The album dropped Friday and now that I’ve had time to listen to it several times, buy the deluxe edition, read Taylor’s diary (scary similar to my own circa 6th grade, much less similar when she was at the Met Gala at 18) and tape the Deluxe Version 1 poster up to my front door, I’m fully ready to give you all of my opinions on each song and relate all of the lyrics back to my own life. Also I might add that I’m writing this track by track review v. hungover so basically I’m battling the queasies just to deliver content for your Monday morning at work. I’m the Taylor Swift fan that you all deserve.
1. I Forgot That You Existed. I love the move to start an album with a bop especially because it’s Petty Mayonnaise Taylor and she’s right out of the gate being shady as hell toward Calvin Harris. HOWEVER I also hate talking Taylor and her speaking the word indifference (and adding a giggle in) makes me want to blow my brains out. I get she’s trying to be funny and sassy and all but I could do without the talkies, always.
Best Lyric: In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah/Your name on my lips, tongue-tied/Free rent, living in my mind
2. Cruel Summer. At first listen I hated this song but then second time around and every time since it’s rapidly grown on me and now it’s easily one of my favorites. What sold me, you ask? When she basically starts screaming in the bridge. I’m like oh ok, cruel summer whatever, lots of ooh’s and colors but then when she’s drunk and shouty and goes HE LOOKS UP GRINNING LIKE THE DEVIL, it’s game on. First of all, there’s a reason Drunk Taylor was trending on twitter a couple of weeks ago to her clearly smashed singing her own song. It’s a rare occurrence we get to see a tipsy Tay so we have to relish it when we can and I literally pictured a drunk Taylor screaming up to some guy’s window I DON’T WANT TO KEEP SECRETS JUST TO KEEP YOU and it makes me laugh out loud and also want to shout everything.
Best Lyric: I’m always waiting for you to be waiting below/Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes/What doesn’t kill me makes me want you more. Honestly who is this devil man she keeps referring to? What an aggressive comparison to be making. Did Tay try casual sex?
3. Lover. (My initial reaction: Typical Tay, dropping 15 singles off of her album before the album officially comes out and then there’s like one song we haven’t heard yet from it. Coming off of a moody “The Archer”, this is a bold move to release another deep, slow tune. And let’s not pussyfoot around this, it’s basically her proposing through a song. So obviously, the bitter love-hating bitch that I am, I immediately wanted to be like nope, not for me. But then she warmed my cold dead heart, as only mah gurl T can do, and I was a puddle by the end of it. Obviously the best lyrics are “my heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue, all’s well that ends well to end up with you.” It ain’t even a competition. What a wordsmith she is. And I’ll save you the quick google search because all I did was look up the lyrics and I saw 9898239802 articles titled “All of the references to Joe Alwyn in Taylor Swift’s new song.” OH YOU DON’T SAY?! The song she wrote about loving someone forever is about the guy she’s been dating for 3 years?! GET OUT OF TOWN. Also if you really wanna go down a rabbit hole (which I always do), look up the lyrics on Lyrics Genius and see that Taylor is such a boss that pretty much every song she writes is tied in some way to another song she’s written. HOW DOES HER BRAIN WORK?! Anyway, enjoy loving love with this new song and cue the countdown to her and Joe’s engagement.)
My current reaction: Every single time I hear this song I love it more and more and it’s my favorite song, might even be vying for a second place pick for overall favorite Taylor Swift song. All Too Well is a very clear and obvious numero uno. Even the video was beautiful and mesmerizing. God, Tay turning me into such a sap.
4. The Man. Hey guys, it’s the era of #MeToo and #GirlBoss and #Feminism and that’s basically what this song is here for. It’s a Who Run the World but jabbier. I mean she goes after Leo and that’s PREEETTTTYYYY bold. No one goes after Leo. He made saying “boo boo” cool again, but he’s a man SO HE SUCKS. But seriously, guys, stop calling Taylor a serial dater just because she has a vag. Cut the shit.
Best Lyric: If I was out flashing my dollars/ I’d be a bitch, not a baller. Taylor swears now.
5. The Archer. (My Initial Reaction: here we are at The Archer and it’s moody and dramats with deep lyrics and I’m all about it. Tay has a knack for releasing songs that speak to a certain part of my life, like when 22 came out the year that I turned 22 (yeah that’s right all you young hoez who post “feelin 22” right now. The song was basically written for me and not about today’s youths, who have essentially no problems and feel the need to wear crop tops with no bras every time they leave their home.) So obviously Tay knows that my love life is a shit storm right now and drops this juicy dramatic song. “Who could ever leave me, darling? But who could stay?” I MEAN COME ON. If I had a diary right now, it would probably say exactly that. Good thing I don’t keep diaries anymore because every time I read my middle school one and see “Seventh grade is the year of dating. I want a boyfriend, but not so bad that I’m desperate, and I’ll take anyone.” I want to kms. So I’ll just leave it to Taylor to write all the embarrassing things that I relate to in that moment and look back on in five years and laugh at. Thanks, boo.) My current reaction: now that I’ve heard the whole album it doesn’t stand out as much for me but I still don’t hate the moody feels to it either. Also since we were talkin’ diaries, Taylor had an entry from like 8th grade about how she forgot it was valentine’s day because she doesn’t have a boyfriend OR a crush and there’s no point in even acknowledging v day if you don’t have “those key elements” and if that’s not literally a page ripped from my dramatic pre-teen life then I don’t know what is. So thanks for sharing your embarrassing and overdramatic words so that I can identify that I wasn’t the only loser writing in a diary about being single at 14.
