Taylor Swift – “evermore” Review

Story posted December 16, 2020 in

Taylor Swift is back for round two.

The singer-songwriter dropped her eighth studio album “folklore” only five months ago. “We just couldn’t stop writing,” Swift said on social media—and here comes her ninth studio album, “evermore.” Swift shocked the world on Dec. 10 when she announced that “evermore” would be released in less than 24 hours.

The album dives deeper into what has been established in “folklore,” the narratives have been broadened, and the sonic influences have also evolved.

Described as a “sister album” to “folklore,” “evermore” sounds familiar and yet very distinct. It even has some pop and alternative rock elements that are absent on “folklore,” but what remains is Swift’s unrivaled songwriting.

The album opens with “willow,” a song that immediately puts the audience right back into the music forest of “folklore,” and Swift declaring that she “comes back stronger than a ‘90s trend.”

“champagne problems” is a piano ballad that sounds like a combination of Swift’s “New Year’s Day” and “the 1,” but with a darker twist. The song tells a bittersweet story of two lovers having very different plans for the night before Christmas—one decides to end it, and one decides to propose.

“‘tis the damn season” reminisces James Bay’s “Let It Go” with its soft rock elements and guitar riffs. The song seems to continue the story from “champagne problems,” with the woman who left the relationship regretting her decision, as she reignites an old flame.

On “tolerate it,” Swift channels a Christina Perri-esque ballad, specifically “Human.” The heartbreaking lyrics such as “My love should be celebrated/But you tolerate it,” make it one of the most vulnerable tracks on the album.

“evermore” also proves that Swift could write a hit country song whenever she wants, especially in songs like “no body, no crime” and “cowboy like me.”

“no body, no crime” features HAIM, and it’s a revenge tale inspired by Swift’s love for crime documentaries. Sonically, the song is similar to “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood, another big female country hit with similar themes in the lyrics.

“gold rush” and “long story short” are the most upbeat and pop-sounding songs found on the album.

“marjorie” is a touching tribute to Swift’s deceased grandmother, Marjorie Findlay, a famous opera singer. The song also draws a parallel with “epiphany,” a song on “folklore” that paid tribute to Swift’s grandfather who fought in World War II. Both songs are the 13th track on each album, Swift’s favorite number.

At the end of the song, the audience can hear Findlay’s voice being sampled in the background, while Swift sings “What died didn’t stay dead/You’re alive in my head.”

The album ends on a brighter note with the title track, “evermore.” The song details Swift’s journey through 2020, from being in a state of depression to a place of hopefulness. Swift sings, “I had a feeling so peculiar/This pain wouldn’t be evermore.”

Overall, Swift outdid herself again and turned in another masterpiece. One could say “evermore” is an even more ambitious project than “folklore.”

Throughout the 15 songs, Swift showcases her range both as an artist and a writer. Her poetic and poignant writing matched up with musical elements of indie-folk, pop, country and alternative rock makes “evermore” a towering work of art.

Each song contains lyrics that can cut glass, and it further proves that Swift is a modern-day poet who demands her audience to listen to her stories that transcend any genre, and that she is and has been reaching heights not many artists have ever seen.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewers favorite songs: “tolerate it,” “marjorie” and “‘tis the damn season”

Reviewers least favorite song: “closure”

 

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu.