Music

Taylor Swift – folklore.

Alright gang, here we are, back again together so much sooner than expected to hear ALL of my unfiltered thoughts on every single song off of T’s new album. I’ve spent the entire weekend getting in my feels and listening to it so that I can bring you some hot takes on where her 8th studio album falls in the lineup. Right out the gate, this surprise drop inconvenienced me because I wasn’t able to skip on over to Target and get a hard copy for all of my listens. I’m still waiting on my deluxe edition to be shipped so I had to listen to Spotify like a poor (why aren’t digital downloads a thing when you purchase a physical CD?) which also means that I will not be able to review the bonus track until that bad boy arrives. Otherwise, let’s dive in to all the tales she told on this album.

1. the 1. “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit” is one HELL of a way to kick off a surprise album. Also this is now the only appropriate response to “how are you?” for the rest of 2020. Strong first track and pretty much everyone who I yapped about this album to agreed. It’s easily my favorite song on folklore. And that’s saying a lot as Taylor just keeps making her albums longer and longer, thus forcing me to really pull a lot of commentary out of my ass these days to deliver these track by tracks blogs. Anywho, great beat to this and loving that it plays right into my hands of being a bitter cynic that thinks no one stays together anymore with “you know the greatest loves of all time are over now.”

Best Lyric: I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit (OBVIOUSLY)

2. cardigan. I gave a brief review of cardigan while I was listening for the first time and I really hated that she chose this song to do the music video. I immediately gravitated to like 6 or 7 other songs upon first listen to this album and cardigan was not one of them. The music video was fine, the song is fine, but it was tough to be the first snippet of this album I heard, especially while forcing myself to stay awake past my bedtime to rabidly consume it. I think she made it the “single” so to speak because it definitely sets the weird hipster artistic vibes she’s aiming for on this album. Also amazing marketing tool by her once again to send influencers Taylor Swift cardigans. Kinda shitty I didn’t get one, I basically live in the snowbelt of America and could really use a cozy cardigan with Taylor Swift’s name on it but WHATEVER Tay.

Best Lyric: And when you are young, they assume you know nothing (it’s true tho.)

3. the last great american dynasty. So the biggest thing I took away from this album is that Taylor basically wanted to tell other people’s stories. Real, made up, old, new, whatever. So as literally every single foaming at the mouth news outlet will talk about how each song is about Joe or Karlie Kloss (seriously, relax on the lesbian theories with those two)–I’m choosing to just enjoy the stories she’s telling and not overthink who they’re about. So I’m firmly Team Rebekah on this one. I love a divorcee who loves a good party. As far as the sound goes on this one, “I had a marvelous time” in that breathy Wildest Dreams voice really hits different. Made this a top song for me. That and the fact that she uses the word gauche. If I read that by itself I would never pronounce it correctly. But now that Taylor has sang it, I’m basically a wordsmith. Couldn’t tell you what I learned in college, a degree I’ll be paying for for the rest of my life, but now I know that gauche rhymes with goes and is a word for unsophisticated.

Best Lyric: The wedding was charming, if a little gauche / There’s only so far new money goes

4. exhile (ft. Bon Iver). I’ve never been a huge Bon Iver guy because he’s got a real sadboi voice and you certainly need to be in a mood for that type of music but call me a sadboi because I’m LOVING this song. It’s also very important for me to say (and this will ONLY resonate with One Tree Hill stans) this is a Peyton song and there’s no other way around it. Specifically, a Peyton season 5 post-rejecting Lucas’s proposal and having to see him move on with someone else. When she’s opening that record label in Tree Hill and just basking in The National’s deep voice sadness:

Ya that’s where I’m at with this song. And that’s fine. Peyton was whiny as hell and had two moms die and a casual psycho stalker so it’s not like her life was peppy but we’ve all had some Peyton moments where you just want to drown in haunting voices and feel sorry about your life. This is the PERFECT song to do that to.

