Review: Lover by Taylor Swift
If you have ever questioned your adoration for Taylor Swift, Lover will surely make you love her, or maybe loathe her.
With 80s-like rock, deep bass, sultry vocals and even a trumpet, the eighteen tracks on Swift’s seventh studio album are the exact thing some fans have been waiting for. Lover is literal sunshine flowing through Swift’s lyrics and has a voice comparable to Reputation.
The bubblegum pop anthems instantly become iconic with Swift’s falsetto contrasting with the deep bass in the back - something we haven’t heard since her grand entrance into pop with 1989.
However, there is something integral missing from this album; something fresh and exciting. No one can deny that the tracks on Lover make you want to dance, but how much value does the rhythm and melody hold when it comes to T-Swift?
Swift is notoriously known for ability to conjure any emotion with her idyllic words and images.
The opening song, “I Forget That You Existed,” is the bouncy diss track that sets the fun-loving tone of the album without taking away from her message of liberation and contentment.
But tracks like “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie and “You Need To Calm Down” faced major backlash on social media, especially after fans and haters accused Swift of using LGBTQ+ activism to promote her new album. They possess melodies that loop in your head, but they were substantially lacking in comparison to Swift’s past lyrics in Red, 1989 and Reputation.
Yet, despite the elementary-level lyrics in the previously mentioned tracks, the rest of Lover presents the highly specific lyrics that Swift’s fans attribute to her character.
Dana Schwartz with Time Magazine said, “One of Swift’s primary gifts as a songwriter is her ability to conjure lyrics that are at once both intensely specific and also universally relatable.”
This skill is what sets Swift apart as a pop song-writer and keeps her fans devoted.
Unlike her past records, Swift addressed some political commentary in “You Need To Calm Down,” “Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince,” and “The Man” - a song that looks at her career and reputation from the perspective of her as the opposite sex.
The latter, undoubtedly one of the best and most surprising tracks on Lover, seems to set a juvenile tone against the rest of the album with the cheerleader shouts in the background and the star-crossed lovers style story, but her haunting voice tells of her heartbreak with American politics and the hope of the American nation.
To some, Lover is the response to Red. Considering the various references to the color blue in “Cruel Summer,” “Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince” and “Afterglow,” I would agree.
In the album’s finale ballad, “Daylight,” Swift sings, “I once believed love would be (Burning Red), but it’s golden like daylight,” further confirming her evolution from the heartbroken, lovesick artist to the woman of butterflies and sunshine.
The disappointing thing about Lover is that it sounds like something we have heard before. It’s not revolutionary like Reputation or 1989; it’s cookie cutter, Sketcher commercial pop with dreamy and poetic lyrics.
Lover is good, but it is not great. Either way, Swift should be proud of her evolution to the bubblegum pop princess she is.