The Agony of Seventeen: Unpacking the Brutality of Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal” 

Olivia Rodrigo’s “Brutal” is a standout track from her debut album “SOUR.” This raw and unfiltered song delves into the complexities of being a teenager in the age of social media and constant comparison.

Let’s dissect the brutally honest lyrics of “brutal”:

Feeling Lost in the Crowd and Insecure

The song opens with a relatable line, “I want it to be, like, messy / I’m so insecure, I think I’ll die before I drink,” establishing a sense of self-doubt and anxiety. The narrator feels lost amidst societal expectations and struggles with social anxieties.

Consumed by Comparison and News Feeds

Lines like “And I’m so caught up in the news / Of who likes me and who hates you” capture the constant pressure to be liked and approved of on social media. This obsession with online validation fuels insecurity.

Yearning for Escape and a Simpler Time

“And I’m so tired that I might quit my job / Start a new life and they’d all be so disappointed” reveals a desire to break free from current pressures and expectations. The line highlights the feeling of being trapped in a life that doesn’t feel authentic.

Feeling Exploited and Defined by Others

“Cause who am I if not exploited? / They only want me for the headlines” expresses a cynical view of fame and feeling like a product rather than a person. This line delves into the darker side of being in the spotlight.

Frustration with Societal Expectations of Teenage Joy

“I’m sick of seventeen / Where’s my [ __ ] teenage dream?” reflects anger and disappointment with the idealized version of teenage life often portrayed in media. The narrator feels like they’re missing out on some grand experience.

Inability to Express Yourself and Feeling Stuck

“If someone tells me one more time / Enjoy your youth, I’m gonna cry” showcases frustration with platitudes that don’t address the real anxieties of youth. The narrator feels misunderstood and unheard.

Self-Doubt and a Desire to Be “Cool”

Lines like “I don’t stick up for myself / I’m anxious and nothing can help” highlight feelings of powerlessness and a yearning to be more assertive. The narrator also desires to be accepted by the “cool” crowd.

Dislike for Everything and a Search for Identity

“And I hate every song I write / I don’t think anything / I can do is good enough” exposes a self-deprecating attitude and a struggle to find one’s voice and creative purpose.

Yearning for Connection and Acceptance

The repeated lines, “I wish I was someone else / I wish people liked me” reveal a core desire for connection and belonging. The narrator craves genuine friendships and acceptance.

Conclusion: A Song of Unflinching Honesty

“brutal” is a powerful and relatable song that captures the raw emotions of teenage life, from insecurity and social anxieties to the yearning for individuality and connection. Through unflinching honesty, Olivia Rodrigo gives voice to a generation grappling with the pressures of the modern world.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Brutal

  1. What album is “brutal” on? “brutal” is on Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album “SOUR.”

  2. When was “Brutal” released? “brutal” was released along with “SOUR” in May 2021.

  3. Is there a music video for “Brutal”? No, there is no official music video for “Brutal.”

  4. What genre is “brutal”? The song falls under the pop and pop-rock genres.

  5. Has Olivia Rodrigo performed “Brutal” live? Yes, Olivia Rodrigo has included “Brutal” on the setlist for her critically acclaimed Sour Tour.

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