Album Review: Lover (Taylor Swift)

September 01, 2019

This is a continuation of my fangirling journey for this new era of Taylor Swift's music.

Taylor Swift's 7th album
Release Date: August 23, 2019

Lover, Taylor Swift's seventh studio album, consists of 18 songs. I'll review them here one by one, just like what I did for her reputation album.

It's just been a week since the album has been out but I think I have already played it a hundred times. I'm getting swallowed by every song of this album, just like how I got hooked listening to her reputation album. The hype leading to the album release was unreal, and I have to commend Taylor and her team for such great PR strategy for keeping the buzz going from the very beginning of the ME! single release up to the launch of the whole album itself.

I super love listening to new songs. The first listen is just a very precious moment. On my first listen to this album, I got goosebumps and fell in love. I also danced and I cried. I really enjoyed listening to this album. I would give anything just to experience listening to it for the first time again. 💗

For this album, my listening process was --

1) I just listen as is, sometimes I close my eyes to feel the music more
2) Then listen again while reading the lyrics, and
3) Go another round of listen while listing down my comments and also browsing Reddit for other fans' opinions.

I Forgot That You Existed
First Impression: Ooh this intro is groovy. Is this Taylor Swift's new sound?
I love this song on first listen! I like the melody and how she plays with the syllables of the words. I immediately related with the song in so many ways. 😉
Favorite Lyrics:

It isn't love, it isn't hate, it's just indifference.

Cruel Summer
First Impression: Goosebumps!!
I super duper enjoyed this song! I could hear Getaway Car within the melodies and the effects used on this track. I am quite sure this is one of her masterpieces with Jack Antonoff (edit: yes! I was right!). This is the perfect jam for a carpool karaoke when you're driving on a highway. 😁🔊🎶
Favorite Lyrics:

I don't wanna keep secrets just to keep you.

and also

And I scream, "For whatever it's worth
I love you, ain't that the worst thing you ever heard?"

He looks up, grinning like a devil

First Impression: Aww this is such a nice song for a slow dance.
The chorus just gave me warm fuzzy feelings. This is what's great about music -- you can convey an emotion to your audience, even to those who are unfamiliar to it. So I guess this is what it feels like to be in love ? I'll mark this one -- I'd want to dance to this song with someone I'll call my lover. Hihi.
Favorite Lyrics:

Can I go where you go?
Can we always be this close forever and ever?

The Man
First Impression: Yaas, she really wrote about this! I will always be at awe at how great Taylor stands up for herself and how artistic she is, actually using media's feedback for her song ideas (remember Blank Space?). My respect for her just went higher, if that's even possible.
Favorite Lyrics:

They'd say I played the field before I found someone to commit to
And that would be okay for me to do

The Archer
First Impression: This is such a stripped-down production, but I love how expressive Taylor's voice is. This is a song with such an honest and raw feelings, like we are listening to Taylor's inner critic. You'd think because Taylor is so pretty and popular, she'll be very confident about herself. But no, she still has a lot of insecurities and she made herself very vulnerable through this song.
Favorite Lyrics:

I've been the archer, I've been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling
But who could stay?

I Think He Knows
First Impression: This is such a playful song! It might not that obvious but I think this is such a sexy song.
Favorite Lyrics:

"So where we gonna go?"
I whisper in the dark
"Where we gonna go?"
I think he knows

Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
First Impression: So, is this one of her political songs? When I learned that Taylor will have songs that are openly political, I was somehow worried because it could draw unnecessary controversy towards her. Well upon hearing this song, she proved yet again how great of a lyricist she is, because she expressed her ideas and opinions in forms of metaphors.
Favorite Lyrics:
My team is losing, battered and bruising
I see the high fives between the bad guys
I'm feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed
Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men?

