Taylor Swift has once again become one of the most successful artists of the year with her new album “Lover” which was released Aug. 23rd. “Lover” has already become the most sold album of 2019 and has had a high number of physical copies sold.
You could say that Taylor Swift is keeping the CD alive while many artists have done away with CDs. This can be tied to her desire for artists getting their fair share of royalties on music, which doesn’t always happen with streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
“Lover” not only signals a change in her music, but also in her view of streaming platforms. It came out as a CD and on Spotify on the same day, which has never happened with any of Swift’s previous records after Spotify became widely used.
“Lover” is different than both “Reputation” and “1989” in its musical style. While “1989” was full of fast paced songs like “Blank Space”, “Shake it Off” and “Bad Blood”, “Lover” feels more dreamy and slower-paced, like Taylor is singing on a cloud surrounded by angels.
The album displays a ferocity along with the dreamy atmosphere. In “The Man”, she claims that if she were a man, she would be THE man. Swift has been slut-shamed for years regarding her romantic interests while men like Leonardo Dicaprio, who Swift refers to in this song, have had numerous significant others, but this never interacts with his career like it does Swift’s.
In “You Need to Calm Down”, Swift goes for even bigger fish like the United States government and President Trump. Trump is known for his early morning rants on Twitter that target women, immigrants and people who identify as LGBTQ. She calls for peace and tolerance among the hatred of others. One line in particular makes me laugh: “When you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD), Sunshine on the street at the parade, But you would rather be in the dark age, Just makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night.”
It reminds me of all the people who were so angry about the Drag Queen Story Hour and stood outside protesting when they could’ve been doing something much better with their time.
Her slower songs also show a vulnerability not really demonstrated since her beginnings. Songs like “Soon You’ll Get Better” and “Daylight” allow her listeners to feel the pain and the crippling fear of losing a loved one. “Lover” uncovers the complexity of being Taylor Swift. We hear the fear of manipulation and the frustration of being a successful woman in an industry mostly dominated by men. Yet, we also hear the moments of real connection and the growth of self-love. It’s as if she has given us a pair of reality colored lenses that lets us experience what it means to be human.