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brutal

brutal is Olivia Rodrigo’s punk–rock take on generational trauma. The production by Dan Nigro complements SOUR‘s other tracks like good 4 u and jealousy, jealousy.

Rodrigo sings about the misleading promise of youth, including all the betrayals, disappointments, and challenges in our “golden years.”

The title hook, “it’s brutal out here,” references both the crude music industry and the difficult world that is adolescence. Olivia is learning to navigate both.

lyrics

I want it to be, like, messy

I’m so insecure, I think
That I’ll die before I drink
And I’m so caught up in the news
Of who likes me and who hates you
And I’m so tired that I might
Quit my job, start a new life
And they’d all be so disappointed
‘Cause who am I if not exploited?
And I’m so sick of seventeen
Where’s my fucking teenage dream?
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
And I wish I’d done this before
And I wish people liked me more

All I did was try my best
This the kinda thanks I get?
Unrelentlessly upset (Ah–ah–ah)
They say these are the golden years
But I wish I could disappear
Ego crush is so severe
God, it’s brutal out here

(Yeah)

I feel like no one wants me
And I hate the way I’m perceived
I only have two real friends
And lately, I’m a nervous wreck
‘Cause I love people I don’t like
And I hate every song I write
And I’m not cool, and I’m not smart
And I can’t even parallel park

All I did was try my best
This the kinda thanks I get?
Unrelentlessly upset (Ah–ah–ah)
They say these are the golden years
But I wish I could disappear
Ego crush is so severe
God, it’s brutal out here

(Yeah)
(Just havin’ a really good time)

Got a broken ego, broken heart
(Yeah, it’s brutal out here, yeah, it’s brutal out here)
And God, I don’t even know where to start

olivia on ‘brutal’

I told everyone that I wanted to make brutal the first track on the record, and they were like, “Girl, are you sure?” Just ’cause it’s kind of a little polarizing, I think, but I absolutely love it. It’s a really angsty song I suppose, and I sort of just talk about everything that I’m upset about in the song, to put it very plainly and broadly.

I think it’s funny that we wrote the first track on the record kind of last minute, but it’s one of my favorites … I wrote [brutal] – and most of my songs – with my producer, Dan Nigro. He’s awesome. We were in the car listening to a bunch of old ’90s songs and really liked that energy. Then he came up with this awesome riff.

lyric video

music video

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