Welcome back, everyone! This summer has brought us lots of music, drama, and gossip (are Shawn and Camila dating, please advise), but coming in at the very end of summer is Taylor Swift’s seventh album, Lover.
Photo Credit: Taylor Swift
After waiting for reputation for three years, the wait for Lover did not feel long at all and I’m completely grateful. If there’s one thing I feel about this album, it feels like home. For me, it comes right before senior year — in all the chaos and mess that it is, but life feels stable. Taylor’s newest album explores all the ups and downs of relationships and love, with a dash of politicism that everyone has been begging for.
With 18 tracks, there’s so much to cover.
- I Forgot That You Existed
The majority of the comments about this song have made it sound as if Taylor is being petty when in reality, she’s just grown up. Part of growing up is realizing that people come and go — they don’t have to haunt you forever.
Lyric of choice: I forgot that you sent me a clear message / taught me some hard lessons / I just forget what they were
- Cruel Summer
When this track was hinted, there was speculation it would be a diss track since Kanye “Slavery was a choice” West also has a track with this name. HOWEVER, it’s nowhere close. “Cruel Summer” discusses the fragility of a casual relationship and the “go-with-the-flow” attitude that comes with it as well as her catching ~feels.~ Who can’t relate in this college climate?
Lyric of choice: I’m drunk in the back of the car / and I cried like a baby coming home from the bar
UGH, this song is the epitome of romance with SO much symbolism. The title track is dedicated to our favorite Brit, Joe Alwyn, and it’s oh-so-clear in this track. Taylor sings about being with Joe forever, but somehow it feels much older than “Forever & Always”. I love.
Lyric of choice: All’s well that ends well to end up with / swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover
- The Man
Recently, Taylor has been more outspoken about political issues and her experience as a female artist. “The Man” is no different. On this catchy track, Taylor describes all of the exhausting sexist experiences men and women experience, going so far as to call out how headlines about her are very different than headlines about Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lyric of choice: If I was out flashing my dollars / I’d be a bitch not a baller
- The Archer
Continuing her painful tradition of hurting me with track 5, this one really hits me where it hurts. “The Archer” (to me) is about really feeling unworthy of love from past experiences and struggling to be in a healthy relationship after being alone for so long.
Lyric of choice: Who could ever leave me darling? / But who could stay?
- I Think He Knows
This song is just really catchy and makes me want to skip down 16th Avenue. It’s about the beginnings of a relationship where you’re extremely infatuated with every single thing this person does. The beat behind the song really captures this with its upbeat tempo and warm melodies.
Side note: After years of her not driving and getting into car accidents and such with men, Taylor has finally said that she is now driving the damn car.
Lyric of choice: It’s like I’m seventeen — nobody understands.
- Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
OOOH. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached a favorite track of mine. This song is (I think) the sonically darkest track on the album, with the most reputation vibes. Shockingly enough (no seriously, people have a hard time with this one) this is a giant political metaphor using a high school setting. From what I’ve gathered (with this album on repeat for a literal 11 days) is Taylor expressing her discontent with the Trump administration and the hopelessness she has felt in the last few years. The bridge has some really haunting cheerleading vocals that show Taylor going from pessimistic to optimistic about our political future.
Lyric of choice: Boys will be boys — then where are the wise men? / Darling I’m scared
- Paper Rings
This is totally 90s/early 2000s movie vibes—it’s very pop faux-punk. This song is just being so in love with someone that you’re willing to give up your silly childhood fantasies for the reality in front of you. This feels like “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease but matured.
Lyric of choice: I like shiny things / but I’d marry you with paper rings
- Cornelia Street
Taylor is very drunk and loves Joe Alwyn. She is also just like us — she runs when she thinks she’s being played (update: Joe was not playing her). “Cornelia Street” is a very close place to Taylor’s heart because that’s where she was living at the beginning of their relationship. Many relationships have a place that’s special to them—their love story just happened to start in the West End of New York at a $40,000/month apartment. It’s casual, we’ve all been there.
