IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!!! I’m rarely as hyped for an album as I am with this one. Although I may not have been Taylor’s biggest fan throughout the ‘Reputation’ era I’m always excited to hear what she’s working on next. Swift is iconic and the fact that she beautifully orchestrates her career in the same way she does her albums suggests to me that there’s something really special about her.
Because of this hype, I’m here to give you my first impressions and listen to the album for the first time this morning. I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous that this wouldn’t happen today as Apple Music changed Lover’s release date to the 25th August and I was so convinced this was going to be another ‘Reputation’ streaming charade. Thank goodness it is not, so without further delay, I present my first impressions of Taylor Swift’s new, 18-track album. I will follow this up once I’ve had a little bit of time to get to know each song!
I Forgot That You Existed
The track title is certainly solid… And Here. We. Go! Nice Pianos and vocal chopping going on, very simple. It’s light and airy for a song that is essentially dragging someone who doesn’t seem to like Taylor very much. Second verse is very comedic and much more detailed. ‘It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.’ I love how very free and open Taylor is with her emotions, she no longer seems the vengeful person we met on Reputation.
Okay, that was a keen transition, I’m going to have to pause between songs to catch up! I’m loving the vocoders, the ‘yeah’s and the pulsing bass. Is the St. Vincint collab song? I think it is! (It’s very 1989.) The bridge is very striking and very Taylor. This song reminds me so much of Out of the Woods and Getaway Car. ‘I don’t want to keep secrets, just to keep you’ is such a great line and very relatable over here.
Here’s one we’ve heard already, so I can slow down a bit. I like this one a lot. It’s very different sonically from anything on the album so far. It’s a freaking love song from Taylor Swift and it’s so refreshing. I’m literally swaying from left to right. I can definitely see this being used as someone’s first dance on their wedding day and in fact, I’m pretty sure I saw someone on YouTube do just that.
‘I’ve loved you three summers now honey, but I want ’em all’… swoon. Yes Taylor, yes. As a hopeful romantic I love this new found perspective. I’d certainly rather love than fight. But it’s also great that she hasn’t forgotten her past, she’s choosing love.
‘And at every table I’ll save you a seat.’ This very much describes my relationship with Ben. Nice.
Pulsing synth and hard start, intriguing. I also love the first line… ‘ I would be complex, I would be cool’. Very new. Ooh, I love this chorus. It’s so true, but you’d almost lose this questioning side to you, Taylor. It’s very catchy, very much the sibling of ‘You Need To Calm Down’. and I love the line ‘If I was out flashing my dollars I’d be a bitch, not a baller. They paint me out to be bad, so it’s okay that I’m mad.’ You own how you feel Taylor and never hide that, it’s your greatest weapon. I don’t understand why this is 2019 and women still don’t feel equal, we’ve co-existed since time began and yet we still live in such misogyny. ‘If I was a man, I’d be the man.’ Love it.
Another song we’ve heard before. The Archer is very atmospheric and dreamy for a song that has such a complex message. It’s very reflective in it’s introspectivity though. I feel like this song teases me into ‘ooh, something’s happening’ with this soft kick drum and then it goes nowhere. Where’s the build. It’d be honestly fine without this rhythm thumping through. I love the distant backing vocals. The ending has this fantastic build up… to nothing. But, it’s a great song. I love it lyrically, not entirely sold on it’s production though.
I Think He Knows
Nice clicks and bass. Very syncopated and 2019. This is a bop! It’s very hot and steamy in this chorus. I’m not sure about the strange harmony underneath that ‘I want you, bless my soul’ but it’s definitely a bop! Will be playing this a lot! He definitely knows now Taylor.
Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
I love this title, when I saw the tracklisting this immediately caught my interest. Let’s see where this goes. Ooh, very ‘Wildest Dreams’ vibes so far and maybe the dreamy guitars from ‘This Love’. Love that ‘okay’, it’s very ‘feeling super, super, super’ in Marina’s Teen Idle, in the chorus. This song is so juxtaposing. It’s very effective. I really appreciate the lines: ‘Where are the wise men? Darling, I’m scared.’ and ‘You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes’. I like this one, a lot! Love that bridge, I needed more peppy shout-outs and I got them! Yes!
‘And I’ll never let you go, ’cause I know this a fight that some day we’re gonna win.’ Also, yes. And we should really count the times I say ‘yes!’ in this post. And I’m in love with that ending. Another favourite so far.
There’s this little part of me that feels very Amy Winehouse with this rhythm. Ooh, this is a jig (can I say that and sound cool, I wonder). ‘I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings’ is such a great line, I love it. I’m seeing something very grease in the ‘you’re the one I want’ bit. She’s still in love and I love it. It’s very fast and very high energy. Yes! I’m literally bopping along to this. Ooh, key change. ‘I want your complications too’. Yes! Nice mellow reprise of the chorus in the middle there. So lovely. Another favourite.