Best Lyric: And I cut off my nose just to spite my face/Then I hate my reflection for years and years. Honestly it was very difficult for me to pick just one lyric because they’re all dramatic as hell and I identify with each one at this point in my life.
6. I Think He Knows. Lots of punchy elements on this one. We’ve got the high background singer voices that could get real annoying, real quick. But then when the beat picks up and she scream sings HEARTBEAT, I just can’t stop myself from grooving. In case you haven’t already come to this conclusion, I love a good scream sing. Not only is this a fun dance number, but Taylor is REAL high on herself basically saying that Joe knows how great she is and couldn’t fathom letting her go. He just HAD to lock her down. Lotta cocky confidence there, which I respect. Also she wants to know that body like it’s hers. Sex stuff. Taylor’s just so grown up now.
Best Lyric: He’s so obsessed with me and, boy, I understand/Boy, I understand. Get it gurl.
7. Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince. Here’s when I started to realize we are miles and miles away from Reputation. Bad Girl Tay was in full force looking for vengeance on Reputation, and there were times I was a little scared. I was like ooohhh get em gurl THAT’S RIGHT TELL EM. This song is supposed to be like a callout and first of all let’s be honest and say the name of it stinks. It’s wordy and fairytale-ish. Then she’s talking about stupid names and stupid prizes and it makes me think of a child who knows they’re wrong and is like THIS IS STUPID just because they don’t want to do it. So as far as the lyrics go, I’m not all in. I’m to assume she’s taking a political stance here? Yet I seem to miss most political references because I actually am stupid, so I’m heavily relying on Lyrics Genuis here for this one. Either way, it’s not resonating with me. The song itself isn’t bad, plus there’s some shouting, which I’m always down to clown with and throw a fist bump into the air. However, I’m not really a politics gal, so if we’re makin’ commentary on the ole US of A. Count me out.
Best Lyric: I’m feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed/Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men? #Feminism
8. Paper Rings. This is a hard fan favorite. All of my twitter scrolling has told me that people are going wild for this one. Another ode to her being ready as hell to get married, JOE. Let’s hope he’s on the same page here otherwise that would’ve been a REAL awkward first listening sesh for this album where almost every song is like let’s do the damn thing, yo. Also important to note, when she sings now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe. Um….serious relationship or not this is a hard red flag. No one should be watching anyone breathe. Unless you’re watching someone SNORE waiting for the right moment to smother them and hope that their near brush with death will make them reconsider breathe right strips or sleeping on their side. Whoa. That got too real for a second. Either way, I’m out on the watching your sig oth sleep. They threw the sleeper creeper (infamous sleep watcher of Saratoga) in jail so that makes it pretty clear it’s a crime. Anyway we got sidetracked there, this is a fun song and it has counting in it so it’s also educational. Groove on.
Best Lyric: I want to drive away with you/I want your complications too/I want your dreary Mondays. How nice it is to want someone else’s complications. That’s true love, folks.
9. Cornelia Street. Since Taylor and Karlie Kloss were on this street at one point in their friendship or something, everyone wants to push the agenda that it’s about her and I’m so over the “Karlie and Taylor dated” theories. It’s a sweet song about how she doesn’t want to go through a break up because when you do everything sucks and all of your memories are tied in with everywhere you go. Basically just set all of your things on fire when you end a relationship because everything is going to remind you of that relationship and it bloooooooows. This song is nice though. Because she’s still happy and is like oh if we broke up everything would be terrible but we’re still together so look at all these nice memories we made in this apt. It’s All Too Well vibes without the actual heartbreak. Fall! Dancing in the kitchen! Living together and being in love! Good for you, Tay (she says bitterly and with a look of disgust on her face.)
Best Lyric: And baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name
10. Death By A Thousand Cuts. Now this is more like it. A real dramats break up song. It’s like she knew I was going to roll my eyes at Cornelia Street and was like just you wait, breakups are like being sliced to death, revel in this song. And YOU KNOW WHAT I WILL. The next time my mom calls to check up on me and ask how I’m doing, I’m going to tell her I’m dying from a thousand cuts and honestly she probably won’t be that thrown off because this sounds like something I would say anyway because I’m the biggest drama queen ever to walk this earth. BUT WHATEVER. The most unfortunate part of this song is that it was inspired by the Netflix movie Someone Great, which my sister and I watched and it was a giant grease fire of garbage. See? Dramatic. But seriously though the movie stunk and I would not recommend. The girl goes through a sad breakup and basically just parties her face off with her besties. Cool. Sick way to handle that.