Best Lyric:I think I’ve seen this film before / And I didn’t like the ending (not the first time she’ll reference a film on this album)

5. my tears ricochet. Taylor coincidentally dropped her MOST romantic album last year at the same exact time I was going through a breakup. Obviously I was bitter as hell and not having an easy time identifying with her rainbows of LOVE songs which really put a damper not only on how I viewed the album, but also how difficult it was for me to review it. Like ok, we get it you’re in love EYE ROLL, whatever. It wasn’t a good time for her to brag about it in my personal life and honestly it was rude of her to not take that into consideration. The point of that ramble was to say that if Lover was about Love, folklore is about loss and struggle. AND THAT’S WHERE I LIVE, BABY. I’m LOVING this album because nobody knows how to get down in the dumps like ya gurl the Salty Ju. Dramatic lyrics about breakups? PILE IT ON ME, BOO. SO now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s first confront her singing “cause I looooooooved you, I swear I looooooved you” in an Irish brogue. We gonna let that one slide? Her dramatics in love and loss have caused her to try out a new accent? Besides that little slip up, I’m all in on this song.

Best Lyric: And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake? (Every drama queen’s first post-breakup caption SEND.)

6. mirrorball. This was the first one I came across in the lineup of listening that I wasn’t crazy about. It’ll probably be a skip for me. Definitely a retro feel to it of the times when dance contests were all the rage. To be perfectly honest I kept thinking of the episode of Gilmore Girls where they do the dance marathon and wear 50’s girl outfits and Dean dumps Rory. So apparently I’m just going to relate every song off of this album back to mid-2000s teen shows. Super fitting for me.

Best Lyric: And I’m still a believer, but I don’t know why

7. seven. Another skip for me unless I’m really wanting to get in touch with my Lilith Fair side. If I may relate it back to another pivotal teen show in my life, this 90’s chick singer throaty vibe she’s throwing sounds like something that would be on Dawson’s Creek. I half expect to see Joey tucking her hair behind her big ass ears and Dawson talking about how badly he wants to stop talking about sex and start having it in his giant army green cable knit sweater. I’m sorry. I can’t stop. I’m a teen soap monster.

Best Lyric: And I think you should come live with me / And we can be pirates (cause why not?)

8. august. Ok she got me back on this one. Summer is my favorite season of all time and also feels like it goes SO fast, so leave it to Taylor to put that into beautiful words and also use comparisons to wine to get my attention. August is the Sunday night scaries of summer. And we’re almost there, unfortunately so this is hitting a little too close to home right now. I’m not ready for fall. I’m NEVER READY FOR FALL. What helps a little bit is toward the end of the song when she gets a little pep in her step with “remember when I pulled up and said get in the car” and it was giving me a little Getaway Car flashback. Or, in dumber terms, my note in my phone for that part of the song is “YAAASSSSSSS.”

Best Lyric: For me, it was enough / To live for the hope of it all

9. this is me trying. This falls in middle ground territory. This song is neither great nor terrible. It’s got a lot of the elements that we’ve already seen her leaning into on this album. References to a failed relationship being a film, a breathy orgasmic outburst (AT LEAST I’M TRYING) and killer lyrics. The person contributing to lyrics genius claims this is a Taylor taking credit for her flaws in relationships song, and yet there’s a HEAVY undertone of this individual being an alcoholic, which I don’t believe Taylor is, so I think her fans really need to cool it on reading into every song relating directly back to her life. Also there’s a real divide between fans who think she secretly married Joe and fans who think she broke up with him and let me be clear ALL OF THESE THEORIES ARE CONCLUDED FROM PEOPLE OVER-ANALYZING HER LYRICS. God quarantine needs to end cause we all need to get a life. (FTR, I’m firmly in the Joe is her end game camp…so if they’re married I wouldn’t be surprised.)

Best Lyric: They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential / And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad / I have a lot of regrets about that (B2B bomb lyrics. Verse 2 packed a punch.)

10. illicit affairs. Maybe Tay wrote this one about her good bud JT. BAM. Ricochet shot. (I’ll never be over JT being a public cheater, oBViOuSlY.) I do really like this song for her going up into the high notes for random words. It’s like the musician version of putting a word in bold. I also giggled at “tell your friends you’re going for a run, you’ll be flushed when you return.” As if anyone could pass off banging in a hotel room as a quick jog.

