Somehow, it’s been more than six years since I last wrote about my “guiltiest guilty pleasure,” Taylor Swift. She was the answer to a WordPress Daily Prompt to write a thank-you note to a guilty pleasure. Admittedly, despite her being my guilty pleasure then, I’m certainty not someone who could be considered a diehard fan. That is, I think of a diehard fan as someone that could dissect her albums with precision and compare them and all that jazz. I’m not that good. I just like her music, and I think, as a person, she seems swell.
Some of my favorite songs of hers I listed back then were, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Back to December,” “Tim McGraw,” “Mean,” You Belong With Me,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Love Story,” and, “Blank Space.” And I just relived all those songs as I wrote this, and they all still “slap,” as the kids say these days.
In 2020 alone, Swift has released two albums, folklore and evermore. I figured I would take the opportunity to rekindle my guilty pleasure, and tell you some of my favorite songs from the latest album (that’s also why I didn’t call this post “album review” like I usually would; I’m going to stay in my lane, folks). Which, if she was a guilty pleasure during her more country/pop phase, then she’s definitely a guilty pleasure during her more folksy phase. I love folksy music. She’s also someone who takes pride in writing her own songs, and did a lovely thread ahead of the release of this latest album talking about her need to write. She said, “To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs. To try to put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or travel further into the forest of this music.” How poetic indeed.
Overall, the album is great, and I don’t think there’s a bad song among the 15-track listing. But here’s a listing of my three favorites starting with my most favorite:
1. no body, no crime (feat. HAIM) – HAIM
This is a catchy “murder ballad,” as it’s being called. This is just a kick-ass song, with a killer (heh) chorus. It’s one of the shorter tracks on the album, but it’s memorable. After running through the album a few times, this is the one I kept coming back to because it’s a fun listen more than anything. This one gives me the Carrie Under, “Before He Cheats,” vibes. It has that sort of swagger.
This one actually follows the murder ballad on the album, and is nearly two minutes longer, but it’s one of the best. For a song entitled, “happiness,” it’s much more low-key than the murder ballad and it’s a song that is sort of like the movie, Happiness, where there’s a lot of pain under the happiness. It’s a helluva break-up song. “Showed you all my hiding spots. I was dancing when the music stopped. And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention. I haven’t met the new me yet.” I mean, put that into my veins for all of 2020. But there’s also an optimistic note, that there will be happiness again.
3. evermore (feat. Bon Iver) – Bon Iver
It’s hard not to pick the Bon Iver song, the namesake of the album, as the third here. Iver had perhaps a top three song off the previous album, too, with, “exile.” It’s a beautiful song, with great vocals from both, and a fitting way to cap off the album. Even the opening hits me good, “Gray November, I’ve been down since July.” Preach that truth, Swift.
Swift is speaking my 2020 language with a lot of the lyrics in these songs.
Have you had a chance to listen to her latest album? In general, what do you think of Swift?