You will “love her” with Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’


Courtesy of Genius

Rachel Ye

Taylor Swift has been an enduring presence in the music industry since the 2006 release of her first album, titled “Taylor Swift.” While this album and the early days of her career were characterized mainly by country undertones and simple lyrics, as time has progressed, her music has evolved to encompass numerous stylistic influences that has left fans both awed and conflicted. Swift’s “Speak Now” album of 2010 was an indication of her slow entry into pop, while her 2018 album “Reputation” displays the new dramatic and dark side of her personality. With the August 2019 release of her latest album, “Lover,” Swift combines aspects of her past songs with personal experiences to create an 18-track fairytale full of emotional honesty. 

The opening song of the album, “I Forgot That You Existed,” pays tribute to the angsty mood of “Reputation.” The lyrics provoke feelings of doubt and anxiety, while also describing Swift’s lighthearted dismissal of her past. Elements of bright pop, such as finger snaps for the rhythm, set the tone for the album’s adherence to Swift’s newer musical style while acknowledging characteristics present in “Reputation.”

“Lover,” the flagship song of the album, portrays the beautifully innocent side of love. With instruments chosen to reflect those typically in wedding bands, Swift writes of  a picture perfect love story, similar to the simplistic style of her earlier days. A synth-pop glittery atmosphere helps establish a new era of her typical love songs.

Swift indulges in light social commentary as well, with songs such as “The Man” and “You Need to Calm Down.” In “The Man,” she discusses the double standards women face in society to confront  issues of gender inequality. “You Need to Calm Down” supports the LGBT community, while tackling backlash to such topics. Both songs feature an upbeat tempo with a driving rhythm, similar to what was seen in albums like “Reputation” and “1989.”

The most heartbreaking song of the album is “Soon You’ll Get Better,” which details Swift’s mother’s battle against cancer. A collaboration with the Dixie Chicks and the emotional lyrics recall her country music roots. To highlight the story behind the song, she uses a sole guitar as the instrumentation for the song.

“Cruel Summer” proves to be one of the true masterpieces of the album. With an electro pop undertone, the song signifies her moving on from one of the worst times of her life- the summer of 2016. It manages to sound angsty, dreamy, wistful, and edgy all at the same time. This track perfectly defines the overall mood of the album as more warm and hopeful than ever before.

Throughout the entire album, Swift delves into unique musical challenges, with the use of steel drums in “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” and the integration of a saxophone into “False God” to reflect R&B, unfamiliar territory for her. “Lover” explores both the good and bad sides of love with a more positive outlook, while also revealing deeper stories full of emotions. The critically acclaimed album is indicative of a new direction in Swift’s music journey.