Midnights: Album Review

The moment Taylor Swift announced that she was releasing a new album at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, I may have done a happy dance and then spent the entire next few weeks waiting in eager and impatient anticipation for Midnights. As stated on several occasions in several blogs, I am a major Taylor Swift fan. I am a Swiftie. I’m not ashamed of that at all. I’ve listened to her since her first debut album came out in 2006. I was twelve at the time. Now I am 28, and I am still listening to Taylor Swift. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

So the second Midnights dropped on Friday, I had it on my Spotify to play on the way to work. I listened to the entire album, all thirteen songs, in the 45 minutes it took me to get to work. Then I went back and played the 3 am edition. My mom (my aunt, but I call her mom) saw that it dropped, and she’s like, ‘Well, I know what Keely is listening to for the next month.’ (She’s right. I’ve listened to the album since Friday on repeat.)

Now, most of you probably know that Red (Taylor’s Version) is my favorite album. Red has always been my favorite album of hers. Even before she re-released her version. Then she re-released her version and I loved Red even more. Not to say I don’t love all her albums, because I do. Hello, “cardigan” was my top song for 2020 and 2021. Red just clicked with me for some reason. A lot.

Well.

Move over Red because Midnights has taken over.

Even the songs that I perhaps don’t like as much as others, I still listen to them because of the lyrics, the music, and the whole vibe. This album is like she took all of the beautiful, breathtaking lyrics from folklore and evermore then combined them with the sound of like 1989 and Lover with some Reputation in there. Midnights, just wowza. I love this album. I may never listen to another album again. (Kidding, I will.)

Midnights is thirteen nights in Taylor Swift’s life. So they’re throughout her life. I find that absolutely fascinating, and I have so many questions.

Now, rather than go through all these songs, I’m going to talk about my favorite ones. These are the ones that hit me the most, and I’ve been playing on repeat for a while now. Seriously, I end my day with Taylor Swift, and I begin my day with Taylor Swift.

We’ll start with her newest single, “Anti-Hero.”

“Anti-Hero” is the third track from Midnights. While it’s not my favorite song, I do like it. It’s got an upbeat sound to it, which is funny because it’s a song about self-sabotage. It’s about how sometimes the person who is blocking your way. . . is, well. You.

"I should not be left to my own devices
They come with prices and vices
I end up in crisis."

Who doesn’t feel like that? Who keeps climbing that ladder over and over again and keeps falling, toppling down everyone in your path?

Who can’t relate to this song?

And it’s about acknowledging your own flaws and seeing them and kind of hating them. Wondering if you could just fix them, maybe you wouldn’t be in your own way. But then, the song is also about accepting those flaws and realizing that, hey, you’re human.

Also, the video, as always is a gem. I love her videos. Taylor needs to make a movie. Oh, wait, she sort of did with “All Too Well.”

Pretty sure every millennial is like, “Damn, dude,” when it comes to this song.

Do I think it should’ve been the first single? No, not really. But I do get why. It’s catchy and pop. It’s got a nice beat to it. I personally wouldn’t have chosen “Anti-Hero” as the first new single, but I do like the song. It’s, like, maybe six or seven on my top five of Midnights.

As for the song that I’d chosen for the single, I’ll have to think about that.

My top five from Midnights keep changing, so we’ll go by track.

The next one that’s on my top five favorite songs from Midnights is “Snow on the Beach.”

Not going to lie, this song is like the theme of a new fanfiction I want to write for Law & Order: SVU. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I’m a giant nerd.)

This song is about falling in love with someone while they’re falling in love with you. It’s one of those songs that you’d see in a TV show or a movie where the two main characters are circling around each other, making dinner together, going to the movies, all the little dates, and the feeling of just pure happiness.

It’s like snow. The first snow that falls, and it’s beautiful and perfect. But this isn’t just any snow. It’s snow on the beach. It’d unexpected, but it’s remarkable. It’s something you didn’t know would happen, but it did.

