Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Driving Home 2 U’ is no joyride

Olivia Rodrigos Driving Home 2 U is no joyride

Is pop music just gossip? Or, really, fuel for gossip. Who are those lyrics about? Why did they include that line? Every singer looking to garner mass attention needs to be prepared for this genre of questions. Still, no other emerging songwriter seems to be under as much scrutiny as the Disney Darling herself, Olivia Rodrigo. After countless rumors about past relationships and possible love triangles blew up online, it became impossible to distinguish what is actually true about her narrative. So what did Rodrigo do in response to this? Of course, release a documentary. But it’s not a tell-all.

Olivia Rodrigo’s documentary, “Driving Home 2 U” was released on Disney Plus. So, with Mickey Mouse constantly looking over her shoulder, it was perhaps a little difficult for Rodrigo to go in depth about her personal struggles. Still, it was a shock for me to tune in and be greeted with a somewhat bland (albeit aesthetically pleasing) documentary, especially considering that Rodrigo is such an enigma among modern pop artists.

But once the camera cuts away from the studio, away from some artsy shot of her in her bed talking about “the process” or something, the film truly shines. Every performance sounds amazing, but among the best are the ones that capitalize on Rodrigo’s innate rockstar angst; the highlight “jealousy, jealousy” boasts addictive new guitar riffs, bolstered by Rodrigo’s vocal rasp. The song alone and its new production makes a compelling argument that Rodrigo’s voice is perhaps more suited to rock than musical theatre-esque pop.

Despite her stardom, Rodrigo still maintains a relatability and likability that is difficult for many with her level of fame to hold onto. Which, while that makes for a great public persona, it doesn’t necessarily make it easy to create an interesting documentary.

Rodrigo’s songs speak for themselves, but in “Driving Home 2 U,” that alone is not enough.