Taylor Swift’s Peak Storytelling — Folklore Review
As an avid Taylor Swift fan, I spent the majority of July 24 kicking myself because I didn’t detect a new album. No swiftie could have totally prepared for the Folklore era from the singer-songwriter, as she made it clear that this was supposed to be a surprise. I did end up crying over the premiere of the Cardigan music video nonetheless.
So I was unsure what to make of the black and white, cottagecore imagery and track list featuring the moody indie artist Bon Iver. However, when I dove into the album, I realized that the methodical Taylor we know and love was still at play. Folklore is a dedication to everything that is Taylor Swift — love, heartbreak and most importantly….storytelling.
Swift fully outdid herself when it came to creating a narrative in these pieces. Between the winding love triangle between three love-stricken young people in Betty, to the downfall of a socialite in The Last Great American Dynasty, Folklore showed that Taylor Swift does not have to be in the throws of a breakup to create a beautiful, painful picture of love and love lost.
Folklore’s run time seems to be built upon a set of puzzle pieces that fit so seamlessly together, you almost don’t realize that the next song has started. Each track has a similar ethereal drone within the atmosphere of each song. The sound is reminiscent of my favorite Taylor album, Red, but with a clearer path and a maturer sound.
Songs like “Mad Woman” show growth that several Swift fans have been discussing for years. As the pop star has begun to speak out politically openly and outwardly, her courage has seeped into her lyricism as well. Although songs like You Need To Calm Down have been criticized for skating around issues and touching on them as little as possible. This new track shows development in Swift’s political and serious presence in social commentary lyrics. “Now I breathe flames each time I talk, my cannons all firin’ at your yacht. They say “move on,” but you know I won’t, and women like hunting witches too.” This song is a powerhouse anthem about anguish and self-discovery.
Stand out tracks for me were the introspective “seven” which sounded live you were moving through a sunlit timeline of a beautiful moments that the singer latches onto, as well as the whimsical, soaring “My Tears Richocet,” which vividly discussed the impact of a very influential relationship.
Overall, I think this is going to be a stand out Taylor Swift record that attracts listeners outside of the fandom. I am curious to see if this indie-centric genre will be something that she sticks with for awhile (knowing Taylor, this is probably unlikely). I think this was a picturesque work that displays the impact of theming an album and really playing with the imagination.
My Tears Richocet