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Taylor Swift | folklore – Album Review

Taylor Swift | folklore – Album Review

Jerrett Franklin
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania. She sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Philadelphia 76ers basketball game at 11 years old, and began songwriting and learned guitar at 12 years old. She released her first single, “Tim McGraw,” in 2006 and has been on a tear ever since. She has racked up 769 Award nominations and has won 330 of them. She is one of only two female solo artists, along with Adele, to win Album Of The Year twice for her solo recordings. She won the award for 2010 for Fearless and again for 2015 for 1989. She has accumulated 35 Grammy Nominations and won 10 of them. She has an estimated sales of over 50 million albums and 150 million singles worldwide.

Image Source: Getty / Dan MacMedan

On July 22nd 2020, she shocked the world, when she made the announcement that she would be releasing her 8th studio album, folklore, on July 24th, 2020, two days later. She announced that there will be 8 different versions of her Deluxe Editions. The regular edition has 16 tracks included. We will be going through each song, track by track, in honor of this new, surprise release.

First up on folklore, is “the 1.” “If my wishes came true, it would’ve been you,” is probably my favorite lyric from this opening track. Such a good first impression to this album. Her voice sounds absolutely beautiful. It is perfectly accompanied by the instrumentals here. The piano is a nice touch to this song, and really makes it feel complete.

Next up is “cardigan.” Again, this one starts out with her vocals and a somber piano, with some really cool effects as well. When she sings, “You put me on and said I was your favorite,” I really felt that. At this point, we can agree that she is a lyrical genius. With this surprise release, she also decided to release the official video for “cardigan” as well. Check out the video below! Side note, I now want a piano waterfall.

“the last great american dynasty,” is up next in this emotional rollercoaster. I love the sound of this one. The beat is infectious and has a totally different vibe than the previous two. This one is more of a storytelling song, which is a smart move on Taylor’s part. This is a solid track. Parts of it remind me of early Taylor Swift, which is honestly, pretty refreshing. Combining old and new is a good album strategy.

Next up is “exile,” which features the incredible band, Bon Iver. This is another beautiful song. Bon Iver sounds great as always. Once Taylor comes in, in the 2nd verse, you realize just how beautiful this song is. Their voices blend really well together as well. If this one is released as a single, it will be an instant hit.

In the number 5 slot on folklore, is “my tears ricochet.” If you judge the song, just based off of the beginning, you will see that the title is pretty accurate. “If I’m on fire, you’ll be made of ashes too.” These lyrics pretty much pierce you straight to the bone. The lyrical composition of “my tears ricochet,” is pretty impressive. These are deep, dark and full of emotion. I have said it once and I will continue to say it, Taylor Swift is a lyrical mastermind.

Up next on this album is, “mirrorball.” This one has a very different feel to it. Really has a Stevie Nicks vibe to it. Her vocals are intoxicating and the lyrics are on point. This is a strong song to put near the middle of this album. By this point, it is pretty evident that this is entire album is going to be a masterpiece.

Lets keep going. Next up in the 7th spot, is non other than, “seven.” This is very different than anything that she has released previously. This one has more of a singer/songwriter feel than the rest of them. This isn’t the strongest song off of the album, but I do appreciate the creativity that went behind creating it. It is still very beautiful.

“august,” is the next track off of folklore. This one basically puts her vocals in the background and lets you appreciate the instrumentals of the song. I mean, we are 8 songs in and her vocals are stunning in every track so far. My favorite part of this song, by far is the instrumentals and the story of the song. “August sipped away, like a bottle of wine.”

Nine tracks in, and Taylor Swift isn’t giving in. She is still going stronger than ever. “this is me trying,” is up next. This is such a calming song that you will be playing over and over. “I just wanted you to know, this is me trying.” This is a very personal song about literally breaking down your walls and trying to let someone in. There are a lot more instrumentals on this track, than any of the other ones. This pays off, because this is also one of the most memorable ones on the album as well.

“illicit affairs,” is up next. I have complimented her vocals a lot, but it is well deserved. The real standout here, if you listen carefully is the acoustic guitar. It is completely beautiful. Pair that with the background ambiance and vocals and you have a beautiful song. Her voice is in the forefront here, so that you can hear the story of the song. It is super impressive that she can create a song that is just so captivating.

Next up on folklore is “invisible string.” First off, shout out to Centennial Park for getting a mention. By this point, she is just showing off with how great she is. From the hooks, to the lyrical gymnastics, to her vocals, she is showing just how versatile she is, with “invisible string.”

One of my favorites from the album, “mad women,” is next up. There is so much emotion and anger behind this song. Taylor does a great job at showcasing that anger in this song. “There’s nothing like a mad woman. What a shame she went mad. No one likes a mad woman. You made her like that.” We are nearing the end of this album and there’s just no letting up.

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I just had an epiphany, that “epiphany,” is up next. This one starts out with some very ambient music. When her vocals kick in, you are pretty much in a trance. Beautiful song and an even more beautiful story.

“betty,” is up next as the 14th track. This one is definitely different with the harmonica but also reminds me of older country Taylor Swift tracks. I absolutely love this one. The harmonica and acoustics really brings the song together. “The worst thing that I ever did, was what I did to you.” The chorus is wonderfully catchy as well. Another solid song. By this point, I am wondering if I am going to come across a track I don’t like. I don’t see it happening. This is very impressive.

Next to last, is “peace.” This one has a more bluesy feel to it. This song sounds a bit more stripped down as well, which works with this one. It brings the focus on her vocals and the actual story that she is telling.

Last song on folklore, is “hoax.” Another lyrical masterpiece. This song starts out with just her and a piano. This is another one that basically puts her voice in the forefront so that you can hear the message of the song. Strong ending to a beautiful album.

All in all, folklore is a musical masterpiece. Lyrically, it is stunning. The lyrics to each of these songs are on another level. It is pretty impressive that this album is categorized as Alternative as well. This means, that Taylor Swift has released albums in 3 different genres. folklore will be one for the record books. Judging by the content of this album, she is bound to be looking at more Grammy nominations as well. If you are already a fan of Taylor Swift, or just someone looking for some amazing music, check out her new album, folklore below!

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