Lover: Album Review

If you’ve read my other blog post “How Taylor Swift’s Music Helped Me Embrace Being ME!” then you know that I am a huge Taylor Swift fan. I am a Swiftie, and I have no shame in saying that at all. For some reason it feels like if you are a Taylor Swift fan, it’s like something you should be ashamed of? I don’t get that. I like Taylor Swift. And nothing anyone says is ever going to change my mind on that. Ever since she dropped her first single from her album “ME!” ft. Brenden Urie of Panic! at the Disco, I’ve been waiting in eager anticipation for her new album to be released. I stalked all the sites to figure out when we were getting her album. Then we got a date and I was counting down the days. Finally, it happened. On August 23rd, Taylor Swift released her 7th album called Lover. According to USA Today:

‘Lover’ racked up 867,000 equivalent album units in its debut week, including 679,000 in album sales and 226 million in on-demand audio streams for the album’s songs, according to Nielsen Music.”

-USA Today

That Friday when I heard it was released (and considering I stalk Buzzfeed, I knew pretty quick that the album was out), Lover was the only album I listened to for almost two weeks. Even now, I’m still listening to it. I listened to the album so much that three songs from the album made it to my Top Songs 2019 Spotify made for me. Those songs were “Cruel Summer,” “I Think He Knows” and “The Man.” In fact, for the third year, Taylor Swift was my top played artist on Spotify. Like I said, I am a Taylor Swift fan.

Listening to that album on Friday made my day. I was having a stressful day with school and then I listened to Taylor Swift’s new album and I felt instantly better. Music has always done that for me. And trust me, if you’ve listened to Lover you know that there are some bops on that album (as well as some flops but we’ll get to that later).

What is this album about? Well, as the title suggests, it is all about love. At times the album does seem disjointed but somehow there is still a connection. This album is all about love. This album isn’t just about ex-boyfriends but also about friendship and family. it’s about different types of love that you can have for someone. That meaning is very clear. And it’s beautiful.

Now let’s dive into this!

I Forgot You Existed

This song is about Kanye West. No doubt. That whole feud and everything. (If you don’t know what happened between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, booooooooy, you’ve missed a lot. Here’s a handy timeline to get you caught up.)

This song, according to the story line part on Spotify, is about closing the era of Reputation. It’s about moving on. Taylor is saying “Oh, you exist. I forgot. Oops?” It’s peppy and fun. It starts off the album in a good way.

“I Forgot You Existed” is almost a funny song. A song that you’d hear in a cheesy rom-com like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Mean Girls. And no, that’s not an insult, it’s a good thing. It’s almost like Taylor is making fun of herself for holding onto what happened between her, Kanye, and Kim. And now she’s like “Oh. Why did I even care?

I think that when you are an artist, you need to be able to look at the past, and laugh at it. This is what this song does.

I mentioned earlier that this album is about love. It is. Even this song is. It’s about self-love. It’s about forgetting and forgiving. It’s about moving on and just brushing the dirt off your shoulders. Taylor is done with Kanye and Kim and saying “You know what? I don’t need you. I’m done.”

My favorite lyrics (of course) is the bridge.

I forgot that you
Sent me a clear message
Taught me some hard lessons
I just forget what they were
It’s all just a blur

This album isn’t just about love, it’s a about new era for Taylor Swift.

Cruel Summer

After hearing this song, it took me a while to let it go and continue on with the rest of the album. I love this song that much. If I ever get a TikTok account, I’d definitely do a fun, quirky video with this song or one of the other songs from this song.

I listened to “Cruel Summer” repeat. Then finally, I had to move on to the rest of the album. “Cruel Summer” though, just wow Taylor. I love it.

“Cruel Summer” is about a summer love that hey, it might be doomed from the very beginning but you know what? Let’s do it. It’s about taking a chance and just diving in. This song is about desperation and clinging to a love that started out temporary, but now, you want it to be longer. There’s almost something hopeful about this song as well. Like maybe, it will be okay. Eventually. Maybe, it will last.

