Ever since Taylor Swift’s “ME!” Ft. Brendon Urie came out in April, I was afraid of Taylor Swift’s new era. To be honest, I was worried that if her entire album resembled “the spelling is fun mantra” of ME!, I would either have to still stand by Taylor Swift, fully knowing her music was a disappointment, or drop my twelve year membership to the Taylor Swift fandom. Neither of these options seems feasible because I am not ready to drop the Swifite crackhead mentality yet and I am not a good liar. So, I endured the ME! dark ages following the song’s April release and waited patiently for the rest of the album to drop in August.
Hope did arrive- in segments, however. In June, Taylor dropped “You Need To Calm Down,” a bop reminiscent of“Shake It Off” and “We are Never Getting Back Together” days. YNTCD’s music video was also to die for. I was impressed that Taylor was so direct with her support for the LGBTQ+ community, contradicting criticism she has faced in the past for being quiet about the community’s issues. From the video, I knew that the Lover era was going to be unintimidated, but unlike Reputation’s boldness, which sprung from Taylor’s hurt feelings and defamed persona, Lover would be focused on indifference and embrace what truly matters to Taylor.
But even after YNTCD, I was still worried about the Lover album. Taylor is known for her heart-breaking love ballads, and from YNTCD and ME!, Lover was looking more like a bubblegum pop montage than anything else. Not that there’s anything wrong with bubblegum lyrics, they’re great for parties and easy listening, but to have an entire album of this music would be uncharacteristic for Swift.
In comes July, when Taylor drops “The Archer” in the middle of an IG livestream. I was in the middle of anatomy class when my sister texted me about the song and did I excuse myself from class to listen? Yes. There will always be time to learn all the muscles in the hand, but there won’t be a time to listen to a surprise Taylor Swift song the day of release.
I was pleasantly surprised with “The Archer.” I envisioned that the song would fit with the other two singles as a peppy and bright song, but the song was sad, questioning, and honest. The anxiety of the song caused me anxiety as well though-where were the Taylor Swift love songs?
But then August came. My worry was completely alleviated when Taylor’s album title track “Lover” and the accompanying video were released days prior to Lover’s drop. “Lover” has the romance of any hit Ed Sheeran song, the accompaniment of a Train love ballad, and the lyrical strength of Taylor’s “All Too Well” and “Enchanted.” Needless to say, I was ready for Lover’s release upon hearing the fourth single from the album.
Lover dropped at 10pm Mountain Time on August 23rd. My boyfriend and I sat on the couch, anxiously waiting to hear her new music when 10pm came around and Spotify had the music uploaded. Each song on the album is incredible (minus track 16) and there’s a song for anyone, even those who don’t consider themselves Taylor affiliates. Waiting to hear what I think of the album? Don’t worry- I wrote a two-part album review for Lover coming out soon.