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His rich, rustic tone and those iconic hummed harmonies lend the regretful song an added coat of sincerity. The production here is generally fine, but the layered instrumentals in the ending really bring the song together. I love a dramatic exit. Larocca: When I see a "featuring Bon Iver" on a track, I instantly assume Vernon is going to come in with his high falsetto. So it was almost jarring that the song starts with Vernon sounding like a lumberjack dad who hasn't left the woods in a decade.
That didn't end up being a detriment, though. Swift sounds delicate on her verse, and their vocals contrast nicely later on the track. I'm obsessed with the clear influences Swift's previous discography had on these tracks, which have also so far felt completely unique to her catalog.
Ahlgrim: First of all, "My Tears Ricochet" is an incredible song title. Let's take a moment to appreciate that. Much of it feels both familiar and rare, like you know exactly what Swift is singing about, but hadn't thought to put it in those words before — which is, in my opinion, the mark of any good piece of writing but especially a breakup song. You can relate to the emotion, if not the particular details. You can hear the pain. It almost plays like a funeral march. What a gift it is, what an exhilarating experience, to feel like you're listening to a poem being recited in real-time.
Larocca: Any true Swiftie knows that track five is reserved for the most vulnerable moment on the record, so I went into "My Tears Ricochet" ready to be sad. I am endlessly impressed with how Swift managed to bake the word "ricochet" into this song so effectively. She also ditched her traditional song structure for this one, and instead built the track from peak to peak, utilizing clever lyrics along the way to tell an epic, devastating story, almost obviously calling back to the most beloved track five of "All Too Well.
I'm calling it now — this one is going to age like a fine wine. As all of Swift's best breakup ballads do. Ahlgrim: This song gives me intense Clairo vibes, and I mean that as a very high compliment.
It's so fun and refreshing to hear Swift slip into different musical styles, and this shimmery take on alternative-bedroom-pop highlights her soft vocals and nuanced songwriting supremely well. Just tag me next time. Larocca: This one is so pretty! Swift's vocals sound better than ever as she spins on her highest heels across a glittery daydream.
So far, "Folklore" feels both diaristic and vague; detailed and completely anonymous. Fans will be debating for years whether this album is about Swift's own life, or if it's simply really great storytelling pulled directly from her own mind. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Because as all of Swift's best songs do, these songs will attach themselves to listeners in completely new ways, showing them elements and stories from their own lives. Ahlgrim: This is playing make-believe in the garden when you're too young to feel self-conscious; it's poetic and nostalgic and full of awe in such an unpretentious way.
I wouldn't change one thing about this song. Swift's whispery high register sounds divine, and at this point in the tracklist, her rhythmic delivery in the chorus hits like a shot of espresso. Right now, I'm wondering if it's possible for Swift to maintain this intrigue and momentum for another nine songs. There hasn't been a misstep to speak of, and I remain wholly beguiled. Can it last? Larocca: The beginning of "Seven" sounds like Swift listened to Marina's "Orange Trees" on repeat before showing up to her songwriting session.
Swift continues to impress with both her vocals and her sense of rhythm on "Seven. Ahlgrim: I'm immediately catching hints of Phoebe Bridgers and girl in red in Swift's delivery. And I simply adore the idea that Swift has spent the last few months sitting at home, daydreaming about summertime humidity and listening to music by queer indie-pop girls. In terms of production, "August" is exquisite. It's lush and layered without feeling overwhelming at any point.
It builds to the perfect level then recedes, like a wave. Also worth mentioning: It can now be considered a historical fact that any time Swift mentions a car or driving in one of her songs, it's a perfect song.
This is also the first track on the album that seems directly inspired by our current state. Not because she's expressing fear or singing about being bored at home, but because she so easily slips into a reflection of a relationship that ended years ago with a newfound wave of wistful nostalgia. This is heart-wrenching stuff for anyone, but for a fan and student of Swift's work, this is like reading a friend's diary entry. Personally, I love having a good cry set to moody music, so I appreciate Swift's soul-bearing.
