Taylor Swift’s Second Surprise Album “evermore” Further Showcases Her Songwriting and Exploration in a New Genre

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Fia Cooper

A sister record to Taylor Swift’s “folklore,” her ninth album continues to showcase lyrical storytelling and alternative folk sounds.

Olivia Aragon, Staff Reporter

On Dec. 10, Taylor Swift announced and dropped her second surprise this year, titled “evermore.” With this new album, Swift continues with her mythical and detailed storytelling, along with intertwining new genres with the alternative folk sound that Swift had previously used with the album “folklore.”

Words cannot express the excitement and eagerness that I felt in the hours leading up to the drop of this album, and I am pleased to say that Swift did not disappoint.

“evermore” continues with the themes and sounds that “folklore” had used, but also has new twists. Although the two albums are similar, “evermore” is able to stand on its own as an impressive body of work. 

The similarity in sound was not a disappointment but a welcomed surprise, since I had considered “folklore” to be Swift’s best album because it showcased her songwriting in such a strong and raw way. Furthermore, Swift had prepared her fans for this notion, describing “evermore” as the sister to “folklore.” 

“folklore” had a darker and sadder feel to it, whereas “evermore” has a much brighter tone. This may be because “evermore” had more heavy production than “folklore,” but instead of this taking away from Swift’s work, it showed her growth in the genre that she had previously explored. 

But just because this album has a brighter feel doesn’t mean there are no heart-wrenching songs — that could not be further from the truth. Swift’s ability to make you feel everything that she is singing about is still very much present in this album. 

“evermore” is 15 tracks with the addition of two deluxe tracks that will be released in the next couple of weeks. 

There was only one disappointment on this album for me and it was with the title track “evermore” featuring Bon Iver. This song disappointed me because I had previous experience with Bon Iver’s voice, which is featured on the track “exile” from the album “folklore.” His voice in “exile” had made me fall in love with the song. 

On the track “evermore,” Swift’s vocals are on point, and her lyrical storytelling is fantastic. However, three-quarters through the song, Bon Iver starts to sing in a higher key than he did on “exile.” 

To be fair, if I had never heard “exile,” I wouldn’t have been bothered or disappointed by this track. However, though my initial impression was disappointment, as I’ve listened to this album on repeat for the past week, the song “evermore” has become one of my favorite tracks on the album. 

My top four favorites from this album are “champagne problems,” “gold rush,” “tis the damn season,” and “tolerate it.”

In regards to “champagne problems” — how do you explain a song that is perfect?

The answer is that you can’t. This is only the second song, and one minute in I knew it was going to be the best song on the album — and I was right. The soft piano mixed with the execution of storytelling is unmatched. 

I can’t explain why, but there’s something so vulnerable and real about this song, even though the story itself is fiction. The first time I listened to it I had this weird urge to cry, and I’m unsure why. 

The song is from the perspective of a woman who recalls turning down a marriage proposal from her college sweetheart. In the song, the woman seems to not regret the decision, believing it was for the best. 

The intricate details about their memories together, the moment it all ended, and how everyone reacted paints a devastating picture of someone who doesn’t believe they are enough for the other. This is clear from the last line of the song where, after describing the partner moving on, Swift declares that one day they “won’t remember all my champagne problems.”

The third track on the album, “gold rush,” is amazing. The only way to describe this song is mythical and magical and it makes me feel like I’m in a fairytale. 

The song starts with beautiful violins and something that can only be described as sounding like sprinkles. Then, there is a smooth transition into a bass. It’s one of the best produced songs on the album; all the different sounds and the transitions between those sounds makes it never grow old. 

“gold rush” is about having feelings for another person and wanting to be with them all while knowing everyone else loves them as well. 

I love the way that Swift sings “what must it be like to grow up that beautiful, with your hair falling into place like dominoes.” Her flow on this track is so well done and this line in the song really showcases that.

Not to mention the ingenious behind the line “with your hair falling into place like dominoes.” Dominoes have to fall down perfectly in order to make sure they all fall down, so in this line Swift is saying that the person she is talking about has perfect hair by comparing it to falling dominoes. 

Heading into the holiday season, “tis the damn season” by title sounds like a Christmas song, but this is not the case. Instead, this song paints a picture of two ex-high school sweethearts who broke up and only ever see each other on holiday breaks, but are still in love with each other. Yet for an unknown reason, they can’t be together. So, they choose for a short period of time to pretend that the relationship never ended, knowing that soon they will have to go back to their old lives.

The deep sound of the guitar in the background, the occasional drum beat, and the violins make this song tied with  “gold rush” for the best production on the album. The imagery and detail in this song make me feel like I’m watching a motion picture of an unfinished love story that I will never know the end of. 

Some of the most impactful lyrics on this track are “the heart I’m breaking is my own, leaving the warmest bed I’ve ever known” and “[I] wonder about the only soul who knows which smiles I’m faking.” 

These are some of the most impactful lyrics on the track because it illustrates just how much they love each other, and as the listener, it’s devastating to know that in the end they go on with their lives without each other, despite how desperate they seem to want to be together. 

A tragic tale about being in a relationship that is one sided, “tolerate it” takes the award for being the saddest song on the album. The double layering of vocals that Swift uses in this song entrances me. The metaphors and details in the lyrics are excellent, including the comparison between the person “waiting by the door like I’m just a kid” and asking “where is the man who threw blankets over my barbed wire?”

The vulnerability of knowing that a person doesn’t love you and that you deserve better, yet you can’t pull yourself out of the relationship, makes this song relatable. Swift sings some gut-wrenching lyrics, such as “I made you my temple, my mural, my sky / Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life.”

Overall, this album took me on a journey of emotions and stories that are filled with intricate details. Only time will tell whether this album takes the cake for being my favorite Taylor Swift album and thereby my favorite album. 

But, if you’re looking for songs filled with soothing production and songwriting that make you feel like you’re watching a movie, then I definitely recommend sitting down, putting in your headphones, and clicking play on Swift’s ninth studio album “evermore.”