12. ‘Lover’ – The title track and fourth single. I like the sound of this song a lot better than the lyrics. The verses have a really cool ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ quality. But I have a hard time taking the word “lover” seriously — it conjures up images of Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch in a hot tub. And “we could leave the Christmas lights up til January” — who doesn’t do that? Still, very solid song.
After the two week Quentin Tarantino countdown, I’m still in the mood to rank things. So I thought I’d try something new and comment on a new album by ranking all of its songs in order over the course of a week.
Taylor Swift’s Lover gets the honor. Released a few weeks back, this album has gotten better with each listen. It feels like a natural synthesis of Swift’s country and pop periods, as well as her most mature and best-sounding album yet. I’ve always had a soft spot for Speak Now, but Lover might surpass it as my favorite Swift album.
It was later released on Costello’s compilation Out of Our Idiot and finally on the reissue of Punch the Clock, where I first heard it. It’s pretty great.
1997’s Jackie Brown is the least Tarantino movie Quentin Tarantino has ever made, making it rather ironic that I consider it his best.
This is the only film Tarantino has adapted from existing material (the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch), though he changed the name and race of the title character in order to cast blaxploitation mainstay Pam Grier as his lead.
This period in the mid to late 90s was a goldmine for Elmore Leonard adaptations. Get Shorty came out in ’95 and Out of Sight in ’98, with Tarantino’s film sandwiched between them.
Tarantino cheekily ends his 2009 World War II fantasy Inglourious Basterds with the line “I think this just might be my masterpiece.” He was on to something.
That line is spoken by Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine, after carving a swastika into a Nazi’s forehead so the man will never be able to blend into polite society after the war. That uncompromising thirst for justice drives this film, which rewrites history in brazen and thoroughly satisfying ways (much as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would a decade later).
This is Tarantino’s newest film, and therefore the hardest to rank. I want to avoid ranking it too high due to recency bias, but on the flip side it suffers from not having sunk in as deeply over time as some of these other titles. A few years from now, after a few more viewings, I’ll probably know how I really feel.