Sorry Taylor, We Can’t Calm Down

Andi Wiegand, Staff

Unless you have been living under a rock all summer, you must have heard about the release of Taylor Swift’s groundbreaking album “Lover.”  

After two long years, our favorite country-turned-pop singer returned with her album that, in the words of Erin Vanderhoof from Vanity Fair, “Could hold the key to pop music’s survival.”  

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  

Lover brings out a side of Swift that no one expected, but people are loving. It’s almost as if the songs are Taylor’s love letter to her listeners, revealing parts of herself and parts of us that we didn’t even know existed. Yet, we are all living for it (me especially). 

So, let’s review. Taylor’s album lists 18 tracks, varying from sweet odes of love to bubble gum pop, which brings out the child in us all, to heartbreaking dedications to her mother, to songs vaguely reminding us of her previous albums such as “Reputation” and “1989” by switching back and forth between the songs essentially saying “forget about you”, and songs that are extremely relatable, so much so that it is laughable. Yeah, a lot to cover, I know. Let’s start from the top. The first exposure we had to her new album was her anthem “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco. Taylor had hinted at the release before confirming, which is a common thread for her. The first real nod towards the album was posted Feb. 27 when she captioned an image of the Elle magazine cover photo, using the phrase “ME.” After that you can spot the slow shift of her page on Instagram, by looking at the filter change. This lead a lot of people to speculate the release of a new album or at least an EP. On April 13 she revealed a release date. No one really knew what to expect and waited patiently for the date to roll around. Once it did, the world seemed to shake beneath us. “ME!”, was something we had never heard from her before. No one knew what to expect from this album after the bubbly and upbeat song was released, a dramatic switch from her previous songs in “Reputation.”

Her next post was sent out June 13 detailing a new album released on Aug. 23. We were all hyped and ready for what exciting things were sure to come next. Then a couple days later, her politically charged tune “You Need to Calm Down” was released; it had some mixed reviews but was pretty well received. The song was mainly centered around the support of the LGBTQ+ community and how we all need to be kind to one another. Something, that sadly, still needs to be said and spoken about. Swift contributing to the conversation was definitely a step in the right direction.  

The next song to be released was “The Archer.” This release was less hyped but still didn’t disappoint. It focused more on the Taylor we know and love by centering on the more on the dark side of love and verging on the breakup territory. The song was set in a darker tone, with low reverbing basses throughout paired with heart-wrenching lyrics that refers back to the Taylor of the mid-2000s with her iconic break up songs. Yet, there was a new level of maturity throughout.  

After “The Archer,” “Lover” was released. It was a sweet and warming song about the wonderful feelings of love as an experienced adult, previously knowing heartbreak and knowing the recovery process. As well as being comfortable in your relationship and that moment you know that this is the person you want to be with your entire life. It gave her younger audience hope for the future and a glimpse into how true love is supposed to feel. Overall, it was one of my favorite pieces. 

Then, there of course was “Soon You’ll Get Better.” It was sung alongside the Dixie Chicks and detailed Taylor’s thoughts during her mother’s battle with breast-cancer. It made you want to cry and hug your mom. It was another layer in the album that made it’s release so wonderful and filled with such emotional-depth as well as helping us realize that celebrities are people too, with emotions and struggles like us. Another one of my favorites.   

I could go on all day long about every single song in the album in ridiculous detail, discussing the lovely tributes to London in the song titled “London Boy” detailing the charming nature of the British and making us all want a London boy of our own. I could discuss the hidden meanings behind “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince” with you and go on and on about the vague political undertones that you can catch onto if you know what to look for. Or we could discuss longing for the moment Taylor captures in “I Forgot That You Existed.” That exact moment when you finally get over a longtime crush and feel the sweet release of your heart from your imaginings of them and learning to live normally again. However, I feel like I have droned on about how amazing this album is and like a true critic, I need to include pieces I was not too fond of. Spoiler, there aren’t very many. 

Some songs that sadly fell a little behind for me were “Cornelia Street” which is lovely in its own way, but seems to be one of the most forgettable songs in the album. It doesn’t have the same quality and emotion as some of the other titles featured on the album. It was definitely lower on my totem pole of favorites. As well as “It’s Nice to Have a Friend.” I know the song is supposed to be heartwarming, but to me it felt more eerie than anything else. It had tones in the song that you would hear during a horror movie and totally went against what we had been hearing throughout the entire album.  

Despite the problems with the album, I would say that it’s something you should definitely listen to, especially if you want the nostalgia of sitting in your room with your friends and jamming out to “You Belong With Me.” It’s a tribute to a younger Taylor and a younger you, but with the beauty of being grown mixed in beautifully. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving on “Lover.”