A little clunky so far, I’m not completely sold on the phrasing of ‘Cornelia Street’ but I am a fan of the percussion that was just introduced in the chorus. Very much tells the story of Taylor in New York. This is beautiful lyrically. I like this in the way I began liking ‘Welcome to New York’, slowly and tentatively. This is the very kind of Taylor that I fell in love with all those years ago when I first saw the video for ‘Mine’. I hope this gets a music video. Heck, could she take a leaf from Todrick and make this is a musical spectacle? I would love that! Love that ending.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
I’m reminding of a certain song by Allie X in this one and the first few ‘My’s, are they ‘My’s?, aren’t helping get the sound of ‘Little Things’ out of my head. Well, this is a rhythmical rollercoaster, that off-kilter piano is really bugging me in the background. Loving the lyrics and simplicity off the chorus. And I love that bridge, yes! I was gonna quote something but the whole thing is just amazing! That last line though, ‘I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright, they say “I don’t know”. I like it, it’s not my favourite sonically speaking though but I like that it’s different.
And so continues the trend of americans being obsessed with british culture. It’s not all as charming as you think it is. Ooh, I’m liking the sound of this one though. Okay, this is very good. I love hearing taylor saying all of these things in british english, and name dropping all of these london place names. ‘Please show me Hackney’ doesn’t sound like a line you’d wanna hear in a song though, does it. Ooh, those trumpets at the end. Why’d it have to end.
Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. Dixie Chicks)
So very OG taylor, I’m in love. Definitely one I’m gonna cry to, one I’m gonna have to listen and take in all the lyrics. Very sad, very tender, Taylor is very fragile here. A departure from the album in general, but a welcome one.
Now you know I love a saxophone! Nice rhythm, I love that the saxophone comes back for the chorus. This song’s very mellow and chill for a song about worshipping love as if it were a false god. It’s very
‘Lord, save me. My drug is my baby’ ‘Don’t Blame Me’ meets ‘Lover’. The least interesting so far, I’d say. Not one I’d skip, but I wouldn’t actively choose to listen to… for now.
You Need To Calm Down
Another track we’ve heard before. Another track from this album that I absolutely adore. ‘Are you okay?’ Yup, I’m fine! I’m just falling in love with you all over again, Taylor, I Hope that’s okay… As an artist, I mean. What’s not to love here. ‘Why are you mad, when you could be GLAAD?!’ I see what you did there, Taylor, I feel seen. ”Cause shade never made anybody less gay!’ Yes! I will not be calming down. This is the boost I needed this week.
Love so far and I’ve only heard the first few drum beats. There’s something very Phil Collins about that first verse, and then Taylor comes back for the chorus. Could they have done a duet?! I would also love that! I feel very sad for Taylor in this one and I’m glad she’s apologising. She’s still filled with love and that’s definitely okay. I like that she’s taking responsibility for what she’s done. Very vulnerable again and I love that Phil Collins sound.
ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco)
This one I could honestly take or leave. I don’t hate it, in fact I could certainly bop to it but it’s not my favourite. In fact, it’s fairly mediocre when compared to the others. I guess it’s soft though, so a good starting point. But I’d definitely dance on top of tables to it, you know if I had a tad more confidence, conviction and wasn’t such an introvert. Best line in the bridge, ‘Hey kids, spelling is fun!’ I’m very disappointed that as a literature enthusiast Taylor didn’t find something more interesting to fill the middle with lyrically to be honest.
It’s Nice to Have A Friend
I’m loving this tropical vibe, very soft and mellow. Let’s see where this goes. Definitely a happy place, chill out song. Ooh, trumpets again. I feel the production on this album, I love it! Short and sweet. Nice.
Loving this so far. great lyrics, a great electric piano… and the production just got better! Instant favourite! Seriously, I quote the whole song. Little nod to Katy Perry here, I love that she says ‘Wide Awake’. It’s probably not an homage, but I can pretend. Loving this bridge. You can’t say she hasn’t treated to great bridges here. Heck, she even said she was an architect. Definitely a strong finisher! I’m so sad that I’ve reached the end of the album. I love Taylor talking at the end, I think this is certainly the message I’m taking away from this album.
Phew, we did it. Unfortunately I’m going to have to digest this album and it’s splendid magnificence whilst working today but I’ll definitely be sure to leave a more…cohesive review of the album over the next week, once I’ve explored every inch. I can already tell you that I’ve listened to London Boy twice more between finishing my first listen through and writing this last paragraph, so that’s a good start! Let me know your thoughts below and I’ll catch you a little later on.