Music Critic Georgia Husselbee reviews Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single which gained popularity on Tiktok and is an emotional break-up anthem

Written by Georgia Husselbee
Final year History student, Lover of books and music
Last updated
Images by Korng Sok

Olivia Rodrigo rose to stardom in Disney’s ‘High School Musical, The Musical: The Series’, even writing a song for the show entitles ‘All I Want’, which gained a lot of traction on tiktok. Therefore, it goes without saying that Olivia Rodrigo did not fail to amaze fans with her debut single ‘drivers license’. In a beautiful, yet simplistic sounding song, Olivia tells a tale of heartbreak and reminiscence.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of this song.

Rodrigo shared a snippet of the song on her Instagram back in July 2020, with the caption ‘wrote dis the other day. vv close to my heart. gonna call it drivers license I think lol.’ This song is extremely personal to Rodrigo as she speaks of feeling confused whilst going through a heartbreak that was so multifaceted to her and this is reflected in her lyrics. Rodrigo begins with simple piano chords and a recurring note acting as a beat. Percussion doesn’t appear until the second verse, which then flows into a build up for the first chorus. The recurring note creates tension, until the last line of the chorus when all music stops leaving the lyrics; ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street’ to ring out. This impacts the listener as it forces them to relate to the painful and confusing emotions Rodrigo felt after her break-up. Rodrigo has often referred to Taylor Swift as being her biggest inspiration when it comes to song writing and this can be seen as she has gotten personal with the lyrics whilst telling a story of love. It is easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of this song.

The bridge is where the song truly peaks as Rodrigo is almost chant-singing the lyrics. The lyrics refer to her inability to forget and move on; ‘I still see your face in the white cars, front yards / Can’t drive past the places we used to go to.’ The melody of the bridge is repeated with different lyrics and a repetition of the refrain ‘’Cause I still fuckin’ love you, babe’. The bridge flows straight into the final chorus where Rodrigo sings ‘And I just can’t imagine how you could be so okay, now that I’m gone’. These lyrics embody the true feelings of heartbreak and confusion and is an excellent debut single.

‘drivers license’ is best described as the perfect song to blast whilst driving or dancing in the rain. It exemplifies what everyone goes through at some point in their life, in a gentle pop track. Olivia Rodrigo represents a new generation of artists brought up listening to the song writings of Taylor Swift, and I expect we will be hearing more of her in the future.


drivers license is available now via Geffen Records 

__________________________________________________________________________________________  You Might Also Like:

Single Review: Ed Sheeran – Afterglow

Single Review: Lucia & The Best Boys – Forever Forget

5 Tracks That Got Me Through 2020: Joe Meakin

Redbrick Meets: Pale Waves