Paper Rings
First Impression: Another very catchy song! It's such a fun song, it reminds me of the mood of her other song Stay Stay Stay. Hearing the drummer's counting always made me laugh. 😂
Favorite Lyrics:

I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings

Cornelia Street
First Impression: One dreamy song, this is a perfect jam when having a road trip and you just want to look out of the window and just be alone with your thoughts. I think she uses that same melancholic chord progression used in some of her heartfelt ballads like All Too Well and Out of the Woods.
Favorite Lyrics:
And I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends

Death by a Thousand Cuts
First Impression: Okay, I'm finding that piano very disturbing because of its off-tempo beat. It reminds of The 1975's song Give Yourself A Try with that repetitive guitar riff that made all the fans distracted while listening to the song.
I watched Someone Great on Netflix after learning that it was Taylor's inspiration for writing the song. Now whenever I listen to this track, I would always be reminded of that film and the feeling of heartbreak the main character had to endure in the story.
Favorite Lyrics:
I look through the windows of this love
Even though we boarded them up
But if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?
My heart, my hips, my body, my love
Tryna find a part of me that you didn't touch

London Boy
First Impression: Did he say Scooter? Is that a shade for Scooter Braun? I read a spoiler on Twitter that the start of London Boy features Joe Alwyn's voice. But meh, you shouldn't believe everything on the internet, right? Apparently it's Idris Elba and James Corden in an interview.
This is like Gorgeous 2.0, and it just shows how Taylor is crazy with a certain London Boy. 👀
Favorite Lyrics:
But something happened, I heard him laughing
I saw the dimples first and then I heard the accent

Soon You'll Get Better
First Impression: Holy crap, this is so emotional. I was in tears before the first chorus kicked in. Of all the songs in the album, this is the one I was mostly yearning to listen because of all the info I collected, especially from the fans who attended the Lover Secret Sessions. However, I still wanted to stick with the order of the songs in the album. When I saw that this was finally the next song in my queue, I prepared myself. But damn, nothing would prepare me from this song because of how emotional it was.
Usually when I was already preempted about the content of some media, may it be a song or a movie, it's already a spoiler for me and I know it would not affect me compared to if I didn't have any idea of what is coming. But for this song... uh let's just say I was ugly crying after the first play. I still was in tears for the second and third plays. It was so uncomfortable listening to this song. This song has the same effect on me as The 1975's song entitled Nana. I loved this song, but I guess I'll have to skip this next time because the emotions are just so heavy.
Favorite Lyrics:
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too

False God
First Impression: This song is too sensual! And that saxophone! This song reminds me of her other track So It Goes.
Favorite Lyrics: (technically the whole chorus!)
But we might just get away with it
Religion's in your lips
Even if it's a false god
We'd still worship
We might just get away with it
The altar is my hips
Even if it's a false god
We'd still worship this love

You Need To Calm Down
First Impression: With just the intro, I thought that this is so different from Taylor's usual material. It took some time for me to like this song, but I guess I can say that it finally grew on me, especially after seeing the music video (Katy Perry! Huhu.)
Favorite Lyrics:
And snakes and stones never broke my bones
Cause shade never made anybody less gay

First Impression: It's one of the forgettable songs during my first listen. Honestly, at this point I was dozing off already (I've been listening to the album for several minutes now) although on the second and third listen, I got to like it, especially after reading the lyrics. I think this is one of those few songs wherein Taylor admits it's her fault the relationship is on the rocks (one other song is Back To December).
Favorite Lyrics:
Hey, it's all me, in my head
I'm the one who burned us down
But it's not what I meant
Sorry that I hurt you

First Impression: It was okay. I find her collaborating with Brendon Urie is as cool AF, but they don't match vocally. I was hoping for Brendon to flex his vocals in the song. 😅
Favorite Lyrics: (because this part is so fun to sing)
I promise that you'll never find another like
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

It’s Nice to Have a Friend
First Impression: This is such an eerie-sounding track, like a children song of some sort.
Favorite Lyrics: (coming from her, who got bullied in school, means so much for me)

It's nice to have a friend.

First Impression: I super liked this song! It's the perfect closing song for this album. Also, the spoken outro is such a nice touch. I also liked how she playfully references lyrics from her previous tracks, just like what The 1975 was doing with their songs. I just could imagine a wonderful sunrise listening this song.
Favorite Lyrics:
I once believed love would be burning red
But it's golden

I very much enjoyed listening to this album! For sure this will be one Taylor's iconic art for the years to come.

Thank you for the music, Taylor! 💗

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