Taylor Swift surprised fans with the release of her ninth studio album, “evermore”, on Dec. 11. “evermore”, Swift explained on her Instagram, is the “sister record” to her eighth studio album, “folklore,” which was released earlier this year.
Swift explained, “I…know this holiday season will be a lonely one for most of us and if there are any of you out there who turn to music to cope with missing loved ones the way I do, this is for you.”
Upon reading the announcement that “evermore” would be released, I was simply overjoyed — Swift is one of my all-time favorite artists. Additionally, “folklore” was one of my favorite albums of the past year, so the fact that Swift described “evermore” as its sister record made me all the more excited to hear it. Long story short, I was not disappointed in Swift’s latest venture.
Every song on “evermore” makes it easy to appreciate Swift’s abilities as an artist. From her wispy and beautiful vocals on tracks like “willow” and “happiness,” to truly brilliant lyricism on “champagne problems” and “tolerate it,” “evermore” has only further solidified Swift’s reputation as one of the most brilliant, prolific artists of this century.
There is truly something positive to be said about all of the tracks on this album — Swift unleashes both her magnificent sense of musicality and her ability to tell stories which her listener can easily relate to or, at the very least, empathize with.
“champagne problems” is absolutely my favorite song on the whole record, and I would make the statement that it is the best song of Swift’s career thus far. The track conveys a fantastic balance between vulnerability and maturity, leaving the listener with a gorgeously sad story to imagine while listening to the song and its lyrics.
Although the lyrics in this song are definitely up to interpretation by the listener, I see “champagne problems” as the story of a person who, due to reasons not even they can understand, can not “settle down” and marry their partner, no matter how perfect their partner may seem.
This inability of the narrator to take the next step in their relationship leads both parties down a path of heartbreak and regret. Swift croons, “Your mom’s ring in your pocket / My picture in your wallet / Your heart was glass, I dropped it / Champagne problems.”
“‘tis the damn season” is the fourth track on “evermore” and its compelling story and easy-listening sound make this song a can’t-miss.
The song seems to follow two people, who were at one time romantically-involved, deciding to put their qualms behind them and reunite as a couple for a weekend, presumably during the holidays.
Swift sings, “So we could call it even / You could call me babe for the weekend / ‘Tis the damn season, write this down.”
The chorus on this track has not left my head since I first listened to the album — and I’m glad, considering how well-done the song is.
Another stand-out song for me is “no body, no crime” featuring HAIM. This song can be placed alongside songs like “Goodbye Earl” by The Chicks and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Reba McEntire in the hall of fame of country songs about a woman, well, taking action against a man who hurt her.
Despite the heavy implications of the story behind the lyrics, Swift and HAIM manage to make “no body, no crime” one of the most fun and interesting tracks on “evermore.” As a long time listener of Swift, I had a really good time hearing her return to her “country roots.”
Track seven, “happiness,” is one of my favorite songs on the album, lyrically. Swift writes about a good relationship turned bad, as well as her efforts to find happiness after said relationship. She sings, “There’ll be happiness after you / But there was happiness because of you / Both of these things can be true / There is happiness / Past the blood and bruise.”
Songs “ivy” and “cowboy like me” are two of the more interesting and unique tracks on “evermore.” Both tracks have fun, twangy, and catchy choruses that you’ll find yourself singing in your head for days. I can not help but get very excited, when listening to these tracks, at the prospect of Swift performing “ivy” and “cowboy like me” live, someday — I have a feeling they will be real crowd-pleasers.
“evermore” comes to a close with its title track, featuring Bon Iver. I can not praise this song enough. Between the perfect contrast of Swift and Bon Iver frontman, Justin Vernon’s, voices and the impressive, honest lyricism on this song, “evermore” is the perfect conclusion to Swift’s best album yet.
I can’t imagine anything that would make me love “evermore” more. Taylor Swift has truly outdone herself this time, by providing her audience with a record that perfectly conveys her impressive abilities as an artist and songwriter.
I would encourage anyone who appreciates good music to give “evermore” a listen and hear what a truly exceptional artist sounds like. “evermore” is a ten out of ten.