ICYMI, Taylor Swift dropped her eighth studio album, folklore, on July 24th. For someone who relishes the time leading up to an album release to drop clues about its contents, Taylor threw us for a complete loop and announced the full album a short 24 hours before it released. I was shook when pictures of grey trees started popping up on Taylor’s instagram, and when I figured out what was happening, I immediately shared the news with the STIK team.
I think it’s fair to say that we are all Taylor fans. Everyone was pretty pumped to hear the news about this new 2020 album. Some are definitely bigger fans than others. For instance, in the summer of 2019, Sarah and I spent an entire work day Twitter stalking Taylor’s whereabouts to figure out what she was up to as she headed to Nashville to announce her new album, Lover, with a giant butterfly mural. When the album finally launched, some were disappointed in Taylor’s “literal song-writing style”... While I profusely disagree with this sentiment, the long and short of it is that generally speaking, we’re all fans.
Back to folklore, after staying up until midnight and listening to the entire album, I could NOT wait to reach out to the team to share the news: Taylor had released the album we’d all been waiting for. I was caught completely off guard when one of my teammates announced that she really didn’t like the album stating, “where are the fun pop songs?!” Ugh. It was one of the more controversial team calls I’ve ever been a part of in my 2 years at STIK. I won’t share what was discussed, but I may or may not have yelled at someone and almost hung up the call. Apologies and amends have since been made, but the fact that not everyone is obsessed with this album really threw me for a loop.
In my defense, I have been waiting for Taylor to write an album like this FOR-EV-ER. folklore rivals some of Taylor’s best work including Red and 1989. Yes I’m going to say it - I think it might be her best ever. After the “incident” described above, it became clear to me that not EVERYONE values Taylor the way her biggest fans do. So I’ve decided to quickly breakdown the highs and lows of the album, with the hopes of educating those of you who don’t have hours and hours to listen to every word on every song.
Before I begin - a caveat. This album has zero bangers, zero over-synthesized pop hits that will get you out on the dance floor, zero angry one liners that you can yell at your ex while drinking a vodka soda at a country concert. It’s more of a quote that you write in the back of your notebook, or lyric that you post in white font in your AIM profile (or maybe your IG bio for all you Gen Z-ers). Also - I’m NOT a professional music critic - I am a completely biased fan - please don’t hate
The highs -
the 1 - You know that person that you thought was your person, but inevitably wasn’t? Well this is a reflection of that relationship in the future - when you’re happy with someone else. You know it wasn’t right, but wouldn’t it have been fun?
cardigan - Ah, the classic love triangle, but darker and more raw than you’ve ever heard before. Some also have argued that this is the story of Taylor’s musical career - her transitions from country to pop from darkness to rainbows. Now she’s back where she knows best - writing perfect songs.
exile (feat. Bon Iver) - Are you kidding me with this song? You don’t have to know what this song is about to love it - it’s just magic
mirrorball - a potential commentary on Taylor’s many different facades and her need to balance being the entertainment and protecting personal life. Maybe one of my favorite songs on the album
august - This tells the story of the cardigan love triangle but from the perspective of the other woman. The excitement of a relationship even despite knowing it was never yours
invisible string - Another favorite of mine. A beautiful love song about fate and how, despite reading into signs and looking for the one, you’re always tied to the person you were meant to find.
betty - The final perspective in the love triangle, from the guy. Love that Taylor wore the pants here and took on a male perspective. It’s just so unique
The Lows -
my tears ricochet - Taylor’s imagination runs wild here - depicting a ghost returning to its funeral where all of its enemies in life are in attendance. Crazy concept executed beautifully - but definitely a little out there
seven - in an effort to be transparent and not 100% biased, this is maybe my least favorite song on the album. I really haven’t been able to relate to it. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just not my fav
Alright - I need to get back to marketing beanies, but let me know what your favs songs are in the comments!