Taylor Swift released music and people have feelings. Oddly, people seem to either really love Lover, her new album, or hate it. I’m in the camp of loving this album. Taylor proves again that she can produce music that is different from the last album. Whatever your feelings about Taylor, there’s no denying that her music has evolved over the years (not always for the best, looking at multiple tracks on Reputation).
Lover is happy. Some may say too happy. Unlike much of Taylor’s music, Lover isn’t full of breakup songs, songs of unrequited love, or throwing shade. Taylor gave us an album of love songs. Don’t get me wrong, she definitely misses the mark with songs like ME! because it’s not only an irritating song, but it fails to showcase the talent of Brendon Urie and herself. Fortunately, she shoved that song towards the back of the album to make room for lovely songs like “Lover,” “Paper Rings,” “Cornelia Street,” and several others.
Maybe these songs are too happy for you. If that’s the case, might I direct you to some of her earlier music? Regardless of how you feel about earlier T-Swift music, everyone on earth knows that it’s hella catchy (and, let’s be real, remains catchy). She’s built her kingdom on somewhat relatable but catchy lyrics, and she’s not going anywhere.
The overall feel of Lover makes me think that she was trying to stay as neutral as possible (minus “You Need to Calm Down,” but that seems like a one off on this album). She wants us to know she’s in love and it’s great (good for you, Taylor. You found what everyone else is looking for). She appears to have shed being petty for one album (though who doesn’t love some good Taylor Swift shade). It’s no 1989, but it’s good to see Taylor not reinventing herself for the billionth time and creating music that is about her joy instead of misery. Of course, no matter what she’s writing about, the fans will come.
Taylor Swift’s staying power is wild. She doesn’t just put out music and tour. Instead, she’s strategic about everything from when and how she releases music to the easter eggs she leaves in music videos to how much media attention she’s receiving at any one time. She’s a businesswoman about all of it, so even if she releases a garbage album (based off the numbers, not your personal feelings) she’ll still have followers that will just wait for her to put out better music in a few years. Eventually, she’ll likely go back to her country roots and somehow convert all these non-country music fans to cowboy boot wearing, twang-loving fans (if Kacey Musgraves doesn’t manage to do that first).