Larocca: Swift has a habit of ending her album on an uplifting, hopeful note and I always eat it up. But if this album hadn't made it clear by now that this album should be consumed differently than any of her previous works, "Hoax" brings that message home.
Instead of reveling in all the ways that love has made her stronger, happier, or more whole, "Hoax" deconstructs everything Swift has learned about love and leaves a bleaker picture about how maybe even the best of relationships hurt. I'm clearly a Taylor Swift fan, and I've always considered her one of our generation's preeminent songwriters. But I am under no illusion that she's a faultless artist; she's had her hits and misses , like the vast majority of major musicians.
I never expected her to produce a track, no-skips album of cohesive, shimmering, emotional folk-pop. And yet, this feels like the Taylor Swift album I've been unconsciously awaiting for years. Top to freaking bottom, "Folklore" is a masterclass in storytelling and poetry. The new sonic direction fits her lyrical talent like a tailored pair of vintage jeans; by scaling back the production and leaning on more subtle textural details, her precise writing and world-creation shines brighter than ever before.
And just to add another layer of awe, Swift began working on this album in April. That she was able to write some of her best lyrics ever in a matter of mere months, record and produce these songs entirely in quarantine, and craft a mellow tracklist with nearly zero lulls or cringes or moments of lost intrigue?
Like I said before, whoa. I have cultivated an entire identity around being a Taylor Swift fan and I can honestly say, with enough sentimental attachment, "Folklore" could supersede "Red" to becoming Swift's magnum opus.
It's exactly why I love Swift. This is what I've pictured for her since "Red" was released in , and it almost doesn't feel real that it's out in the world. I knew she was capable of crafting this singer-songwriter folksy acoustic album full of lyrically marvelous ballads and I can sigh a breath of relief knowing that everything I've been trying to explain about Swift for the past 14 years of my life has so concisely come to fruition in this hour-long perfect package.
And as bad as the world is, I don't think this album ever would have existed without the confines of quarantine freeing Swift from every structure that constricted her songwriting process. Like, what does Swift's music look like when it doesn't need to lead to a worldwide stadium tour? What does she sound like when no one can hold a top spot on the Billboard Hot for longer than a couple of weeks?
Who is she when the fate of next year's Grammys is up in the air? If "Folklore" doesn't break a single Billboard record or earn a single Grammy, it doesn't even matter — because she made an album for the ages.
This is the kind of work that we'll look back on wistfully 10, 25, and even 50 years from now. It's like she listened to Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" and said, "Hold my white wine. And for a work that pulls lyrical inspiration so directly from previous albums, it's astonishing how non-diaristic it is, how it's meant to be consumed so differently from any of its predecessors. Folklore is stories that get passed down by generations, and due to the very nature of that decades-spanning game of telephone, one will never truly know how much of it is based in fact or fiction.
We may never know the truth behind each tale she spins — but isn't it just so pretty to think she had this in her all along? Callie Ahlgrim,Courteney Larocca. Governor Sinha takes serious note of delay in issuance of domicile certificates, poor quality bunkers in border villages. Power your productivity. Ad Dell India. Ad Microsoft News. Full Screen.
The 1 is the best album opener Swift has had in years. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Cardigan is beautifully influenced by Lana Del Rey. Exile, featuring Bon Iver, is one of Swift's most successful duets to date.
Slideshow continues on the next slide. My Tears Ricochet is an extraordinary display of Swift's songwriting powers. In fact, pretty much every line of this song is arresting. Mirrorball is several strokes of genius.
Seven is pure whimsical magic. August will go down as one of the best songs in Swift's extensive repertoire. I'm also going to be thinking about this song's bridge and outro for the rest of my life. Illicit Affairs is a glowing example of what sets Swift apart from her peers as a songwriter. This song has real power.
I have chills. Ahlgrim: "Invisible String" is a feast of Easter eggs and callbacks. Mad Woman is yet another highlight. But for the first time, her rage sounds like freedom.Listen to your favorite songs from Black Rainbows (Deluxe) [Explicit] by Brett Anderson Now. Stream ad-free with Amazon Music Unlimited on mobile, desktop, and tablet. Download our mobile app now.