Taylor Swift’s sound has been shifting throughout the last 14 years; from robust country in her 2006 self-titled album, morphing into a potent pop for 1989, then the questionable range of Reputation, to the 2019 smittened-touched Lover. But last week Swift suddenly released folklore; announcing the album less than 24 hours before it was to be released… but with a tweet she says: “In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result.”
It’s funny because the Taylor Swift I grew up with froze when she released 1989 in 2014. Flashing back, I realized the only reason her music allured my sixteen year old soul was because she wrote in a ‘layman-esque’ and ‘diary-entry’ language. From then on, it seemed that her music never grew adjacent to her experiences. In her 2020 documentary, she explains that being a female popstar there’s a constant need to rebrand – which by the way, in theory, is due to the double standard! – created a rift in her identity as an artist but also as a person.
Being neutral, folklore definitely draws from a more genuine and unapologetic place in which we can all appreciate her for going there and giving us a glimpse of it… but sound-wise the album could have more variety as most of the songs sound similar. But hats off to her, it engages one with how it’s rawly written. Its sound circles back to Swift’s beginning, with a sense of maturity following her into her post-twenties.
7/10: to who hurt her, look what you made her do!