The combination of Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey makes this song so heavenly and so sweet, with lovely yet simple lyrics. “Snow on the Beach” is a song that would be a romantic comedy, and I mean that as a compliment. I want to make a music video for this song (okay, so I want to make videos for like a lot of Taylor Swift’s songs). It’s just so lovely.

"I've never seen someone lit from within
Blurring out my periphery
My smile is like I won a contest
And to hide that would be so dishonest."

The next song I listened to on repeat for like three hours on Sunday.

“Midnight Rain,” is a masterpiece. It’s my mom’s second favorite song on this album. (We’ll get to her favorite later.) This song is so damn good. So good.

The beginning of this song got me from the start. It starts with a lower voice which is actually Taylor’s voice, with some synth vibes. I don’t normally like synth, but this song, it works.

This song is about putting a career before a relationship. It’s about how the other person wanted a real relationship. Marriage, the white picket fence, the whole kit kaboodle. But she didn’t. She was working on her career and making a name for herself. Then, you have this relationship, and it’s like it never happened. Neither of them think about the other.

"My boy was a montage
A slow-motion, love potion
Jumping off things in the ocean
I broke his heart 'cause he was nice
He was sunshine, I was midnight rain."

Excuse me while I play it on repeat for the next few hours.

I need a video for “Midnight Rain,” like stat. I’ll make it myself if I have to. Like with “Snow on the Beach.” But the song I want a video for the most is this next one.

“Vigilante Shit” gives me such Cruella vibes. Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil. Like damn. Tell me that this song doesn’t give you all the villain vibes. The femme fatale vibes. It reminds me of Cruella, Maleficent, Yennefer, all those powerful women who were wronged (by men mostly but also by other women) who said, ‘You know what? Fuck you.’

Also, I feel like this song is like a cousin to songs from Reputation. Songs like “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Did a Bad Thing.” It has that kind of revenge and woman power vibe but not up in your face.

Also, the first line of this song, y’all.

"Draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man." 

Damn, Taylor. Yes. Just yes, girl. Yes. Women are told to dress pretty. It’s always about appearances. That their make-up must look pretty. Be pretty. Be quiet. Be obedient. All that shit. This song is like, reclaiming it. It’s saying, ‘I’m not dressing for you, baby. I’m not dressing for you or anyone. I’m dressing for me.’

"Ladies always rise above
Ladies know what people want
Someone sweet and kind and fun
The lady simply had enough."

This song might be my theme song from now on. Just saying.

The next song is “The Great War,” which is one of the seven bonus tracks on the Midnights (3 am Edition). “The Great War” reminds me of folklore. Like if “The Great War” was on folklore, I wouldn’t even bat an eye. It would make sense. It’d make sense for “The Great War” to come after “exile.”

Look, I love all of Taylor’s songs. Obviously, but “The Great War” might be my favorite song. (At the moment, at least.) It has the most beautiful, raw lyrics. It flows so well, the lyrics, the music, everything. She’s painting a picture, and it’s gorgeous. You can see it in your head. The way this couple is.

This song is about being in a relationship and comparing it to all your other failed relationships. It’s about fighting and realizing that this isn’t the same as all the others. That he’s not the same. Something about this song touches me. All her songs touch me, but this one hits differently. Just like the next song hits differently. It’s like, she’s speaking what I can’t put into words. I write poetry, but I can’t write songs like she does.

She loves him, she does, but she has a past, and she thinks that’s all he sees. All she sees are her previous relationships. “The Great War” is about pushing past that doubt, the insecurities before she ruins a good thing.

"You drew up some good faith treaties
I drew curtains closed, drank my poison all alone
You said I have to trust more freely
But diesel is desire, you were playing with fire
And maybe it's the past that's talking
Screaming from the crypt
Telling me to punish you for things you never did
So I justified it."

Just. . . .*chef’s kiss* I can’t stop listening to this song.

The last song is my mom’s favorite song.

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” hit me like a train wreck. This son is about a relationship. Specifically, the relationship that Taylor had with John Mayer. she was only 19 at the time, and he was 32. There was a lot of heat for that age difference. “Dear John,” one of my favorite songs off of Speak Now, is also about him.

