Album Review: Olivia Rodrigo - Sour
There were, of course, myriad things I thought about both the first time I listened to the song “Driver’s License,” and that I still think about with each of the countless subsequent times I have heard it.
One of those things was that, and maybe it’s because I am greedy, or gluttonous, and do not understand the dangers of “too much of a good thing,” but one of those things was that I had wished the song were longer. Like, much longer. It’s barely four minutes long, and it seems like the song is just getting started when it reaches its final, theatrical peak and recedes quietly and somberly.
But, because I am greedy, and gluttonous, and maybe do not care about the danger of “too much of a good thing,” I wanted “Driver’s License” to just keep going—to just keep rising and falling.
The torrential, emotional rollercoaster that is unable to stop to let its passengers off, continually careering around the tracks.
One of the other things that I thought, and still think every time I hear it, is that no song should be this good. Like, released in the dead of winter, we, as a music listening society did not deserve a song that good to arrive that early in the year.
But it’s something, whether we were truly deserving of it or not, were given benevolently.
Whether it was completely unintentional and purely coincidental, very very intentional, or simply subconscious and the kind of detail that is nearly impossible for someone like me not to make a larger deal out of for the sake of what will be a presumably lengthy review/essay, there is a multitudinous1 nature to Sour, the debut album from overnight pop music sensation Olivia Rodrigo.
The album, a slender 11 tracks, running just slightly over a half hour, is impeccably paced—structurally, Sour was presumably labored over by Rodrigo and her main collaborator Dan Nigro, built around the idea of tension and release—of knowing where to place a certain kind of song, and then within that, a certain kind of song. And the album, much like the single released five months ahead of it, moves at a breakneck speed, reaching the contemplative ending just as it seems like it is really building toward something and could truly just keep going for, at least, a few more songs.
But again, maybe I do not understand the dangers of “too much of a good thing,” and am a greedy, gluttonous listener.
And what I mean by that is there is a truly multitudinous nature to Sour—right from the beginning, there is an enormous, admirable give and take between the album’s blistering, punky opening track, and the heartbreaking, slow burning ballad that comes right after. And across those 11 tracks, Rodrigo is able to keep this up—a smart enough songwriter and performer to know when to pull things back, and for how long to do that, and then when to push the album into an angsty, power-pop overdrive.
Now 18, Sour was written and recorded while Rodrigo was 17, inking a deal with Geffen Records literally moments before the pandemic lockdown last year, writing songs in isolation and then, as safely as one could, recording them with Nigro in the latter half of 2020. Originally intended to be an EP, Rodrigo expanded Sour to a full-length after the initial success of “Driver’s License,” in order to “truly reflect” what she is capable of as a young artist.
I hesitate to refer to Sour as a mirroring of the human condition, but it is an accurate representation of teenage feelings—that teens, like Rodrigo, feel today, as well as, like 20 years ago, when I was 17—more than likely just as angsty, and probably really fucking depressed, but with no real artistic means to express any of that or even articulate it. An album written and performed by a teenager, about being a teenager, might seem like it is not the most accessible thing to somebody who is pushing 40—but it is.
My best friend sent me a text recently about this album, telling me that she had started listening to it and that it felt very cathartic—and that’s one of the most intelligent, and possibly surprising, or maybe it’s not all that surprising, things about Sour, is that even in its depiction of big teenage feelings and emotions, it is very cathartic, and almost2 universal, and however far removed we are from our teenage years, the question we have to ask ourselves is how far removed are we, if at all, from those kind of big teenage feelings and emotions?
In the brooding, simmer bridge to the album’s third single, “Good 4 U,” Rodrigo coos the line, “Maybe I’m too emotional,” and the thing about that is—aren’t we all?
I want it to be, like, messy
After a short swell of strings, that is what you hear, a second before Sour’s opening track, “Brutal,” really comes tumbling in.
There are layers to unpack, even within that short snippet of Rodrigo’s voice—it’s a stark contrast to the warm, almost saccharine strings that swirl around cinematically for all of 12 seconds before abruptly being cut off; it’s also the complete opposite of the instrumentation, arranging, and production of Sour. Backed by major label money, the album sounds like a million bucks—though it never falls victim to slick or uninteresting studio gloss. Instead, there are countless, minor, fascinating details woven within the album’s production that, while it is still a very accessible “pop” record, make each song wholly original and compelling to hear.
