Brutal

Album: Sour (2021)
Charted: 12

Songfacts®:

  • Written when she was 17 years old, this grungy rock song finds Olivia Rodrigo expressing her feelings about the brutal world of adolescence.

    If someone tells me one more time
    "Enjoy your youth," I'm gonna cry
    And I don't stick up for myself
    I'm anxious and nothing can help


    Rodrigo questions how people can expect her to relish her teenage years when she is plagued by raging hormones, insecurity, and emotional issues. No adult seems to understand what she is going through.
  • Producer Dan Nigro complements Rodrigo's angsty lyrics with pop-punk guitars and a crunching rhythm. The last song recorded for Sour, "Brutal" opens the album, but almost didn't make the record. Rodrigo told Apple Music: "Everyone was like, 'You make it the first [track], people might turn it off as soon as they hear it.' I think it's a great introduction to the world of Sour."
  • After a 15-second string intro, Rodrigo declares:

    I want it to be, like, messy

    Thrashy guitars kick in and the song pivots into a rock anthem. The opening line reveals Rodrigo's wish to defy the expectations placed up on her. Rather than being a neatly packaged teenage pop star, she wants to sing of messy breakups, adolescent angst, and to carve out her own sound in her own lane.
  • Rodrigo explained the album title to Apple Music: "I sort of wrote it about this like period of time where I felt like everything that I had that was really awesome and good in my life went really sour like I was super insecure and going through this awful heartbreak stuff like that. So, that's why it's called Sour. Also, it has my initials in it - 'OR' - which I think is a fun added perk."
  • But I wish I could disappear
    Ego crush is so severe
    God, it's brutal out here


    During an interview with Zach Sang, Rodrigo explained to the radio presenter what an "ego crush" is:

    "An ego crush is just like feeling like you're so inadequate and inferior and getting angry about it ... feeling like your entire is just like, gone, which I think is something that I definitely felt and something that teenagers feel, I suppose, as they're growing up."

    She added: "It's a song about when you're in that pity party and you're just like feeling sorry for yourself - it's stuff that you would say when you're in that."
  • Olivia Rodrigo connects back to the driving theme of her hit single, "Drivers License" in the third verse:

    And I'm not cool, and I'm not smart
    And I can't even parallel park


    Having based hear breakthrough song on the accomplishment of passing her driving test, it is ironic that Rodrigo still struggles to park her car.

Comments: 1

  • Onyas from Sydney, AustraliaHas Olivia ripped Rogue Traders’ Voodoo Child for Brutal ?
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