Taylor Swift recently announced her eighth studio album, “folklore”. She released her album on July 24th. Following her release, “folklore” spent five weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 at No.1.
Starting off as a country singer in her debut album “Taylor Swift”, she then evolved into pop-rock by releasing “22” and “1989”, then onto hip-hop with “Reputation”, and went pop on “Lover”.
“folklore” is what a lot of fans have been waiting for all along: a lengthy, emotional indie/alternative album. Its heart is folk storytelling. Her best single now is cardigan, and all 16 songs have made it to the Billboard Hot 100.
Swift became the first artist ever to debut at No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 in the same week. Swift also set a new high among women for the most simultaneous Hot 100 debuts with her 16 new entries, breaking her own record of 14 songs with her previous album, “Lover”.
In addition to the 16 songs on the standard edition of “folklore”, its deluxe “In the Trees” cassette, CD and vinyl versions include a bonus track, “the lakes.”
Swift wrote the entirety of “folklore” in the midst of her own home during the COVID-19 global pandemic. According to Swift, her favorite part about writing music is storytelling. Her past seven albums have been through her perspective and the events that she personally went through; however, folklore dives into the perspectives of people that Taylor never even met, as well as those that betrayed her in her past.
Folklore goes through multiple stories, one of which includes a love triangle. The songs “betty”, “august” and “cardigan” each show the perspectives of betrayed lovers and their feuds amongst one another in heartbreak and distress. In “august”, Swift sings “And I could see us twisted in bedsheets, August sipped away like a bottle of wine, cause you were never mine,” describing how the month of August was when the affair took place. In “betty”, Swift sings from a boy named James’ perspective, apologizing to Betty for having an affair with a boy named Inez.
In her song, “The last great American dynasty”, Swift told us a story about a misfit widow named Rebekah who once owned the Rhode Island “saltbox” coastal mansion that Swift ended up purchasing in 2013. Taylor sings about Rebekah’s many wild stunts that she pulled in her lifetime, including filling her pool with champagne and dying her neighbor’s dog key lime green when she was in an argument with them. In the chorus, Swift sings: “There goes the most shameless woman this town has ever seen. She had a marvelous time ruining everything,” depicting the perfect image of Rebekah in anyone’s mind.
“Exile” with Bon Iver is the only song on “folklore” that featured another artist. In the song, a man and woman are singing about their constant fighting and describing how they “should’ve gave a warning sign” and “how they gave so many signs”. Listening to both Bon Iver’s and Taylor’s sorrowful voices, the fans know that they are both right.
Swift’s public feuds with celebrities such as Kayne West were portrayed in “mad woman”, and in “my tears ricochet”, Swift was describing her battle with her old record label as well as Scooter Braun. “Mad woman” quotes: “No one likes a mad woman, what a shame she went mad. You made her like that.” Dating back to the start of Swift’s feud with West in 2009, and leading up to this year with more Twitter drama alongside both artists.
“My tears ricochet” sings how Braun “had to kill me, but it killed you just the same. Cursing my name, wishing I stayed, look at how my tears ricochet.” This song explains the tension between her old record label and Scooter Braun.
With her surprise album release of “folklore”, as well as the work she put into writing all of the songs through several lens’, this just might be her most mature album yet. Taylor Swift has exceeded fans’ expectations and her album “folklore” has been rated one of the best albums of 2020 with an overall rating of 9.5/10.