And of course, that messiness, is perhaps an unintentional parallel of the album’s thematic elements.
Sour, at its core, is about Rodrigo’s teenage experience, but there is a lot more than that to process, and an admirable element of the album is the dynamic of tension and release that the album was built upon—the thoughtfulness of knowing where to place certain a kind of song, and then within that, a certain kind of song.
Not every track on Sour is Rodrigo’s dissertation on how shitty it is, overall, to be a teenager alive in 2021—stopping short of calling it a “break up album,” it is, inherently, a collection of songs that deal primarily with the end of a relationship, and perhaps the most important thing about the album is the way she finds the balance, or at least tries to find it, between the big feelings and emotions that one deals with—none of which are limited by age group—in the aftermath of a breakup, oscillating between visceral anger, absolute heartbreak, and the places where they both converge.
Sour is more or less bookended around two of its most bombastically arranged songs—coincidentally both of which are less about a failed romance, and more about the teenage identity. Specifically, Rodrigo’s identity, but even as she delivers lines with pure vitriol like, “I’m so sick of 17—where’s my fucking teenage dream?,” on “Brutal,” there are still elements within the song that make it resonate with somebody like myself, whose teenage dream ended long, long ago.
“Brutal,” like a small handful of songs spread across Sour, is a kaleidoscopic, Technicolor explosion—rollicking in the way its arranged in a series of descending musical chugs that serve to underscore Rodrigo’s sprawling narrative. “I’m so insecure I think that I’ll die before I drink,” she waxes in the song’s opening line. Then later, “If someone tells me one more time ‘Enjoy your youth,’ I’m gonna cry,” all of which leads to the punchlines in both the song’s shorter second verse—there she explains how she has only two real friends, hates every song she writes, isn’t cool or smart, and can’t even parallel park—as well as the refrain of, “They say these are the golden years but I wish I could disappear—god, it’s brutal out here,” she sings as the instrumentation drops out momentarily, her voice completely deadpan in the delivery.
There is a multitudinous nature to Sour, and that is something introduced in the singles released after the success of “Driver’s License,” and prior to the arrival of the full album—“Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U,” in the context of the album are sequenced back to back as things reach the halfway point, and are used as a means of reenergizing the album’s pacing, which doesn’t drag ever, but throughout, Rodrigo allows it to recede slightly by placing a number of slower, or more contemplative songs next to one another.
“Deja Vu” does not have the same level of sheer, chaotic exuberance as, say “Brutal,” or “Good 4 U,” and thematically, it moves beyond the raw heartbreak of “Driver’s License,” and finds Rodrigo writing from a place of clever, smirking bitterness, bolstered by the playful and dizzying instrumentation provided within the song’s meticulous production.
While “Driver’s License” was built around the idea of straightforward balladry, “Deja Vu” surprisingly, and effectively, slinks along thanks to the chopped up percussion tumbling around in the background providing a steady, though swirling rhythm, punctuated by snarling, warbled bursts of sound—creating a clear contiguity against the delicate way the song opens, and the way Rodrigo sings at times throughout.
There is an antagonist in almost all of these songs—the ones about a break up, and the hot goss surrounding “Driver’s License” is that the song might be inspired by Rodrigo’s breakup with her former “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” co-star. Perhaps these songs really are directed at one person, or perhaps there is simply an idea of a boy who has done the colloquial “you” wrong—there is more than a fair share of heartbreak depicted across Sour, and “Deja Vu” is one of the few times where Rodrigo is just a few steps shy of seething, and is maybe in a fleeting place of clarity, alongside a spirited spitefulness, where she sees her former partner recycling elements from their relationship with a new woman.
“When you gonna tell her we did that too?,” Rodrigo asks in the song’s refrain. “She thinks it’s special, but it’s all reused,” then most impressively, half raps/half sings the list of things that are being recycled: “Strawberry ice cream in Malibu—don’t act like we didn’t do that shit too…A different girl now, but there’s nothing new—I know you get deja vu.”