She’s saying that she regrets this relationship the most. That if they hadn’t dated that maybe she wouldn’t have had the experience she did in her next relationships. That this youthful, rebellious relationship with him scarred her. That was the beginning of her issues when it came to relationships. It’s raw and powerful, and the lyrics are incredible. This song. . .jeez.

Who hasn’t had a relationship that they regret? That they wish never happened? I know I have.

"If clarity's in death, then why won't this die?
Years of tearing down our banners, you and I
Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts
Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first."

That last line hits me the hardest.

As for which should’ve been the single, I think it should’ve been “Vigilante Shit” or “Midnight Rain.”

Thus concludes my semi-review on Midnights. If you haven’t listened to the album, do so! There’s not a song on it that’s not good. That someone won’t relate too.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play Midnights on repeat. Again.

Oh, and check out the video for “Bejeweled.” It’s shiny. (See what I did there?)

-K

What Song Would Save Your Life?

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up on Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, The Chicks, and Shania Twain. Just like I grew up on Eminem, DMX, and Tupac. And like I grew up on Fleetwood Mac, Prince, and George Michael. In middle and high school, I listened to Taylor Swift, Paramore, The Fray, Avril Lavigne, Panic at the Disco, Evanescence, Daughtry, and so many others. My life has a musical thread to it. Music is the one constant. Music has never let me down. It’s always been there. Whether I need to listen to some heavy rock like Metallica, Disturbed, Shinedown, Sick Puppies, or Skillet when I’m trying to calm down. On those when I’m tangled up in anger and frustration that I can’t explain, I turn them up loud. Or on the days when I feel strangely apathetic when I need some softer music, music that hits me deep within my heart and soul. Music like Lord Huron or LEON or BANKS. Music that makes me feel a bit more connected and makes me feel when I’m not feeling anything. Or on those days where I’m sad, but I don’t know why, so I turn on some Ed Sheeran or some of my favorite musicals like SIX, Rent!, or any Disney movie soundtrack, because it makes me feel better. It puts a pep in my step, and it’s like, okay, everything will be okay because we have music. Music is there. It’s real.

There are songs that I listen to that instantly bring back memories. Like “Bad Girlfriend” by Theory of a Deadman, my friend and I danced in my house, the walls shaking with how loud the music was. we once were hanging out and having a ball when Facebook started blowing up, and my mother called me asking if we were okay after the earthquake. My friend and I didn’t even realize there was an earthquake. We were having so much fun. Even listening to Jesse McCartney makes me think of her. Two extremes, Theory of a Deadman and Jesse McCartney, and bam! All the memories, ever.

Like the fact that even though I don’t like Bon Jovi, sometimes I’ll listen to “Wanted Dead or Alive” because it reminds me of my brother Tristan, just like listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers does. He went to a concert maybe like six years ago, and he recorded my favorite song of theirs just for me.

How when I listen to songs like “I Love Rock n’Roll” by Joan Jett or “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar, I think about those rare moments when my sister Chloe and I were home alone, just us girls. Those rare beautiful moments where we’d dance and sing (scream, really), and we were sisters. How much fun we had just being silly.

When I hear “1985” by Bowling for Soup, and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, I think of being at the club Decades with my best friends Caroline, Abby and Nick and we’d be singing it to each other like there was nothing wrong with the world. Like it was just us friends against the world, and that’s all we need. The end of last month, I went to Abby’s bachelorette party, and there was something about being back in Decades, about dancing and singing and being with friends. It was amazing.

Music reaches a part of you that sometimes you can’t explain, and in one of the shows of the summer, it addressed this. In Stranger Things, how they save Max is through her favorite song, “Runnin’ Up That Hill” by Kate Bush.

That got me thinking.

What song would save me from Vecna?

It didn’t take me long to figure it out.

