For 'evermore': Ranking Taylor Swift's 9th Release (& Second Quarantine Album)

On Friday, December 10 at 11:59 CST, Taylor Swift dropped her 9th studio album… although the studio looked a bit different as we’re still in quarantine. This shocked all #Swifties as she had just dropped folklore, her 8th album, a mere five months ago; we have truly been blessed in 2020 with new music.

 

Please note: Taylor Swift gave us more albums in quarantine than the government gave us stimulus checks.

 

Yeah, let that one sink in.

Below, you will read my definitive ranking of evermore, excluding the two bonus tracks, complete with my most-loved lyric for each track. The tracklist is in order below, but will not be ranked by me in chronological order. Every song is a lyrical masterpiece, so no matter how low a ballad is, they’re all bops. It’s simply a no-skip album.... Although Ms. Swift doesn’t know how to make those, I’m convinced. 

 

Tracklist 

excluding bonus tracks “right where you left me” and “it’s time to go”

1. “willow”

2. “champagne problems”

3. “gold rush”

4. “‘tis the damn season”

5. “tolerate it”

6. “no body, no crime (feat. HAIM)”

7. “happiness”

8. “dorothea”

9. “coney island (feat. The National)”

10. “ivy”

11. “cowboy like me”

12. “long story short”

13. “marjorie”

14. “closure”

15. “evermore (feat. Bon Iver)”

 

My Ranking

1. “ivy”— This song is a lilting masterpiece. It makes me feel like I should be swaying slowly in front of a rustic fireplace after running through the rain. Now, I know that’s a very specific aesthetic but it’s the truth. From the first listen, it did not strike me as a favorite but I have swiftly fallen in love. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “Oh, I can’t / Stop you putting roots in my dreamland / My house of stone, your ivy grows / and now I’m covered in you”

 

2. “gold rush”— This is one of the more poppier, upbeat songs from the album. I love how the song builds from an angelic quiet to a roaring dance-around tune. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “what must it be like to grow up that beautiful? / with your hair falling into place like dominos” 

 

3. “champagne problems”— The narrative of a young bride who didn’t go through with it is surprisingly relatable in terms of how to love yourself before others. It’s so sad but also empowering at the same time. An impossible task? Not for Taylor.

Most-Loved Lyric: “You had a speech, you’re speechless / Love spilled beyond your reaches / And I couldn’t give a reason” 

 

4. “no body, no crime (feat. HAIM)”— I love a good dark and haunting duet, so HAIM was absolutely an incredible feature for this song. Again, the narrative was so great. I’ve never wanted to go on an anger-fueled killing spree of an unfaithful lover, but if I did want to… this song would be on repeat. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it / No, no body, no crime / But I ain’t letting up until the day I die”

 

5. “‘tis the damn season”— Taylor really said “rekindle old crushes while you’re home for winter break” with this song. It’s reserved like coming home to a house that no longer truly feels like your own and making the best of those around you.

Most-Loved Lyric: “You could call me “babe” for the weekend / ‘tis the damn season / write this down / I’m staying at my parents’ house / And the road not taken looks real good now”

 

6. “long story short”— The beat of this is very unique, and so is the pacing! I’ve been enjoying song mashups I’ve seen from previous Taylor generations with this song. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “And I fell from the pedestal / right down the rabbit hole / long story short, it was a bad time” 

 

7. “willow”— This was such a beautiful first song to this second surprise album. I have always loved willow trees and their symbolism, which is where my favorite line comes in.

Most-Loved Lyric: “Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind / head on the pillow, I could feel you sinking in”

 

8. “tolerate it”— This song made me reevaluate the people who love me and how lucky I am that I’m more than just, well, tolerated. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “I wait by the door like I’m just a kid / Use my best colors for your portrait”

 

9. “dorothea”— This song feels like talking to an old friend with an arguably older person's name. It’s a good change-up in the original tracklist. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “You got shiny friends since you left town / A tiny screen’s the only place I see you now”

 

10. “happiness”—This is another song I’d call lilting. It’s called happiness, but it doesn’t exude that emotion to me; it’s more so contentment. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “There’ll be happiness after you / But there was happiness because of you / Both of these things can be true”

 

11. “cowboy like me”—This feels like a throwback to her country roots, and the song is growing on me as well. It’s an interesting tone, not unlike what I imagine waltzing through saloon doors feels like. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “You had some tricks up your sleeve / Takes one to know one / You’re a cowboy like me”

 

12. “coney island (feat. The National)”— I would call this an unexpected duet, but it’s not one that I dislike, despite the lower ranking on the tracklist. The National is well-suited for Taylor’s vocals. 

Most-Loved Lyric: “The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go / Sorry for not making you my centerfold / Over and over”

 

13. “evermore (feat. Bon Iver)”—I had high hopes for the second Bon Iver duet. It’s still beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t know if it’s the best closer for the album.

Most-Loved Lyric: “And I was catching my breath / Staring out an open window / Catching my death / And I couldn’t be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / That this pain would be for / Evermore”

 

14. “closure”—This song feels harder than the others in the beginning with a beautiful piano. It’s a cool mix of speak-singing and a great chorus.

Most-Loved Lyric: “Don’t treat me like some situation that needs to be handled / I’m fine with my spite / And my tears / And my beers and candles”

 

15. “marjorie”—Of the two songs with names, this one was placed at the bottom. Again, this is a no-skip album and this song is beautiful. But it’s not one I gravitate to… not yet, at least.

Most-Loved Lyric: “Never be so polite / You forget your power / Never wield such power / You forget to be polite”

 

Needless to say, even after the 8 other albums, this newest release cemented that I will love Taylor Swift forevermore… and for releasing evermore when we least expected, aka five months after the first pandemic project.