If there is a fleeting moment of observational clarity on “Deja Vu,” it’s long gone and replaced with an unbridled bitterness on “Good 4 U,” which upon my initial listen, I couldn’t help but think of it as a kid sister to Kelly Clarkson’s iconic “Since U Been Gone.” Not only do they share the similarities in usage of a “U” instead of a “you,” they are both a huge fuck you to the antagonist in question. Though, like, 17 years3 have passed since Clarkson’s hit, and Rodrigo attacks the subject of “Good 4 U” with a startling, unchecked aggression Clarkson could never have dreamed of.
“Good for you—you look happy and healthy,” she sneers in the enormous, shout along refrain. “Not me—if you even cared to ask.” The conceit of “Good 4 U,” as it bounces along on a thick, rumbling bass line, before detonating within the refrain, is Rodrigo’s shock, then blinding rage, at the very notion of her ex moving on to someone new so quickly. “I guess that you’ve working on yourself,” she grits in the song’s first verse. “I guess therapist I found for you—she really helped, so you can be a better man for your brand new girl.”
“Good 4 U” is the most explosive, musically speaking, across the board on Sour, and it is built around the carefully planned steps in between those explosions—really making the most of it as the Rodrigo uses the bridge section to create an unnerving sense of tension before a big pay off. “Maybe I’m too emotional,” she sings lowly before letting it grow louder. “Or maybe you never cared at all”—with the really “big” fist pump moment in the song coming when the instrumentation drops out momentarily as she shuts, “You’re doing great out there without me, baby, like a damn sociopath.”
There are certain kinds of songs, and certain kinds of songs, and as I have continued to make reference to this here, what I mean by it is that Sour is divided into songs that are musically less aggressive, or guitar-focused than others—many are quieter in nature, or contemplative, or are sweeping, grand ballads. But within the kind of song—like, musically or structurally—there are kinds of songs, like if it’s a song about how it fucking sucks being a teenager and comparing yourself to others, or if it’s a song about a break up.
And even within this delineation, there are places where the kinds and kinds converge—like is it a loud, confrontational song about a break up, or a gentle, pensive one?
Mirroring some of the thematic elements of “Brutal,” Rodrigo sought inspiration from Fiona Apple when writing “Jealousy, Jealousy,” a hypnotic, slithering, writhing track built around another very heavy bass line, sharp, crisp drumming, an precisely plunked out progression on the piano, with Rodrigo layering her vocals across the top of it all, warning of the dangers that come from comparing yourself to the facade of a perfect life we, and she, sees on Instagram.
Is it surprising to hear an 18 year old utter the bold lyric “I’m so sick of myself—I'd rather be anyone else” in the refrain of a song? Yes and no. Yes, because it takes a certain level of confidence to be that honest with yourself—it takes an even greater level of confidence to be that honest with yourself and put it within a pop song.
But also no, it’s not at all surprising, because whether you are 18, or going to be 38 it in a few weeks, a kind of self-loathing, whether it is brought on through doomscrolling social media and lusting after the appearance, success, or possessions of others, or just kind of something you have always felt in one way or another for most of your life—I hesitate to say that it is “universal,” but it is a concept that, unfortunately, is going to resonate, whether you realize it or not.
“All your friends are so cool—you go out every night in your daddy’s nice car, yeah, you’re livin’ the live,” she shouts in the bridge. “I wanna be you so bad and I don’t even know you.” And the complex thing about the message of “Jealousy, Jealousy,” is that Rodrigo is well aware of what wishing to be anyone else is getting her, there are no easy answers as the song ends. “All I see is what I should be,” she concludes. “Happier, prettier…I’m losin’ it—jealousy, jealousy.”
While the anger, or resentment, in the wake of her relationship’s demise echoes loudly throughout Sour, it’s the sorrow and heartbreak that Rodrigo spends a majority of the album working through. And more often than not, Rodrigo uses arrangements that are much more sparse for songs of this nature—opting to focus primarily on instrumentation like piano and acoustic guitar.
A song like “Traitor” is an exception—full of big emotions and betrayal, musically it is cinematic, soaring to enormous heights in its refrain while she depicts watching her ex quickly becoming seriously involved with another woman. “I know that you’ll never feel sorry for the way I hurt,” she absolutely belts out as the music swells around her. “I loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter. It took you two weeks to go off and date her—guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor.”