Best Lyric: And you know damn well / For you, I would ruin myself / A million little times

11. invisible string. Oohh shit we’ve got a little banjo in the mix now! What a nice way to spice things up as I was just starting to move into a comatose state of synths. For the record, this does seem like a song about Joe. She had to sneak one in somewhere. It was only fair. So we’ll rap about how she references the song Bad Blood, which apparently Joe heard in a cab in LA, a reference to the yogurt shop he used to work at, the dive bar where they hung out that she referenced in delicate and then there’s a little part about boys who broke her heart and now she sends their babies presents. Which led to an unfortunate headline on one of the gossip rags about how Taylor Swift is sending Joe Jonas a baby gift. And honestly, she dated Joe for a brief mo when she was like 18 and he dumped her on a 30 second phone call so are we really doing a callback to that garbage relashe? I feel like people are so desp to create headlines out of her lyrics that they’re really starting to reach. Either way, another lovely ode to her current relationship–he gets paper rings AND invisible strings.

Best Lyric: Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven

12. mad woman. Our first Taylor Swift F bomb. THIS IS AN OCCASION. Taylor has been OVERLY PG on most of her albums. I believe we got our first swear on Reputation (shit) and nothing has ever escalated beyond that. So to get a straight F bomb–AND have it not be the only one on this album. Praise be, our girl’s all grown up! My trash mouth that can’t STOP F bombs from flying is v. proud of her for this. But also this is a classic Taylor feminist song. Pointing out the double standards of men vs. woman and showing that passionate females are treated like they should be committed. This tune could be a GREAT soundtrack for the latest Dirty John season because Betty Broderick was a straight up MAD WOMAN.

Best Lyric: Or does she mouth, “Fuck you forever”? (Adding forever in really makes this curse slap harder.)

13. epiphany. This is a church hymn. Since I’m not in the business of listening to prayers, chants and church jingles in my free time, I’m fully out on this song. It’s like the “it’s nice to have a friend” of this album. Immediate skip. Sorry not sorry. It’s apparently about her grandfather serving in the war, which is ironic because it gives me PTSD to high school when I had to go to church every Sunday and if I missed one I had to go to confession. (Obviously that is said with the most sarcasm, being at war has no comparison to going to church in white suburbia so pls don’t cancel me.) TYSM.

Best Lyric: Only twenty minutes to sleep / But you dream of some epiphany / Just one single glimpse of relief / To make some sense of what you’ve seen

14. betty. This was like ALL THE RAGE the day the album came out that Taylor released the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s third child that they hadn’t announced yet. To think that Taylor who has everything planned and pre-meditated about her music and her marketing and how she puts herself out there would have just casually decided to out a child’s name without their parent’s permission is straight idiotic. I can guarantee you that she wrote the song and immediately sent it to them and asked for their feedback. So everyone trying to call her a bad friend needs to take a page from Lover and CALM DOWN. She happened to toss their collection of RANDOM ASS names into this song. Like honestly Blake and Ryan seem pretty normal (for being gorgeous and rich celebs) and yet named their three girls James, Inez & Betty. K. Anyway, now that we’ve established that she used their names and they have absolutely nothing to do with the song, let’s talk about how this is an OG Taylor smash. It’s got all of the early, crimped hair, Christmas Tree farm in backwoods PA sounds to it and I love this nostalgic flashback. That harmonica, OOOooOO Baby. Also, notably, another F bomb.

Best Lyric: Standing in your cardigan / Kissin’ in my car again (what a rhyme.)

15. peace. The second this song started I was like am I listening to a John Mayer song? That guitar coming in right off the bat was an ode to J.May if I’ve ever heard one. And guess what? I love John Mayer so this worked out perfectly. I dig the stripped down guitar vibes and also this song had the most ME lyric of all time (see below) that I quite literally gasped when she sang it. So that certainly helps.

Best Lyric: I’d give you my sunshine, give you my best / But the rain is always gonna come if you’re standin’ with me (UM HI IT’S ME, PERPETUAL RAIN CLOUD FOLLOWING WHEREVER I GO, WAITING TO DUMP A RAINSTORM RIGHT ON MY HEAD.)

16. hoax. Not a strong finish for me. It sounds a lot like cardigan so this makes sense. It’s just giving me uneasy, eerie feels. Considering her drowning with her piano in dark choppy waters for the cardigan video gave me night terrors, I’m not so into feeling the creeps from a song. So moving forward, folklore will start with the 1 and end with peace. And that’s a wrap, folks.

Best Lyric: You knew you won so what’s the point of keeping score? (Another bomb sassy post-breakup zinger.)

BONUS TRACK – the lakes. TBD whenever my stupid CD comes in the mail. Thanks for making everything more complicated by cutting Target out of the deal, TAY.

