A Song-by-Song Review of Taylor Swift's "Lover"

August 28, 2019

 

This is not a drill, Taylor Swift is in love and has dropped her most romantic, mature album yet.

 

Just last Friday, Lover was released and the wait for the new T. Swift was officially over. 

 

The seventh studio album by Taylor Swift is home to 18 new love letters, an oath and triumph to love itself with magical whims, dreamy production, and lyrics more mature than she has ever written before, reminding me of a Speak Now 2.0. Leaving her reputation behind, Taylor has a new glow and wave of sharing her life with us this era as she reigns in her most recent monarch in her career.

 

The snakes have morphed into butterflies, the camo prints have turned to Cornelia florals and the dark night tones have turned to daylight with the beautiful pastels and flowy clouds this era has been home to since back in April when the lead single "ME!" dropped. It's entirely different from what was done before as Taylor always finds a way to re-invent herself and it's utterly intimate and romantic in the best way possible. And this time, she’s re-invented almost perfectly and has surely topped her last, marking a pinnacle in her career. 

 

This album is a special one for Taylor, as this is the first ever she's actually owned herself. And not only that, but with this album comes four different deluxe editions (which you may purchase here) that each include 30 scanned pages of Taylor's journal entries over the course of her 13-year career (we don't deserve her), two songwriting voice memos (which I absolutely love) that walk you through the process of coming up with/creating the songs, a poster, and more. And it gets better...

 

This era, Taylor has also collaborated with Stella McCartney #StellaxTaylorSwift to drop a Lover themed collection of clothing and accessories for fans and the general public to shop.

 

There was much to unpack with this album, as a majority of it was extremely unexpected (at least for me), but after listening and reflecting for a few days now, I can say with a full heart that there's something so special about this album. It feels like nothing before and it really brings me back to the Old Taylor. She’s grown up, she’s mature, and she’s in love. Not single force is stopping her. So let's jump into the world of Taylor Swift love and romance, here is a complete song-by-song review of Lover.

 

 

1. I Forgot That You Existed

What. An. Opener. The beat is so catchy and captivating, it's Taylor's way of letting go of the haters she's encountered in the past. It's so unique and brand new for Taylor, but her attitude level remains a high 13. This track is quintessential to the 17 that follow and gives you a peak at what's to come in the best way possible. She forgot they existed, and it isn’t love, it’s not hate, but just indifference.

 

2. Cruel Summer

As the biggest hit on the album, “Cruel Summer” is the perfect song to delegate as this year’s end-of-summer anthem. It’s so fresh, the true epitome of a pop song. The chorus is so damn catchy, excuse my French, but who let her do that? The song is entirely about a summer fling doomed to its ending. But once the bridge hits, my personal favorite part of the song, it takes an entire 180 and Taylor has fallen in love with her summer man when she sings “I love you ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard” truly making it the cruelest of cruel summers. 

 

3. Lover

This song is by far one of Taylor Swift’s best written songs to date. The entire album is named after this one track, and after listening to the rest, I know that there was no better option for a title track/album name. The old wedding band sound accompany the lyrics so eloquently and it’s one of the most classic, timeless love songs she’s ever written....and the bridge...the bridge. That's all.

 

4. The Man

To say I was shocked when I first heard this song would be an understatement. If you could’ve seen my face as she dove into the bridge “If I was out flashing my dollars I’d be a a bitch not a baller” ...YEAH. She totally went there and with such an effortless badass grace that this song has ranked top on my list of favorites for this album. This song signifies Sassy Swift and is a perspective-based lyrical ode to what her career would be like if she was a man. She’d be a fearless leader, an alpha type, complex and cool. It’s truthfully a flawless song—lyrics, beat, melody and all.  

 

5. The Archer

Am I the only one with the thought of “why would she put two songs that start with the word ‘the’ back-to-back on the album?” No? Yeah? Okay, anyway...One of the most vulnerable tracks on the record, the sound of this one gave me major Lorde vibes like “Dress” from reputation. Swift sings about hating her reflection and seeing right through herself as her mellow vocals take over the chilling beat. It's the most chill song on the album by far. 

 

6. I Think He Knows

This song...my god. It’s the ultimate bop. I feel like I’m completely set in a 1980's musical when I listen to it. With fresh upbeat vocals and melodies, it's the most fun song on the album to dance around and bop to. It's enticing, it's flirty, and most of all, it unveils the confident side of Taylor Swift.

 

7. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince

Set in a metaphorical high school, this song takes a deep dive into the situation America is currently experiencing with politics. The message holds much around the lines of a “You Need to Calm Down” message, which comes in the latter half of the album. “Miss Americana” is one of Swift’s first songs that story tells a political situation. This beat and temp are darker and deeper, exhibiting her wide versatility when it comes to her craft. 

