Taylor Swift has finally released her much anticipated album Lover. It was less than two years ago when Swift dropped Reputation, which went on to break multiple records, sell more than a million copies in a week and earn Swift some pretty high accolades. It wasn’t an album she planned on making, it came after what Swift has described as the “summer of the apocalypse.” It was during that time that she decided there would be no explanation, there would just be reputation. It was much needed, not only for Swift, but also for the public. The public needed to see less of her gracing every cover of every magazine, on every TV show, doing interview after interview. The world didn’t need to see her because they didn’t want to.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That’s not to say that everyone turned their back on Swift. No, her millions of fans still went out and bought her album which sold over 1 million copies the first week alone. They showed up in thousands to sell out her very first Stadium tour (who can even play in stadiums anymore?). However, with celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West skewing the truth, it was almost cool to hate Swift. Would you want to show up to a party knowing nobody wanted you there? Swift herself said in an interview with The Guardian: “when people are in a hate frenzy and they find something to mutually hate together, it bonds them. And anything you say is in an echo chamber of mockery.”
So Swift hid out, fell in love, got to know her lover for 6 months before the world even found out she had one. It was during that time that she realized how wonderful it is to live away from the public eye, to have privacy and to have something no one else knows about, and she wants to protect that. Now, almost 2.5 years later, Swift is still living privately. She hasn’t thrown a 4th of July bash in years (we’ll get to that). She has not been formally photographed with her actor boyfriend, Joe Alwyn of nearly 3 years and they do not post photos together on social media.
Although much of their relationship is private, they have showed up to support one another, whether that be Swift accompanying Alwyn to a movie premiere (minus the red carpet), or Alwyn showing up to many of her concerts.
Not everything has to be done in the public eye. Happy Birthdays don’t need to be displayed to show their is no beef or fall out with others. Swift herself discovered this and realized she had created the disillusion that if she did not post about something, it did not happen. That’s changed now, along with her throwing big 4th of July bashes. It’s not that she is no longer patriotic, but only recently that she discovered the true value of what that means. She ties these elements into her album, especially on a song called “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince” that Swift describes the “disillusionment with our crazy world of politics and inequality, set in a metaphorical high school.
Not only is Lover Swift’s first album that she owns, but her relationship is the first one she has also been able to keep to herself. What she wants the world to know, she has shared on this new collection of musical enjoyment.
Lover proves she can make a whole album filled with happy, break-up free songs, much to the haters dismay.
A huge part of Swift’s career has always been plagued with this notion that she dates people then breaks up a few months later so that she has material for her album. What every avid Swift fan will fight you on, is that is not the case. They will bring many examples to the table (although the naysayers won’t listen), as there are many songs that are not about romantic relationships at all (“The Outside,” “Change,” “Innocent,” “Long Live,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Never Grow Up,” “Ronan,” “Safe and Sound,” “Shake It Off,” “Mean,” etc), There are also many songs that are about relationships that aren’t sad or because of a break up, but instead filled with hope and optimism. Take for example “Mine,” “Love Story,” “Enchanted,” “New Romantics,” “Mary’s Song,” “Delicate,” “Stay Beautiful,” “Today Was a Fairytale.” It is safe to say that Swift has more songs that are not about breakups than are, Lover proves she can make a whole album filled with happy, break-up free songs, much to the haters dismay.
Some of the songs off Lover are deeply personal, take “Soon You’ll Get Better” ft the Dixie Chicks. This is a song Swift described as being a family decision to put on since it is about her mother’s current cancer battle. She says:Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
“This song is one that was hard to write, because it’s something that I’m going through right now. My dad got cancer when I was 13 and he got better, and it wasn’t a very long process, but things with my mom have been very different. This song is special in a lot of ways because when I wrote this one, I recorded it with Jack [Antonoff], and he was working, at the time, with the Dixie Chicks, making their new album. That’s the band that made me wanna do this (music industry). There’s a handful of artists that made me wanna do this. The Dixie Chicks taught me that you can have a strong female voice, saying whatever she wants in music, and experimenting with having a very feminine aesthetic, but very tough resilience to them. And their musicianship, the way that they played their instruments made me wanna play an instrument. Basically, I said to Jack, ‘Can you please play this song for the Dixie Chicks? It’s a really special song for me and my family, and they were such a big part of my life, and I wonder if maybe they can sing background vocals on it, or maybe even play on it if they wanted to.’ And he played it for them, and they got really emotional hearing it, and wanted to sing on it and play fiddle and banjo on it too. So, the background vocals that you’re hearing in this song are the Dixie Chicks, who I’m obsessed with.”