“Freedom” by George Michael immediately came to mind. I can’t help it. I hear that song, and I am instantly happy. It’s like a power ballad and just, yes. Hell, I might get “Freedom” tattooed on my arm. or you know, some of the lyrics, who knows.

This song is like, a new start for George Michael. It was him saying, okay, I’m here but I’m not the same, and my music isn’t the same, and ain’t nothing wrong with that. He wanted to make his own music, and how he wanted. It’s such a power ballad and he’s like, taking back his power. How can you not like this song? Also, you’ve got supermodels lip-syncing the song, and it’s glorious.

And because of George Michael, we got this:

Yes, that is Zachary Quinto aka SPOCK lip-syncing to “Freedom” and it. is. glorious.

The point is, it’s one of my favorite songs, and if I was trapped with Vecna, I feel like it’d be that song that would bring me back.

Then I remembered that Stranger Things is set in the 80s, and this song was released in 1996, a full ten years after the newest season’s events but whatever. It still would save me.

Though if we are going based on, you know, what was available in 1986, then it would probably be a Fleetwood Mac song such as “Dreams” or “Rhiannon.”

Music is such an important part of us, who we are. you hear a song, and it brings back memories. It makes you feel something, whether that’s a good or a bad feeling. So of course it’sa song that saves Max’s life. It makes perfect sense to me.

So my question for you is: What song would save your life? Let me know in the comments!

-K

Red (Taylor’s Version): Album Review

If you aren’t aware, Taylor Swift announced that she was re-recording her six first albums. She doesn’t own the masters of those songs due to a lot of legal stuff that I’m not smart enough to really understand. For more information on why she’s re-recording them, read this article. Basically she’s doing this so that she gets the money if the song is used in a movie or on streaming sights, and it’s a way for her to reclaim the songs she wrote. Which, hey, you know what, go you Taylor. I can’t blame her for doing that.

The first album she re-recorded and released was Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which was originally released in 2008. It was her second studio album, released after her self-titled album. A few of my favorite songs from the album are “Fearless,” “Breathe,” “Untouchable,” “You’re Not Sorry,” and “Forever & Always.”

Re-released, April 9, 2021, let me tell you, not only do I have a new appreciation for those songs in Fearless (Taylor’s Version) but her songs “From the Vault” are incredible. The “From the Vault” songs are ones that didn’t make it onto the album. Ones that were written for it, but no one has ever heard. There’s something about hearing Taylor’s more mature voice sing songs she wrote a decade ago. But even more, hearing songs that we’ve never heard from her.

Songs like “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” a subtle sassy jab at a guy who broke up with her and acts like he’s not hurting.

'Cause I hear he's got his arm 'round a brand-new girl
I've been pickin' up my heart, he's been pickin' up her
And I never got past what you put me through
But it's wonderful to see that it never phased you 

“You All Over Me” tells how she tries so hard to get over a guy but he’s still there.

The best and worst day of June
Was the one that I met you
With your hands in your pockets
And your 'don't you wish you had me' grin
But I did, so I smiled, and I melted like a child
Now every breath of air I breathe reminds me of then

“Bye Bye Baby” where she realizes she has to let go and leave.

Bye, bye, to everything I thought was on my side
Bye, bye, baby
I want you bad but it's come down to nothing
And all I have is your sympathy
'Cause you took me home but you just couldn't keep me
Bye, bye, baby

November 12th, 2021, she released Red (Taylor’s Version). Now, Red has always been my favorite album. Taylor’s said that it’s her only album that’s really about heartbreak. I totally get that. Especially with songs like “All Too Well” and “Red.” “All Too Well” hurts when I listen to it. Just like when I listen to “Last Kiss” from Speak Now.

Holy crap. Just, y’all. I already loved Red as is. But now. . .yeah, I know what album I’ll be listening to forever now. Taylor has done it again, and honestly, I know we just got Red (Taylor’s Version) but like, I need more already. I can’t wait to see what we get from her version of Speak Now, 1989, reputation and her first album, because is this what with her versions of Fearless and Red, hot damn, it’s going to be gold. I can’t even listen to the original albums anymore because the new ones are superior.

