New Taylor Swift Album Review – To love or not to Love(r)

Everybody and their ex-boyfriends are talking about Taylor Swift’s new album, Lover, which dropped today August 23, 2019. Of course, we all knew about it months in advance and have already been listening to some of the singles. I say “we,” but honestly, and I’m sorry Taylor… but I haven’t really enjoyed much of your newer material. If I wanted to hear about how deeply your best friend hurt you or how you caught your boyfriend cheating, I’d go back to high school and sit in the cafeteria during lunch. That being said, an 18-track album is nothing to overlook, it’s impressive, whether the lyrics impress me or not.

This is the seventh studio album from Taylor Swift. She’s a talented star, no doubt about that. She can play percussion, guitar, she can sing and she can write, but I wish she would do more with those skills. It could just be that I am no longer her target audience. Maybe I need to write a song about how I am so over dramatic, whiny, girl pop music. Although it is fun picking out the people she calls out in the songs. I think if you make it into the lyrics of a Taylor Swift song then you know you’ve made it. This album isn’t bad, and if you’re a fan of Taylor Swift then you will love the album. Fans of New York City might also enjoy this album, Lover seems to have even more New York references than her supposed “New York” album, 1989.

Let’s break down the album

    1. I Forgot That You Existed – See this is exactly what I don’t like, it might be catchy, but it is so pretentious and I cannot stand when she stops singing and then makes a statement. Yes, I realize I’m going to get hate on this post, but “it isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.” Right?
    2. Cruel Summer – Again, the song itself is catchy, but I’m feeling meh.
    3. Lover – For this being the title of the album, I thought it was interesting that it seemed the most dated. It almost has a 50’s or 60’s vibe to it, it might be the slow drum beat or the crooning. I can totally picture some kind of Grease spoof out on the street with Taylor dropping the flag to signal the street cars to start their race.
    4. The Man – Gah. It sounds like the others. This song represents a mantra for all feminists out there. Taylor sings about how what she is wearing doesn’t matter, she’s sick of running as fast as she can and wondering if she will get there quicker if she were a man. In this song I actually really can get behind most of the lyrics, maybe because I’m feeling spunky today. However, I am slightly annoyed that the music and the beat sound so much like everything else she releases. Interesting that there is a direct mention of Leo in this one, hmmm, Leonardo DiCaprio?
    5. The Archer – Ooooo. Okay, I like this one, this one actually has more of an indie vibe. It might very well be my favorite track on the song. She’s vulnerable and timid in this track, the feeling is more authentic and raw, less edgy. There you have it, I Christy Mannering, admit to the public that I enjoy this Taylor Swift song.
    6. I Think He Knows – Nope. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t like when she gets all spoken word, it’s annoying.
    7. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince – Is the whole school rolling the dice? Gah. Stop it. No they aren’t, when you’re in high school maybe it feels like the whole school is revolving around you, but girl you’re going to be 30 in December. “You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes / It’s you and me, there’s nothing like this / Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince (Okay).” Okay.
    8. Paper Rings – Hmm dreary nights and blue Mondays, this must be about time spent in London with her not-quite-so-new beau Joe Alwyn.
    9. Cornelia Street – Word on the street is that this stems from an experience in New York when she rented a house on Cornelia Street in the West Village. She sings about pining away for someone that she hopes she never loses. Good grief, woman.
    10. Death By A Thousand Cuts – “Saying goodbye is death by a thousand cuts / Flashbacks waking me up I get drunk / but it’s not enough.” Oh baby girl, please no, this is not the message you want to send to people. We’ve all been through some dark times, we all have felt the mourning period after a bad break up, yes, it sucks, but it means you’ve not found the right person. It means there is someone better for you out there. And it also means, you don’t need to have someone else in your life to.. well.. to live. Such a sad song.
    11. London Boy – As you may or may not know, Taylor Swift has a role in the upcoming movie Cats. In this song she sends love to a couple of her Cats co-stars Idris Elba and James Corden. I like the lyrics in this track, mostly, they are upbeat because she is singing about her current romance. She uses lyrics which remind me a bit of her song “A Place in the World.” So while I like it, I was also wondering why it sounded so familiar.
    12. Soon You’ll Get Better (featuring the Dixie Chicks) – I love the Dixie Chicks! This immediately made me happy, just to see they are featured in the song. It definitely does have a more pre-pop Taylor feel from back in her country days. This is another track on the album, which I genuinely appreciate. It’s an emotional song about her mom’s cancer diagnosis. I’m sure it was difficult to write and sing, gotta give her props for having the strength to put this on the album.
    13. False God – Don’t be fooled, this is not a song about religion, it’s actually, I think, about her current romance with Joe Alwyn. “Even if it’s a false god / We’d still worship / We might just get away with it / The altar is my hips / Even if it’s a false god / We’d still worship this love” she sings about being separated by an ocean and about how she wishes she could be his “favorite town” because she’s in New York. I’m curious to hear more about this song, I’m sure we will eventually.
    14. You Need To Calm Down – This song cracks me up. “Uh oh, you need to calm down / You’re being too loud.” I seriously want to write down the lyrics to this song and carry them around with me. There are a lot of things she sings that I just want to be able to use someday. I don’t necessarily like the song, but it’s very snarky and witty, which I love, like…”
      But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s PatrΓ³n
      ” Bahahaha! Love it.
    15. Taylor Swift 2019 by Glenn Francis
      Taylor Swift 2019 (Photo Credit: Glenn Francis)
      Afterglow – Um. Could this be Taylor admitting to being the reason a relationship failed? “Hey, it’s all me, in my head / I’m the one who burned us down / But it’s not what I meant / Sorry that I hurt you.” I can relate to this one, I have definitely been the reason why relationships have failed, mostly because of failing to communicate, sounds like this one is about a communication breakdown.
    16. ME! (featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco) Probably the most popular song on the album, the video for this video just leaves me with my mouth gaping. It’s true though, we know we will never find another like Taylor Swift. She is one of a kind. It is also true, you cannot spell awesome with ME!
    17. It’s Nice To Have A Friend – It is nice to have a friend. However, this song does nothing for me. Pick your chin up. Onward and upward.
    18. Daylight – You’ve listened to the entire 18-track album and now you can see daylight πŸ˜€ I kid. It’s an awakening, it’s a mantra, it’s a resolution.

    [Spoken Outro at the end of Daylight]
    I wanna be defined by the things that I love
    Not the things I hate
    Not the things that I’m afraid of, I’m afraid of
    Not the things that haunt me in the middle of the night (go listen to The Archer again)
    I, I just think that
    You are what you love (Not who loves you)

    My gripe with Taylor

    Okay, so maybe you need a bit of a back story. I saw Taylor Swift open for Rascal Flatts back when she was first starting out. We were near her hometown and at one point in the concert she went off on a tangent and talked about all the people in her school who thought she would never make it. It left a bad taste in my mouth, you know? And she hasn’t really grown out of that has she? I mean, music should be open and honest, it should be about emotion and life, but does it have to be so damn spiteful and do you have to drop names? No.

    Letting Go

    Clearly, though, I need to let it go and I have to say, writing this and listening to the new album has been somewhat therapeutic if you can believe that. Hopefully, in her next album she’ll sing and write about her present day and her future. Aren’t people getting tired of hearing about the backlog of dating woes? I know I am.

The four tracks I’d listen to again…

  1. The Archer
  2. Soon You’ll Get Better
  3. You Need to Calm Down
  4. Daylight