In 2006, I spastically danced in clogs to Taylor Swift's self-titled album as I belted along to “Our Song” and “Picture to Burn.” Since then, I have been nothing short of a committed fan through her exodus of self-exploration with albums featuring songs: “Breathe,” “Never Grow Up,” “Begin Again," “Clean” and “End Game.” I taped pictures of her to my middle school locker, and I cried when Santa Claus magically knew that tickets to her Speak Now concert were my dream come true.
Now you know you are reading the highly biased opinions of a true “Swiftie,” so feel free to take my thoughts on her latest album with a grain (or heap) of salt.
The eras of Swift have deepened my appreciation for her artistry and her ability to connect with heart-broken, soul-searching and hopeful listeners. Her latest album, Lover, has only emphasized my adoration for a voice that can resonate with many. Adopting a dazzling daydream aesthetic, “Lover” is a soundtrack that evokes badass energy and self-reflection.
Swift extends an invitation to enter a magical realm where it is acceptable to emote hope, pain, desire and an abyss of confusion that muddles the heart. The breadth of her album speaks to an array of life experiences that are akin to a rollercoaster, and Swift paints this ride using pastels, shiny things and a sentiment that love is all prevailing.
Her album has been my antidote during a time of personal hardship. “Soon You’ll Bet Better” was the last song I listened to before hearing news of my uncle’s passing. Cancer took his life, as it threatened to do to both of Swift's parents. Her words are heavy with pain and a sense of accompanying hope — a necessary garment of grievance.