evermore: album review

Remember how I said Red is my favorite Taylor Swift album? Well, I have a new favorite album. Remember how I said Lover is Taylor Swift’s best album? Yeah, I was wrong. evermore is her best album. folklore is what Lover and folklore tried to be but didn’t quite reach the mark. (My thoughts on Lover is here.)

Taylor Swift has probably saved the disaster called 2020. Because let’s be real, 2020 was a doozy of a year. Hell, only 7 days into 2021 and there was a riot at the Capitol.

Yeah. That happened.

But we aren’t going to talk about that. Because you know what, it is now President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and I am here for it. They’ll save us. I just know it. But let’s talk about the artist who saved us in 2020. Taylor Swift.

She released folklore in July. Then, surprise, she released evermore, the sister album in December. Oh, and there are theories that there could be a third album. (Let’s hope so, again, 7 days in and yeah, 2021 might not better than 2020.) Taylor released folklore without any promos. She was like “Here I am. New music! Enjoy!” With evermore, she posted on social media about how they couldn’t stop writing songs and to expect a new album. And while I do enjoy folklore, I think that evermore is the better album. Every single song on that album is deep and powerful. Whereas on folklore there are a few strong songs but then it gets a bit. . . .lost? Like with Lover, there are songs on folklore that don’t hit as hard as others, and thus get drowned out by the more powerful songs.

evermore, on the other hand, seems more composed. All the songs can hold their own on evermore and are deep, meaningful and impactful. Now that’s not to say that there are songs on evermore I prefer to the other songs. Because there are. However, before we get to the review of evermore, I thought I’d give my top four songs on folklore. These four songs I think are the strongest ones on folklore, and the ones I had on repeat for a while.

exile

“exile” is a duet and it’s so beautifully done. It goes back and forth between the male and the female then towards the end the female voice (Taylor) is answering the male.

This song is about to ex-lovers who see each other again after a break-up, and how quickly one moved on. It mentions warning signs and how maybe, they should’ve known that the relationship wasn’t going to work out.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I can see you starin', honey like he's just your understudy. Like you'd get your knuckles bloody for me." 

cardigan

I played this song so much when it first came out that it made it on my 2020 Spotify Wrap Up and folklore came out in July. I love this song so much that I still listen to it and don’t get tired of it. Ever.

According to Taylor Swift, this song is apart of a Teenage Love Triangle story. I interpret this song a bit differently. I think it’s about first love. It’s that love that new and fresh. The first time you fall in love and it’s so easy to fall. You’re fearless.

But then that love fades. You grow up. And you realize that it’s time to move on.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I knew you, tried to change the ending, Peter losing Wendy, 
I knew you, leavin' like a father, running like water."

Also, the video to this song is incredible. If you haven’t watched it, you need to.

the lakes

This is actually a bonus track. I heard it first when I was on a playlist on YouTube and then fell in love. It’s such a beautiful song, and per usual, the lyrics are incredible. If you haven’t heard this song yet, you need to. It has some of the most eloquent and stunning imagery.

"While I bathe in cliffside pools with my calamitous love and insurmountable grief."

It’s magnificent. I can’t tell you what this song is about. To me, it’s like she’s saying “Let’s get out of this place. Let’s go some place where we can just be and be.”

My favorite lyrics are:

"A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground with no one 
around to tweet it."

the 1

First, the tone of this song — and really the entirety of folklore and evermore — is so casual. There’s nothing strained about it or forced. It’s casual and simple and easy.

“the 1” to me feels likes a song about the one who got away. That person who could’ve been the one and they kept trying but they didn’t click. The puzzle pieces never fit together. And while this could be a sad song, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s like a remembrance, rather than a goodbye.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I persist and resist the temptation to ask you, if one thing had been different, 
would everything be different today?"
evermore by Taylor Swift

Now let’s get evermore. When this album first came out, I waited (impatiently) for it to appear in my Spotify then proceeded to listen to the whole album twice when I really should’ve been sleeping. As always, I have my favorite songs but I love this album. It is practically perfect in every way. Like Mary Poppins.

willow

This was the first song we got to hear from evermore. And boy, did it deliver. This song had me at the first line.

"I'm like the water when your ship rolled in that night."

I am a music lover (obviously) and just like when it comes to books, the first line or the first beat is what gets me. “willow” had me from the start. It’s got such an easy, almost joyful but not like up-in-your-face quality to it. I love the simple instruments with the guitar and the piano. That’s all it needs is those instruments. Nothing else. The lyrics speak for themselves.

