I had a marvelous time, Taylor Nation.
Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy that has not seen this film before, we’re loving this from the beginning to the ending. I’ve been listening to this album when I’m just lounging or when I’m going for a walk. It’s not a banger in the sense of the word, it’s a well-written melodious and coherent offering with an indie-folk vibe. It’s very reminiscent of the days in which the Sparkly Dressed collaborated with The Civil Wars.
The album is a departure of the commercial radio-friendly pop vibe from Taylor’s most popular hits and usual first track releases from previous albums. Instead, the entire album is devoted to songwriting with an emphasis on storytelling, something that probably comes from Taylor’s country roots but with a more alternative sound. I would almost classify it as Americana – not country, but definitely a lot less pop and more organic.
The name of the album responds more to the emphasis on storytelling rather than the style. Taylor seems to have momentarily step away from the usual upbeat dance rhythms and focused more on an introspective style. This doesn’t mean the album is what you would call sad, but it’s definitely more melancholic and nostalgic, something that should be very familiar to Taylor and her fans from her lesser known album cuts.
“Cardigan” is the first single from the album that gets a proper music video, but the Enchantress has also released lyrical videos for all sixteen tracks. They seem to fit the song’s somber and meditative mood very well. This is an album that makes you want to go outside and contemplate nature. It’s not exactly romantic, but it’s more about personal growth and character development.
I have lots of favorites on rotation. My current favorite is “Exile”, the collaboration with Bon Iver. My first favorite on the first listen was “The Last Great American Dynasty” which later I replaced with “My Tears Ricochet” and then “This Is Me Trying”. Actually, “This Is Me Trying” feels very personal and emotive. “My Tears Ricochet” is the one I would put at the very top as it ends up being my current favorite more often. I would definitely put “cardigan” here too.
Deemed to become favorites in my rotation at some point are “Mirrorball”, “August”, “Epiphany”, “Illicit Affairs” and “Peace”. We all know at this point that “Betty” is going to be a fan favorite and a full-on sing-a-long. It’s an insolent song, it’s defiant, it has swear words and Taylor sings it from the point of view of someone named ‘James’. Yes, as calming and introverted as this album sounds it’s got some swearing in it.
Basically everything else goes in this third tier, but the truth is these are good on their own right and with time they will also had their time. I don’t have a single track to skip. These are still amazing: “The 1”, “Seven”, “Invisible String”, “Mad Woman”, “Hoax”. Again, these are not unwanted. I don’t have a song I dislike in this album. It’s an entire playlist for inside days… Which right now are all of them.
Here’s Taylor’s message included with the physical album copy:
Coming up in the Calendar!
- Many, many album listening sessions.
(Source: Taylor Swift. Featured image: Taylor Swift)