Brace Yourself for the Daylight: Taylor Swift "Lover" Album Review (Part 2)

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the Lover Album review, check it out here.

Here comes Round 2 of analyzing Taylor Swift’s Lover. Not only do I consider the second half of Lover the most lyrically impressive, I also find the second half the most original. Swift explores a lot of sounds she hasn’t included in albums past on these tracks and I am here for it! Without further ado, read on for the rest of my thoughts on this amazing seventh album. 

 

10. Death by a Thousand Cuts

Why this song is a must listen: First of all, the song begins with a sing song “my, my, my,” that is eerily similar to the pelicans in Finding Nemo. With the song directly following the romantic “Cornelia Street” and followed by the loving “London Boy,” DBTC is a stark contrast to the lovey-dovey vibes. While still being an upbeat tune, DBTC explores the aftermath of a recent breakup. Swift asks the traffic lights if she’ll be alright now that she’s single, so if you see any Swfities talking to construction cones, be not alarmed. The message of the song is powerful, as Swift states that breakups do not involve a dramatic month-long depressive episode; rather, the pain you feel after a breakup all stems from the little “paper cuts.” Reminders of your ex, such as their favorite song, the sweater they left in your laundry basket, or the old polaroid you found when you cleaned your car, are much more painful than the initial breakup. 

What stands out the most from this song: The bridge’s incorporation of paper cuts and paper thin plans is especially powerful. 

11.  London Boy

Why you don’t need this song, but you WANT this song: Swift isn’t trying to hide anything with this song; the lyrics are obviously about her current British boyfriend Joe Alwyn. The entire song is about Swift’s relationship with Joe and how his British behaviors have rubbed off on her. Even though she still loves the USA, she also loves going to pubs, watching rugby, and going to high tea. The song is also very playful as Taylor pronounces some of the lyrics with an almost English accent, such as “boy,” “enjoy,” and “child.” The song has faced some backlash from actual Londoners for painting London in an unrealistic light. Some of the places Swift mentions in the song, such as Camden Market and Highgate, are not worth visiting due to the people that live there or the atmosphere around the place. These criticisms are obviously unnecessary as Swift is an American citizen, so of course she is going to see these London places in a more positive light, and isn’t talking about these places positively helping London in the long run? Why is being positive about a place so problematic? Truly, shouldn’t Londoners just be happy someone said something nice about British culture for once?

Two Fun Facts: The route Swift maps out, based on the places she drops in the song, is in the shape of a heart. Also, the sound bite at the beginning of the song is from Idris Elba telling James Corden about riding his scooter in London. 

12. Soon You’ll Get Better (Ft. The Dixie Chicks)

Why you will cry: Word started spreading soon after the Lover secret sessions, which were meet and greets where select Swifiies were invited to listen to the Lover album, that this was the most painful song on the album. Rumor has it that Taylor had to leave the room while the song played and didn’t talk about the song with exception to introducing the title. Supposedly, Taylor can't sing this song without crying herself and its possible she won’t perform this song on tour.  No wonder she can’t even listen to the song without becoming emotional, the entire song is Taylor’s experience while her mother, Andrea, was fighting cancer during the 1989 era. Sadly though, Andrea is now facing another relapse when Taylor told Elle magazine in early April this year. The acoustic guitar chorus explains that Taylor still has to say her mother will get better because she has to while the Dixie Chicks harmonize along with her. If you do not cry while listening to SYGB (especially at Swift’s sigh prior to the third chorus), you officially have no soul. 

The most heart-breaking line: “I hate to make this all about me, but who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do?”

13. False God

Why this song is *cough* necessary: First of all, this song starts with some rouge saxophone number, so you already know we are in for a ride with this song (hint: so is Taylor). As a sexy song, “False God” is on the same wavelength as “Dress” from Reputation.  Though there’s no active moaning like in “Dress” (which just made the tour show slightly uncomfortable to watch with my mom ok), “False God” creates a sensual vibe with its slow vibes and religious innuendos. The song also implies that though Swift and her lover have their issues, they still have passion for each other and can carry their relationship through. 

