The queen of pop is back! Taylor Swift released "Lover", her first solo owned album, on Aug. 23, mending all of her past personas together to showcase the growth she has made in the cutthroat music industry.
She opens the album with the track, “I Forgot That You Existed”, reminiscent of “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” off her “reputation” album. It references someone who has taken advantage of Taylor and manipulated her into caring for them (specifically Kim and Kanye West), ultimately to turn their back on her. A powerful opener to the 18 track album.
“It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference,” Swift sings.
Swift made an intelligent choice with this as the first track. The song suggests that all of the previous negative relationships in her life have led her to a place where she no longer has hatred toward those who hurt her, but apathy.
The titular track is a ballad that will hopefully replace Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” The melody is beautiful and relaxing and met with haunting vocals. It is hard to listen to this track without drifting off into a daydream. She pays homage to her lover with subtle snare brush strokes and simple plucks of violin.
In the fourth track of “Lover,” “The Man,” she speaks on the inequality between men and women and how it is unfair she is being criticized for her success because of her gender. Taylor is referring to the legal battle she is currently facing with Scooter Braun, in which he purchased all of the rights to her six albums for 300 million dollars. Swift is planning to re-record all six albums in 2020.
“Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” is set in high school. The paparazzi is the football team, scoring all of these points against her and spreading rumors about her to paint her. The media sees her as a diva who will inevitably get her heart broken by the heartbreak prince because she always gets her heart broken.
“And now the storm is coming, but/ It’s you and me, that’s my whole world.”
Swift is proving to paparazzi that after thirteen years of being ridiculed in the limelight, she has made the touchdown against media before it had the chance to get her first. It is a song of personal progression and touches on her political stance, suggesting that she stands with the democratic party, shown by the lyric: “We paint the town blue.”
The weakest track on “Lover” is the childish anthem “Me!”, a collaboration with Brendon Urie of “Panic! at the Disco.” The song celebrates uniqueness, however the lyrics are stale and the rhymes resemble a nursery rhyme. Swift gets away with this track because the song is supposed to showcase her having fun and not taking anything too seriously.
The strongest collaboration on “Lover” is track 12, “Soon You’ll Get Better,” which features the Dixie Chicks. It is a beautiful guitar picking piece Swift wrote about her mom who was diagnosed with cancer. You will need a box of tissues for this track. This one seems like a sequel to “The Best Day,” track 12 off her “Fearless” album, where she sings about her mom getting Swift through her school days and always being there for her.
Swift wraps up the album with “Daylight,” a five minute ballad about her love for her lover. “I’ve been sleeping so long in a 20 year dark night. And now I see daylight.” The production on this track makes the listener feel the daylight that Swift is proclaiming she sees.
The closing lyrics say, “I want to be defined by the things I love. Not the things I hate. Not the things I’m afraid of, I’m afraid of things that haunt me in the middle of the night, I just think that you are what you love.” I believe that Taylor Swift loves happiness.