Review: "Guts" - Caroline Romano
Caroline Romano returns to her indie-rock roots in her latest single, while maintaining her characteristically honest lyrics. “Guts” explores her harrowing experience in social settings in which she worries about how she is perceived. She is afraid that she is overtly transparent, causing her to overshare in an attempt to compensate. Her overcorrections lead to self-sabotage by her revealing too much or drinking in excess. Romano immediately dives right into this narrative in the first verse, revealing the thoughts that race through her mind. The song begins with the lyrics: “Guess there’s death in introductions// Maybe I have to say something// Cause I want you to think I’m cool and pretty and stuff like that.” These lines transport the listener directly into Romano’s mind, allowing them to feel the insecurities and anxieties that she feels in these situations. Throughout the remainder of the track, she illustrates this tense scene in vivid detail in a manner that only brilliant songwriters are capable of. In the chorus, she instantly reveals the hook with the lyrics: “I’m standing in the kitchen// My guts on the floor.” As she continues, she describes the uncomfortable feelings felt by the other person, and their desire to leave the situation. She sings lyrics such as, “And now I’m nauseous and you don’t care” and “I’m throwing up my story while he’s looking at the door.” She believes that she is perceived as annoying for telling her secrets to a stranger at a party, but she cannot control this overwhelming urge to share. Regardless if the other person is truly bothered, she feels as if she is a burden to those around her. Romano perfectly describes this intense feeling of anxiety. With “Guts”, she showcases her unmistakable songwriting talent while reassuring listeners who resonate that they are not alone in these difficult thoughts.
“Guts” pleasantly surprises fans by bringing back Romano’s indie-rock origins. The track starts with a lower-end guitar riff, that is quickly met by the vocals. As the verse continues, the guitar remains steady until the pre-chorus, where the drums and the synth kick in. In the chorus, the bass takes control while the rest of the production continues in the background. The tempo is fast-paced, exemplifying the intense emotions and anxiety behind the lyrics. Then, the second verse begins, keeping the powerful bass and the beat of the chorus, without overpowering Romano’s vocals. Within the verse, the bass slows down to emphasize each note, but the beat remains fast. When the chorus returns, so does the production found previously. There is also a guitar solo that is layered with this production, before breaking into the bridge. When the bridge begins, the beat is muted and replaced with a soothing guitar that provides an airy atmosphere to the track, pulling focus on the vulnerable lyrics. When the final chorus begins, there is an additional layer of synth added to the track. At the end, there is another guitar solo with muffled vocals in the background, before the music mutes and Romano ends the track with the statement: “So I guess I’ll clean ‘em up.” This provides the perfect ending to the emotional song, as she tells the audience that she is left to clean up the metaphorical mess she made—alone. “Guts” is brilliantly written in a way that represents anxiety not only through the lyrics, but through the clever production.
Caroline Romano is a 21-year-old Nashville-based singer-songwriter from Mississippi. At only fifteen-years-old, she released her debut single, “Masterpiece feat. Jacob Whitesides”. Two years later, she relocated to Nashville to pursue her full-time career as an artist. At eighteen-years-old, she released her single, “I Still Remember (ft. R3HAB)”, which kickstarted her impressive rise to fame. The song entered the Billboard Dance Chart and has over 3-Million streams on Spotify alone. In February 2022, Romano released her highly-anticipated debut album, Oddities & Prodigies. “Guts” is her fifth single since her album, including an R&B collaboration with Julian Rose on their track, “Fighting A War”. Romano’s music is known for its honest lyrics about being young in today’s world, which has garnered her a dedicated fan base. Due to her unmistakable talent, she has earned appreciation from recognizable industry contributors such as Hollywood Life, EUPHORIA, Sweet High, and Just Jared.
Written By Karlee Skipper