On July 23 Taylor Swift announced that she would be debuting a surprise album, “Folklore,” the next day, and fans everywhere lost it.
“Folklore” quickly took over everyone’s Twitter feeds, Instagram stories and music streaming services. It was everywhere.
Of course I gave the album a quick listen throughout the day of release and upon first impression, I wasn’t impressed.
I didn’t think the album was bad, I just felt it wasn’t as good as the hype made it out to be. Sure it was Swift’s first album in the alternative genre, but I wasn’t understanding the excitement over it.
A few weeks passed and I decided to give the album a second, more thorough listen and yes, my opinion was changed.
“Folklore” is a new, more mature sound for Swift and I think it suits her. Especially coming after her last album “Lover,” which was full of pop influences and upbeat songs, “Folklore” showed a new side of Swift and her talent.
The new album is an enticing, somber breakup album that is almost a no skip album--almost.
The one song that I find myself skipping the most is “epiphany.” I like the song and I think it would be excellent on a movie soundtrack, but it’s not a song I can listen to frequently. It’s a beautifully written song but I can’t get past the wispy, echo-y effect Swift uses on her voice. Sure it makes the song more haunting but it covers her natural singing abilities.
On the contrary, there are several songs on this album I find myself boosting in my queue anytime I listen to the album. Including, but not limited to, “august”, “exile” and “peace”.
“august” is one of those songs that get stuck in your head, except it’s not annoying. It’s got a very catchy chorus and beat all while sticking with the album's somber, more softer tone. I think “august” is a great example that exhibits her transition from the “Lover” era to “Folklore” as you can feel elements from both.
Swift includes one feature on this album in “exile” which featured Bon Iver. Not only do the two singers’ voices compliment each other so well, it is another beautifully written song. This is the type of song that makes you feel like you just went through the worst breakup while you are in a happy relationship and I love it.
Lastly, special mention to Swift’s song “peace.” The thing that initially drew me to this song is the repeating note that plays the entire song. Even as more notes and instruments come in, the note is there. I think it’s a great way to pull the song together as well as set a tone for the song, and even album.
While Swift is infamous for her breakup songs, this album showed the maturity of her music. Swift is finally moving away from the pop songs that are played at every middle school function, and towards a sound that has grown with her.
Personally, I like the new sound and am glad to see her music mature with her. I hope she decides to stick with this sound, evolve it, and continue to grow with it throughout her music career.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.