Taylor Swift – Lover
I preface this review by saying I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan. In fact, I can’t stand her sometimes. She’s obnoxious and quite vapid, at least that’s how I see her music and celebrity persona. But I can see why folks enjoy her music so much. They can see themselves as her, ’cause quite frankly, if you take away all the production from her music, she’s just not that great of a performer or songwriter. Having said that, she completely understands the audience that listens to her music, and her music obviously has a major impact on the pop consciousness of our culture. (That in itself is fascinating, there’s no denying it.) And she’s written a lot of stuff – Lover is her seventh studio album and she’s only 29 years old.
Swift is cute, so that helps, and it’s probably why everything she does works, even though sometimes it probably shouldn’t. If she wasn’t good looking, we’d have no idea who Taylor Swift is. And basically because everything she puts out is so simple (that’s not a bad thing) (so much of her music is catchy/poppy as hell) she’s an easy fantasy that her fans can vicariously live through. Some of them actually think they can be her or be with her. That grandiose fantasy isn’t necessarily Swift’s fault. We just live in a narcissist culture.
Lover is a straight-up pop fantasy made specifically for her rabid fans. Mostly produced by Jack Antonoff, the album stays upbeat the majority of the time. To the average listener, some will approve, others will see it as pop bubble-gum/cotton-candy garbage, but to Swift fans this album is pure pop gold (don’t even try to tell them different!) that at times seems to be a summary of her career thus far. The record follows 2017’s Reputation, but is closer lyrically to Red and Speak Now, and feels like a follow-up/sequel to the 1989 album more than anything else.
On Lover, Swift uses the word “shade” twice. She only used it once on Reputation. So, if you need proof she’s not that great a lyricist, there’s that.