Disclaimer: Let me start by saying this, I am no music critic— I am simply a music fanatic and avid Taylor Swift fan since the bleak age of 9 (with a slight hiatus from ages 11-13 to make room for Justin Bieber).
As if she hasn’t done enough for us in 2020, in classic Taylor Swift fashion, she posted the same 3×3 grid that she always posts on her Instagram to allude to a new album and blessed the Swiftie universe with her second album of the year, evermore.
After giving it a listen, I felt it worthy to provide my thoughts on the album, along with some thoughts of fellow Coogs on social media.
First off, what I admire the most about this album is her growth. Her album from earlier in the year, folklore, while it showed her spike in maturity, the acoustics and lyrics in evermore take this to a whole new level.
A particularly notable aspect of this album was Swift’s collaborations with HAIM, The National and Bon Iver. A big part of the experimentation that Swift does with her lyrics and indie sound is inspired by the writing and contributions of these artists. A prime example of this is Danielle Haim’s, of HAIM, contribution to “gold rush”, with the fairytale-esque sound at the top of the song.
My favorite song of the album, “willow”, is the perfect example of this. You can tell that her pivot from, “Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone” in her 2009 hit “Love Story” to, “Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind” in “willow” shows growth and maturity in ways you don’t always see in artists who seemingly peaked in the 2010’s to pre-teen/teen audiences.
Another song I liked, “champagne problems”, gave me Lennon Stella vibes, who usually sings about men who play golf or for who she may be “much too much” for. I will admit, I was quite confused by who has “champagne problems” in this song– but I’ve deduced it’s both Swift and the character in this song. I really liked the lyric, “home town skeptics call it champagne problems” since it gives me coming home for the holiday vibes, which is timely with the release of this album.
Throughout this album and her last, Swift has shown talent I have never seen from her before. Sam Sodomsky from Pitchfork puts it perfectly when he says that Swift allows “her own biography to fall to the background.”
Overall, based on social media polls, the top three songs I along with fellow Coogs can recommend are “willow”, “champagne problems” and “gold rush” — each acquainted with acoustics beyond what I personally believed Swift was capable of.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Republic Records