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"Jealousy, jealousy" (2021) - Olivia Rodrigo - All about the song

Meet the future of pop Olivia Rodrigo and one of the most interesting tracks from her debut album with loud lyrics and incredible music - "jealousy, jealousy".

The history, meaning and popularity of the song "jealousy, jealousy" by singer Olivia Rodrigo

The main pop discovery of the year at the age of 18 and the first artist in history, whose two debut singles appeared after the release on first line on the Billboard Top 100 chart, all this is Olivia Rodrigo. The album "Sour" was released in May 2021, and it is filled with completely different music: from the ballad "drivers license" and grunge "brutal" to melodic and alt-rock «jealousy, jealous", which attracts attention not only with its text, but also with the instrumental, which we will talk about today.

The Story behind the Hit on Social Media Addiction

Jealousy, jealousy - the ninth track from the album "Sour", however, according to Olivia, it was written one of the first.

"I was pretty seriously obsessed social networks during this period, ”the singer admitted in an interview.

And this is no coincidence, since "Sour" was recorded during the first wave of COVID-19, when almost the entire world was isolated from society and everyone spent their days at home, inventing new activities for themselves. Olivia Rodrigo was no exception, inspired by probably the most popular activity of people in quarantine - scrolling social networks, which have become literally a "second world" for Generation Z, of which she is a representative. Feeling that the Instagram feed has become for her the deepest phenomenon in her life, the singer wrote a song about it. Anxiety and awareness envy - this is what teenagers are experiencing in these difficult times, constant reflection that invades the life of not only a young American singer, but millions of other teenagers - all this formed the basis of the song and became the catalyst for writing it.

Olivia Rodrigo for Vogue
Olivia Rodrigo for Vogue

Lyrics and music in "jealousy, jealousy"

In the usual sense for us, the word "jealous" means "envious". Despite the fact that almost all songs from the album "Sour" contain romantic overtones, "jealousy, jealousy" is not about that at all. This track is about how the heroine tries to tell about social anxiety, which occurs when social networks affect the mental and physical health of a person.

"Wish I didn't care" / "What a pity that I care"- Rodrigo sings.

But the heroine does not succeed, and she succumbs to the pressure that social networks dictate to us. The standards are getting higher and higher, tougher and tougher, hit the hearts of young people, and the heroine of the song, Rodrigo, or even she herself, since the composition is quite autobiographicalsuffers from it.

Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro during the recording of "Sour"
Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro during the recording of "Sour"

In the first verse, the girl talks about how perfect celebrities are shown in the media, describing them as "girls with snow-white teeth and flawless figures". However, arguing further, she comes to the conclusion that the beauty of others is not her fault. This line is very important in terms of self-acceptance and the fact that beauty is subjective and everyone has it. Its weight for the new generation is very large, as in modern society, the number of mental health diseases among adolescents and young people who reproach themselves for not being beautiful is growing. Olivia Rodrigo in this case is the person who makes loud statements that all people are beautiful in their own way, and broadcasting these ideas through the lens of musicand, importantly, she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone.

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo

The heroine reproaches herself for the fact that thoughts about her inferiority and homeliness in terms of appearance and life visit her, and she thinks about how good it would be for her to live without all this. The detail that loops the chorus is the lines that envy "signed" on a girl. Choosing a word "follow" to describe that she is tired of interacting with social networks and feeling their effects on herself, Rodrigo interesting plays with the idea that envy like a new subscriber and real person, becomes the same user of social networks and begins to follow the girl's life. And then she realizes that now she will have to meet these high standards that exist on the Instagram platform.

Olivia Rodrigo at a photo shoot
Olivia Rodrigo at a photo shoot

The second verse in its meaning continues the first one and emphasizes that the passion for social networks can sometimes bring a person to real madness and insanity, smoothly turning into a chorus and a line that comparisons "slowly kill the heroine". Such a metaphor quite harmoniously fits into the meaning of the song. In the bridge, Rodrigo bets on a small description of her ideal life, repeating that parties, a car and a nice guy will make her flawless, happier and more beautiful - this is how she sees herself. Then another 17-year-old singer was not afraid to declare that social networks have a global negative impact on teenagers and that it must be fought. If we talk about the morality that Rodrigo broadcasts in this song, then it could be expressed as follows:

“You should not compare yourself with people who are more successful in social networks, but if this still happens, then negative feelings need to be able to recognize and eliminate them in order to prevent bad consequences for mental and physical health”.

Olivia Rodrigo for Variety
Olivia Rodrigo for Variety

The instrumental component of the composition deserves special attention. Music critics appreciated the whole "Sour" as a multi-genre album, arguing that the style of the release is multifaceted and contains various images: from energetic guitar rock of the 1990s to gentle acoustic ballads with piano. "Jealousy, jealousy" refers to those compositions by Rodrigo where the elements alternative rock. Speaking about what kind of music inspired Olivia when writing this track, it is necessary to mention the American singer and pianist Fiona Apple, about whom Rodrigo speaks with delight, since she also began her musical career at a young age: “I have been obsessed with her music since I heard the album“ Tidal ”. I wanted to write the same jazz music as she did." In "jealousy, jealousy" Apple's energy is vividly reflected atonal, chaotic and sinuous piano part that sounds in the bridge. Yes, track. revives album "Sour", using various instrumental possibilities - bold bass line and piano – finding similarities with the band's music The Kills, playing mostly indie and garage rock.

Fiona Apple in her youth
Fiona Apple in her youth

Popularity and reviews

"Jealousy, jealousy" was not a single, but received pretty good reviews critics and became a commercial success. The track hit top 25 songs on the chart Billboard Hot 100 - the most authoritative hit parade of popular songs in the United States, in top 20 - in Billboard Global 200. Critic from the publication "Insider" highly praised the song, calling the bridge in it one of the best on the album, and in a major music blog «stereogum" the song has been called "an expression of the constant comparison and universal self-hatred that comes with growing up in the age of social media".

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