She explores similar territory lyrically, though musically much more subtle, on the very wounded “Enough For You,” which is performed over an acoustic guitar, allowing the real power and range of Rodrigo’s voice to come through as it rises and falls in all the right moments to emphasize her broken heart—“I read all of your self-help books so that you’d think I was smart,” she confesses. “Stupid, emotional, obsesses little me—I knew from the start this is exactly how you’d leave.” And near the end of the album, over a similarly skeletal, acoustic accompaniment, she perhaps gets as much resolution as she’s going to get on “Favorite Crime,” where she interjects somewhat dark imagery (“Doe-eyed as you buried me—one heart broke, four hands bloody,” for example) in as a metaphor carried through the whole song, while also implicating that she may have played a small role in the dissolution of her relationship.
If “Favorite Crime” is Rodrigo attempting any kind of closure, or finding any kind of small comfort in the end of the relationship that is portrayed across Sour, the swaying and slow burning “Happier” is her making the effort at understanding her former partner has moved on. It’s nowhere near as angry as “Good 4 U” (that would be tough to top), and lyrically, there are numerous similarities between “Happier” and “Happiness,” from Taylor Swift’s Evermore.
Swift shared similar sentiments as she reflected, “There’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you,” and plays with the double entendre of her “replacement” as well as her own personal growth—“I hope she’ll be a beautiful fool who takes my spot next to you. No—I didn’t mean that. Sorry, I can’t see facts through all of my fury. You haven’t met the new me yet.”
On “Happier,” Rodrigo’s request is less about growth through the end of something, and slightly pettier—“I hope you’re happy—but not like how you were with me,” she asks in the refrain. “Find someone great, but don’t find no one better. I hope you’re happy—but don’t be happier.”
Sour concludes with a song that both musically, and lyrically, breaks the narrative that Rodrigo has set with the rest of the material. “Hope UR Ok” isn’t a misstep, but it is not the strongest track on the record and seems like a miscast note to leave on.
With that being said, though, and maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in, and often find myself in lately, during a recent listen of Sour, “Hope UR Ok” surprisingly brought me to tears, as Rodrigo, over heavily effected guitar strums (a shimmery, chorus pedal is working overtime here), she reflects on two people from her childhood—presumably who both identified early on as LGBTQIA, and both struggled with their families as a result of that. Admittedly losing touch with both of them, she uses the song to show her admiration for them, and to “hope that they are okay.”
Musically, the song moves along with restraint, only rising slightly with a sweeping sense of grandeur underneath it during the bridge, where, much to my surprise (or maybe not) I became emotional than I was anticipating—“Address the letters to the holes in my butterfly wings. Nothing’s forever; nothing’s as good as it seems.”
There were, of course, myriad things I thought about both the first time I listened to the song “Driver’s License,” and that I still think about with each of the countless subsequent times I have heard it.
And one of those things is the meticulous, dense production value that it has—and that is something unsurprisingly present in nearly every song on Sour.
A “pop” record such as this should, of course, be played at full volume on your home stereo or in your car, so you can sing along and flail wildly to the music, and it seems weird for me to refer to something like Sour as a “headphone record,” but for someone like myself who has such an admiration for the way a song sounds—the pristine details layered within reveal themselves when you listen at close range.
With “Driver’s License,” what was most surprising from my initial experience with it was the way it opens with the recording of the ignition turning in a car, and the “fasten seatbelt” notification slowly blending in with the opening plunks of the piano keys. There is also that sound—if you’ve heard the song enough times maybe you know what I am talking about.
And I guess it was during my first time with the song, hearing that sound, when I knew that “Driver’s License” was going to be something special—not that it would be so wildly successful and launch Rodrigo’s career, but I mean that is great that that happened—but that it wasn’t just an average pop song, and that it was capable of going on to be something much larger than itself.
Arriving just before the 30 second mark, there’s this sound—a downward warping, I guess, is like the easiest way to describe it, and it’s used to signify when something new is being introduced into the track, or the song is changing directions. In the song’s first verse, it comes in slightly before the hand claps arrive; less than another 30 seconds later, it comes in to indicate that we’re heading into an enormous, swelling moment.
And there are intricacies like this throughout—even the decision to open the album with orchestral strings, only to have it abruptly switch to a muffled snipped of Rodrigo explaining that she wants something to be, like messy, then to abruptly, again, throw us into the heavy, pounding rhythm of “Brutal”—all of that is a very bold choice for an album marketed as pop music.
