It's only been five months since Taylor Swift delighted fans with her eighth studio album, folklore, and it's no surprise the superstar hasn't been sitting idle since. Now she's back with evermore.
Over the last several weeks, the singer has been dropping hints — as Swift does — that she hasn't fully left her nostalgic, witchy, woodsy dreamscape.
Indeed, on her ninth studio album, Swift, 30, continues weaving her musical magic with all those feelings: gut-wrenching heartache, overwhelming love, terrifying isolation, to name just a few.
Kicking off the album with the lovestruck "willow," Swift careens into heartbreak with evermore's second track, "champagne problems."
The devastatingly sad song — its delicate piano chords bringing to mind Swift's quietly romantic reputation ballad, "New Year's Day" — was co-written with the recently unmasked William Bowery. (In her Disney+ film, folklore: the long pond studio sessions, Swift revealed her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, who also contributed to "coney island" and "evermore," was her mysterious folklore co-writer.)
It's the best kind of whiplash — one she deftly served on folklore by juxtaposing songs like the furiously simmering "my tears ricochet" and revelatory "mirrorball."
And baby, looks like we’ve still got bad blood.
Swift continues to flex her female rage muscle on evermore. Folklore’s “ricochet” and “mad woman” were inspired by her falling out with former label exec Scott Borchetta, who sold the masters to Swift’s first five albums to her known nemesis Scooter Braun.
The Grammy winner has compared their split to a messy divorce. While those songs captured Swift’s heartbreak and fury, she appears to have found some peace … or at least indifference.
On evermore’s penultimate track, “closure,” Swift seemingly responds to a letter (perhaps from Borchetta?) about a distressing situation: “It wasn’t right the way it all went down / Looks like you know that now / Yes, I got your letter / Yes, I’m doing better / It cut deep to know you, right to the bone / I know that it’s over / I don’t need your closure.”
As she has since she was a teen, Swift employs her vivid storytelling throughout. (See: the wistful standout "'tis the damn season," which makes us wonder if Betty ended up with James after all.)
Look no further than the fictional revenge romp “no body, no crime”: Swift — with her pals from the sister act Haim — sings of a he-had-it-coming murder saga reminiscent of the Chicks’ epic hit “Goodbye Earl.”
And Swift has proven to be an effective nonfiction writer as well. On folklore, she paid tribute to the former owner of her Rhode Island house, Rebecca Harkness (“the last great American dynasty”), as well has her WWII veteran grandfather (“epiphany”).
This time around, she honors her beloved grandmother, an opera singer, on the moving “marjorie,” as she extols family values the namesake passed down: "Never be so kind you forget to be kind / Never be so clever you forget to be kind.”
Introspective, imaginative, exquisite — Swift has delivered another timeless tome to her modern classic canon.
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