Taylor Swift has spent much of his career defending his good musical faith and creative decisions. In her first country-oriented albums, she tirelessly established time and again that the hopes, dreams and romantic tribulations of a teenager deserved respect. With the versatility of 2012 Red, Swift left its mark successfully in genres beyond the country, while in 2014 1989 It was a full and triumphant push to list A of pop stardom. Of course, along with that great fame, there was greater scrutiny in his love life, his squad of friendship, supposed friends and his position on current events. Swift took this review of the 2017 pop mosaic seriously Reputation, which deviated between sweet romantic snapshots and scathing lyrics directed towards the actions of several Haters ™.
Reputation He did not hit the mark, since both his music and his lyrics seemed like an exhausting hyperbole. But in interviews around LoverLaunch, Swift's emotional clarity has been impossible to lose. She has placed a high fence around her private life and long-term relationship with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn; Be honest about your position on LGBTQ rights and policy for the first time; and frequently stressed The importance of artists owning their work. It may not be surprising that Lover—The first album with music that he owns directly, thanks to a new contract with a great label — finds Swift in a safe space, sure that he has no need to prove himself to anyone.
This freedom also means Lover It is one of his strongest and best known albums to date. In fact, from the first song, Swift narrators speak from a position of power. "I forgot you existed" captures the exact moment a switch is activated and someone no longer allows a toxic person (an ex? A former friend? A bad co-worker?) To take up space in the brain. Swift is deliciously frivolous as he speaks half sentences like: "I forgot you existed / It's not love, it's not hate, it's just indifference."
A deliciously pointed clue called "The Man" is equally simple, since Swift unequivocally describes the double standards to which strong women like her are subject. "If I went out to showcase my dollars, I would be a bitch, not a dancer," she sings in a crisp and meaningless tone. And the simple electro-pop "You Need To Calm Down", similar to a knife, stands out for the wild growl that directs towards the homophobes: "You prefer to be in the dark ages / Make that poster / You must have taken all night" .
As the last song implies, LoverThe protagonists are also encouraged to share the wisdom of the real fight and the real conversation. The source material naturally includes heartbreak; the melancholic "cruel summer" details an unfortunate adventure with a "bad, bad boy" while the Someone great"Death By A Thousand Cuts", inspired by him, is an agonized look at the experience of trying to overcome someone. However, trying to extrapolate information about Swift's real-life relationships is useless: LoverThe lyrics of the songs are aspirational visions of the daily joys of love that (mostly) do not make explicit reference to Alwyn or other boyfriends. Instead, their lyrics throw enough hints of bread crumbs into reality to make the songs more credible.
But it is certainly no coincidence that LoverThe most resonant songs involve narrators bold enough to get into romances with real bets, as it has done in recent years. "I Think He Knows" is a cheeky song about the first vertiginous blush of a reciprocal crush, a lyrical sweet spot of Swift: "He got that youthful look that I like in a man / I'm an architect, I'm making the plans." "Afterglow "Meanwhile, he stars in a contrite protagonist who is to blame for bading and hurting his partner, and the protagonist of" Cornelia Street "realizes that thinking about a breakup means that a place with shared memories would be too painful to visit him again . Only "London Boy", among his checking of names too convenient for both current fashion collaborator Stella McCartney and London landmarks, falls on the wrong side of corny. (Those who noticed parallels with Ed Sheeran's equally syrupy Galway Girl are not far away.)
About the music, Lover coincides with this progressive perspective, since it is more focused than Reputation and has smart sound details throughout. The weak church bells occasionally ring in the background of "Death By A Thousand Cuts", a rather hurtful sound when you are caring for a broken heart, and a chorus of background harmonies adds subtle warmth and enthusiasm to multiple songs.
In even better news, Lover features the kind of uniform sound humor board last heard on 1989 The album combines contemporary touchstones, think in pastel tones, indie-electro-pop Carly Rae Jepsen style, with lots of piano and modernized twists on retro flourishes. The "I Forgot That You Existed", with a horn accent, is a gum from a group of touching girls, for example, while a lush "Paper Rings" is new wave surf-pop glamor. The main song, which Swift wrote herself, is even better: with its pizzicato strings and its waltz rhythm, it is a nebulous folk indie that evokes the violet sighs of Mazzy Star and a vintage country torch song.
Swift wisely adheres to a smaller core group of writing and production partners in Lover, which also helps the cohesion of the album. Annie Clark co-writes and adds guitar to "Cruel Summer", while a partnership with Joel Little produces both bright pop rainbows (the Brendon Urie with rom-com break "ME!") And cinematic melancholy (the horror show synth- pop "Miss American and Prince Heartbreaker"). The role of Jack Jackoff has long been in his best and simplest work with Swift, while the couple gets into the funk-pop ("I Think He Knows") and the scarce R&B reminiscent of James Blake (the "False" God").
But nevertheless, LoverThe wonder of the dream is "Soon you will improve", Swift's collaboration with Antonoff and his favorite Dixie Chicks. The heartbreaking song refers to the episodes of real-life cancer of Swift's mother ("What am I supposed to do? / If there is no one"), as the country's superstars bring violin, banjo and relaxing harmonies. It is no accident that "Soon I & # 39; ll Get Better" is brutally honest and the most country melody I have made in years: with the theme, the song feels like the Swift version of a warm blanket or comforting food, a setback to a time when her mother's health was better, and she was a young and ambitious country hoping to find comfort while listening to the Dixie Chicks.
"I once thought that love would be burning red / But it's golden, like daylight," Swift sings LoverThe ballad fades closer, "Daylight". Although the line is a callback for RedTitle of the song, Swift is also quite insightful pointing out his own personal growth. For all its rich production and lyrical complications, Lover It has a simple premise: to embrace gratitude and listen to the ideas that arise after a recalibration of perspective. As usual, Lover It's an album that Swift made for his fans. But it also feels like a record she made for herself, without the burden of external expectations and her own past.