Olivia Rodrigo’s new song is far from a disappointment

Song cover for Olivia Rodrigos newest song, Drivers License.

Taken from Wikipedia

Song cover for Olivia Rodrigo’s newest song, “Driver’s License.”

As a fourteen-year-old, the anticipation and excitement of one day getting my driver’s license is agony—what I am most excited about is listening to music in my car.

Music has always been a part of my life. From the Salsa music I hear when I go to a family gathering on my mom’s side, to the pop and lyrical music I hear when I am at dance practice, I have been surrounded by countless genres of music since I was a baby.

When seventeen-year-old actor and singer Olivia Rodrigo announced that she was releasing a new song on January 8, I was extremely thrilled to hear it for the first time. 

Rodrigo played Nini Salazar-Roberts on the Disney Plus show, High School Musical, The Musical, The Series. Her performance was outstanding in the show, as was her voice, so I was expecting nothing short of amazing from her new song.

Being number one on both Apple Music and Spotify, Rodrigo’s song, “Driver’s License,” was far from a disappointment. 

The beginning of the song fits perfectly with the title: the sound of a car starting. The instrumental factors of the song mainly consist of a light, soothing touch of piano. Rodrigo’s voice throughout the entirety of “Driver’s License” was impeccable. She sounded angelic—I could listen to this song for hours on repeat and not get tired of hearing her sing.

Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me, ’cause you said forever now I drive alone past your street.”

— Olivia Rodrigo

The meaning behind this song is about a love triangle of some sort. Rodrigo and one of her co-stars on High School Musical, The Musical, The Series, Joshua Bassett, had somewhat of a romantic relationship outside of the show.

Despite Basset and Rodrigo’s undeniable chemistry—both on stage and off—the timing of their relationship just wasn’t right which led the couple to split before they even officially began dating. With her eyes set on the possibility and promise of a future relationship, Rodrigo’s lyrics in “Driver’s License” effectively and remorselessly convey the hurt caused by Bassett falling in love with another girl. 

In the song, Rodrigo sings, “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me, ‘cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.” From this line, it is evident that Bassett wrote a song about Rodrigo, which is titled “Anyone Else,” and that he promised her “forever.”

Yet, sadly, he broke his promise.

The “other girl” in this love triangle is actress and singer Sabrina Carpenter. She is mentioned in the song as “that blonde girl,” though it’s more than obvious who Rodrigo is talking about. 

Rodrigo also mentions Carpenter by singing, “She’s so much older than me; she’s everything I’m insecure about.” By saying that she is older, Rodrigo is implying that if she was older, she would still be with Bassett right now. 

Bassett was actually the one to teach Rodrigo how to drive, which explains what she is talking about when she sings, “I got my driver’s license last week / just like we always talked about / ‘cause you were so excited for me / to finally drive up to your house.”

When I went to Spotify to listen to Rodrigo’s song, the background that was shown while playing it was a driver’s license with Rodrigo’s face on it. And where her birthdate is, it reads, “2/20/21,” which is her eighteenth birthday, and when she and Bassett could have gotten back together. 

Between the more than perfect musicality and the drama behind “Driver’s License,” Rodrigo has definitely earned her spot as number one.

I am still filled to the brim with excitement for one day being able to drive on my own. I am still looking forward to singing along to my favorite songs in the car, and when that time rolls around, “Driver’s License” will be the first song I put on my playlist.