First off- I love Taylor Swift. There I said it. I do, I really love her. She’s proven time and time again that her thoughtfulness in theming and clever word play will always be her strong suit. She doesn’t shy away from saying how she truly feels in song and has been pegged as the breakup song starlet of our generation.
As she matures and begins her journey into her late twenties and early thirties, I wonder as a thirty something myself how well her themes will translate. In “Lover” she brands herself as the same starlet not afraid to speak the truth of her life but this time around it’s from a different perspective. She’s truly in love.
The honesty in some of the songs about the legit struggles of being in a long term relationship in your late 20s early 30s struck a chord with me, and I’m here for it but...
Is her new sound genuine? Or is it just piggy-backing on the trend of 80s purposeful pop? These questions became apparent to me after reading Rolling Stones review of the album. I was flabbergasted to find my queen Carly Rae Jepsen’s name in the article and the subtle jab that came along with it.
Upon hearing Swift’s song “Cruel Summer” it’s almost impossible not to think of Carly Rae and her catalog of 80s nostalgia rooted deep within her synth beats. Carly sets the trends, Taylor follows them. There I said it. Gag and tie time to a post and burn me alive. I just blurted witchcraft at you!
I spent most of the afternoon dissecting the album with my friend, Sierra. She said it best - "There's nothing wrong with the album, and a few songs are REALLY good but most of them sound like things she's done before. She's talented but I wish she'd push the boundaries. I mean- how is this music more celebrated than Lizzo?"
Nail on the fucking head babe.
It’s also hard not to compare Taylor’s more outspoken agenda with current events in the mainstream media and come to the conclusion she might only be riding the liberal train because it’s expedient to do so for her career.
But I’d like to think she isn’t that crass. At the end of the day she’s still a human, and a woman at that trying to guide herself into her 30s with some dignity. I say this because I too, became more politically astute in my late 20s and early thirties. After taking what seemed like an 8 year nap on the revolution when Obama was in office, most of us are on high alert. Everything pre Trump is but a blur. Everything post Trump will define the rest of our lives. I hope it’s just a weird coincidence she has taken on these topics and it has nothing to do with money or her career. I’m an eternal optimist masked by a deep level of sarcasm. So sue me.
Regardless of political or career agenda, my biggest issue with "Lover" is editing. Do we really need 18 songs from Taylor Swift? Or anyone for that matter? I'm a fan of cohesion and deliberate theming. I want a Goddamn story. Home girl needs to reestablish her editing skills STAT.
So I leave you with my edited version of “Lover”.
- Cruel Summer
- Paper Rings
- The Man
- I Think He Knows
- Death By A Thousand Cuts
- Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
- Cornelia Street
- The Archer
- It's Nice To Have A Friend
Don’t @ me about Carly. Clearly you need to look past “Call Me Maybe” and give her a chance. Then again you probably liked “Look What You Made Me Do” and were too young or not even born yet to know it uses the same beat as “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt”.
P.S.S. - After writing this and even more in depth discussion with other music friends and the HMBB (Heavy Metal Bearded Boyfriend) I've come to the conclusion that Taylor might have peaked with "Blank Space".
Just give me a half country / half pop album with 1960s Dolly Parton vibes already. The song "Lover" is a great jumping off point for that.
Don't follow the trends, MAKE THEM B.B.