Little to say, 批评者 have far from restrained their judgment on the singer, commenting on everything from her relationships to her physical appearance to her bad blood with other celebrities, the last of which would be her inspiration for “Reputation.”
“You can either stand there and let the wave crash into you and you can try as hard as you can to fight something that’s more powerful and bigger than you, or you can dive under the water, hold your breath, wait for it to pass and while you’re down there, try to learn something,” Swift said in an interview with the Guardian over her feud with celebrities Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
With this new album, Swift stands her creative ground.
Critics will say that it is conventional pop, but then again, so is all pop music. Swift isn’t trying to be a revolutionary. After all, she already is. She’s making music for her fans, and it’s incredibly fun to listen to.
Her primary focus on this new record is her relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn, who she started dating back in 2016.
If I had to choose only one word to describe this album, it would be “fun.”
At 18 tracks and clocking in at just over an hour, the songs are made for the streaming era. She doesn’t dwell too much on each track, and before you know it, you are onto the next. This keeps the album from dragging and makes it consistently dynamic.
In the lead-up to the album, she released several singles, with the first, “Me!” in April.
When I first heard “Me!” I must admit that I was initially apprehensive. But then I remembered that this is Taylor Swift. She has yet to deliver an album that has been anything less than entertaining.
Her next release was “You Need To Calm Down,” which demonstrated her solidarity with the LGBTQ community and made her support for the Equality Act common knowledge, a bill that would offer protections for the LGBTQ community in housing and employment. The petition has gained half a millionsignatures thus far. In addition, she name drops the LGBTQ organization GLAAD and proclaims that “shade never made anybody less gay” with the music video featuring several popular LGBTQ celebrities.
However, there is much content to cover on the album itself, which is certain to sustain the hype with four deluxe editions.
The album opener, “I Forgot That You Existed,” keeps the cheeky lyrics from “Reputation,” while offering a transition between the two albums.
While “Reputation” had darker visuals, “Lover” has a bright pastel color palette. Yet, “I Forget That You Existed” offers a balance between the darkness of the former and the brightness of the latter through its lyrics, melody, and energy.
Fans are already speculating who the song is about, but little to say, she didn’t come to play.
“I forgot that you existed / it isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference,” Swift croons over a chill beat.
Next is the album highlight, “Cruel Summer,” a song first teased in the music video for “You Need To Calm Down.” Taylor Swift has been notorious in teasing her music, from cryptic posts on Instagram的 to hiding song and album titles in plain sight in her videos. Even the title of the album was hidden in the music video for “Me!.”
“Every choice that I make tends to get very-detailed oriented when it comes to hinting and easter eggs. So when I’m planning these things, the whole time I’m rubbing my hands together like ‘they’re going to love this, they’re going to be so excited,’” Swift said.
The title track, “情人，” is about as romantic as you would expect. Written in 6/8 time signature, “Lover” is an unorthodox pop song that revels in the joys of being in love.
Following is the synth ballad, “The Archer.” Fans speculate that the most emotional songs from Swift’s discography always end up as the fifth track on her albums, and this would help to confirm that theory.
“Who could ever leave me darling / But who could stay?” she echoes.
In “The Man,” Swift poses the question of what her career would have been like if she were a male singer in the industry rather than a female one.
“I’m so sick of running, as fast as I can / wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man,” she ruminates.
“The Man” has quickly become a fan favorite, and its message is resounding.
“As women, we deal with perception issues. There are specific words that are used for women, and specific words used for men who do the same exact thing,” Swift said. “A man does something ‘strategic.’ A woman does something ‘manipulative.’ When we talk about gender equality, it starts at perception. The lyrics in this song is what I’ve been trying to say for a very long time.”
She even discusses events of a more personal nature on this album, such as her collaboration with Dixie Chicks, “Soon You’ll Get Better,” about her mother’s struggle with cancer. It brought tears to my eyes as I recalled the last song she dedicated to her mother, “The Best Day” which was released nearly a decade ago. Both are country ballads and evoke a sense of strong emotion.
“And I hate to make this about me / but who am I supposed to talk to / what am I supposed to do / if there’s no you?” Swift whispers over a soothing guitar.
My personal favorite song is “Death By A Thousand Cuts,” which combines clever lyrics with experimental production, all tied together by a haunting melody.
Swift described how the song, and the rest of the album, came to be.
“[Breaking up] is an important part of the story to tell.” Swift said. “That was when I really started to reimagine the scope of this album. It’s not just about flowers and sunshine, because that’s not it at all. There is a wide-ranging emotional spectrum on this album, and that’s why I love it so much.”
Songs like “London Boy” and “Paper Rings” remind me of the romantic, wholesome pop music that we are missing from the radio nowadays, while others like “Cornelia Street” are more melancholic.
However, the album’s greatest flaw is its lack of cohesiveness. The 18 tracks all channel different vibes, that, when coupled together, feel mismatched. Nonetheless, what the album lacks in a cohesive narrative it makes up for in fun.
I’ve always been a fan of Taylor Swift. Some of my earliest memories are of being in the car to her 2008 album “Fearless” on a CD. I’ve missed the energy in music that is displayed on full blast here and it’s safe to say that as soon as the final track “Daylight” ended, I was ready to play “Lover” all over again.
扎卡里扈利 is a junior and Scot Scoop editor who is deeply interested in researching and podcasting. They would consider themselves to be an activist for various human rights causes. To check out their portfolio, click here.