Taylor Swift changes the game with Lover

Tara Sottile

In her highly-anticipated seventh studio album, Taylor Swift wears her heart on her sleeve. Lover is the ten-time Grammy award winner’s first album to be released after the battle with Big Machine Records and Scooter Braun.

After the release of reputation, which was one of her darkest albums, fans didn’t know what style of album Swift would release next. Lover is 18 tracks of raw emotion mixed with the upbeat energy of new love.

“I Forgot That You Existed”, “Paper Rings”, and “ME!” are upbeat tracks with a pre-teen pop style vibe, while “Soon You’ll Get Better” is the song on the album that will make you cry.

“Who am I supposed to talk to, what am I supposed to do, if there’s no you,” Swift sings tearfully in the song.

The heart-wrenching ballad fans didn’t see coming reflects on her mom’s ongoing battle with cancer. The Dixie Chicks, known for their song “Not Ready To Make Nice”, join Swift on this track.

“It’s Nice to Have a Friend” has a very strong instrumental sound. Swift has featured Toronto’s own Regent Park School of Music, with proceeds from the song going towards the students’ education in music.

With the instrumental music in the background, the title song, “Lover”, feels like a throwback to a first dance at a wedding in the 1980s. On the other hand, “The Archer” highlights the rollercoaster of teenagers falling in and out of love. However, both songs have the sound of her previous album, 1989.

“The Man” is the anthem everyone should hear because it calls out toxic masculinity and describes the double standard Swift faces as a female artist. The 23-time winning Billboard Music Award artist sticks up for what she believes in, and points out how toxic the world has become.

“Cruel Summer” and “You Need To Calm Down” both have an electric pop sound that will make you want to drive with the windows down and the music up.

“I Think He Knows” and “London Boy” are two songs written about Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. “False God” hits you with just how much society romanticizes and worships the thought of being in love.

“Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince” has an unexpected dark melody. There are hints of politics but on first listen, it plays like a narrative on high school relationships.

“Cornelia Street” takes you back to when the 10-time MTV Music Award winner had a secret apartment in New York at the start of her relationship with Alwyn.

“Death by A Thousand Cuts” was inspired by the Netflix movie Someone Great, and paired together they tell a whole new story. The movie was inspired by Swift’s song “Clean” and “Death by A Thousand Cuts” was inspired by the movie. When looking at it like that, it comes full circle. The song radiates the feeling of not being ready for a relationship to end.

“Afterglow” and “Daylight” round out the end of the album with subtle deeper meanings the listener might not see. Swift’s old album Red is descriptive on how love is “burning red” but in “Daylight”, Swift says “I once believed love would be burning red, but it’s golden.” You can hear in those lyrics alone just how much her love life has changed, and she’s in a place where love is golden and bright.

This album changed the way Swift presents herself to the world.

The take-away is that even after dark and horrible times, it is possible to come out on the other side to find happiness and love.