Caleb Schreurs – Guest Writer
There are some mainstays in this increasingly hectic world we live in: the sun will come up, it will go down, and Taylor Swift will be lovesick. Or, at least, this was the case up until late 2017 when Swift released Reputation. Her sixth album was a raucous reflection of the shift in her public image from the eternal teenager towards a woman with a chip the size of New Jersey on her shoulder. In 2017, Swift engaged in less-than-civil discourse with artists including Nicki Minaj and Kanye West. But two years later, in 2019, Swift seems to be shouting “HEY REMEMBER ME, REMEMBER 1989? REMEMBER ‘BLANK SPACE’? WELL HERE YA GO!”
Lover feels like a return to form. Like coming back to a person who you have been out of contact with for months or years and suddenly remembering all their little mannerisms and sayings as they resurface. Still, the album is not 1989, or RED, or anything else Swift has put out in her lengthy career. It is Lover, and it is Swift in 2019. She’s living in the age where being apolitical is no longer an option, where you cannot avoid a career as iconic as hers, and where the fans are hungry for music that makes them feel at home.
Lover as a whole is a lengthy piece clocking in at over an hour. I have a personal preference to an album that is tight, both in content and storyline. Swift’s seventh album is no concept album with one storyline, but it does not need to be. This is an album produced for the masses, not one that is meant to be the darling of a wannabe music critic. Still, the content within seems loose and scattered, as if these are songs plucked from different sections of the songwriter’s journal, and haphazardly tossed into an album. It’s almost as if inconsistencies within her own mind are coming to the forefront in the content of the songs. Songs in banger territory like “Paper Rings” are undercut by lovesick, molasses-sweet ballads like “London Boy.” And the feminist anthem “The Man,” while a great standalone song, feels out of place in Swift’s most recent work.
All in all, Lover, accomplished exactly what Swift intended for it to: re-affirming her place in the music industry as the eternal teenager, lovesick heartbreaker, and pop-goddess. But for listeners such as myself who are not die-hard Swifties, the songwriter best summarizes our feelings towards this album in her first song on the track list, “I Forgot That You Existed.” It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference. Good to have you back, Taylor.
WILL LISTEN TO AGAIN:
Lover, The Man, The Archer, You Need To Calm Down, Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.
BURN IT DOWN:
ME! (Feat. Brendon Urie.)
Soon You’ll Get Better