded in her musical selections on “Bitter,” which is written virtually wholly by Olivia Rodrigo and produced virtually wholly by Dan Nigro, previously of the band As Tall as Lions (who additionally contributed songwriting). She vegetation a flag for the divided self proper on the high of the album, on the spectacular “Brutal,” which begins with a couple of seconds of sober strings earlier than she declares, “I would like it to be, like, messy,” which it then turns into. That tug of conflict persists all through the album: extra polished songs just like the singles and the rousing, Paramore-Esque “good 4 u” jostling with rawer ones like “Sufficient for You” and “Jealousy, Jealousy.”
“Traitor,” one of many album highlights, is a stark tune masquerading as a bombastic one. “I saved quiet so I might hold you,” Olivia Rodrigo confesses, earlier than arriving at a sublime approach of understanding, if not fairly accepting, how somebody who liked you has moved on: “Guess you didn’t cheat/however you’re nonetheless a traitor.”
That songwriting flourish is emblematic of what Olivia Rodrigo has discovered from Taylor Swift on this album (which, in shorthand, is Swift’s debut refracted via “Purple”): nailing the exact language for an imprecise, complicated emotional scenario; and dealing via non-public tales in a public style. There’s the residue of Swift all through “Bitter” — whether or not the way in which that “1 Step Ahead, 3 Steps Again” interpolates “New 12 months’ Day,” or the “Merciless Summertime”-Esque chants on “Deja Vu.”
However actually, Swift persists within the lens, which is relentlessly inner — Olivia Rodrigo solely breaks out of it in a few locations on the album, like on “Jealousy, Jealousy,” the place she pulls again to evaluate the self-image harm that social media inflicts (“I wanna be you so dangerous, and I don’t even know you/All I see is what I ought to be”) and on the ultimate monitor, “hope ur ok,” a melancholy flip that’s thoughtfully compassionate, however thematically out of step with the remainder of the album.