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Look What You Made Me Listen To: Lover

Welcome back 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 seventh album, titled “Lover”.

I Forgot That You Existed

This already has a very different sound from “reputation”- it seems a lot calmer. I like the instrumentals, they’re very fun and different. While this song isn’t the deepest, it’s nice. Rating: 6.75/10

Cruel Summer

Again, I like the beats in this song. Even though this is definitely on the more intense end, I like the sound better than some of the more “aggressive” songs on “reputation”. Rating: 6.75/10

Lover

This album definitely has funky vibes. It’s pop, but it’s not as basic as some of her other songs have been. I kind of wish this song has more energy, but I enjoy it! The chorus is my favorite part. Rating: 7/10

The Man

I like this song’s vibe a lot. The lyrics are interesting – I can’t decide if I really like them or wish that they carried a different message. Rating: 6.75/10

The Archer

This song’s atmosphere is cool. At first I thought it was too edgy, but I really like the lyrics. This song has really dynamic imagery. Rating: 8/10

I Think He Knows

I don’t like the vocals and melody much. In fact, I don’t particularly like anything in this song. I’ve heard that this album has some bad ones, so I’m not surprised that there are some songs on here that I don’t like. Rating: 4.5/10

Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince

This song has a stronger narrative when compared to some of the other songs, which I appreciate! I usually enjoy the story-based songs. Musically, this song is pretty average. Rating: 6.25/10

Paper Rings

I’m not a fan of her voice in this one. It seems that there are too many random high vocals. While the background beat is fun, in the end, the bridge and final chorus earned this song a higher rating. Rating: 6.25/10

Cornelia Street

This song isn’t bad, but it’s also not super interesting musically. The story in the lyrics is the best part of the song, but I don’t love it. Rating: 6.25/10

Death By A Thousand Cuts

The introduction is cool! I like the meanings and images behind the lyrics. Death by a thousand cuts is a good metaphor. Musically, this song is nice. Rating: 7/10

London Boy

The beginning was interesting, but I was very confused at first. Overall, this isn’t bad, but a little basic sound-wise. Rating: 6/10

Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. The Chicks)

The intro has a very pretty aesthetic. I seem to enjoy sad songs more than happy ones, so it should come as no surprise that I like this one. I wish it had more of a build-up, though. Rating: 7/10

False God

This song isn’t bad, but parts of it sound awkward. I feel like it doesn’t really know what kind of song it wants to be. Rating; 5/10

You Need To Calm Down

I don’t really like the vocals in this one – it doesn’t really sound like it suits Taylor. It’s generally a good song, but not super memorable. Rating: 6/10

Afterglow

Interestingly, Ed Sheeran also has a song called “Afterglow”. The instrumentals are my favorite part of this song. There are also a few vocal moments that I think are pretty cool, but in other moments the vocals are just average. Rating: 6.5/10

ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco)

I recognize some of this song. I think Brendon’s voice is nice, but the melody isn’t super catchy or memorable. I don’t like some of the lyrics and vocal moments. The instrumentals are fun, though! Rating: 6.25/10

It’s Nice To Have A Friend

This song has a chill vibe, but most of it is pretty forgettable. I liked the little instrumental interlude, it helped me keep paying attention. Rating: 6.5/10

Daylight

I know this song pretty well! I don’t know why, but I’ve heard it a lot. I enjoy listening to this song, I think it has a nice, ethereal atmosphere. Rating: 7.5/10

Average Rating: 6.46/10

Favorite song (based on rating): “The Archer”

This album had a nice vibe! There were some songs that I really enjoyed, but also some that I very much did not like. From what I’ve heard, most people agree with the idea that “Lover” has some of the best and worst songs that Taylor has written. Overall, I think the album fits the music type that I enjoy. I’m surprised that its average score isn’t higher, but it was definitely brought down by some of the songs I disliked. Next up on “Look What You Made Me Listen To” is “folklore”, which I know I enjoy. I’m looking forward to revisiting the album!

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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