Sunday, January 03, 2021

Taylor Swift- Evermore album review

Taylor Swift feels like my oldest friend. I have always been the perfect demographic for her music, when she released ‘Red’ I was experiencing my first heartbreak and when she released ‘1989’ I was moving to a new city. I feel as though I have grown up with her and that is exactly the point of her music. 

Swift writes about her experiences in such an open way that you can’t help but relate to those experiences yourself. So when Swift released her album Folklore earlier this year with the warning that for the first time she was not going to be writing autobiographically, I was skeptical considering the two albums preceding it were the overly saccharine ‘Lover’ and the sometimes cringe-inducing ‘Reputation’.

I needn’t have worried though because when ‘folklore’ was released earlier this year it came as a much needed return to Swift’s singer-songwriter roots. So when Swift announced the sister album to ‘folklore’ a mere 5 months after its release, I am not ashamed to say that I woke up early to give it an initial listen. 

On her ninth studio album, titled ‘evermore’, Swift takes the idea of a sister album to mean more of an extended B-side, which means if you were a fan of ‘folklore’ you will enjoy the continuation of that sound and production in ‘evermore’. In terms of musical progression Swift somehow manages to nestle herself comfortably between indie darlings Bon Iver and The National with two additional features from both appearing on the album. Unsurprisingly for anyone who has listened to ‘folklore’ it is a hat she wears well. 

By removing the autobiographical element of her writing Swift manages to mature lyrically, replacing campy sentiments like “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? ‘Cause she’s dead!” with more the understated raw emotion of lines like “Don't treat me like some situation that needs to be handled/I'm fine with my spite”. Whilst ‘evermore’ thematically sticks to the tried and tested Taylor Swift formula of love, relationships and heartbreak, there is a real triumph in how Swift manages to remove herself from the story while still being able to keep a narrative and element of relatability in her lyricism. 

Ironically, the one-two punch of ‘evermore’ and ‘folklore’ feel more representative of Swift’s actual musical accomplishments than any of her previous work. Within the moody cottagecore atmosphere, Taylor packs in a few notable nods to her country roots throughout the album with tracks like ‘no body, no crime’ ft. Haim and ‘cowboy like me’ while the pop melodies of ‘Gold Rush’ are reminiscent of the synth-laden ‘1989’ era. 

With ‘evermore’ Swift is able to further realise the personal evolution past the teen country star and LA pop queen of the past towards the singer-songwriter we were introduced to on ‘folklore’. Instead of doing this by erasing her history, Swift does this by acknowledging sounds and production from the past and utilising the past theatrics as bricks to build her escape to the country.  

-Dilara Ball 

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