It’s the chopped up, compressed sounding drum sample that arrives in “Deja Vu,” alongside the squalling, borderline dissonant keyboard blasts that accompany it, that cemented just how fucking impressive and good this album was going to be once it arrived.
It’s these kind of intricacies—fascinating, particular details intertwined into the songs, that make Sour rise high above other pop albums because it simply doesn’t allow itself to fall flat or cater to the whim of other contemporary popular music production techniques. It’s the way that Nigro and Rodrigo work together as a tight collaborative unit to blend straight up pop along with a the tinges of somber folk and harder edge rock to create an exuberant sounding album.
Do songs still get “overplayed” on the radio?
I’m the wrong person to ask about that.
Not that I have had anywhere to go, really, within the last year and a half, but even when I am in the car, I rarely listen to the radio, so I am uncertain what stations might have added a song like “Driver’s License” into their rotation earlier this year—albeit an edited version that omits Rodrigo’s usage of the word “fucking.”
With how wildly successful it was almost right from the beginning, I can see a lot of Top 40 stations playing the song pretty regularly, and I could see a faction of people maybe writing it off as being “overplayed” due to how quickly ubiquitous it became.
The thing about “Driver’s License” is this—it is still an unrivaled banger; it’s the kind of song that regardless of how popular it has become, or omnipresent it is in the world outside of how I choose to listen to music, I will never get tired of hearing it. It’s still as exciting to hear now as it was the first time I listened and was in absolute awe of it.
The thing about “Driver’s License” is this—it captures a moment in time. Yes, it’s an incredible song, but it is also representative of something much larger than just the four minutes it spans. It represents the introduction and ascension of Olivia Rodrigo as a singer and songwriter, and also as a pop music force to be reckoned with. It represents a yearning—an awful, beautiful tension that had been simmering for months and months, just waiting for the right time, and the right way, to be released.
The theatricality of it all seems almost too big for Rodrigo’s first single—like, it’s so gigantic, to the point where somebody could have pulled her aside and said it was simply just too much to introducer herself to the world with. But they didn’t. And the scope of the song—the towering places it rises to, and the absolute depths it plummets to—the song itself could crumble under just how ambitious it is. But it never does. She, along with Nigro, never lose control of it, and make it seem fucking effortless in how they carry the weight of the song through until the end, never bulking to the audaciousness of it all.
The thing about “Driver’s License” is this—it’s an unlikely “pop” song because it’s a heart wrenching ballad but even in how powerful it becomes, but it’s written in such a way that it never forgets that it is a pop song, and that even with no real refrain that it returns to, and even in taking the very banal concept of being a teenager and getting your driver’s license and turns into something like this—it is still wildly accessible and infectious.
Friends, there are moments when I listen to music, and what I am listening to strikes me in such a way that I feel either seen, or attacked, or a combination of both. And it can happen with any genre of music—certainly a lot of the “sad white person” acts I listen to lend themselves to this kind of feeling. And the more time I spent with Sour, I was surprised that there were a few moments that, upon further consideration, had me feeling, as my therapist would say, “some type of way.”
A few days after Sour came out, but before I actually sat down to begin writing about it, I started jotting down notes of ideas or things that I had wanted to possibly explore, or at least try to work into this piece, and the first one I wrote down was the idea of “loving someone at their worst.”
Sour, if you had not already figured it out by now, is a bold album. There is of course a built in boldness within the exuberance of Rodrigo as a performer, but there is also a boldness within the phrases she turns. They are often very dramatic, or at least the amount of earnestness and drama written into the lyrics is perhaps more than you would anticipate from somebody who just turned 18 very recently.
Musically, “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back,” a song sequenced earlier in the album, is jaunty, and even interpolates pieces of the closing track from Taylor Swift’s Reputation—“New Year’s Day,” with Swift, of course, being a huge inspiration for Rodrigo, as well as a very early supporter of “Driver’s License.” But for as jaunty, or light hearted as the piano twinkling of “1 Step Forward” is, and for as powerful and unrelenting as Rodrigo’s vocal performance is, the lyrical content of the song, in its depiction of something somewhat volatile, was where I began to see a somewhat unflattering reflection of myself.