My favorite lyric is this one:

“And I screamed for whatever it’s worth
I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”

Who writes a lyric like that? Taylor Swift that’s who. She’s like “I love you.” But also whispers “That should terrify you.” And it’s wonderful. Love isn’t all rainbows and puppies. Sometimes, it’s a bitch. This song captures that. Love is a roller coaster mess.

Lover

This song is the title of this album. On Spotify Storyline Taylor said:

I wanted to make music that in a lot ways feels timeless.”

She wrote “Lover” completely by herself instead of co-written like her other songs on the album.

This song makes me feel all ooey-gooey inside like a marshmallow roasting on a fire. “Lover” is so unbearingly sweet at times. It’s a love song. This song makes me want to sway with my imaginary boyfriend while it’s raining. (Which is really gross but that’s how this song makes me feel.) But a Taylor Swift love song. One thing I have always loved about her is that she knows how to write songs and make it a story. Her lyrics are truly beautiful.

“Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover
And you’ll save all your dirtiest jokes for me
And at every table, I’ll save you a seat, lover”

I never get tired of this song. It’s been playing all over the radio. Hell there’s even a remix with Shawn Mendes. But I still love it. Check out the video!

The Man

The contrast between “Lover” and “The Man” is staggering but also fantastic. Taylor goes from a beautiful wedding ballad to this female empowerment bop. It’s fantastic.

All I picture when I hear this song is a bunch of women in suits.

Basically that but you know, black suits not pastel ones. She released the video for “The Man” and I am loving it! I actually want to create my own fanvideo for the song. Who is interested in being a badass woman in a sharp black suit? Let’s do it!

Think more like this.

“The Man” is such a power song. It’s now on my “Woman Power” playlist on Spotify. When I listen to it, I want to strut my stuff.

But it also makes a good point. There’s such a double standard in our society. Artists like Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Usher, Justin Bieber, etc., — male artists — can write songs about their exes and not get flack about it. But when women write about their exes like Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, etc., then they get flack. What’s the difference? Often times it seems like a woman can do the same thing a man does but it’s the woman who gets condemned. Taylor here is addressing that. She’s wondering if she was a man, would her life be different? I imagine she’s not the only woman who has wondered:

If a man did what I did, would he be ostracized like I am being?

“What’s it like to brag about raking in dollars
And getting bitches and models?
And it’s all good if you’re bad
And it’s okay if you’re mad

If I was out flashin’ my dollas
I’d be a bitch, not a baller
They’d paint me out to be bad
So it’s okay that I’m mad”

If you haven’t checked out the video. . . .DO IT. It’s great. I love it so much. On another note, maybe all the women in the world should just wear a suit every single day. How do I get this started? Anyone?

The Archer

I mentioned that this album isn’t just about romantic love, it’s also about self-love. This song is the one that makes me believe it’s about self-love. I don’t think the ‘you’ Taylor sings about is a guy. Instead, the ‘you’ is her. She’s singing to herself. This song is so beautiful and simple. It’s easy and effortless. Yes, it’s about her past relationships — romantic or platonic — but also about her self.

“The Archer” is track 5, and as we Swifties know, track 5 on any Taylor Swift is usually the most raw, vulnerable and open song on the album. Her previous track 5 songs are: “Cold as You,” “White Horse,” “Dear John,” “All Too Well,” “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” and “Delicate.” What started out as an accident has now become a phenomenon. Check out this ranking of the Taylor Swift’s track 5 songs.

“All the king’s horses, all the king’s men
Couldn’t put me together again
‘Cause all of my enemies started out friends
Help me hold on to you”

My nickname in high school — well, one of my nicknames — was Artemis. I’ve been wanting to get an Artemis themed tattoo for a while. Now I’m wanting it even more because of this song.

I Think He Knows

This song reminds me of a jazz club. I’m not sure why. All I picture in my head is this peppy girl with a ponytail singing this song, and like all the guys — and even some of the girls — are swooning as she holds like an old fashioned microphone and sings the song. And it’s all smoky and mysterious. It’s so upbeat and almost. . . .sexy in a way? I can’t explain it. Somehow it’s sexy. I really hope Taylor releases a music video for this song. If she doesn’t, then it looks like I’ll be making a fanvideo.

