Well hello there. Guess who randomly released an album at midnight and shook the world because she owns it? If you said Taylor Swift, Miss Americana herself, then you’d be absolutely correct.
No one expected it. We’re still all basking in the glory of her last album, Lover. And whilst I’m annoyed that we won’t be getting Cruel Summer as a single, how amazing is it to be getting a full-on album instead!
Like normal, I haven’t heard the songs before, and I’ll write about my thoughts on each one as I hear it. Feel free to listen along as you read! I’ll then do a full review at the end. These are just my thoughts and they can change from time to time, but on first listening, this is what my fingers typed.
Oh, ok yeah this is chill. I love how 5 songs on this album are explicit, like yes TS!! I just love how chill it is. I didn’t know whether to expect country or not with this album, but I love the chill pop sound with this one. I love that the whole album is full of stories, some from Taylor’s view and some made up. It’s nice to imagine where inspiration may have struck, but I love the lyrics with this one. The one hehehe.
wow this is so so lovely. I think this is gonna be the “single” from the album as there’s a music video attached (I haven’t watched it yet). It’s weird because this isn’t her normal larger than life pop single, so it’s really nice to see her experimenting with a more indie style. Oh, wow I really love this. It reminds me of her song Red, that we see her version of love but what she’s describing, some people see it as bad. We know she’s talking about love and life and beautifulness, but I love how it isn’t always perfect. Yet it is perfect because the singer will always feel this love.
the last great american dynasty
Omg dynasty is my fave show!!!! I can imagine this vinyl spinning behind me whilst I’m eating with friends and it being a sweet, light pop soundtrack to the evening. I freaking love it!! I just adore the story this song is telling. I just adore songs that tell stories in such beautiful ways that don’t let the idea of a song change it. “and then it was bought by me” OMG WHAT “I HAD A MARVELLOUS TIME RUINING EVERYTHING” omg what a line, I love that it could be from the perspective of someone, or Taylor herself after a career of people creating drama. Ugh, love it.
that isn’t Taylor. Oh, hahaha it’s featuring Bon Iver hahhahaa. The lyrics in this are just so gorgeous. The story is of a couple who are comparing their relationship to a film, saying how they understand that they’re toxic for each other and how it hasn’t ended well before. They love each other but need to leave. “you’re not my homeland anymore” so many of Taylor’s songs reference home or being/going to a place so it’s nice to see that ripple through her new work too.
my tears ricochet
Omg track 5 is always the big emotional one, let’s go!!! Wow, this one looks at a relationship of someone who has been so hurt by the one she loves and she’s questioning what she deserves. “if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?” this album has looked heavily at relationships so far, and I like how this one follows someone who is confused by it all “I can go anywhere I want anywhere I want, just not home” it’s so sad to hear of this emotion and sadness and confusion. This really is a powerful one, and I think something that will hit people who have been through something similar. This whole song has so many metaphors for battle and it’s sad to think that a relationship can have so many. Even at the funeral, the lover always has the higher end.
oooh this sounds so indie and pretty. Again, we’re looking at a relationship and I don’t know if the person who sees themselves as a mirrorball is a good person or not. I think they could give their whole heart for love, but it sometimes doesn’t always go to plan. I think this song is very Taylor, she’s trying to please everyone and holding onto hope to not fall down.
7 is my lucky number so this song better be good. Oh, wow this literally doesn’t sound like Taylor at all, her voice really has tried to keep this album new and different as well as the general sound. This reminds me of her track from lover “it’s nice to have a friend.” The idea of running away, especially with these kid thoughts of big dreams and how easy it is when it isn’t like that at all. I like how simple and pretty this song appears, yet it tells such a heart-breaking tale that I can’t quite put my finger on yet it’s swimming around my mind. The strings ooooh yes baby!!
For the 8th song, we have the 8th month. We’re back to this whispery indie sound which I really love. I love the idea of living such beautiful summers as a young person surrounded by friends and the best memories, but that’s the thing, these times won’t last forever. The months slip away like the heat and leave us holding onto memories, just like Taylor has mentioned in so many songs before. I love how the whole album focuses on a whole journey of a relationship, whereas this focuses on just a month. I love this song and the imagery, but it’s also so sad. “remember when I pulled up and said get in the car, and then cancelled my plans just in case you’d call?” oh wow THE FEELS I just love her writing so so much. Again, the instruments, the string and wind sections omg wow I love.
this is me trying
in lots of Taylor’s previous songs, she’s found it hard to accept that things may be her fault and she can’t take the responsibly. Yet on her last album Lover, we were given apologies through songs, so it’s nice to see that storyline continuing. “I just wanted you to know that this is me trying” it can be so tough to work out how to fix the wrong, and sometimes the best thing we can do is just try our hardest, and I love that in this song.
you are joking me we are literally 4 seconds in and I love it so much. I love how this could be about Taylor’s personal relationship, but going into the second verse, we see it’s someone else’s story of love and affair. And then into the 3rd verse, we might see the point of view from the person who has been cheated on. I like how everyone gets a say and the person most hurt isn’t forgotten. This song feels so short compared to the others, but I think it’s a perfect little tale that’s so much bigger than the words sang yet can easily be summed up by what we hear.
oh, wow I love this. It’s this idea that people are attached by some invisible string, keeping them close even if they’re far. I love how this song is Taylor’s story, seeing how she is recognised everywhere and hears her songs on the radio. Yet there can still be beautiful moments. In so many past Taylor songs, there’s links to past relationships, and Lover bought us the knowledge that she is just so happy in her current one. It’s interesting to see how things broke her heart but this person has allowed her to heal and move on and I just love that. Like the album suggests, this song may not be focused on her life at all, but from all I’ve heard so far, I’d say this one was Taylor’s folklore.
