Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision
Taylor Swift’s 7th official studio album release Lover, is the most well rounded creation of her dominant musical career. If you are a fan of Taylor Swift, you will flat out adore this effort. It is a sweet collection of the progression, beauty, and turmoil that has encompassed Swift’s career personally and professionally. Call her what you like, but the girl has a knack for making quite the impact. In one way or another! And this time around is no different. Wrapped up in a nicely made package, she returns to the many phases of her 13-year tenure with 18-tracks new tracks in her catalog. The progression of the American sweetheart that gave you Sweet 16 butterflies on early subtle bangers like “Teardrops On My Guitar” is still showing what has made her a bonafide star.
In true Swift fashion, the LP’s lead single “ME!” doesn’t even come close to the best material offered on the project. Several others take precedence, such as the savvy “Cruel Summer”. Fitting in like a charm on her journey back to creative fluidity (Think 1989’s “Blank Space”). Nothing terribly new, but does what she does best, singing: “I’m drunk coming home from the bar // And I cried like a baby in the back of the car // Snuck in through the garden gate // Every night that summer just to seal my fate // And I screamed for whatever its worth // I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard!”
A reminder of just how well Swift relates effortlessly with finesse through her music. “Death By A Thousand Cuts” is in the same balanced boat. She brings back to her youthful charisma on the brilliant “Corenelia Street” as she reflects coyly on times with a former lover, (Think classics like 1989’s “Style”, and Red’s “22”). She continues to cruise on the affectionate ”London Boy” belting alongside a sing-songy hook: “I love my hometown, just like Motown, you know I love a London Boy // But darlin I fancy you // They say home is where the heart is // but I love English.”
And speaking of boys, are the cool and smooth sounds of “The Man” which is both daring and refreshing. As she touches on gender bias playing devil’s advocate on the comically but defiant track belting: “And we would toast to me, oh, let the players play // I’d be just like Leo, in Saint-Tropez!” Casually name-dropping actor Leonardo DiCaprio for example. Sorry Leo! On that same note, never shy of giving her opinion, she makes a plausible effort to bring a nice dose of culturally awareness within the LGBT community, on the popular “You Need To Calm Down”. With the flavorful video to match, and a slew of celebrity cameos in tow!
In hindsight, the parallel that separates this album from the others comes in the most unexpected of ways. Such as on reflective ballads like the alluring “The Archer”, which is another unassuming standout along Lover’s artistic voyage. Showing increasing growth, which has been a stark absence from Swift’s music up until now. Not because she wasn’t capable, it just wasn’t necessary. But now the princess of pop is at a point where there is nothing left to prove.
Later on “False God” she sings sentimentally like more of an optimistic paramour behind a beautiful string of saxophone melodies (Notably different from that of a scorned narrative on 2017’s Reputation). However, she does get another dig in on a former ex on the snarky but cute “I Forgot That You Existed”. “Soon You’ll Get Better” which boasts one of the two features on the project with The Dixie Chicks, is a sweet ode to her mother who has battled a bout of cancer throughout the years.
On the title cut of the LP “Lover”, she starts out in a nonchalant tone:
“We could leave the Christmas lights up until January // This is our place // We make the rules.” Is perhaps a perfect ending to a tale of all tales, because when it’s all said and done, there are remnants of a familiar Taylor Swift here and there. It is more emotionally mature than Red, a little more on the grown-up side than 1989, with just enough more splash of womanly perspective than the bitter attitude that reflected and fueled the frustration of Reputation. Evolution is inevitable, but as usual Swift embraces it like a pro on Lover, because in all reality, this is not really a new Taylor or the old Taylor. This is simply a happy Taylor. And we are just glad we get to experience that happiness with her.