Friends, if you have made it this far, well over 4,500 words into a review of a pop album, there’s a good chance that you have read a lot of other things I have written—especially pieces within the last year of a similarly sprawling length; and if you have made it this far into this piece, there is an even better chance that might know me—if not personally, through social media.
And if you know me in some capacity, and have read other things I take responsibility for writing, then you are aware that I struggle, and have struggled for a long time, with very debilitating depression.
The thing about depression, and living with it for as long as I have, that I try to remember but do, admittedly, forget regularly, is that even with how insular of a condition it is, it—or rather, what it does to you, impacts those around you.
In the annotation for “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” on Genius, the song is described about Rodrigo’s challenges navigating a relationship with an “inconsistent partner.” But within that inconsistency, I saw something else being depicted, and within that depiction, I saw fragments of myself.
“All I did was speak normally,” Rodrigo sings in the song’s first verse. “But somehow, I still struck a nerve.” Then, in the refrain, “It’s always one step forward, and three steps back—I’m the love of your life until I make you mad.”
“Back and forth—did I say something wrong?,” she continues in the songs bridge, before reaching the conclusion—“Back and forth—maybe this is all your fault instead.”
I understand that in some relationships, there can be one partner who is much more mercurial than the other, and that can lead to situations similar to those she has rendered in the song. And the thing about depression is that it isn’t always just an unrelenting sadness—I mean, for me at least, it’s mostly that, but what I have realized
But the thing about depression, and living with it for as long as I have, is that it changes who you are—or at least who you think you are supposed to be, and you wind up becoming someone else. You can appear cold and despondent, or unnecessarily irritable or volatile over things of little to no consequence.
You can be seen as caustic, or sharp.
You can appear distant, even though you are trying so very hard not to be.
I’m the love of your life until I make you mad.
Maybe this is all your fault instead.
How do you love somebody at their “worst”?
It’s a brazen declaration Rodrigo makes in the enormous refrain to “Traitor,” that she loved her former partner “at his worst,” then he went off and broke her heart and began seeing somebody else, a mere two weeks later.
How do you love somebody at their “worst”? What kind of bottomless well of patience do you need to have in order to do that, and what happens when the bucket begins to scrape the bottom?
What happens when the well is dry?
What happens when conversations end in exasperation and hands thrown in the air in desperation?
I think about this a lot—what living with someone living with depression must be like, and what I must be putting people through at times.
I think about a lyric from the song “Guilty Party,” by The National, and it’s the way I most often describe myself now—“I’m no holiday.”
Olivia Rodrigo’s intention, of course, with describing her efforts of loving someone at their worst, or navigating a tumultuous relationship, was not to make me (the depressed listener) feel some type of way—seen and/or attacked—because she is writing about her own experiences. And that’s the thing about pop music, or contemporary popular music, or music in general, I suppose, is that you, whether you are anticipating it or not, in that experience, you find parts of yourself—possibly good, sometimes less so, along the way. And that is how you make it your own.
If “Driver’s License” is representative of a moment in time, both for Olivia Rodrigo, as well as for us, as the listeners, Sour is even more representative of this moment—it’s unruly and urgent, bursting at the seams with effervescence and vibrancy. And even when it becomes contemplative or downright devastating, the album as a whole is still fun as hell to listen to, either closely through headphones, intentionally picking out the minutiae of the album’s production, or loudly on your home stereo, dancing in your kitchen and shouting along to “Good 4 U.”
In the bridge of “Good 4 U,” Rodrigo asks herself, “Maybe I’m too emotional.” Originally, my response to that was, aren’t we all?
But as I have continued to listen, and she continues to ask, “Maybe I’m too emotional,” now I think, even if you are, there is nothing wrong with that at all.
1- I think I managed to avoid using the expression “multitudinous nature” in the last piece I wrote about Anika Pyle’s Wild River, but it is a concept that I have managed to more or less shoehorn into three reviews now—four, counting this one.
2- I say “almost universal” because one of my closest friends is asexual and she likes pop music, but also grows weary of how much of it is about heteronormative love and heartbreak.
3- Olivia Rodrigo was born in 2003, which means she was only a year old when Kelly Clarkson released “Since U Been Gone.” It’s kind of wild to think about stuff like this, but also, I am so very washed.