Taylor has said this sound is about a “misfit widow getting gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out” and if that isn’t a mood, I don’t know what is. “and women like hunting witches too” I love how in recent albums, Taylor has opened up about women being pitted against each other and how our anger is seen different to men’s. I love how she’s really challenging her story writing ability with something so different from her truth, yet at the same time it’s really similar to what she’s been through.
heavenly ok. In the album prologue, Taylor has said that this song touches on her grandfather’s experience in the military. It must’ve been so interesting yet also quite scary to hear such real and violent stories. “something med school did not cover, someone’s daughter, someone’s mother” the thing with violence and chaos is that it doesn’t matter who you are, if someone at the other end of the gun will happily pull the trigger than you’re dead. The song speaks about relief and dreams thought of, in hopes for peace and an end to awfulness, but in wars and the world we live in, it’s not always the case. I think this really is a beautiful song. Wow, after the final line, you can hear what sounds like a heart monitor. Scary to think about, but people give their lives to wars that are caused by people too scared to fight. How awful to not always have a choice.
OMG SPRINGSTEEN?? Some people have said this song is the follow up to August. Betty is the girl who sang the third verse and the song is from the perspective of the boy who broke her heart and I really love that. I love that the person who was hurt has begun to flourish and move on, whereas the boy who cheated realises that what he did was really shitty. “the worst thing that I ever did was what I did to you” I know a lot of people will listen to this and be able to relate from silly high school relationships and things like that, but I’m glad we see that Betty is flourishing and not the song from her point of view, upset and angry. I love this song, and I think this is what I imagined the whole album to be like so I’m glad I’ve got it haha. Looking on the Genius website, apparently Taylor said that this song, along with August and Cardigan form a teenage love triangle of songs. I love how the car and the cardigan are mentioned in this, like the others and I just can’t wait to listen to them all again!
also ignore everything I've just said. this is my thought on betty: gay <3
also ignore everything I've just said. this is my thought on betty: gay <3
this one seems so simple yet has the most beautiful idea behind it. “I would die for you in secret” something so loving yet at the same time so sad, seeing how a relationship can’t always work. “the rain is always gonna come if you’re standin with me” it’s so sad to hear that this person is ready to give their heart and soul, but it can never be in a way the 2 truly want. I love how calm this song is, yet it’s so sad. I guess everyone goes into relationships differently, some work on being together and happiness, whereas other just rely on love.
so here we have the final song of the album. This feels like a sweet lullaby, and I guess if you just listen to glimpses, it seems good, but we all know that nursery rhymes have darker meanings. The character singing wants to stay, so so badly, but the person they’re singing to is giving them nothing in return. Oh my why did we have to end on such sadness? “don’t want no other shade of blue but you” I love how we’ve heard so many different stories, some may be real and others imaginary, but to know that a deep sadness rippled through them is what starts folklore and keeps the stories flowing through the years. They can end well or even worse, but it’s the sadness that we can relate to, drawing us to know them and keep telling them.
(there is a bonus song on the deluxe album called the lakes, but I haven't heard that so just continue on as normal, ok nothing to see here...)
So that is Taylor Swift 8th studio album, folklore. Firstly, I’m not a big writer with capital letters so the fact that all the songs and the album are all lowercase pleases my heart hahah. Secondly, I’m so happy with this album. I’ve always wanted Taylor to explore a more acoustic, simple album that isn’t full of crazy pop singles, just allowing her to truly write beautify stories and sing them with her whole soul. And I got that. I did expect a bit more country/folk influence, but I’m not disappointed in any way. I guess I was influenced by the title and reading into the music vibe rather than the actual meaning. But how cool to have a whole album so beautiful, filled with stories and characters that we can relate to, and to just have new Taylor music so randomly is literally the best hahha!
If you can’t be bothered to listen to the whole album, here are my faves: hoax, betty, cardigan, august, invisible string, and the last great american dynasty.
I think before I wrap this up, I need to watch the cardigan music video and give my thought. Ok I’ll be back in a few mins… here's the link if you wanna watch too: https://youtu.be/K-a8s8OLBSE
Ok so it was not what I expected. There was so much magic and change and I’m sure there’s a crazy deeper meaning, but after listening to it and knowing about the trilogy, I imagine more of their story. Taylor has said that “the song is about lost romance and why young love is often fixed so permanently within our memories. Why is leaves such an indelible mark” and I can really see that in the video. The magic and warmth of a relationship followed by uneasy feelings of loss and sadness that can sweep us away from what we thought we knew. I just really love the magic this album, and particularly this song holds and how we can feel listening to them.
So those were my thoughts on Taylor’s new album. brb about to go and put on my fave cardi and sit in the garden and have this playing whilst watching the clouds go by. also future anna, dressing up as a mirrorball for the next tour would be cool, just saying.