 

8. Paper Rings

The melodic 90’s pop-rock beat and rhythm make this song a true show stopper on the album. It’s so fun and romantic in the cutest way, much like “Stay Stay Stay” from RED. The lyrics are a strong suit for this album as Swift relays pretend vows  to her lover. “I like shiny things but I’d marry you with paper rings” the chorus goes, designating her true love for the man she’s with. Also, the countdown during the pre-chorus is a magical way to cut the base before going into the upbeat mainstream and it’s one of the best sing-along/scream-along songs on the album.  

 

9. Cornelia Street

My personal favorite on the album, this self-written track has a beautiful way of telling a story. Starting off with a slow melody and compelling words, Swift sings “I rent a place on Cornelia street, I say casually in the car,” setting the tone for what’s to come in the rest of the track. As the chorus and second verse come, the beat picks up giving it the biggest “Delicate” x “Enchanted” vibes. This is the type of song you play when you’re driving down a never-ending road and the sun is setting, air is crisp like autumn. The story telling in this song is unmatched and you can visualize every single moment of it. It’s an extremely vulnerable track as she sings “I hope I never lose you, I hope this never ends” and reminds me so much of Old Taylor. The craft of this song is candidly one of the strongest points of the album.

 

10. Death by a Thousand Cuts

Ladies and gentleman...we have the first Taylor Swift breakup song in what seems like forever. Inspired by the Netflix film Someone Great, “Death by a Thousand Cuts” is about how hard saying goodbye is to a past love. The looped “bye bye bye bye”  throughout the song makes it cheekily mysterious and the guitar riff throughout the verses and chorus make light of the heavy situation being sung about. A sad song with top tier production, anyone? Why yes, only Swift. 

 

11. London Boy

This cute song with a heavy bass and sample of an Idris Elba interview is about Taylor loving her London boy (obviously). It takes you on a drive through the neighborhoods of London as she sings about what her and her lover do.  

 

12. Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. The Dixie Chicks)

I honestly can’t say much about this song as I’ve only listened a few times because it is so sad. This track features the Dixie Chicks and is about Swift’s moms battle with cancer. It’s a strong tear-jerker, so get the tissues ready.  

 

13. False God

A new sound for Taylor Swift? Yes, please. This track is so sick. The sound is so jazzy blues with the saxophone leading the beat throughout and it’s extremely sexy if you pay close attention to the lyrics. I love that this song shows the true versatility of Taylor as a singer-songwriter-producer, as she’s never before had a sound featured on a song like this.  

 

14. You Need To Calm Down

This one is a win in my book always. It’s fresh, it’s full of straight facts, and it takes a stance for the LGBTQ+ community. Swift sings to the haters and internet trolls while supporting the community for what it is, lead by a riveting bass and ultra cool production.  

 

15. Afterglow 

“Afterglow” is the perfect break between the pre-released singles “You Need To Calm Down” and “ME!” It reflects Swift feeling bad for the situation and her lover after a fight. "I blew things out of proportion, now you're blue," her voice echoes in the beginning, vulnerably, ready to share her feelings in full. It’s all her, in her head and she wants him to meet her in the afterglow. This is another classic on the record that Swift has completely blown away. The production is at its highest form of beauty and excellence on this track. 

 

16. ME!

The butterflies and girly pastels were at their peak when this lead single dropped, beginning the Lover era. This track reflects the theme of love—as it’s about loving yourself and being the only one of you. The production is extremely different compared to the rest of the record, child-like, frilly and all. It’s very whimsical, overbearing with a heavy bass, but all around a feel-good song.  

 

17. It’s Nice To Have A Friend

No lie, when I first heard this song I was a little creeped and scared. The chilling background vocals of a children’s choir are a steady tone throughout the entire track and almost entirely lead the course of the lyrics. It’s haunting, but in the most Taylor Swift way possible.   

 

18. Daylight 

This was the most beautiful way to end an album. “Daylight” is an example of Taylor’s way of redefining pop music. A piano ballad with added mid-tempo production is the coolest collection of calm and freeing possible. The first 17 tracks were fueled by deep emotions of love and all its hysterical, magical whims, whereas “Daylight” is the breath of fresh air that follows when you’ve finally, finally figured it all out and let it all go. As the first ever song Taylor has self-wrote and produced, she really nailed it in the park. After all of her mishaps, heartbreaks, ended friendships, trials and triumphs, she’s finally at ease and has conquered well....daylight.

 

She closes the track, thus the album, with a recorded sample of her speaking. “You are what you love,” she says, reminding us that we don’t need to be remembered for the things we hate but the things we love. This closing track is the truest form of examples that sometimes you just need to step into the daylight and let it go. 

 

Thanks so much for bearing through this entire review, and I hope you enjoyed it! Remember, buy Lover, stream Lover, do whatever you need to do. 

 

But until next time...

 

Xoxo,

Abby