Release Date: Aug 23, 2019
Record label: Republic
Taylor Swift sings "If I was a man, I'd be The Man" on a song that arrives just as Lover, her seventh studio album, starts to get underway. It's not bragging if it's true. Perhaps 2017's Reputation didn't dominate the popular consciousness the way her 2014 pop breakthrough 1989 did, but that was partially by design. Hard and steely, Reputation announced the arrival of an adult Taylor -- a conscious maturation that didn't bother disguising its seams.
On her seventh album, the pop mega-force leaves behind the anger that fuelled its predecessor, 'Reputation', instead opting for open-hearted love songs The title of Taylor Swift's seventh album isn't misleading. After 2017's bitter and combative 'Reputation' , she's returned to the wide-eyed but incisive romantic pop that made her a superstar. At 18 tracks long, 'Lover' is more sprawling and further from flawless than her 2014 pop crossover '1989' .
The theme of Taylor Swift's Lover is right there in the title. These 18 songs are odes to the things she loves most and knows best: her boyfriend and her mom, the West Village and the West End, and, always and forever on a Taylor Swift album, being in love. It's an exuberant celebration of the challenges of maintaining a relationship through seasons and across continents, of telling the truth and saying sorry.
In 2017, Taylor Swift tried something new. With the announcement of her new album Reputation, she made a pivot towards playing the villain, playing into the cattiness that's always been a part of her public image. Pop culture villainized her until she felt like she had to take up the mantle, but it didn't really work. The response to her sixth album was polarizing, even though the record itself was great.
Taylor Swift will turn 30 at the end of this year, which means that she has been a popular musician for nearly half of her life. Since her 2006 debut, the alt-country-turned-pop-machine's albums have served as markers of rising maturity, although that maturity has not always grown at a steady rate. She began her career writing songs wise beyond her years, but consumed by school bullies, cheer captains, and fairy tales.
"This album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness and chaos," explained Taylor Swift about 'Lover', her seventh album. For someone who generally doesn't do interviews and whose Instagram account is laced with clues worthy of a Scooby Doo cartoon, this admission wasn't exactly revealing, especially given most albums concern themselves with these topics anyway. 'Lover' was initially trailed by 'ME!' and 'You Need To Calm Down', both of which - in hindsight - were cheeky, but ultimately disposable, attention-grabbing pop nuggets in the vein of 'Shake It Off'.
T aylor Swift is more of a lover than a fighter. The singer-songwriter doesn't say it out loud on her seventh album - the successor to 2017's Reputation, an aggressive record in which she came out swinging - but it's hard to escape the conclusion on a record that Swift is calling "a love letter to love". "I'm in my feelings more than Drake, so, yeah," she winks at one point.
T he deluxe version of Taylor Swift's seventh studio album comes with a facsimile of the singer's journal. It contains selected diary entries that make for surprisingly glum reading. We see Swift progress from wide-eyed 13-year-old ("I heart school!") to one of the world's biggest stars: the latter the source of considerable woe.