“willow” is a love song. It’s like a version of “Lover” but different. “Lover’ is more yes, up-in-your-face and still a great song. Whereas “willow” is sweet, easy and casual. I love the vibes. It reminds me of one of those movies where the girl falls for the guy but it’s drawn out or like he’s dying or she’s dying. Basically, a John Green novel.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Wait for the signal, and I'll meet you after dark, show me the places where the others gave you scars."

champagne problems

This song hits me almost as hard as “Last Kiss” does. But in a different way. “Last Kiss” is so raw and sad that I tear up nearly every time that I hear this song. “champagne problems” still has that rawness but different.

Taylor is telling the story about a woman who was too afraid to love and left a great guy. I can relate to that. Who can’t? Who hasn’t looked at this great person and wondered why they deserve it? The woman turns down a proposal because she’s not ready. And yes, it’s sad but maybe he’ll find happiness somewhere else. Maybe she’ll be braver the next guy around.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I never was ready so I watch you go. Sometimes you just don't know 
the answer 'til someone's on their knees and asks you."

gold rush

This isn’t my favorite song on this album. It kind of reminds me of “Gorgeous” from Reputation. It’s an okay song but it’s not like gold. (See what I did there?)

This song is about looking at someone and being jealous of them, or rather jealous of the fact that everyone wants that one person. But Taylor wants them.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch. Everybody wants you.
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you, walk past, quick brush."

’tis the damn season

For me, this song is about a love that come and goes. It’s like a summer love. Or in this case, a holiday love. A love that you begin then you leave to pursue dreams and maybe meet someone else. Then you come back home and then you see that old flame. Sparks fly (See what I did there?) and it’s a rush. It’s beautiful. But it’s just for a weekend.

"So we could call it even. You could call me 'babe' for the 
weekend 'tis the damn season."

It’s like a Lifetime or a Hallmark movie. The one where boy meets this girl and she’s wonderful and mysterious and it’s only a weekend. Then he spends the rest of the movie looking for this girl. That’s how I see this song.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Sleep in half the day just for old times' sake. I won't ask you to 
wait if you don't ask me to stay."

tolerate it

Can I just say about this song? Ouch. This song makes me sad. Man, do I relate to this song. Whether you think it’s about a child speaking to their parent or a woman speaking to a man. This song hits. It’s sad and raw. As all us Swifties know, the number 5 slot is reserved for the heartbreak songs. Previous songs include “Cold as You,” “White Horse,” “Delicate,” “The Archer,” “Dear John,” and “All Too Well.”

This song is about loving someone and trying to doing everything, absolutely everything, to try and get their love. You do everything for them. Try to be the best for them.

"I wait by the door like I'm just a kid, use my best colors for your portrait, 
lay the table with the fancy shit."

You want their love. Their devotion. Like what you’ve given to them. But you don’t have it, and the truth it, you’ll never have it. They simply tolerate it. Tolerate you. And I think everyone could relate to this song somehow. It hits differently than “All Too Well” which is one of my favorite songs from Red. But it still evokes such feelings in my soul.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I made you my temple, my mural, my sky. Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life."

no body, no crime

When I first heard this song, my immediate thought was “Goodbye Earl” by The Chicks and “Two Black Cadillacs” by Carrie Underwood. Those great country revenge songs. It takes us back to Taylor’s country roots but rather than the pop-country, it’s that old country. It’s The Chicks and Reba McEntire.

This song follows Taylor as she talks to her friend Este who thinks her husband is cheating. Well, the hubby kills Este and Taylor is suspicious. Well, Taylor knows he did so she revenges her friend’s death and pins it on his mistress. It’s simple but has a great meaning. Plus, who doesn’t love a good ole revenge song?

My favorite lyrics are:

"And I noticed when I passed his house his truck has got some brand 
new tires. And his mistress moved in, sleeps in Este's bed and everything."

happiness

I really like this song. First, the title is deceptive, because the song itself is sad and melancholy, not just the lyrics but with the music.

This son gis about a relationship that ends, an dit ended up being toxic, decaying in a way, and acknowledging that, but also, not forgetting the good times. Just because a relationship ends and sure, it may have ended badly. That doesn’t mean that you can’t remember the good times and love those sweet moments.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Tell me, when did your winning smile begin to look like a smirk? When did all our lessons start to look like weapons pointed at my deepest hurt?"

dorothea

This song is simply, cute. It’s a bit jarring after “happiness.” Since that song is very slow and sad, while this song is still got that acoustic. It’s just a different tone.

