Taylor Swift’s brand new album is a triumphant return to the Taylor Swift that we know and love.
In 2017, Swift released “Look What You Made Me Do” which introduced a new sound and made digs at the people that built the singer up to where she is today. Overall, Reputation debuted an edgier, angstier Swift, which challenged the folky pop foundations which allowed her to become the national sweetheart she was back in 2014.
Now, the pop sensation has returned to her light-hearted, romantic roots. Lover is lighter, more colorful, and a lot more fun. The bling has been replaced by pastels and inflatables and the Swift we came to know and love has returned in all her glory.
The eighteen-track album is so long that it is bound to be a mixed bag. It definitely falls short in places but there are also some true bangers. The LGBTQ+ power anthem “You Need To Calm Down” is a contender for the song of the summer and the romantic titular track “Lover” is one to listen to over and over.
Another album highlight is “It’s Nice To Have A friend” which features the youth choir at Toronto’s Regent Park School. The song features steel drums and couldn’t be more “feel good” if it tried.
The subsequent track and album closer “Daylight” is also bound to be a favorite. Swift sings: “And so I became the butt of the joke / I wounded the good and I trusted the wicked / Clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke.” Could this be a statement of Swift shedding her Reputation skin and returning to her innocent and kitchy roots? Musically, it certainly sounds like it.
Overall, the highly-anticipated Lover is a triumph for pop. It celebrates love and friendship, focusing on the strengths that heartbreak brings rather than throwing shade at ex-lovers. It’s fun, innocent but also makes some clever points from time to time. The gender-equality anthem “The Man” questions what her life as a pop star would have been like, should she have been born a man instead of a woman.
Still, Swift references prom dresses and high school dramas, demonstrating that even though she has grown as an artist, deep down she is still the tween pop princess that we fell in love with back in the early 2000s.