 

OVERALL ALBUM NOTES: I may be biased because I’ve been a Taylor stan my whole life but I commend the way that she can create a whole mood for each album. She’s pushed herself to make albums that sound completely different from each other and are so cohesive like a CD storytime. There’s quite literally a T.Swift album for every vibe that you could be feeling and I think that’s a really cool way to approach music. I mean if you want to scream F the world, you hit up Reputation, if you want to brag about meeting your soulmate–you pop in Lover and if you want to have profound thoughts and tell ghost stories, you fire up this bad boy. Obviously this is a slower record and much more for deep listening and none of these will ever be called bops, BUT I would also argue that it’s her strongest songwriting record. She’s always been a phenomenal songwriter giving fans relatable lyrics, but reaching and telling other people’s stories just added to that and I’m guessing because it probably started from her just writing away while in quarantine. I too have been writing away while in quarantine but my writing has a lot of swears and I’ve never once used a word like clandestine because I couldn’t even tell you what it means. Different strokes for different folks. That’s why we love Taylor–the word play, the references & easter eggs and of course, the dramatics when it comes to loves lost, I think this was a hot to trot lyrical masterpiece.

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Television

Pilot Szn 2018

I feel like I haven’t done this in a while and I’m trying to jazz up The Salty again, so I’ve taken my precious time and dedicated it to watching all of the new shows (so far) this Fall season. There’s a chill in the air, I’m finally not working on Saturdays and Sundays and I’ve glued my bhole to the couch to watch some new TV all weekend long. It’s all for you. So that you don’t have to be bothered watching a show that is TERRIBLE (all sitcoms) and you can just focus on getting into the good good. Keep reading for my educated takes based on a single thirty or sixty minute episode.

SKIP:

Single Parents, ABC, Wednesdays 9:30p EST

single-parents

I should’ve known this was gonna be a no right from the start because of how many kids are in this cast photo but wishful thinking I was like well it’s the creator of New Girl and maybe they’ll just focus on the adult story lines. NOPE. The premise here is that Will (Taran Killam) is the nerd dad who tries too hard and embarrasses his daughter and pretty much everyone around him. The other parents try to help him get laid and make him cooler but there is a LOT of Moana singing and overacting and because it’s 2018 the black kid is gay and loves dancing and fashion. PROGRESSIVE. In summary, this show sucks and not even Brad Garrett could save it, which I had high hopes for.

I Feel Bad, NBC, Thursdays 9:30p EST

I Feel Bad - Season Pilot

This one’s Amy Poehler produced (there’s always something to draw you in) and it screams FEMINIST TV. Nothing wrong with that. If it was funny I’d be down. The idea is that moms/women in general have guilt and feel bad about every single thing in life and how to ignore that and be a baller, basically. Embrace the chaos. Emet is raising three kids, working in video games as like the only woman and trying not to turn into her mom. Story lines were decent, but the jokes just weren’t all there. A main feature of the pilot was her daughter quitting quiz show to join the dance team and today’s youths being a buncha booty-shakin hoes has never been more prevalent. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TUTUS?! WHEN I WAS THAT AGE I DANCED TO THE SONG LOLLIPOP STRAIGHT OUTTA 1948 WITH A BONNET PINNED TO MY HEAD.

dance

And this is the future here, folks:

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Be afraid. Be very afraid. Also, props to the only line in the pilot that made me laugh out loud, “Our daughter’s milkshakes brought all the boys to the yard. Literally.”

The Cool Kids, Fox, Fridays 830p EST

The-Cool-Kids-Fox

Friday show, kiss of death, AMIRITE?! This was supposed to be hyped because it’s got a huge comedian/variety show cast from like 1965 or something. Basically it takes place in an old folks home and the boys don’t want to let a girl into the club after their friend kicks the bucket. Not JUST a girl. A ginger. Just kidding her hair color has nothing to do with it but it might’ve spiced things up a bit. The best character on this show BY FAR was Leslie Jordan because he’s adorable and I want to put him in my pocket. Old people might enjoy this one but I’m out. My boyf found it hysterical, so apparently I’m dating a senior citizen.