This song is a bit confusing. Not sure what it’s about. I think it’s about a friend who is talking about a girl who ran off and left the small town. Wanted a change. This song is her friend saying, hey, do you remember us? Do you remember where you came from?

I really just love Taylor’s voice in this. She plays with high notes and low notes. A sort of rough, rusty, raw quality to her voice.

My favorite lyrics are:

"And damn, Dorothea, they all wanna be ya. But are you still the 
same soul I met under the bleachers?"

coney island

The beginning of this song. Just the soft guitar and that’s it, basically. It’s so beautiful. The lyrics of this song go back and forth between Taylor and the male singer. And I think this song has some of the most beautiful, imagery lyrics with the simple, casual back and forth conversation.

This song, like a lot of Taylor’s songs, is about an old relationship. It’s about loss and nostalgia. It’s about how one gave their all and the other didn’t try. It wasn’t equal, and the relationship couldn’t work if they both didn’t try.

My favorite lyrics are:

"But you were too polite to leave me. And do you miss the rogue who 
coaxed you into paradise and left you there? Will you forgive my soul 
when you're too wise to trust me and too old to care?"

ivy

This song grew on me. At first, I ignored it but then I really listened to it and went, uh, wow. Okay, I love it.

Now, according to others, this song is about a wife who falls in love with another man who is obviously not her husband. I don’t really see it, but this is one of those songs that I think is really open to interpretation.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I'd live and die for moments that we stole on begged and borrowed time."

cowboy like me

Oh my gosh. This song. I can’t even. This song is perfect. This song reminds me of like those Hallmark movies.

"And you asked me to dance, but I said, 'Dancin' is a dangerous game.'"

Like when two people meet but they don’t plan on falling in love and they do. It’s so country and slow and beautiful. This is a song that goes back to her country roots with the soft guitar playing. It’s when two people are slow dancing and they just meet and there’s this spark. The guy is holding this girl, maybe his friends bullied him into going out and he’s like ‘Wow. This girl is really something.’ And it’s just, wonderful.

My favorite lyrics are:

"And the skeletons in both our closets plotted hard to fuck this up. And the old men that I've swindled really did believe I was the one."

long story short

This song is again, a bit jarring after the ballad “cowboy like me.” It’s a fast paced song. It’s almost like, she’s making fun of herself? And also like a resolution of her past and like you know what, it’s time to let go. Let’s have some fun.

Also, this line in the chorus (below) makes me giggle.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Clung to the nearest lips, long story short, it was the wrong guy."

marjorie

I can’t listen to this song. Not because I don’t like it, but because it reminds me of my grandpa who passed away August 9th, 2017. This song hits me hard. It’s about Taylor’s grandmother, Marjorie. An ode to her and her memory. how when you lose something, you want to cling to them. You want to keep everything of theirs so you have them with you. Always.

My favorite lyrics are:

"I should've asked you questions. I should've asked you how to be asked you to write it down for me, should've kept every grocery 
store receipt 'cause every scrap of  you would be taken from me."

closure

This song is different than the others because of the background noise that’s like drums? It’s almost a bit, edgy? Like something Alanis Morissette or Liz Phair would sing. I kind of want more of this edgy rock Taylor. That would be interesting, not going to lie.

This song is about an ex and Taylor is basically like I don’t need your closure. I can still be mad at you. Get over it.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Don't treat me like some situation that needs to be handled. I'm fine with 
my spite and my tears, and my beers and my candles. I can feel you smoothing me over."

evermore

Like with “exile” from folklore, this song is a back and forth with Justin Vernon.

This song is such a sweet ending to this album. It’s hopeful and sweet. A true ballad. It’s about being depresed then suddenly, feeling better after so long. It’s such a beautiful song. (I need a new word. I use that a lot.) But it is.

My favorite lyrics are:

"Can't not think of all the cost and the things that will be lost. Oh, can we just get a pause?"

And now that I’ve reviewed the entire album. Here are the songs ranked. 🙂

  1. champagne problems
  2. cowboy like me
  3. willow
  4. tis the damn season
  5. no body, no crime,
  6. ivy
  7. coney island
  8. tolerate it
  9. long story short
  10. evermore
  11. marjorie
  12. dorothea
  13. happiness
  14. gold rush

I hope you enjoyed this review of evermore. If you haven’t listened to it, or to folklore. Do it! You won’t be disappointed.

-K

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