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Look What You Made Me Listen To: folklore

Welcome to a newbie’s reactions to Taylor Swift! I have minimal prior exposure to her music beyond what’s played on the radio or what popular songs people talk about. This is my first intentional, close listen-through of her entire discography. I do not claim to be a Taylor Swift expert, nor can I promise that my impressions of each song will be considered “socially acceptable” by her fans.

Each song will be scored out of 10, adding decimals as I see fit. Examples of songs that I would rate a 10 include “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Sound of Silence” for reference. Anything 5 or higher means I like the song! I listened to the album in track order, so my reactions and scores match accordingly. 

With that being said, here are my thoughts on her eighth album, “folklore”.

the 1

I know folklore and evermore more than I know any of her other albums, so a lot of these songs will be familiar to me. With this song, I like the very laid-back vibe. Rating: 7/10


I like the tone of her voice in this one a little less than the other ones, but the lyrics are good. Rating: 6.75/10

the last great american dynasty

This has a more energizing beat than the last two, which I appreciate! Even though I like slower songs, it’s nice to have one now and then that has more energy behind it. Rating: 7.25/10

exile (feat. Bon Iver)

I like the piano, and I really like his voice. I think this was a good collaboration, definitely one of the better ones she’s done. Rating: 8/10

my tears ricochet

This intro gives off very ethereal vibes. This album has been good about establishing different vibes. The vocals and lyrics are also very nice. Rating: 7.25/10


Instrumentally, this one doesn’t stand out. Vocally, it’s a cool song- the melody and lyrics are all interesting. Rating: 7/10


PENNSYLVANIA!!! Immediate 10/10. Just kidding. I find this song a little on the generic end, but I still enjoyed listening to it. I have to admit, I love a good Pennsylvania shoutout. Rating: 6.5/10


August is the worst month, and I will stand by that statement. I like the energy of this song, too! I find myself looking for more upbeat songs on this album. The song got better after the three minute mark. I enjoyed it. Rating: 7.5/10

this is me trying

This song definitely has a different tone than the other ones. It’s cool, and I like the edginess. Rating: 7.25/10

illicit affairs

I love a good allusion to “The Road Less Traveled”. However, the vocals aren’t my favorite on this album. Rating: 6/10

invisible string

I like the instrumentals, especially the guitar. While the vocals aren’t bad, I don’t find them very interesting either. This song is relaxing, but not super memorable. Rating: 6/10

mad woman

The piano intrigues me. I also like the melody and the lyrics- the premise is cool! Rating: 7.5/10


This song gives off very surreal vibes. I also appreciate the instrumentals in this one; they really help create the desired atmosphere. Rating: 7.5/10


This was one of the first “folklore” songs I ever heard. I think “betty” seems catchier than a lot of the other songs on the album, primarily because it has better momentum than the others. The last minute of the song is my favorite part, and actually earned the song a higher rating. Rating: 6.5/10


The instrumentals are cool, with very interesting beat and instrument combinations. The melody is also nice to listen to! The persistent beat in the background is a nice detail. Rating: 7.25/10


Again, I like the piano the most. Overall, it’s a nice song, but also not extremely captivating or memorable. Rating: 6/10

Average Rating: 6.95/10

Favorite song (based on rating): “exile (feat. Bon Iver)”

I anticipated that “folklore” would be one of my favorite albums. Overall, I think it’s one of Taylor’s more cohesive albums. The vibe is calming but still interesting, with just enough variety to keep my interest. I feel like you can do anything, like drive, study or read while listening to these songs. I really enjoyed this album! I’m excited for “evermore”, and to finally be able to say that I’ve listened to most of Taylor’s music!

Anna DeGoede

Hofstra '24

Anna is a journalism major with a passion for true crime, Minecraft and good food. When she isn't writing for HerCampus or The Hofstra Chronicle, Anna plays the trumpet and crochets.
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