As a senior, I was shocked when Taylor Swift dropped her newest album “folklore,” because this marked the third album that she’s released since I started college. I grew up a big Taylor Swift fan, but I did not mind the transition of her music into the “Reputation” album or even the “Lover” album. So, when she released yet another album, I was anxious to give it a listen.
I started with the first song, “the 1,” and wondered who it was about. Taylor Swift is infamous for writing her songs based on her experiences. After her last album “Lover,” which included a smattering of love songs, I assumed the first song on her new album would be about someone she dated. The song, “the 1,” was very sad, though, and made me feel as if I was losing someone that it almost could have worked out with.
“cardigan” had a lot of old country Taylor vibes. I was a fan of her country era of music, and this almost felt like the same style as her older stuff but more mature and tired of the pain of the world. The countrified folk song is written from the perspective of a girlfriend who is cheated on.
I had a lot of confusion over the song “the last great american dynasty” until I realized it was about her house. I began feeling nostalgic at this point at how much I’ve missed her old music.
Next up was “exile.” While Bon Iver’s deep voice was very well done, it also was a little unsettling for me. The piano was amazing throughout, although the lyrics, once again, left me sad.
“my tears ricochet” felt like a Billie Eilish song, except that Taylor’s voice is not as eerie as Eilish’s can be. Next up was “mirrorball.” This was probably my favorite song on the album. It strongly reminded me of one of her older songs, although I couldn’t figure out which specific song it was.
In the song “seven,” I started having a weird déjà vu feeling as though I was nine years old again and missing my elementary friends. The song nearly compelled me to pick up my phone and text all my old friends and try to reconnect. Taylor was singing through the point of view of a young child when the world was big and imaginative and things made more sense than they might now. “august” also filled me with that feeling, as though my high school sweetheart and I needed to rekindle the flame and try again.
By the time I got to “this is me trying,” I began to wonder if Taylor and Joe Alwyn had split. After “illicit affairs,” I was even more sure they had. With the songs “mad woman,” “betty” and “hoax” also being on this album and including elements of infidelity in the lyrics, I began feeling helpless and distrustful in romantic relationships since Taylor has written so many songs at this point about getting cheated on.
Overall, the album was very mature and well put together. There was a good mix of old Taylor and new Taylor in a way that blended nicely. The overarching theme I interpreted from Taylor is that life is uncertain, sometimes a little confusing, but cheating in a relationship is pretty much to be expected.
Her sudden increase in songs in the last three and a half years shows me that she has been living her life and having a lot of experiences, and the quality is not decreasing as the output of songs increases. It was well-written, but I was too close to too many of the songs to enjoy them. If someone wanted to experience heartbreak without ending a relationship, this song will tug on all the heartstrings.
3 out of 5 stars