Ready for some more Olivia Rodrigo?
Sometimes when you read Plugged In reviews, you may wonder why we seem to concentrate on a particular artist. And it’s either because their content is worth talking about or because the world of pop culture itself demands that we do according to their level of influence.
In this case it’s a bit of both.
Olivia Rodrigo is a big name. Rising to fame at 18, Rodrigo used to be a more innocent version of herself, starring in musicals on Disney+ (most notably Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) . But that’s changed. A lot.
That’s especially true on her latest single, “Bad Idea Right?” This track is free of innocence of any kind. It’s about Rodrigo understanding that hooking up with her ex is a bad idea, but deciding to do it anyway, no matter the consequences.
Olivia is unsure about having sex with her ex-boyfriend and wrestles with the decision as she’s with friends, drunk at a party (“But I’m out right now and I’m all f—ed up/And you’re callin’ my phone, you’re all alone/And I’m sensin’ some undertone/And/I’m right here with all my friends/But you’re sendin’ me your new address”).
Of course she immediately loses the ability to reason (“And I know we’re done, I know we’re through/But, God, when I look at you/My brain goes, ‘Ah’/Can’t hear my thoughts (I cannot hear my thoughts)/Like blah-blah-blah (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah)/Should probably/(I should probably, probably not)”).
And although she understands that having sex with this guy is a bad idea, she lies to her friends about who she is going to see (“And I told my friends I was asleep/But I never said where, in his sheets”) chooses to lie to herself (Seein’ you tonight/It’s a bad idea, right?/F— it’s fine/…I only see him as a friend/The biggest lie I ever said)”) and goes right over to his place (“I just tripped and fell into his bed”).
Since her albums and singles have trickled out, Rodrigo has gone from heartbroken and seemingly innocent to vengeful, spiteful and profane.
Although I didn’t “grow up” with Rodrigo per se, I could understand her point of view as a young, heartbroken teenager. And, I’m sure, so could many other young girls who first discovered her while watching her Disney shows.
And I think this is where the biggest problem lies.
Rodrigo is luring in a young audience that is, really, far too young for the kind of music she’s making–not just because of the subjects she’s choosing to tackle, but the profanity, vulgarity and sensuality that has steadily grown with her music.
That’s true for prior singles, and it’s also true for “Bad Idea Right?”. Both the lyrics and the video (which includes teens and young adults wearing revealing clothes, partying, drinking, making out and, finally, Rodrigo going to her ex’s house) showcase bad decisions in an enticing way without talking about the obvious consequences.