When Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift accepting her award for ‘Best Female Video’ at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, claiming that Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” should’ve won instead, calling it one of the best videos of all time, nobody thought the drama would still be one of the hottest topics in 2016.
At first, they made up, but when Kanye’s song “Famous” came out, it brought some misunderstanding about lyrics that Taylor claimed she didn’t approve of.
Kim Kardashian-West then released footage of her husband, when he was in a studio recording of The Life of Pablo, making a call to the pop star asking her about the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex”. They discussed, changed their point of views, finally came to an agreement. Yet, there was more controversy with the next line, “Why? I made that b***h famous (God damn)”.
All of this led to Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album Reputation, the darkest longplay in her discography. She was angry, disappointed, looking for a lover that understood what she was going through as a biggest pop star on the planet. “My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me…”, she sung on the bittersweet ballad “Delicate”.
However with Lover, her newest album, the dark era is over, and despite what she said on the song “Look What You Made Me Do“, that old Taylor is dead, actually old Taylor is back, but this time she has more music industry experience after all the backlash. Lessons were learnt, so she could move on.
No surprises as to why Lover opens with a minimalistic song called “I Forgot You Existed“, where she sings about finding peace amidst her pain and struggles. “It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference”, she repeats throughout the catchy chorus. As she let some things go, she could easily come back to delivering her candy love songs.
“Cruel Summer” is a brilliant pop jam with a bit of melancholy in it, and it became one of the tracks from the album that was heavily discussed on Twitter, as fans thought it should’ve been a standalone single.
“Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes / What doesn’t kill me makes me want you more”, these verses are the proof that not only romantic Taylor showed up again, but what’s more, she still got some sense of humor and her sarcastic writing remains priceless. “I love you – ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard”, she adds ironically.
Most of the songs are supposedly dedicated to Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The ballad “Lover” takes us all to the future, when the couple would probably get married and live happily ever after. “Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover”, she confesses honestly.
The album’s title track also got a beautiful, warm music video, starring her long time dancer Christian Owens, that could be played all over Christmas time. On bubblegum record “London Boy”, she’s reflects on coupling life in England. “I enjoy walking Camden Market in the afternoon”, she sings with cheers. The trip to London is now a must for Taylors fans!
The sound of Lover is not far away from she has presented to us before, but it gets closer to 1989 than Reputation. The slow-motion record called “The Archer” is a dreamy and blurry song, where she used the simplest metaphor as you could think about relationship – Cupid.
At first, the hazy and dark “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” seems to be another simple parallel to Taylor’s high school romance, but many believe it’s the first time she became politically vocal in her music, as she portraits Trump’s America. Is Taylor finally woke?
The singer also opens up about her some personal struggles. “Soon You’ll Get Better” is a very emotional song, written for her mother who was diagnosed with cancer in April 2015, then re-diagnosed in March 2019.
This could be surprising for many, but Taylor also decided to speak on sexism on this album. On her blurry anthem simply called “The Man”, the American singer is asking how her decisions would be commented upon, if she were a man.
She also stands up for the LGBTQ+ community. On the breezy track “You Need To Calm Down”, she calls out all of the haters, homophobes and morons. “Shade never made anybody less gay”, that line goes down in history. Worth to mention, the music video just won ‘Video of The Year’ at the MTV Video Music Awards 2019. Isn’t it ironic, that it all happened 10 years after that Kanye feud?
The radio-friendly, bright and lively record titled “Paper Rings” brings Carly Rae Jepsen vibes. Through the whole Lover album, there’s that late ‘80s synth pop feeling. Jack Anonoff, who produced tracks on the album, is also known for working with the aforementioned Carly, but he has also worked with Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Troye Sivan, so that reflective and plaintive sound is understandable.
The next few songs like “Cornelia Street” and “Death By A Thousand Cuts” flows naturally into each other, when cloudy “False God” is strongly based around sax and trap.
“But we might just get away with it / Religions in your lips / Even if its a false god / Wed still worship”, she almost whispers over dirty beat. “ME!” is a super sweet pop cut featuring Brendon Urie from Panic at the Disco, known as the least liked single from Lover by her fans.
In a chat with fans last night, she noted that the longplay was nearly named after its closer “Daylight”. As Lover covers a full range of human emotion, and going with this for the album title, it encapsulates the super pop star at her peak, and also as a regular woman in love, with her ups and downs. We think both titles would have been retable.
Lover is a natural reaction for everything that happened and is still happening in Taylor Swift’s life. The record is her most ultimate album to date, showing that she’s at her musical best when she leaves anger behind her. To sum up, not only the record itself, but also the singer’s private stories, you could just simply say: love always win. And here, it won again.
Taylor Swift’s Lover album is out now via Republic, purchase it on iTunes here, and stream it on Spotify below.
Words by Julia Borowczyk