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9 of Taylor Swift’s Best (Recent) Love Songs

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

While her music has been perfect for “Sad Girl Autumn,” Taylor Swift is also known for some pretty great love songs such as “Love Story” and “Mine”. What people don’t know is that over the past five years, she’s put out even more bangers! In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are her best love songs from recent years that you might’ve missed. Surprisingly, most of them are from Reputation (which my fellow HC chapter member Ruby Zeidman calls “The Valentine’s Day album”)!

Delicate

While it was overplayed in 2018, I can safely sit back now and say that this is one of Taylor’s best track five songs. It’s all about the vulnerabilities and anxieties that come with the beginning of a relationship and is honestly really sweet. The opening line of the song is, “This ain’t for the best/my reputation’s never been worse, so/you must like me for me.” This line indicates that she wrote this song while entering her relationship with Joe Alwyn in late 2016, just after Kanye West had falsely framed her for supposedly approving a misogynistic verse in a song of his. Additionally, the melody of this song is one of her best on the Reputation album!

Dress

This is by far the spiciest song on my list (legend has it that Taylor’s dad, Scott, covered his ears when listening to it at the Reputation secret sessions), but you can’t deny that it’s musically sound. In the bridge she sings, “Flashback to when you met me/your buzzcut and my hair bleached/even in my worst times, you could see the best of me/Flashback to my mistakes, my rebounds, my earthquakes/even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me,” is a true masterpiece and has a surprisingly deep twist, which is unexpected yet incredibly complimentary.

Call it what you want

“Call It What You Want” is a simple but adorable mid-tempo song that gets into the depths of Taylor’s and Joe’s relationship. She describes her dedication to him and brushes off the haters because she’s finally in a good, healthy relationship and has stopped caring about what others think. Also, her acoustic performance of the song on SNL is a must-see! 

New year’s day

“New Year’s Day,” the last song on Reputation, was my favorite when it first came out (partially because it reminded me most of the “old Taylor”). The piano melody throughout the song is so iconic that Olivia Rodrigo sampled it in her song “1 step forward, 3 steps back.” However,  what makes this song a real gem, in my opinion, is that it describes the more mundane, everyday parts of a relationship that can still be incredibly romantic! If you’ve been in a long-term relationship with someone, this song might be a good one to play to remind each other that the spark is still very much there, just in a different way than at the beginning.

lover

As a Swiftie, I think I’m obligated to include this one. While it was a little over-promoted during its namesake album’s era, Taylor really loves it, so we do too! She made her first and only “Diary of a Song” video for the New York Times about “Lover,” and it’s really sweet to see her opening up about how special it is to her. It’s a slow, waltz-type song that is just so incredibly sweet!

Daylight

“Daylight,” the final song on Lover, is one to listen to after one of Taylor’s recent re-recorded albums to remind yourself that she’s in a better place now! Specifically, she “once believed love would be burning red, but it’s golden.” “Daylight” also has an addicting chorus that is no doubt a result of stellar production by Taylor and Jack Antonoff. 

invisible string

Despite moving away from autobiographical songs on her most recent albums, Folklore and Evermore, Taylor has reserved one song on each to be about her and Joe, and “Invisible String” was a wonderful choice for Folklore. She describes the supposed fate that led her and Joe to each other and reveals small coincidences that have connected them since their teens. I know I say this about every song, but it’s so cute!

long story short

The same goes for this Evermore song; Taylor takes a break from the stories to reference her relationship with Joe. This time, she doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships she’s been through over the past several years and instead outlines how Joe has made her a better person. She also makes Reputation and 1989 references and concludes the song with the iconic line, “Long story short, it was a bad time/Long story short, I survived.”

message in a bottle

This song is a “From The Vault” track from the new Red (Taylor’s Version). It’s been playing on the radio a lot recently and has become a bit of an earworm for me, but you can’t deny that it’s a catchy pop tune straight off of 1989. “Message in a Bottle” is about the early nerves surrounding a mutual crush, when you feel like you can’t possibly give that person any more signals. Additionally, Taylor released a remix in January that’s actually quite good and compliments the original song very well!

So there you have it! I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with Taylor Swift and add some of these recent songs to the playlist with her classics.

Stella Tallmon

Columbia Barnard '24

Hello everyone! I'm a sophomore political science major at Barnard from Juneau, Alaska, and I intend to study law and comparative politics. I also love swimming, hiking, comedies, and herbal tea!
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