This song is really great for: Making out. 

14. You Need to Calm Down

Why this song is iconic: Finally, a queer anthem from Swift! Though Taylor has been criticized by outsiders that she’s been too quiet about her support for the LGBT+ community and some may say Swift is only vocal about her support now so that she can increase her sales and popularity, I beg to differ. Taylor has mentioned her support of gay rights in past eras, including her lyric “Boys and boys and girls and girls” in 1989’s “Welcome to New York” and her speech prior to Reputation’s “Delicate” while on tour. She just finally got painfully obvious about her support with the YNTCD video. Can we also talk about the fact that she ended her feud with Katy Perry in the video’s bridge? I was so glad that both women were able to step up and resolve their issues like real women. Overall, this song is a bop meant for the summer and will be a hit on the Lover tour.

Most memorable moment: When I thought the drag queen dressed like Taylor in the video was actually Ms. Swift herself. 

15. Afterglow

What this song acknowledges that’s so important: Pop songs portray arguments as uncontrollable, dramatic storms that always result in some tortured love story or the conclusion of one. Swift has had her fair share of these songs (i.e. “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Should’ve Said No”) but “Afterglow” will not join them. Swift takes the full blame for her actions when she is fighting with her true love. She acknowledges that she’s sorry that she hurt her lover, not just that she’s sorry if she hurt her lover. Swift knows her behaviors are problematic and dramatic; she just needs to remind her lover that it’s all her, not him. The soft beat in the chorus perfectly conveys the tension after an argument and when she says “afterglow,” the quiet that follows shows her humility and her now lack of anger with her partner. This song is a perfect reminder that an occasional argument shouldn’t ruin a relationship that is normally joyful and healthy. 

When to listen: When you get mad at your best friend for flaking on boba or when your partner forgot that tonight was your 13th month anniversary.

 

16. ME!

I’m still in denial that this song happened. Spelling was not fun, it is not fun, let’s just be glad that “SPELLING!” didn’t make an appearance on the album version of ME!.

 

17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend

Why this song will grow on you: First thought hearing the song’s harp plucking, oohhing beginning was “crackhead.” Just when I thought the song was becoming normal, some random trumpets come in to interrupt my peace. As you can see, INTHAF is so unlike any other song Swift has ever released, which includes the entire Reputation era. The song is quick, has little to no chorus, and has the strangest background music you’ve ever heard from Swift. But I understand why the song is so odd now. It’s SIMPLE. The song goes through an idealistic love story, from the couple’s childhood to their wedding, like we are back listening to the actual “Love Story.” But instead of elaborate, Romeo and Juliet metaphors, INTHAF tells the story like it is. The relationship's beauty lies in the fact that there are happy as friends and that they can create a life around that simple foundation. 

This song is worth a listen just because: it’s seriously so un-Taylor Swift. So un-Taylor Swift it is Taylor Swift. 

 

18. Daylight

How the old Taylor is back: “Daylight” is the perfect conclusion to the romantic Lover album. Taylor reflects on her past throughout the song, especially about her lack of luck in love and what she used to think real love was (hint: it’s not burning red). But now, with Joe, Taylor has realized love is warm and soft, like daylight. Swift knows that she’s actually in love because she has no desire to think about or look at anyone else now that she’s met him. Not that she’s overly attached or obsessed with Joe, Taylor simply is only interested in dating and loving Joe, not anyone else. Taylor finishes the song with a voice memo about how she wants to be known for what she loves, not what she hates. 

What the memo means: The recording sounds an awful lot like a phone call, and fans theorize that this is Taylor finally picking up after she “couldn’t come to the phone” in the Reputation era. Like Taylor said, she rises from the dead and she does it all the time. The romantic, sensitive Swift may have been dead all during Reputation but she has risen, stronger than ever, for the Lover album and tour.

2019 has been a whirlwind year for Swifties, but the payoff that arrived in August in the form of Lover was well worth the wait. Hopefully this two-part album review provides the extra context you didn't know you needed to T Swift's seventh album. If anything, it should keep you tided over until album 8. 

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