Taylor Swift has moved on.
As the first track from her new album Lover kicks in you can immediately feel the pop megastar letting go of the drama that engulfed her life over the past three years, defining her previous effort Reputation.
When the chorus of opener I Forgot That You Existed hits, you realise something has changed with Swift. She sounds content and happy. This is emphasised by her bursting out laughing on the track’s final chorus. She’s no longer out for revenge; she’s in love and she’s ready to tell the world about it.
As the title suggests, Lover is an album firmly rooted in love. Although this is not the first time Swift has written on the subject, her first UK hit was called Love Story after all, Lover sees the musician delve into the human condition much deeper than on any of her previous records.
Whether it be the odes to her partner – British actor Joe Alwyn – on tracks such London Boy and Cornelia Street, her LGBT+ supporting anthem You Need To Calm Down or the empowering Brendon Urie collaboration ME!, Taylor is examining with more intensity than ever before what it means to love yourself and love others.
One of the most striking moments on the record comes from track 4’s The Man, where Taylor questions if she would she be put under the same amount of media scrutiny for her life and her career decisions if she was male. The resounding answer is no.
Another highlight of the album is the Dixie Chicks collaboration Soon You’ll Get Better. It’s easy to forget Taylor’s roots as a country artist, especially as her last two albums have been very heavily pop-influenced, but the track provides a knowing nod to where she started. It’s also, a bop.
Although she’s experimented with genre over the years, something that Taylor has never wavered from throughout her career is her ability to write a big chorus. Lover is chocked full of them, with I Think He Knows, Cruel Summer and Death By A Thousand Cuts being prime examples of what makes her one of the best chorus writers in the world.
Lover is most certainly Taylor’s most accomplished album to date, and at 18 tracks long will give her fans plenty to dive into. The record feels like a culmination of everything that she’s learnt throughout her career so far and is a clear example of someone brimming full of confidence and at the very top of their game.
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1. I Forgot That You Existed
2. Cruel Summer
4. The Man
5. The Archer
6. I Think He Knows
7. Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
8. Paper Rings
9. Cornelia Street
10. Death By a Thousand Cuts
11. London Boy
12. Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. Dixie Chicks)
13. False God
14. You Need To Calm Down
16. ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco)
17. It’s Nice To Have a Friend
Listen to Lover on Spotify: