Grammy winning singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo turns 20 years old today. In an Instagram post last night, Rodrigo captioned a photo “2day is my last day of being a teenage dirtbag.” The caption was likely a homage to Wheatus’ 2000 pop punk hit “Teenage Dirtbag”, and to the themes she discusses on her 2021 debut album SOUR. The caption has fans suspecting that a new album era may be close on the horizon.
Rodrigo’s first album was well received by critics and fans, and even earned her three Grammy awards–for best pop vocal album, best pop solo performance, and best new artist. This further garnered countless unique opportunities for Rodrigo–including performing Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2022.
Even with her many successes, Rodrigo’s debut album release was surrounded by rumors about who the subject of her album could be about. Several songs from SOUR, notably the hit single “Driver’s License”, allude to what many theorize was a love triangle between Rodrigo and fellow ex-Disney actors and singer-songwriters Sabrina Carpenter and Joshua Bassett.
Despite the additional press coverage that this theory likely brought to the album, it is likely that Rodrigo’s second album will offer different stories to tell, and possibly a more rock-leaning sound. Given the experiences that Rodrigo has been through in the nearly two years since she released her debut, fans are theorizing about what to potentially expect from a new album this year. Given that she is officially no longer a teenager, the possibilities are endless.
olivia rodrigo did not release a new album today but she did turn 20 years old.
— did olivia rodrigo release a new album today? (@oliviasnewalbum) February 20, 2023
Olivia Rodrigo's upcoming album era will be aesthetically darker. 🎵 pic.twitter.com/pOhxyofxqR
— Pop Hive (@thepophive) February 20, 2023
TikTok, where fan theories about new music are always quick to spread, had a lot of thoughts about what Rodrigo may be working on. One theory is that the new album will dip into a more 90s grunge sound, given Rodrigo’s 2021 “Musicians on Musicians” feature in Rolling Stone alongside Alanis Morissette. Like Rodrigo, feminist breakup anthems dominated Morisette’s early career with her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill.
Here are our 2023 pop culture predictions! #popculturepredictions #predictions2023 #greenscreen
This theory would certainly check out, as Rodrigo has been vocal about her musical inspirations within this genre. Her 2021 song “good 4 u” is an interpolation of Paramore’s 2007 hit “Misery Business.” Rodrigo’s Gen Z take on grunge and pop punk has united generations of fans of these genres, and paved the way for a new generation of rock artists.
The side part and choker were a must 💁🏼♀️😂 #millennial #millennialmom #oliviarodrigo #paramore #relatable #over30 #over30momlife #rockout
Music aside, Rodrigo’s frequent homage to 90s teen movies through her fashion has also been taken note of, which further supports the theory of what her sound may be like on the new album.
Yes or no? Follow us for more fashion & culture content 👀. #LearnOnTikTok #fashion #oliviarodrigo #music #punk #style #outfit
Initially, fans assumed that the second album would be titled SWEET, and show the opposite side of the events that are discussed across SOUR. Given how far Rodrigo’s career took off after only one album, it remains unclear that she would still take this approach, as she likely will continue to distance herself from her Disney image that this concept would cater towards.
THERE SO MUCH EVIDENCE I RAN OUT OF TIME @livbedumb #greenscreenvideo #sweet #sour #oliviarodrigo #oliviarodrigosweet #HoldMyMilk #memorialday #fypシ
Olivia’s breakup anthems became the staple soundtrack of the summer of 2021, and some question if the second album will focus on breakups thematically as well, or if Rodrigo has experience writing music from a more positive point of view. In an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show in 2022, Rodrigo reassured Barrymore and fans alike that she does not intend on writing sad music forever.
There is still no release date planned for the first single or the album, and the titles remain secret, but keep a look out for announcements on Instagram @livieshq.