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Why Taylor Swift’s Lover is Her Most Deep and Inspiring Album Yet

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

For well over a decade, Taylor Swift has captivated audiences with songs of romance, heartbreak, and just about everything in between. We thought we know every side of her – sweet country girl, pop princess, even a bit of a feisty rebel seen in reputation. Taylor Swift expressed all areas of her personality in her music over the years. However, fans learned that there was much more depth to the Pop Icon when August 2019 rolled around with the release of her album Lover. Some enjoyed it because they felt she was going back to her “roots” – in some regards, the sounds of Lover are slightly reminiscent of her earlier music.  I happen to disagree. As told in her documentary, Miss Americana, Taylor was fed up of being tethered to a leash, being told by the people around her what she should and should not do, in the hopes of maintaining a clean image in the media. Taylor took her talents to craft and sing songs divulging her thoughts and feelings on social injustices, stating her advocacy on certain platforms, and raising awareness for issues that need change – in addition to her beautifully illustrated love songs, of course. Lover exposes a side of Taylor you haven’t seen before. 

Screenshot of Taylor Swift\'s Music Video: she\'s on a train
Taylor Swift

Within her music, Taylor has always stuck up for the girl in her narratives, even her early songs like “White Horse” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” assert her own wants against those of her love interest with whom she’s terminating the relationship. However, “The Man,” track four on Lover, exposes the lack of rights and injustices of females everywhere in a completely different way than she’s ever done before. In “The Man,” there is no romantic relationship whatsoever between her and a guy, in fact, the importance of Taylor’s message goes far beyond any trivial fling. The major theme and focus of “The Man” is the unfair standard women are held to in comparison to men. My favorite moment in the song comes in the bridge, when she talks about how men brag about women and money, this objectification is unquestioned and even encouraged by other men. Taylor goes on to sing: “If I was out flashing my dollars / I’d be a bitch, not a baller / They’d paint me out to bad, / So it’s okay that I’m mad.”  YES!!! Us women should be mad about this!

At first listen, it may seem that “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” is the telling of a teenage romance, but it goes much deeper than that. The use of high school stereotypes actually symbolize Taylor’s feelings on the political situation happening within the United States. She claims her love for America faded with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the election of President Donald Trump in 2016: “Running through rose thorns, I saw the scoreboard / And ran for my life.”  Taylor also mentions painting the town “blue,” which could signify her sadness as well as her support for the Democratic party.

“You Need to Calm Down” is probably one of my favorite songs on Lover. Not only is it incredibly uplifting, but the message is so powerful.  Within the past year, Taylor decided to vocalize her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, with not only the creation of a petition pushing for the Senate to approve the Equality Act, but with this song! The overarching theme of YNTCD is to put a stop to the hate the LQBTQ+ community faces on a daily basis. We are all the same and all worthy of love and fairness. The music video for this song is also AMAZING, and it actually won Video of the Year at the 2019 Video Music Awards – if you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out!

One of the more slower ballads on Lover is called “Soon You’ll Get Better.” This is an ode to her mother, Andrea, who is undergoing a serious battle with cancer. I thought this song was so remarkable. Unlike her earlier music, which deals with more light-hearted issues about love, this song exposes Taylor’s fear for her mother’s life, a real and frightening problem that many people in the world struggle with. The intricate detail she weaves into the lyrics attempts to place every listener in her shoes: “The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair / In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared.” Regardless of whether you could relate to Taylor’s situation or not, I think most can admit that this song hits home for them now, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s a song of fear and sorrow, it also presents a flicker of hope, which we all can take comfort in.

These are only four of the eighteen songs on the Lover album, so there are certainly many more layers to peel back when it comes to hidden tropes and empowering messages within this collection. I’ll always be a Taylor fan no matter what kind of music she releases, however I can say that Lover has earned her immense respect from me, even more so than I ever thought!  Taylor fans everywhere should be excited for future, because I believe there’s still a lot more where Lover came from.

*This article was written before the release of Swift’s eighth studio album, Folklore.

Julia Bryant is a Siena College Class of 2022 alumna. During her time at Siena, she studied English.