Other songs are more fun and carefree and also give an insight into how happy Swift is. Take the title track “Lover” for instance. Swift revealed the album was almost called ‘Daylight’ (also a track on the album) until she wrote this song. It gives a glimpse into her personal life and how special her relationship is as she sings “I’ve loved you three summers now, honey, but I want ’em all.” Swift explains the song writing process for the song, saying:
“Writing the song Lover was one of those magical experiences that you sometimes get to have as a songwriter. I wrote it really quick in the middle of the night. As soon as I wrote it, I knew I wanted it to be the album title. And I knew that writing it kind of would depict the tone of the entire records. So it was a real catalyst for what this album turned into.”
Earlier this year, Swift wrote an essay for ELLE UK Magazine in which she said “step into the daylight and let it go.”
Those became the lyrics to the song “Daylight” in which Swift sings about believing love once used to be burning red but now it is golden, like daylight. She even foreshadowed her future in the album forward for Red.
Embed from Getty Images
“There’s something to be proud of about moving on and realizing that real love shines golden like starlight, and doesn’t fade or spontaneously combust. Maybe I’ll write a whole album about that kind of love if I ever find it.”
So now she sings on “Daylight”:
I once believed love would be (Burning red)
But it’s golden
Like daylight, like daylight
Like daylight, daylight
Lover is that album! It’s her first entire album filled with love and the many faces of it. After being in a relationship for three years, Swift has found that there are still hardships to overcome, there are still times of jealousy as she sings on the title track “I’m highly suspicious that everyone who sees you wants you.”
In fact, Swift is so in love she sings about getting married with paper rings instead of the traditional diamonds (shiny things). The ability of this album to encompass so much love but also many other important aspects of life and relationships. Take “Cornelia Street” for example. A song where she reveals if the relationship were to ever end, she would be so heartbroken she would never be able to “walk Cornelia Street again.” Other songs like “The Man” showcase what life and careers would be like for a woman if they were in fact a man.” She sings:
I’d be a fearless leader
I’d be an alpha type
When everyone believes ya
What’s that like?
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man
“The Man” is a favorite off the album and for all those who can’t stand a whole album of love songs, Swift has managed a break up song for you. That’s the amazing part about being a songwriter. Most of the time, artists write what they know, but they also write about things that inspire them. For instance, Swift wrote a song on 1989 called “This Love” that was inspired not by her personal relationship but a relationship of two friends. She has also written songs for movies like “The Hunger Games,” “One Chance” and “Fifty Shades Darker.”
The song “Death By a Thousand Cuts” was inspired by a Netflix movie Swift saw called “Someone Great.” The full circle moment is that the writer of “Someone Great” was going through a break up of her own and used Swift’s song “Clean” off 1989 as inspiration for the movie!
View this post on Instagram
A couple days ago I was searching ‘Someone Great’ on twitter and found something curious. There were rumors swirling around that Taylor had a song on ‘Lover’ called DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS (written with Jack Antonoff) inspired by my film. Well. Turns out, it’s true. I’ve been listening to Taylor’s music since her very first album. As she grew, I grew. Ebbing and flowing through life; a musical North Star in her catalog. In the fall of 2014 when I was a certifiable basket case wandering around LA in pajamas heartbroken over the boy I’d left behind in New York, 1989 was there like a best friend with a bottle of tequila and a bear hug. I found the most comfort in Clean, a song about rebirth after love lost. It inspired me and Someone Great. And now, in the most surreal, what the fuck is even happening, full circle situation I find myself with a new song that will help me through heartbreak. “Cause saying goodbye is death by a thousand cuts, flashbacks waking me up. I get drunk, but it’s not enough, cause the morning comes and you’re not my baby…” ❤️💔
I cried watching [Someone Great] and so for about week, I started waking up from dreams that I’m living out that scenario. I woke up and was like oh my god I’m writing a breakup song.
There’s something for everyone off Lover and Swift has successfully shown that she can be madly in love and still write amazing songs. That she can draw from different experiences and once again put out an album that has songs unrelated to romances, songs with a bigger picture, with metaphors, and for wanting more for her family, her country, for women, for the LGBQT community and even herself.
Lover wasn’t written to prove anything. It is an album about healing, moving forward and using her voice to do more and say more. Swift even sampled music from The Regent Park School of Music in Toronto in the songs “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”. All of the royalties from that sample go to funding the school and it’s programs.
“Thrilled to announce that the first artist to officially support our Parkscapes music library is none other than Taylor Swift. Taylor’s song “It’s nice to have a friend” from her new album “Lover” uses “Summer in the South” and features voices and instrumentation from our own RPSM students. Every time you stream, download or purchase the song, a portion of the proceeds directly supports our school. Thank you Taylor and Frank Dukes for giving us this opportunity. We’re so proud of our kids and what they’ve accomplished by being a part of this project.”
Lover is finally out, it is available on streaming services (for the first time immediately following release) and it’s already broken records for the most albums sold in 2019, and that happened in only two days! It’s going to be another big week for Swift and we can’t wait to see what she does going forward.
Here is us buying the album!