By Natalie Zagorski
Ten-time Grammy-winner, Billboard music award for top artist, MTV Video Music Award Video for the year, American Music Award for Artist of the year. Even with all this accomplished Taylor Swift is still in her prime and has released yet another breathtaking album. Her newest album Evermore was released on Dec 11, 2021, and has me listening to it nonstop. The sophistication of her lyrics and ability to transfer the listener into a different time and place is astonishing. Not only can listeners of all ages relate to the lyrics that Swift pours out but also her songs are easy to comprehend and sing along to.
Swift falls back into her folk/country roots in her Evermore album. The consistency of soft string instruments and piano bring me back to when I was eight years old singing along to her Fearless album in my best friend’s bedroom.
The lyrics Swift uses in Evermore are absolutely suited for the time she released the album. Even the cover picture of her playlist gives off a strong winter vibe. Swift is dressed in a flannel and french braid with her back to the camera in a snowy forest. The album has a distinct winter feel with her song “Tis the Damn Season” where she writes about how she returns to her hometown and sees old people and the way this makes her feel. This song is perfect for the holiday season and makes further connections to some of her first playlists where she also wrote about her experiences in her hometown with a similar folk sound invoking the listener in a feeling of nostalgia.
The Evermore album makes me want to ponder life and the relationships that I have with people in my life. This album isn’t only about Swift’s love life but devotes songs to loved ones like her grandparents and old friends who she’s been thinking about. Every song transports me to the place that Swift is explaining vividly. In the song “No Body No Crime” I feel like I’ve been placed into the front seat of my best friend’s car comforting her when she was cheated on, and when I listen to “Dorothea” I see myself when I was seven playing with my friend in my backyard. The variety of lyrics makes every song unique and able to hit me in a different place while the consistent folk sound ties the whole album together.
Swift’s album Evermore doesn’t only tie together the songs that are inside of it but it also correlates with her album Folklore that she released half a year ago on July 24, 2020. Evermore and Folklore are sister albums that have stylistically similar sounds and draw connections to one another. Swift’s song “Betty” on her Folklore album has relations to the characters in her song “Dorothea” in her Evermore album. They both talk about an old friend who has changed and who Swift is thinking about.
Another strong connection between the two albums that is heart-wrenching is her correlation of songs about her grandparents that she breaks up in her 2 albums. The song “Epiphany” in the album she released first out of the two, gave tribute to her grandfather who was a World War II veteran. Swift was very young when he died but after asking her father about her grandfather and his experience in the war, her father would tell her all he’d say is “some things you just can’t speak about.” The sincereness of Swift’s lyrics makes them even more relatable and able to be interpreted from many unique perspectives. The connection of devoting songs to her grandparents can be drawn to the song “Marjorie” which is the name of her grandmother in her Evermore album. The lyrics “What died didn’t stay dead/ You’re alive in my head” evokes a strong feeling of loss to anyone who has had a loved one die in their lifetime but also reminds them that their memories with that person is something they can always hold on it and will never leave them.
These loved ones have an extra special place is Swift’s albums, they’re listed as song number 13, aka Swift’s favorite number. The placement of these songs and the rest of her songs in Evermore I think are suitable overall. Swift places the songs “Champagne Problems” and “Gold Rush” as the first and second tracks because they’re the most catchy and are likely to stick in your head. She then dives into songs with deeper meanings, some being a little bit slower but all having a meaning to cherish and ponder behind them.
I fell in love with some of her songs later on in the album before the ones listed as top three and played on the radio the most. Evermore has a song for everyone on it or at least some lyrics that everyone can relate to and I think this is what makes it so universally loved.
Swift’s latest released album has exceeded my expectations. There’s an aspect about the tunes that sticks in my head and makes me want to listen to it on repeat. I’m fascinated with trying to uncover all the connections Swift has provided between her Folklore and Evermore albums. I find myself diving into the lyrics deeper to uncover how she felt when she wrote them. Swift has a way of providing me with music that I didn’t know I needed until I heard it, and once I did there was no going back. My love for Taylor Swift and her music has strengthened due to her Evermore album and I am extremely ecstatic to see what she releases next!