It’s been a month now since Taylor Swift released her seventh studio album, Lover.
As I’ve listened to nothing else since that day, I think I’m in a position now to share my thoughts on some of the tracks. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Taylor Swift and I have to say that this album lived up to all of my expectations.
“I thought that it would kill me but it didn’t: it isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.”
The opening track, I Forgot That You Existed holds a brilliant message for me. It reminds me of a very specific feeling that you find yourself experiencing without warning. When you’ve spent so long overthinking a situation or pining over a crush or resenting an enemy… then, without you realising, it starts to fade away until one day you stop and go, ‘wow, I haven’t thought about that in ages… and I’m thinking about it now but I don’t feel anything’. To me, that’s how you really know you’re over something. And the more intense that feeling was, the more satisfying it is to realise you’ve forgotten it.
“I cried like a baby coming home from the bar… I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”
Cruel Summer is some of Taylor Swift’s best lyrical story telling. When I listen to it I feel like I’m right there in the situation about which it was written. Sneaking around with someone just for fun, then falling in love and being faced with the choice between breaking your own heart by calling it off or carrying on and risking the agony of that unrequited love growing stronger. And then ‘he looks up grinning like the devil’ because he’s been feeling the same way all along and actually it’s all gonna be okay. Argh! I love it! I also think it’s brilliant to belt in the car with the windows down.
“I blew things out of proportion, now you’re blue. Put you in jail for something you didn’t do”
I relate hard to Afterglow. In this track Taylor sings about the excruciating guilt one feels when their insecurities cloud their view of a good thing that’s right there in front of them. I’m like this. I catastrophise. I can take a minor issue and turn it into something much bigger, panic about this seemingly huge issue, convince myself that the whole relationship will come crashing down and then start preparing myself for that by creating distance and blame. It’s like a form of self sabotage, but when you take a step back and realise that you overthought the whole thing, sometimes you have to say “That was all in my head, and I nearly let it destroy us. Please forgive me.”
“My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue, all’s well that ends well to end up with you”
Lover’s title track was my favourite of the four pre-release tracks. It’s a classic love song; from the bridge that reads like wedding vows and references Shakespeare to the timeless instrumental lilt. I’m lucky that I have someone who I think of whenever I hear that song and even though he’s not a fan of Taylor Swift, one of the first things I did when I heard it was play it to him, like reading out a love letter and saying ‘this is how I feel about you.’ Also there’s a line that reads, “I’ve loved you three summers now honey, but I want ’em all,” which matches our timeline too so that’s kinda satisfying.
“I once believed love would be burning red, but it’s golden, like daylight”
In Daylight, Taylor describes how this new chapter of her life feels like a reawakening after the dark time during which she wrote Reputation – Daylight almost became the album title until she realised that was “a little on the nose”. She touches on letting things go, leaving the darkness behind, and most poignantly realising what real love feels like. She cleverly references Red, her 4th studio album, which was about all the parts of love that feel like the colour Red: the anger, the lust, the despair, the danger. The parts that are romanticised in the movies but are actually pretty distressing in real life. Daylight is Taylor professing that, for her anyway, love should be like Daylight: nourishing, refreshing, warm, healthy, glowing. Not always perfect, but always there to greet you after a long, dark night.
I wish I could write a little paragraph on all 18 tracks, and maybe I will eventually, but 5 will do for now. Listen to the album for yourself and let me know what you think. Which are your favourites? Do you agree with my take on the ones I’ve mentioned? What other music releases have you been loving lately?