Taylor Swift on Alpha-Audio. Yes, because with Folklore this ‘queen of pop’ has made a very nice album. An album full of nostalgic songs that effortlessly takes me back to my own carefree youth, but at the same time full of references to the present. My present in any case.
By now everybody knows that Covid-19 has turned the lives of many people upside down and for many this virus mainly meant misery and all kinds of financial problems. For me, however, this was a time of contemplation and growing together. Taylor used this bizarre period to make her best record ‘to date’. Admittedly, she has a few big names supporting her, but in the end, she did it herself.
On Folklore she looks back shamelessly to her 17-year-old self where love and the accompanying sadness were the only themes that mattered. A lot of songs are very personal and full of sharp observations but they are mostly universal songs we have noticed the last few months. “To kiss in cars and downtown bars / was all we needed” from Cardigan for example. Who hasn’t experienced it. As far as I’m concerned love and music are the only two reasons why we keep it up on this earth for so long. Without it all makes little sense
Exile, with the great Justin Vernon, is an insanely beautiful but above all very sad song.
“I think i’ve seen this film before / and i didn’t like the ending”
It is one of the most beautiful sentences in pop history. The sadness that follows after the euphoria of an impossible love has never been expressed so aptly before. “We always walked a very thin line” Taylor continues, a sentence that indicates that it is so difficult not to go over that line. You fight it but you’re actually hopeless. Also on Mirrorball it’s full of recognizable moments:
“I’m still trying everything / to get you laughing at me” where I think back with slight shame to all the stupid things I did / did to get a girl’s attention. To put a smile on her face. And what is more beautiful than a smile on the face of a girl (woman)
And although the first part of the album is very good, the best is yet to come. August, about a summer love that’s already over before she’s even started, has an almost cheerful vibe until you start paying attention to the lyrics. When Taylor shouts “You weren’t mine to lose” this goes through marrow and bone. This is followed by a beautiful triptych with This is me trying, Illicit affairs and Invisible strings in which Illicit Affairs gets the dubious honor of the saddest song ever. “You taught me a secret language / i can’t speak with anyone else / and you know damn well / for you i would ruin myself / a million little times” is of a heartbreaking beauty.
If we are critical there are a few songs too many on Folklore. Not bad songs per se but songs that don’t quite fit the rest of the album (Epiphany, Mad woman, The last great American dynasty). But we’re happy to include them because Folkore is nothing less than a masterpiece and an album that has touched me personally the last couple of months
This G-Spot is for E. “And if my wishes came true it would have been you” (from: The 1)