Taylor Swift Returns with “Lover”

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     On August 23, 2019, Taylor Swift released her latest album, “Lover.” “Lover” is Swift’s seventh studio album as well as her first under her new label, Universal Music Group, and the only album that she personally owns. Master copies of the songs off of Swift’s past six albums are still owned by her last label, Big Machine Records. 

     Upon release, in addition to buying a single copy of the album, fans were also given the chance to purchase four deluxe versions of “Lover” from Target. Each version featured posters, different entries from Swift’s personal journals that had been scanned and reprinted for fans to read, and a complete copy of the album along with acoustic voice memos of songs on “Lover.” Swift’s latest album contains eighteen songs (the most she has ever included on an album) ranging from her traditional upbeat songs like “ME!” to slower, more emotional songs including one titled “Soon You’ll Get Better” that is rumored to be in reference to her mother’s battle with cancer. 

     In comparison with her past albums, Swift’s “Lover” seems to be one of her most cohesive in terms of sound. The songs bleed into each other despite he fact that each carries a different message. Swift opens the album with “I Forgot That You Existed,” a song chronicling her journey with an unnamed person who she comments has taught her some hard lessons. In the refrain, Swift sings, “I forgot that you existed. It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.” This track, as well as the one after it, seem to be reminiscent of life before she found her forever love—the topic of the majority of the songs on the album. Unlike many of her past records, “Lover” has a theme of happiness and true love rather than of disappointment and heartbreak. It’s upbeat tone is similar to that of “1989,” in which Swift seemed to be having fun with her life, and it is an excellent progression from the story of “Reputation,” in which she endured much heartbreak to find her person in the end in the track “New Year’s Day.”

     Throughout the album, Swift addresses the many problems that can arise when one finds the person they want to be with forever. She sings about her journey as she and her love attempt to navigate the ups and downs of life together. One can see this in tracks eight and nine of the album. Track eight, “Paper Rings,” is a song of pure joy and love. Swift sings, “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings.” However, this song is followed by track nine titled “Cornelia Street,” a song about trials of love that cause Swift to become afraid and leave, until she is ultimately brought back to the relationship by the realization that she never wants to let go of the man that she loves. These themes continue throughout the album as Swift remains as honest as she’s ever been while telling the story of her life. 

     Swift wraps up the album in the most fitting way possible, encapsulating its theme in the final words—spoken, not sung—of the eighteenth track, “Daylight”. Swift says, “I wanna be defined by the things that I love. Not the things I hate, not the things I’m afraid of, the things that haunt me in the middle of the night, I-I just think that you are what you love.” And in the typical Swift fashion, she ties together a universal feeling in a perfect pastel package of eighteen magnificently produced songs. 

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