This song is about a crush. That powerful, all encompassing crush. . . .who knows that you are crushing on him hard. It’s such a cute song. It makes you want to dance and move. Just the first verses alone draw you in.

“I think he knows his footprints
On the sidewalk
Lead to where I can’t stop
Go there every night

I think he knows his hands around
A cold glass
Make me wanna know that body
Like it’s mine”

Think of a celebrity right now. I bet you can think of so many that this song fits. Or hell, even a guy you know that this song fits.

Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince

Taylor Swift is breaking politics. I am here for it. Are you? I’m ready. Bring it on, Taylor. Come on. Preach. That is what this song is about. She says:

This song is about disillusionment with out crazy world of politics and inequality, set in a metaphorical high school.”

She goes on to say:

I wanted it to be about finding one person who really sees you and cares about you through all the noise.”

Who doesn’t want someone like that? Who doesn’t want someone who sees through all the bullshit and only sees you? This song is about her being painted as America’s sweetheart. But now America’s sweetheart is mad. She doesn’t like what’s happening in the world, and she’s not keeping quiet anymore. yes “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” is a protest song but it’s not an up-in-your-face protest song. It’s subtle but direct. Here’s what Variety had to say about the song.

“My team is losing, battered and bruising
I see the high fives between the bad guys
Leave with my head hung, you are the only one
Who seems to care
American stories burning before me
I’m feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed
Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men?
Darling, I’m scared (Ah)”

Taylor released a documentary on Netflix called Miss Americana. I haven’t watched it yet but I plan on it.

Paper Rings

This song. Wow. It’s so poppy! (Is that a word? Well now it is.) It’s so cute and helplessly romantic. It’s about being in love and not caring about material things. “Lover” and “Paper Rings” are both love songs but they are different types of love songs. Either way, I love them both.

“Paper Rings” is bouncy and fun. It reminds me of almost the Spice Girls or like that kind of music in the 90s. Fun and music that makes you want to move and dance and be with your significant other.

“I want to drive away with you
I want your complications too
I want your dreary Mondays
Wrap your arms around me, baby boy”

The only problem with “Paper Rings” is that when you compare it to the next song which is like, gold, it falls a bit flat. and now to our next song. . .

Cornelia Street

This song is tied for being my favorite song on this album with “Cruel Summer.” After I heard this song I kept switching back and forth between them. I love this song. It’s so beautiful but so heartbreaking as well. It’s a song about goodbyes. It’s sad, yes, but it’s sweet. It’s hopeful.

“You hold my hand on the street
Walk me back to that apartment
Years ago, we were just inside
Barefoot in the kitchen
Sacred new beginnings
That became my religion, listen”

I think also instead of a goodbye song, it could a be a thank you song as well.

Death By A Thousand Cuts

When you compare this song to the one before, it falls. . .flat. I don’t dislike the song but it comes right after the masterpiece called “Cornelia Street.” Perhaps if it was before “Cornelia Street,” it would work better.

London Boy

Okay, even with Idris Elba making a guest appearance in this song, it’s not my favorite. I don’t get the point of it? So yeah. Not my favorite. We’re moving on.

Soon You’ll Get Better

This song hit me right in the feelings. Like just stabbed me in the heart. It made me cry. Also, I love the Dixie Chicks and them teaming up with Taylor Swift? Yes. I love it. This song is about her mother’s cancer and god, as someone who lost someone to grandpa, it hit me hard. It really did make me cry. I imagine most of us know someone who has or had cancer. It’s a rough journey not only for them, but also for you.

And this song is Taylor telling her mom the things she’s never been been able too. And it’s so sad and beautiful and raw. I love it. She’s telling herself all this because she has too.