Best Lyric: I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright/They say, “I don’t know”/And what once was ours is no one’s now. Sobbing emoji.
11. London Boy. UGH as you’ll recall from Reputation, I hate when Taylor yaps on and on about how her boyfriend is British. Like we get it, everything he says sounds fancier JUST because he was born in England. I’m already jelly of that because my accent will always sound like T-rash next to a Brit. You don’t need to rub it in any harder. This song is fine, I guess. I can just do with a little less British slobbering.
Best Lyric: They say home is where the heart is/But that’s not where mine lives.
12. Soon You’ll Get Better (ft. Dixie Chicks). Since this song is about Taylor’s mom going through cancer it’s a total sobfest and you have a stone cold heart if you don’t at least tear up when listening to it. There’s not much else to say about it. It’s beautiful but also will give you all of the sads.
Best Lyric: And I hate to make this all about me/But who am I supposed to talk to?/What am I supposed to do/If there’s no you?.
13. False God. Taylor REALLY loves NYC. Like really can’t stop name dropping it in songs. And honestly, the last time I was there I saw a homeless man high as a kite, barefoot, farmer’s blow loads of snot onto the sidewalk directly in front of me. And having that visual, which is a preeetttyyy common occurrence in the city that never sleeps, how can she love it so much? Is NYC better for rich people? I mean I know she probably has a penthouse and takes a black car everywhere, but like, still gotta walk on the same sidewalks as the commoners sooo….I just don’t get it. Either way, this song is also an easy skip for me. Mostly because it just got me fired all the way up about what a dumpster fire the city of New York is but also because it’s just not that good.
Best Lyric: I know heaven’s a thing/I go there when you touch me, honey/Hell is when I fight with you.
14. You Need to Calm Down. (My Initial Reaction: I didn’t blog about it because I didn’t want to look like a homophobe but I was strictly OUT on You Need to Calm Down because no one ever tells me to calm down and also it was basically just a way for her to crown herself queen of the gays, which like, we get it Taylor. EVERYONE LOVES YOU. Gawd.) My Current Reaction: This song still blows but it doesn’t mean I hate the gays. It just means I hate this song.
Best Lyric: We all know now we all got crowns. It was a struggle to pick a lyric here but I’ll stan anything that says I’m a queen.
15. Afterglow. Another break up song and at this point I’m struggling to get through the album. The highs and lows, IT’S ALL TOO MUCH TAYLOR. This one she’s like hey guess what all of this is my fault. So for all you h8ers who say Taylor excludes herself from any narrative she doesn’t want to be a part of, ya lyin. Look at her taking ownership in this song. She’s so mature. Also this is another one that grows on you.
Best Lyric: Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves
16. ME! (ft. Brendan Urie). (My Initial Reaction: Let’s get this out of the way real quick–could’ve done all the way without a random dramatic french scene at the beginning. And the spelling breakdown in the middle. But that’s just Taylor and of course she has to throw her talking and dramatics in every song and I’ve just come to accept it rather than fight it. Other than that, I was captivated by this video from start to finish. I felt like I was high on pastels and unicorns and I was perfectly content with it. For a fleeting moment I considered also getting pink hair. But the moment has passed.) My Current Reaction: This song still slaps and I will fight anyone who shits on it for being a Sesame Street song. It’s fun and poppy and narcissistic and I support any song that’s basically like I’m the best person ever so suck it, world. It’s over the top and that’s why I love it. The perfect first song into Lisa Frank pastel and happy Taylor.
Best Lyric: Livin’ in winter, I am your summer
17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend. Hard pass on this jingle. Between the chimes and the children’s chorus choir, it is CREEPY AF. Like gives me the shivers every time I hear it and not in a good way. Nightmare fuel. Sorry but this will be an auto skip always. Can’t win em all, and I’d say we’re still pretty good odds with such a long album that there’s only a couple that I want to rip my ears off as soon as I hear the first few notes. The trumpet solo in the middle with church bells? Seriously, rip them right off.
Best Lyric: Light pink sky, up on the roof. Honestly I hate all of the lyrics too but who doesn’t love a pink sky.
18. Daylight. And the grand finale, Taylor finally knows what true love is actually like and shocking absolutely no one, she’s comparing it to colors, cause that’s just what homegirl does. Cheers to her golden love with her British boyf. What a hopeful and cheery way to end the album. I wholeheartedly approve and have nothing snarky at all to say except for that I wish she didn’t talk at the end. OK BYEEEE.
Best Lyric: I once believed love would be (Burning red)/But it’s golden