New album show cases swifts depth and talent
Taylor Swift made a grand return with her new album Lover. The album is much like her old style, with deep metaphors and symbols throughout. Her last album Reputation was much more disguised as she wrote from a fake perspective to keep her private life out of the public; so this new album is almost a redemption of past self. However, Lover alludes to many personal issues and situations that many people face. It even gets a bit political with “You Need To Calm Down” which targets homophobia and “The Man” which targets sexism.
As the album title suggests, Lover just radiates warmth and love. There actually is only one song about heartbreak, “Death By a Thousand Cuts,” which conveys the struggle of forgetting about someone and all of the love you gave them; it’s pretty catchy. The song “Lover” sets the tone of the album, it’s cozy and romantic. In all honesty, I really don’t like “ME!” at all, because it just sounds so childish but the rest of the album makes up for it. Some highlights of the album are “Afterglow,” “Paper Rings,” and “Cruel Summer.” Afterglow is about overthinking and overreacting in a relationship. “Paper Rings” is a very upbeat, playful song of the pure happiness you feel when you’re in love with someone; “I like shiny things but I’d marry you with paper rings,” she sings. “Cruel Summer” is a dark, seductive piece about a forbidden summer romance, that’s horrible and beautiful at the same time. She writes “I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard?”
A majority of the songs feature lyrics with household objects. She refers to windows, picture frames, chandeliers, garden gates, desks, clothes, and christmas lights. For example, she says “I’ll paint the kitchen neon” in “Soon You’ll Get Better;” “I look through the windows of this love / even though we boarded them up” in “Death By A Thousand Cuts;” “And at every table, I’ll save you a seat” in “Lover.” The music video for her song “Lover” takes place in a house. This could allude to Swift’s longing for a normal life, or the house could be a symbol of family, and love in general. This album was very put together and all the songs correlated and flowed together.
New Album Sends Contradictory Messages
Taylor Swift’s new album, Lover, has made quite a splash in the world of pop music. According to Rolling Stone, five songs from the album were within the top ten most popular songs the week of their publication. But is the album really that good, or do pop artists just know how to appeal to the public?
The worst songs are the ones that are constantly playing on the radio, most notably “You Need to Calm Down” and “Me!”. “You Need to Calm Down” is all about self confidence and standing up against hatred. If that sounds familiar, there’s a reason for it- Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit Shake it Off had the exact same message. The real problem with this song is not about the message, but the execution. The song begins in the first person, as if Swift is describing hatred directed towards her specifically. Towards the middle of the song is the line “Shade never made anybody less gay”. Using popularity to portray a positive message is great, but the execution makes it seem as if Taylor Swift is comparing homophobia to being called ‘washed up’ by a twitter user with 50 followers.
“Me!” Is somewhat reflective of the album as a whole, at least in terms of lyrics. “Me!”, just like many other songs in the Lover album, sounds as if it was stolen from T-shirts in the kids section of Target. For example:
Spelling is fun!
Girl, there ain’t no ‘I’ in team
But you know there is a ‘me’
You can’t spell ‘awesome’ without ‘me’
As poetic and deep as these lyrics are, I would expect a bit more originality from a Top 40 hit song. The use of the phrase “Hey, kids!” also makes you wonder who the target audience of the album is. Some of the songs (such as “Me!”, “The Man”, and “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”) sound as if they were made to appeal to kids, whereas others (like “False God” and “I Think He Knows”) have a very sexual connotation.
The album as a whole is contradictory. Most songs are mellow (or boring) but others are incredibly loud and upbeat. Some songs (such as “Lover” and “Paper Rings”) have well thought out lyrics, while others sound like a high school creative writing assignment done at the last possible second. If I had to guess how this album was developed, I’d say Taylor Swift wrote “Lover” and then rushed the writing of most of the other songs, to put out an album as soon as possible.