“Spelling is fun!”
With those lyrics ringing in my ears for the fourth time, I hopped off of the Taylor Swift roller coaster I’ve been riding since her latest album, “Lover,” was released. The confusion and head-bopping finally came to an end and the verdict was reached: this album is not good.
My first listen left a confused aftertaste, an auditory whiplash, akin to biting into a day-old hamburger only to find it filled with various ice cream flavors. They may be tolerable, or even great alone, but stop shoving mint and peanut butter ice cream together into a rainbow covered hamburger, Taylor.
The album starts predictably with “I Forgot That You Existed,” a possible Kimye dig, followed by a bassy love affair in “Cruel Summer.” I danced, I bopped, yes. But the thought, “she can do better” fluttered repeatedly through my head.
Does the 2% of me that remains a romantic want to love the title track, “Lover?”
Am I confused about why Taylor mentions leaving Christmas lights up until January as if it’s a peculiar thing? Absolutely.
Did the lyrics “Swear to be overdramatic and true to my loooooover” earn a smile from my cold, dead heart? Unfortunately.
It’s safe to say, lyrically, this song is Swift’s best work on her seventh album. The 70s vibe was new and refreshing compared to the vague, overdone pop beat of the first two songs, “I Forgot That You Existed” and “Cruel Summer,” which when halfheartedly listened to, could be mistaken for Ellie Goulding or Zara Larsson.
A dash of social awareness is sprinkled on top of the album with “The Man” and the LGBTQ anthem, “You Need To Calm Down.” Taylor tackling issues through her music is admirable, but the two songs fall flat musically and message wise.
“If I was a man, then I’d be the man,” is fair social commentary, but from a sometimes incredibly talented songwriter, it hits as a bit trite.
“It’s Nice To Have A Friend” and “The Archer” feel wildly misplaced. I listened and waited for the calm melodies to pick up and bring the songs to a satisfying height and closing.
Instead, I checked my Spotify to see if they had cut out randomly.
The album’s biggest issue lies not just in the randomness of the tracks but in the redundancy of the rest of the album.
“I Think He Knows,” “Cornelia Street” and “Death By A Thousand Cuts” feel a little too closely related. And after a few listens, it was still a little difficult to tell the dreamy songs “False God,” “Afterglow” and “Daylight” apart from one another.
In the span of seven days, I went from screaming in disappointment to feeling intense embarrassment from being wrong about if pop music has officially kicked the bucket, to being completely positive that it, in fact, has.
Taylor Swift is a magical witch who somehow creates albums that strike me as garbage, so much so that I convince myself to listen to them more. The result is a confusing love, sparked only by wild degrees of familiarity, which quickly turns into regret, shame and dislike.
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