3. ‘False God’ – I wrote a little bit about this one a few weeks ago, calling it my early favorite after a couple of listens to the album. I still love it enough to have it at #3, though the two tracks below have crept their way to the top spots. This is the sexiest song on the album and a whole new sound for Swift that she pulls off beautifully.
6. ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ – This is a devastating song about Swift’s mother’s cancer, performed with the Dixie Chicks (her mom’s favorite band). It’s nice to see Swift use her star power to give the Dixie Chicks some high-profile exposure, years after they were run out of country music for daring to speak out against then-President Bush. The lesson of their blacklisting is likely one Swift took to heart, partly explaining her own political silence. I’d like to think country music has changed since then, but the truth is Swift is a full-blown pop star now so she is no longer bound by those constraints. Meanwhile, women — politically outspoken or not — continue to have a hard time getting airplay on country radio.
9. ‘Daylight’ – The album’s delicate closing track looks back at the rocky road — romantically and professionally — Swift has taken to arrive at a place where she finally feels fulfilled. On Lover, Swift seems more self-aware and more at peace than ever, and this song does a lovely job of describing how she got there.
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.
I haven’t spent enough time with the album yet to offer my own in-depth assessment, but after a listen and a half I can make a few early observations.
I don’t know if this is the first single from an as-yet-unannounced album, or just a one-off, but what it most resembles is the end credits song from a second-tier animated film (think ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ or ‘Happy’). Light, fun, forgettable.