“And I hate to make this all about me
But who am I supposed to talk to?
What am I supposed to do
If there’s no you?This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was
It’s been years of hoping, and I keep saying it because
‘Cause I have to

False God

After “Soon You’ll Get Better,” this song also falls flat. Maybe because it’s such a dramatic shift. “Soon You’ll Get Better” is a song about Taylor’s mother. “False God” is I’ve listened to it and I like it, but maybe I need to listen to it when my brain isn’t full of the other beautiful songs on this song. I mean, the trumpet in the background is incredible. And these lyrics:

“But we might just get away with it
Religion’s in your lips
Even if it’s a false god
We’d still worship
We might just get away with it
The altar is my hips
Even if it’s a false god”

It’s a sexy song, but it’s overshadowed by songs like “Cruel Summer” and “Miss America and the Heartbreak Prince.” It’s sad, but true.

You Need To Calm Down

Here’s the thing. The world is filled with these people who are so negative. They bring everyone down. Have you ever read the comments on Facebook or YouTube? Yeah, it’s a hole of negativity and really. . . .they need to calm down.

This is like my aunt and I’s theme song. It’s our happy song. We need t-shirts that say “You need to calm down.” Because trust me, the trolls on the internet need to calm the hell down. Everyone is always attacking others over the smallest, tiniest thing. It’s so annoying. It’s like damn, can’t I watch this movie without people telling me I can’t because it’s not like the video game? Damn, can’t I listen to this artist without being told I’m a Femi-Nazi? Damn, I can’t watch a Marvel movie without someone telling me I shouldn’t because they killed Iron Man?

This song is also like a power song to the LGBTQ+ community. There are SO many cameos in the video that it’s insane. I’m talking Rupaul, the guys from Queer Eye, so many cameos. It’s beautiful. Check out the video below. Seriously. Do it!

“You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay”

Afterglow

This song is about self-sabotaging and ruining a good thing. She’s owning up to that. And again, if you compare this song to similiar songs like “The Archer,” it falls flat as well. Which sucks. Because I really enjoy the lyrics of this song. Maybe I need to only listen to this song and “False God” to really appreciate them better.

“Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves
Chemistry ’til it blows up, ’til there’s no us
Why’d I have to break what I love so much?
It’s on your face, and I’m to blame, I need to say”

ME!

This was the first single off Lover. I have to say at first I was a bit iffy about it. . . .the radio kept playing it over and over again. And just like with “Shake It Off” I grew to adore this song. “ME!” is so catchy and upbeat. It’s quirky and fun. It’s a pastel daydream with cats and Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco. Who doesn’t love him?

This song is about loving someone for them and also, being yourself. It’s cute. Not chalk full of hidden depths like her other songs on this album, but still about. . .you guessed it, love.

“And when we had that fight out in the rain
You ran after me and called my name
I never wanna see you walk away”

It’s Nice To Have A Friend

I can’t even with this song. I hate it. Sorry, Taylor. But I hate it. I don’t like it so much I almost forgot to include it on this. My bad. Oops.

Daylight

So I kind of like this song at the end. Because it’s all hopeful. . .but also. . .it’s almost cheesy? Like too cheesy? “I see daylight?” It reminds me of that song from Tangled. You know the one. “I See the Light.”

But again. No one writes lyrics like Taylor Swift. Even the songs I’m not fond of are still so beautifully written.

“Maybe you ran with the wolves and refused to settle down
Maybe I’ve stormed out of every single room in this town
Threw out our cloaks and our daggers because it’s morning now
It’s brighter now, now”

My thoughts are this. If she had gotten rid of like maybe a few songs such as “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” “London Boy,” and “It’s Nice to Have a Friend.” Then if she had put songs like “False God,” and “Afterglow” in a different place, the album would’ve been stronger. It’s still a strong album without these changes. In fact, I think this is her best album yet. Click the link to the left, to read what Buzzfeed (my favorite site ever) had to say about it. Pretty sure Lover is going to be like my anthem going into graduate school.

I hope you enjoyed my review! And if you haven’t listened to Lover, do it!

-K

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