Red (Taylor’s Version) takes an album was already incredible and raises it so high that I have no idea how she will top this album. It’s heartache. It’s tragic. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect.

Now, I’m not going to talk about the songs we know, because well, they were perfect then and now they are practically perfect in everyway now. I want to talk about her “From the Vault” songs, also the video of “All Too Well,” and “Better Man.” We’ll start with “Better Man.”

I first heard “Better Man” when Little Big Town sang it. I didn’t even know that Taylor wrote the song. I love her version so much better. It feels more. . .raw and powerful. Her voice, in the words of my boyfriend Corey, is like an angel. This song is about how she loved this man and that they could’ve been something, is he was, obviously a “Better Man.” It’s beautiful and powerful, and honestly just as heartbreaking as “All Too Well.” I also love that it’s a call back to her country roots.

I hold onto this pride because these days it's all I have
And I gave to you my best and we both know you can't say that
I wish you were a better man
I wonder what we would've become
If you were a better man
We might still be in love
If you were a better man
You would've been the one
If you were a better man

Take a listen to it. Seriously. Do it.

Now for her “From the Vault” songs. Oh, boy. Taylor, love you.

“I Bet You Think of Me” reminds me of “Mean” from Speak Now. That’s not a bad thing. It’s got that folky twanginess (is that a word) that I kind of dig. Also, it’s got the same tone as “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” by being one of those songs where it’s all chipper even though it’s like. . .throwing shade. I love songs like. Chris Stapleton (“Tennessee Whiskey” and “Say Something” with Justin Timberlake) sings harmony with this song.

There’s something so. . .easy about this song. Yeah, it’s about heartache. It’s a jab at an ex, but it’s like cool and sweet. For some reason I can picture a bunch of girls singing it at like a bachelorette party or something, arms around each other and they’re totally drunk swaying back and forth. Sometimes the best revenge songs are the ones that are like this.

But now that we're done and it's over
I bet you couldn't believe
When you realized I'm harder to forget than I was to leave
And I bet you think about me

We’re supposed to be getting a video of this song and honestly, I can’t wait.

The next song is one that I love so much, that I had it basically memorized a day after it was released.

“Forever Winter” hits me like a train. Like “All Too Well” and “Last Kiss” but in a different way. Because this doesn’t have to be about a lover. This could be about someone you care about. Whether that’s your sister or your brother or your friend. Someone who struggles with depression. It’s a tragically beautiful song. I can’t stop listening to it.

In this song, it captures the struggle of loving someone who struggles with mental illness, and all you want to do is make them feel better, but sometimes, you can’t. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, and it hurts knowing that they’re suffering and you are helpless.

He seems fine most of the time
Forcing smiles and never minds
His laugh is a symphony
When the lights go out, it's hard to breathe
I pull at every thread trying to solve the puzzles in his head

“All Too Well” is my favorite song on Red. And now with this 10 minute version of “All Too Well” on Red (Taylor’s Version), one of the best songs of that album and of her, hits even harder. It’s more raw and stripped down. It’s sad beautiful tragic. Also, the short film she did for this song reminds me of why I want to do short films.

And there we are again when nobody had to know
You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath
Sacred prayer and we'd swear
To remember it all too well, yeah

For more on my love of our girl Taylor Swift, check out the other blog posts I’ve done!

How Taylor Swift’s Music Helped Me Embrace Being ME!

Lover: Album Review

evermore: album review

Reviews on Red (Taylor’s Version)

‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ Makes a Classic Even Better

Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor’s Version) review – getting back together with a classic

On ‘Red (Taylor’s Version),’ Taylor Swift’s Vault Tracks Are All Too Swell: Album Review

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start this entire album from the beginning and put it on loop. Until next time!

-K

Songs I Keep Playing on Repeat

“Hero” by Faouzia

I found this song through what I believe was a playlist based off of “right where you left me.” I fell in love. It’s so simple lyric wise, but like beautiful. Also, it’s catchy as hell with a great beat.