The Neighborhood, Fox, Mondays 8p EST

Neighborhood

Everything you need to know about this show, you can summarize from this over the top cast photo. From “HOOD” being a different color and on a separate line to ONLY showing the black family and not the white family it’s ALSO about, this show is racist AF. And not in a “white people can’t say it’s racist way.” The entire 28 minutes spanned a group of horrendous over-actors just calling each other racist every few minutes. QUALITY TV, FOLKS. What you can’t see in this photo is that 2 Broke Girls Beth Behrs and New Girl Max Greenfield are the other leads. They’re a white toast couple who move with their son Grover to the neighborHOOD, where it’s AOK to wear an orange velour jumpsuit, apparently. And this cat is mad at THEM. Essentially it’s a show trying to be funny about the fact that the climate right now is not NOT racist. Keep trying.

WATCH:

Happy Together, Fox, Mondays 830p EST

Happy-Together

According to my actual notes, on paper, because I’m a scholar…this show was the “best of this shit crop of sitcoms.” And you can take that to the bank. A show that was actually likable and I laughed out loud for more than five jokes!!! WE HAVE A WINNER! I mean, can you really go wrong with the Wayans, though? D.Way Jr. killed it in both New Girl and Happy Endings and most importantly, he doesn’t feel the need to shout his lines like 90% of these sitcom stars are doing. If it’s louder, it doesn’t mean it’s funnier. Just A TIP. Also fun fact about me, because why not, every time the Wayans are brought up in any capacity, I feel compelled to google their family tree because there’s roughly 600 of them and it’s very fascinating to me. Like HOW is Damon a JUNIOR to the guy from My Wife and Kids? It’s incredible. Anyway, you’re welcome for sending you down that rabbit hole. The boyf and I wondered aloud why they haven’t just created a show based on their family yet. Don’t steal that idea. It’s ours. Anyway, Jake and Claire are a boring ass married couple who spend Saturday nights recording song voicemails until a celebrity Jake reps decides to come live with them to get out of the spotlight. Trying to make this guy like Harry Styles was borderline offensive. Like honestly, not even close. Either way, it’s funny and cute and I’d watch again.

A Million Little Things, ABC, Wednesdays 9p EST

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Lotta hype with this one about being as twisty as This is Us and also just as emosh. What I didn’t prepare for is the fact that I cannot for the life of me remember the correct name of this. First I was calling it A Million Little Pieces because that’s a book. Then I moved onto A Million Little Reasons because they said that at one point in the pilot. Gawd, I can’t keep it straight. I’ll keep working on it though because I thought it was good and I’m sucked in. I was so absorbed that the only note I wrote was, “Sick opening sequence with a baller cover of All These Things That I’ve Done by the Killers.” So there ya go.

RON LIVINGSTON, DAVID GIUNTOLI, JAMES RODAY, ROMANY MALCO JR

The show is about a gang of bros who met in an elevator, bonded real hard and then became besties/Bruins season ticket holders. Spoiler alert: one of them commits suicide and the first epi was borderline depressing but I have hope for this show to follow the friends in the aftermath as they value life a little more and also of COURSE there’s juicy secrets, which I’m all IN ON.

Manifest, NBC, Mondays 10p EST

Manifest-NBC-TV-Series-2018

Didn’t really expect to like this show once I heard the premise but it was RIVETING, tbh. A family coming back from vacation in 2013 split between two flights and that second flight had turbulence through the MF’ing roof (like honestly how was everyone so calm afterward) and then when it landed everyone was like your flight disappeared 5 years ago how ya’ll still alive? The crew on the flight was like uhhh we had turbulence and dass itt. They haven’t aged a day and everyone else on land is 5 years older. FREAKY. Then the people from the flight start hearing shit and now it’s ON. There’s so many mysteries and so little time. I’m going to be real with you and tell you that I’ve always been creeped out by whispering voices in TV or Movies, like even “if you build it, he will come” creeped me out and that was supposed to be a feel good family flick, but I’m going to stick with this one for a little longer because I think there’s more to the story than mind whispers that one hundo percent will give me night terrors. Plus, I don’t know who this actress is but she’s a babe soda and I’m on her team.

Manifest - Season 1

Dirty John, Bravo, TBD Date & Time

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Since this hasn’t premiered yet, technically I can’t recommend it. But let’s be real here, it’s Connie Britton. Also, I did listen to the podcast it’s based on and I CAN recommend that. It’s basically a crime series about a creepy ass sociopath guy who dates a bunch of women and turns out to be a real psycho. Can’t wait for this to premiere so I can be equal parts drooling over Connie and her hair coming back to my TV screen and terrified to shower alone. Don’t @ me if this sucks and I said you should watch it.

 

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