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Folklore by Taylor Swift – album review

Last Friday Taylor Swift graced us all with the best quarantine present – a surprise album. Even better, a surprise DEPRESSING ALBUM. I love, love, love, love, LOVE emotional music, and this album literally could not have appeared on a more emotionally perfect day in my life. Taylor’s music has always been there for me exactly when I need her, and this album is no exception.

folklore is by far Taylor’s most beautiful album. It is gorgeous from top to bottom. I don’t know if it’s my favorite (yet), but it is definitely her best.

Here’s my review of folklore by Taylor Swift, track by track:

1. the 1

I was crying within the first 30 seconds of hearing this song, and the tears did.not.stop. It’s a perfect opener and sets the emotional tone for the entire the album. I absolutely love this track (it’s my favorite on the album!) because even though it’s about a sad and relatable situation, it still has a vibe to which you can dance away your sorrows. Who else could make not finding the one sound beautiful? It’s just pure art.

Best lyric: Every single lyric. This song is perfection.

2. cardigan

Surprise, this song made me cry again! cardigan is just plain gorgeous from the flow of the sound, to the story detailed by the lyrics. This song is also the first in a series of 3 songs called “the teenage love triangle” which tells the story of…a teenage love triangle. But like most Taylor songs, anyone can relate if they make it about any past failed relationships of their own.

Best lyric: I knew you’d linger like a tattoo kiss, knew you’d haunt all of my what ifs

3. the last great american dynasty

This song gives me “Starlight” vibes from Taylor’s Red album. It’s catchy, but I’m also like…why would I care about these people? Nevertheless, it’s a fun song with a fun beat. AND it’s about Rebecca Harkness, who used to live in Taylor’s Rhode Island mansion. She’s a historical genius!

Best lyric: she stole his dog and dyed it key lime green

4. exile

Bon Iver’s voice startled the pants off of me when I first listened to this. I’m not the biggest fan of most of Taylor’s collabs, but this one is beautifully tragic. It was at this point in the album that I first thought, “Is this whole album going to make me cry?” (The answer is yes).

Best lyric: cause you never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)

5. my tears ricochet

my tears ricochet has MUCH to unpack. Technically it is about Taylor leaving her old label and all of the ways they did her wrong, but you can easily make it about your own past relationship. I could write an entire essay about which lines correlate to which aspects of the end of her partnership with her label, but for brevity’s sake I will just say that Taylor is a metaphorical genius. I also love this song because the way she sings “my tears ricochet” literally sounds like a ricochet. I can’t get over it.

Best lyric: I can go anywhere I want, just not home

6. mirrorball

Unfortunately I cannot unhear the lyric, “I’m standing on my tallest tiptoes” as, “I’m standing on my toilet, tiptoes.” This is the song I disliked the most at first listen, but it has grown on me and has graduated to the song that is stuck in my head the most often.

Best lyric: I’m still on that tightrope, I’m still trying everything to get you laughing at me

7. seven

Yes, seven is the 7th track on the album. Mind blowing. This song mentions Pennsylvania, where I live, which earns it bonus points – but not enough to remove it from last place on my album ranking.

Best lyric: with Pennsylvania under me

8. august

The 8th month is the 8th track of the album! Her mind! This song literally SOUNDS like summer, I cannot explain it! This is also the 2nd song of the “teenage love triangle.” More importantly, it is just a super wistful song about a bright, shining relationship that you really wanted to be something amazing, and it just wasn’t.

Best lyric: wanting was enough, for me it was enough, to live for the hope of it all

9. this is me trying

This song makes me want to curl into a little ball on the floor wrapped in a blanket while I cry into a bowl of ice cream. It gets you right in the feels, especially if you’ve ever been in a relationship where you’re just…trying anything to make it work.

Best lyric: I got wasted like all my potential

10. illicit affairs

I personally cannot relate to this song, but I know someone out there can! Regardless, I have still learned all of the words for when I want to pretend I would ever have anything close to an “illicit affair.”

Best lyric: The childish way she sings “Don’t call me kid, don’t call me baby

11. invisible string

This is the cutest song on the album, and also the most (/only) positive song. I listen to invisible string when I am ready to stop crying for exactly 4 minutes and 12 seconds. I also think it’s adorable that Taylor has thought of all the ways she and Joe have connected throughout their lives, even before they were together. This song makes me believe in fate!

Best lyric: cold was the steel of my axe to grind For the boys who broke my heart

12. mad woman

Not a favorite song of mine, but I know it’s a great feminist anthem that I will get into one day when I’m done obsessing over the rest of the album. Honestly I feel like she’s already told this “don’t mess with me” message with so many of her other previous songs that it’s kind of old by now.

Best lyric: every time you call me crazy I get more crazy

13. epiphany

This song has barely any lyrics and yet is the 2nd longest song on the album. It’s ironic because it talks about sleep and also puts me to sleep! (That is a compliment).

Best lyric: only twenty minutes to sleep but you dream of some epiphany

14. betty

The finale to the teenage love triangle saga. Taylor swears in this one – a whole f world! This is by far the most fun song on the album and a great song to scream-sing in the car.

Best lyric: if I showed up at your party would you have me? Would you want me?

15. peace

This song turns me into a pile of sad mush. UGH. It’s a very adult look at love and all that love means. It begs the following question; you can have a great relationship with someone, but is that enough? The hardest question on earth if you ask me!

Also, this song draggs Kanye west with the lyric “robbers to the east, clowns to the West (capital West!) and I love when Taylor is petty.

Best lyric: give you my wild, give you a child

16. hoax

hoax makes sure you leave the album in tears! If you thought you were going to get one happy song on this album you were wrong! That’s the greatest hoax of all.

Best lyric: don’t want no other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do


In conclusion, folkore by Taylor Swift is a genuine work of ART and if you haven’t listened to it yet, what are you doing? Stream it here.

xo, Liz

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