Review with Michaella: Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’

Taylor Swift had summer plans to not only, headline Glastonbury, but to be playing loads of festivals and shows on an international tour. She was also supposed to host her own two-part ‘Lover Fest’ in America to celebrate her seventh studio album ‘Lover.’ But as Covid-19 came and changed everyone’s plans, Taylor was left with a bunch of free time. So instead of being in rehearsals and performing in front of millions… she used that time to write.

The hours she took to write came together and unfolded into a beautiful EIGHTH studio album that Taylor titled, ‘Folklore.’ The brilliant star shocked us all by announcing the eighth album within 24 hours of its release.

Taylor broke the news by posting a simple statement on her social media, she stated that typically she would wait to release the album at the ‘perfect’ time, but said that the current situation that is happening worldwide reminded her that ‘nothing is guaranteed.”

Over the last seven albums, we’ve seen Taylor go from a fresh-faced teenage country star to a powerful, fun, moving pop star. Each record has brought changes, her 2010 “Speak Now’ had more of a country vibe whilst her 2012’s ‘Red’ was more pop-based mixed with a little country. By the time Taylor’s 2014 ‘1989’ was released she had ditched all country and went for purely pop.

Folklore is something completely different than what we are used to from Taylor. The musical direction has changed and she has dived headfirst into the world of folk, alternative rock, and indie.

So without further ado,  Folklore is here! And I’m here to tell you my honest review on it. Let’s dive in.

Musical Heroes

Folklore was written while in isolation but Taylor managed to team up with a handful of her musical heroes and indie legends including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who makes a guest appearance on ‘Exile’ as well as being the only guest appearance the record,) Aaron Dessner (who worked on 11/16 songs,) and a longtime friend/collaborator Jack Antonoff. Taylor also stated in her pre-release statement that she worked with another hero, the one and only William Bowery. There are no known details to exist about him elsewhere and a lot of fans have assumed that William is actually a pseudonym for her brother or her boyfriend ‘Joe Alwyn.’

Tracklist & Favorite Lyric From Each Song.

Folklore has sixteen songs that are on the standard edition, while the deluxe editions (8 deluxe CDs and Vinyls with unique covers & photos) have seventeen songs including a bonus track titled, ‘The Lakes.’ Taylor’s reasoning for releasing the 8 Deluxe versions is because Folklore is her eighth studio album. The deluxe versions are only available for one week.

If you know me, you know that when I review music the thing that means the most to me is the lyrics. So below is the tracklist along with my favourite part from each song.

Song: the 1

Favourite Part: In my defence, I have none / For never leaving well enough alone / But it would’ve been fun / If you would’ve been the one”

Song: cardigan

Favorite Part: To kiss in cars and downtown bars / Was all we needed / You drew stars around my scars / But now I’m bleedin’”

Song: the last great American dynasty

Favourite Part: “There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen / She had a marvellous time ruining everything”

Song: exile ft. Bon Iver

Favourite Part: “You’re not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now? / You were my town, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out / I think I’ve seen this film before”

Song: my tears ricochet

Favourite Part: “I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace / And so the battleships will sink beneath the waves / You had to kill me, but it killed you just the same”

Song: mirrorball

Favourite Part: “I’m a mirrorball / I’ll show you every version of yourself tonight / I’ll get you out on the floor / Shimmering beautiful / And when I break, it’s in a million pieces”

Song: seven

Favourite Part: “Please picture me in the weeds / Before I learned civility / I used to scream ferociously any time I wanted”

Song: august

Favourite Part: “To live for the hope of it all / Canceled plans just in case you’d call / And say ‘Meet me behind the mall’”

Song: this is me trying

Favourite Part: “And it’s hard to be at a party when I feel like an open wound / It’s hard to be anywhere these days when all I want is you / You’re a flashback in a film reel on the one screen in my town”

Song:  illicit affairs

Favourite Part: “Look at this idiotic fool that you made me / You taught me a secret language / I can’t speak with anyone else”

Song: invisible string

Favourite Part: “Time, mystical time / Cutting me open, then healing me fine / Were there clues I didn’t see? / And isn’t it just so pretty to think / All along there was some / Invisible string / Tying you to me.”

Song: mad woman

Favourite Part: “And women like hunting witches too / Doing your dirtiest work for you”

Song: epiphany

Favourite Part: “Only twenty minutes to sleep / But you dream of some epiphany / Just one single glimpse of relief / To make some sense of what you’ve seen”

Song: betty

Favourite Part: “If you kiss me, will it be just like I dreamed it? / Will it patch your broken wings?”

Song: peace

Favourite Part: “But I’m a fire and I’ll keep your brittle heart warm / If your cascade, ocean wave blues come / All these people think love’s for show / But I would die for you in secret”

Song: Hoax

Favourite Part: “You know I left a part of me back in New York / You knew the hero died so what’s the movie for? / You knew it still hurts underneath my scars / From when they pulled me apart”

Listen Below

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