Lyric of choice: Sacred new beginnings / that became my religion
- Death By A Thousand Cuts
As we all know, not all relationships end up burning in flames. Sometimes you just grow apart from a person as you get older — which is honestly the hardest type of breakup. There is still love there, you just don’t recognize your partner and they aren’t who they used to be. Inspired by Netflix’s Someone Great “Death By A Thousand Cuts” highlights the pain of an amicable breakup and the aftermath.
Lyric of choice: I look through the windows of this love / even though we boarded them up
- London Boy
Prior to this song, I really was not paying attention to how many of Taylor’s exes were Brits. Turns out it’s a good majority of them. Anyways, an ode to her current Brit, she FINALLY tells us what she does in Britain and how we literally never hear anything about it.
Lyric of choice: They say home is where the heart is / but God, I love the English
- Soon You’ll Get Better (ft. The Dixie Chicks)
Taylor can’t talk about this song and neither can I. Her mother Andrea is battling cancer again and my mom died of cancer. If you have the audacity to think that I can talk about this you’re wrong. This song, for me, forgives Taylor of all of her political wrongdoings or silence. Nothing is harder than thinking about or living in a world without your mom, especially when they’re your best friend.
Lyric of choice: I hate to make this all about me but who am I supposed to talk to? / What am I supposed to do if there’s no you?
- False God
Now that I’m done crying, back to the album. “FALSE GOD” IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. “False God” is about the struggles of a long-distance relationship and putting all of your faith in your relationship. The most important part of this song is the saxophone. That’s it.
Lyric of choice: And you can’t talk to me when I’m like this, / daring you to leave me just so I can try and scare you
- You Need to Calm Down
I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS. “YNTCD” is definitely not my favorite because I’m just a sucker for love songs; however, this is such an amazing song. There are so many people who say that Taylor only came out as an LGBTQ+ supporter when it was convenient for her and I understand that rationale. On the flip side, she thought she was obvious about her acceptance. She had no clue that people thought she was homophobic until Todrick Hall asked her what she would do if she had a son who was gay. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and go with the ideology that she simply didn’t realize what vibes she was putting out by staying quiet.
Lyric of choice: Shade never made anybody less gay
We’ve grown so much, not only on this album but over the past decade. “Afterglow” is Taylor recognizing her faults in a relationship and knowing that she needs to ask for forgiveness in a relationship. Not every relationship is worth losing for the sake of pride. “Afterglow” as a term refers to the burning embers of a blaze, that’s still warm and salvageable but not explosive.
Lyric of choice: Tell me that you’re still mine, / tell me that we’ll be just fine, / even when I lose my mind
Okay, we’re almost done. If you’ve made it this far into this article, I’m proud of you. “ME!” is a song about self-love and acceptance. The music video shows a snake, from the reputation era obviously, that bursts into butterflies. A metamorphosis at its finest ladies and gentlemen. We are back to the beautiful pastels of Taylor’s personality that we love so much. I don’t quite understand how this song fits into the entire album but I’m generally not a fan of released singles each album release so I’ll let it slide.
Lyric of choice: I don’t have one because I swear there are only 10 words.
- It’s Nice to Have a Friend
This song is extremely mellow and I love steel drums, so sign me up. There really isn’t much to say about this song since it’s not completely personal. It’s really just a song about the childish dreams of meeting and eventually marrying a childhood crush. The money from this song is going to a music program in Canada for underprivileged kids so I can’t complain. It’s a good background song, I’m a fan.
Lyric of choice: I don’t have one. I’m a really big fan of the steel drums throughout and trumpets at the end.
We have reached the end of the album. “Daylight” represents the evolution of the ideology of love from childhood to adulthood. Taylor sings that she once thought love would be burning red, but now she sees that it’s golden.
Lyric of choice: I’ll tell you the truth / but never goodbye
Love, at its peak, isn’t chaotic, it isn’t excruciating, it isn’t stressful. Love is kind and forgiving, it’s patient, it’s growth.
And that is Lover.