In a relationship, it’s about an equal partnership. I don’t think that one should save the other. You save each other. You become better people and grow with each other.

“I know this ain’t a fairytale, this is real life.”

“Bitter” by FLETCHER and Kito

Y’all, I have listened to this song ten times today already. Now eleven. This song is beast. The beat. The lyrics. Everything. What girl hasn’t been broken up with and the guy gets with another girl the next day? Damn. Love it.

Also that video is like intentionally sexy as fuck. She’s like “Boy, look at what you are missing.”

“I know you think about me when you kiss her. I left a taste in your mouth. Can she taste me now?”

“In the End” by Beth Crowley

Okay I have always loved Beth Crowley. Even way before she ever got onto Spotify. I love her music. Some of my favorite songs include “Battle Cry,” “Red,” “Warrior,” and “Midnight.” Her lyrics are phenomeonal. So rare and exposed. I love that. Yes, they are mostly based on books or shows or movies, but like, they could be towards everything. Take this song for example.

This is about a relationship that’s doomed from the start. Yes, they love each other, but in the end, they are going to destroy each other. Their relationship isn’t going to last.

“But something this powerful and dangerous will burn until there’s nothing left.”

“Mr. Perfectly Fine” by Taylor Swift

Okay, if you don’t know by now that I love Taylor Swift then where have you been this entire time? I’ve only said it a million times and had three blog posts dedicated to her (Lover: Album Review, evermore: Album Review, and How Taylor Swift’s Music Helped Me Embracing ME). So yes, you should know I love her. And I have no shame.

You know what I also love? Those songs that are actually like throwing shade but they don’t sound like it. Like this one. It’s so like, peppy but she’s basically calling him out. This guy dumped her and he’s over it and with another girl, while she’s not. Apparently it’s about Joe Jonas.

“So dignified in your well-pressed suit, So strategized, all the eyes on you, sashay away to your seat. It’s the best seat, in the best room. Oh, he’s so smug, Mr. ‘Always Wins’. So far above me in every sense. So far above feeling anything.”

“All Your Exes” by Julia Michaels

I feel like if I was going to write a love song, this would be. It starts all sweet. . . .then you get to the chorus and you’re like “Oh.” I love it.

I mean who hasn’t dated someone, and they talk about their exes, and you’re like no. I don’t want to hear about them. I don’t care about them. I’m here. Screw them. This song takes that and runs with it. She’s saying I want to be the only one. There’s no exes. I’m all there is. Those exes don’t exist. It’s such a great song.

“I want to live in a world where there’s no exes at all. Like you were waiting for me to be the first thing you fall for.”

“right where you left me” by Taylor Swift

(Repeats what I said under “Mr. Perfectly Fine.”

Wow. This song hit me right in the feels. (Do people still say that anymore?) Like who hasn’t felt this way? Who hasn’t been oh so in love. Felt wanted. Then they drop you. You’re left there. Just waiting and waiting. And that’s all there is. It’s sad and it’s depressing, and per usual the queen Taylor has put that feeling into words. Thank you, Taylor.

“Did you hear about the girl who lives in delusion? Break-ups happen every day, you don’t have to lose it.”

“Strange Love” by Halsey

Wow. This song. It’s fucking hot. Okay? Like the beat, Halsey’s voice. Their voice is amazing. This song is amazing. Honestly, all I’m picturing is like some dark, smoky club, bodies grinding and winding, with a girl dressed in a kickass black dress that’s probably way too short for public fuck ’em, and fuck me heels staring down a guy across the room. You know, that come hither gaze. Just saying. Hello.

I can spout about the meaning of this song because well, I don’t know. I just like the song, okay? Don’t at me. Thanks.

“And everybody wants to know about how it felt to hear you scream. They know you walk like you’re a god. They can’t believe I made you weak.”

Shivers by Ed Sheeran

Oh, Ed. This song makes me want to dance. That is all. Listen to it!

Now go listen to all these songs! What are you listening to? Tell me in the comments! I am always looking for new music!

-K

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