Album Review: evermore by Taylor Swift

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Taylor Swift is an American singer and songwriter. It’s hard to believe that this marks her second album this year. Despite quarantine and lockdowns, she has been keeping busy by recording new music, as well as re-recording some of her older albums, due to some legal battles with her old record label. evermore marks her second album this year and her ninth studio album overall.

The first track from the album is willow. The first thing I notice is that she continues to utilize that folk pop sound in her music, just like her previous album a few months back. It definitely is more upbeat and includes more instrumentation than the opener of folklore so I’m curious as to what she’s going to offer on this album. As for the lyrics, the “wreck my plans, that’s my man” line, people are connecting it with her august track on folklore. They have also talked about that line was used as a code for her merch in November.

The chord progression for champagne problems sounded oddly familiar. After doing some digging, it has a similar chord progression to I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. Other than that, the piano does fit the tone of the album. After looking through the lyrics of the track. It’s about a girl turning down a proposal from a guy since she was actually planning on breaking up with him that night. However, both people had different ideas about how the night would end.

gold rush opens up with an array of string instruments. After the rush of string intsruments, you have a layer of vocal harmonies sung by Taylor Swift. While still having a folk tinge to it, you can definitely see more of her pop elements infused into this track. On this track, Taylor Swift talks a lot about jealousy and how she doesn’t like how everyone is after this one person, which could be a reference to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.

’tis the damn season has some more beautifully arranged guitars and string instruments from Aaron Dessner himself. While the instrumentation is pretty standard and repetitive, the instrumentation is the thing that keeps me drawn into this track compared to some of the others on this album. This track seems to talk about going back to her hometown during the holiday. It seems like she could be talking about a past lover and rekindling that flame for just the weekend while she is back.

tolerate it was definitely one of the first tracks on this album that I instantly just attached myself to. The piano is just so entrancing and mesmerizing. The parts that really draw me in are the small parts with the electronic drumkits and other electronic tidbits thrown in there. It’s definitely an interesting time to hear more folk artists incorporate electronic bits into their music. However, their is a deep message involved on the track. She talks about the struggle of not being noticed for the things that you do for someone else.

no body, no crime is a return to Taylor Swift’s country roots which is pretty exciting to see on this album. It also features the band HAIM, and they also released an album earlier this year. Other than returning to her roots, this track seems to focus on a made up crime story since she has been obsessing over true crime documentaries and podcasts. The story is about one of her friends that goes missing and she believes that the missing person’s husband killed her.

happiness opens up with a quiet synth and piano part from Aaron Dessner again, which sets the tone for a quiet and peaceful track. As the track progresses, the synthesizer and piano parts become more pronounced and present in the track. While this is about the end of a relationship, she still talks about the times of happiness, as well as happiness from moving on from the relationship. At the end of the track, she is leaving it all behind her and moving forward from it.

dorothea is another track that is somewhat similar to some of Taylor Swift’s older works, especially with some of the emotion she puts through on the chorus of the track. Other than that, the instrumentation is similar to most of the other tracks on this album. Just like some previous tracks, this seems to be focusing on old lovers from a hometown. While Dorothea moved away, this person is wondering if she’ll ever come back to the hometown and rekindle their love.

coney island was another anticipated track of mine since it featured The National, and of course Matt Berninger helps with vocals for this track. Coney Island is a popular tourist area in New York City so there are a lot of references that mention different carnival themes on this track. On this track, you seem to get two people reminiscing about their relationship in the past. However, the amount of effort put in by both people was not equal.

ivy opens up with quiet guitar arpeggios that seem to repeat over the course of the track. This is similar to the theme of illicit affairs and infidelity. On this track, a married woman ends up falling in love with someone else that isn’t her husband. Eventually, one events leads to the next and that leads to an affair. While she said that there is pain in this affair, this person decides to leave her current husband and go with this new person.

cowboy likes me continues to pay homage to some of Taylor Swift’s older works. Her singing style doesn’t really fit with some of her older works, but the instrumentation definitely is reminiscent of some of those earlier pieces of work. You also have some decent backing vocals from the lead singer of Mumford & Sons, Marcus Mumford. The lyrics on the track tell a story between two people who eventually fall in love with each other.

long story short definitely kicks up the pace of the album, and almost reminds me of some of Taylor Swift’s pop tracks. While I would have imagined Jack Antonoff being a producer of this track, it was actually mostly produced by Aaron Dessner again. Despite some of the negative things she has been through in her life, she talks about how her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn has always been there for her during those challenging times.

marjorie opens up with an electronic like nature with the high pitched notes that are hovering in the background. You also get some piano chords, but the electronic notes are still hanging in there. Other than that, the title of the track refers to her late grandmother, Marjorie Finlay. She’s actually credited for some of the vocals on the track which is a nice addition. Taylor Swift credits her as being an inspiration to her to pursue music.

closure continues to bring in some of the electronic and industrial like music for the opening of the track. While I don’t necessarily hate the experimentation, it does seem a bit off and weird for the track. It is quiet enough to where it doesn’t overpower the special moments in the track, but if you’re sensitive to different sounds like me, it can be very distracting at times. This track could have two meanings. One could mean about a previous ex wanting closure. The second meaning of the track could refer to her masters being sold by Scooter.

The last and final track from the album is the title track, evermore. We also get another feature from Bon Iver, which set up high expectations for this track since exile was my favorite track from folklore. On this track, we also get Bon Iver back in his regular vocal register that he usually uses in most of his tracks. While I do appreciate the feature, I do wish there was more of him and that there would be another great duet between the two. Other than that, it ends the track on a quiet note and tackles some mental health issues.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Favorite Tracks: willow, tolerate it, no body, no crime, coney island, marjorie, evermore

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