From Sweet to Sour: SOUR Songs Ranked


Lyvia Huang, Editor

SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo is the only music album that I know every word of every song. When the first SOUR song, “drivers license,” was released in 2021, I thought it was terrible the first time I listened to it. After listening to it a few more times, I realized it was brilliant, and ever since, I’ve loved Olivia Rodrigo’s music. There isn’t a song in the album that I currently dislike; this ranking just shows which songs I love more than others.

A lot of my friends think “Brutal” is the worst song in SOUR, which I don’t understand. It might not be everyone’s favorite, but how is it anyone’s least favorite? In my opinion, “Brutal” is the most passionate song in SOUR, and I think it encapsulates the overall feeling of being an insecure teenager. This song is relatable for so many people, and the scream-singing in it is amazing to scream to in the car.

“Good 4 U”
“Good 4 U” got so popular for good reason. This song is similar to “Brutal,” but it’s relatable to less people because it’s about Rodrigo’s feelings about a guy who dated her and then moved on to a new girl immediately. The high-energy music and scream-singing are a lot like the artistry in “Brutal,” and this song is great to listen to when you need to feel angry or resentful toward someone.

“deja vu”
My top three SOUR songs are the most high-energy songs in the album. “Deja Vu” starts off more softly but builds up to an intense bridge, and this contrast might be why so many people love the song – it never gets boring.

“drivers license”
The song that started Rodrigo’s popularity is definitely one of the best songs in SOUR. “Drivers License” is a beautifully emotive song that relates heartbreak to an iconic moment in a teenager’s life: getting a driver’s license.

“jealousy, jealousy”
“Jealousy, Jealousy” is about the struggle of feeling jealous of friends, peers, and celebrities regarding everything from clothes to body shape to lifestyle that many teenagers face. The topic of this song is similar to that of “Brutal,” but to me, “Brutal” feels more passionate. This song’s bridge has the same amount of intensity as “Brutal,” but the rest of the song is more laid-back.

“I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier,” is one of my favorite song lyrics of all time. In this song, Rodrigo sings about how she hopes her ex is happy with his new girlfriend but not happier than he was when he was with Rodrigo. This song is very well-written and full of mixed emotions.

“enough for you”
“Enough for You” is about trying to change oneself to fit someone else’s standards but still never feeling like enough. Some of Rodrigo’s songs, including this one, have melodies that sound very similar.

“hope ur ok”
“Hope Ur Ok” was one of my favorite songs when SOUR first came out, and I listened to it constantly. I recognize the importance of the meaning behind this song (LGBTQIA+ rights), but I just stopped enjoying it as much and don’t listen to it anymore.

“favorite crime”
For a while, I strongly disliked this song for no real reason; I guess I just didn’t like how it sounded. Now, I find the song well-written, and although it’s not my favorite in the album, I don’t skip it when I shuffle SOUR on Spotify.

When I first listened to “Traitor,” it felt extremely dramatic to me. I thought a boyfriend shouldn’t be considered a “traitor” just for talking to other girls (“you betrayed me […] you’d talk to her when we were together”). I guess it’s more about the fact that he was interested in another girl when he was dating someone else.

“1 step forward, 3 steps back”
“1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” is my least favorite song in SOUR. I don’t dislike it; I just don’t like it as much as the other songs in this album. The melody feels somewhat slow, and some of the singing sounds more like talking, which I enjoy in Rodrigo’s more upbeat songs but don’t enjoy as much in this song.