I admit it, I'm a die-hard Taylor Swift fan. I was blown away when she unexpectedly released folklore during quarantine; thrilled when she followed it up with the even more amazing evermore; and was sent into a happy rush of nostalgia when she gifted us with a re-recorded version of her Fearless album.
It's been a glorious year of Taylor Swift songs. But I keep coming back to her 2019 album, Lover.
Lover is almost entirely light and pastel-colored pop, filled with sentimental odes to love and all of the highs, lows, messes, and joys that come with it. It has a wide, somewhat uneven mixture of songs. Some are sweet, slow ballads, such as the title track "Lover" and some are loud, synth-heavy nods to 80s pop, such as the track "Cruel Summer".
Tonally speaking, Lover is all over the place. But I love it for that reason! It's a little chaotic, yes, but I think that makes it all the more fun. And while it's a brighter, more bubblegum-sounding album, it doesn't come off as as shallow or vapid; it features some really meaningful and reflective lyrics, showing that even on a "cheerier" album, Swift still goes to deeper emotional territory.
For example, Swift opens up about her fear and sadness over her mother's battle with cancel in the track "Soon You'll Get Better":
The buttons of my coat were tangles in my hair
In doctor's office lighting, I didn't tell you I was scared,
That was the first time we were there
Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too
With eighteen songs Lover borders on being overloaded and admittedly, not every single track is exceptional. But there are some real gems here. Check out "Cruel Summer", "You Need to Calm Down", "Cornelia Street", "Soon You'll Get Better", and "The Man" all standouts for me. In fact, I have a harder distinguishing what songs I don't care for as much, because I think this album overall is so great.
Lover may come off as a little saccharine-sounding if you're a fan of the melancholy mood of Swift's latest albums, but I encourage you to sit back and give the entirety of Lover a listen.
You may find that a few of the songs will catch you off guard emotionally. There's even the possibility that Lover becomes a lovable earworm to you; just the thing to blast while heading down the highway for a summer night drive. While I will always tune into all the music Swift puts out, I'll continue to maintain that Lover is an album that should be held in higher esteem.