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Evermore Finds Taylor Swift Telling OUR Stories Instead
CREDIT: Republic Records
Album of The Day

Evermore Finds Taylor Swift Telling OUR Stories Instead 

The (second) surprise LP serves as a showcase of the 31-year-old evolution as a life observer

No matter how one sees it, it is no overstatement that writing, producing, and releasing two LPs (both exceed one hour of length) in the same year is close to impossible–not to mention ensuring both LPs achieve superior critical recognition and massive popular reception. So how does Taylor Swift tell two consecutive, equally mesmerizing music tales? Just like her track number 12 “Long Story Short”, she can pull it off because she has lived long enough to tell them. The past drama, disagreements, and conflicts have made her stronger, wiser and surprising enough, more inspired.

Deciding whether ‘Evermore’ is more superior compared to its predecessor ‘Folklore’ is a pointless conversation because while the two LPs are launched as “sister albums”, each offers their own moods, sonic arrangements, and lyrical saga. In ‘Folklore’, Swift grants a warm meditation on past mistakes, loss of innocence, and treasured nostalgia with the Taylor Swift herself still playing the primary protagonist. While some of the ‘Folklore’ tunes seem to be about someone else (the most obvious example would be the so-called Teenage Love Triangle: “Cardigan”, “August” and “Betty”), it is still pretty much implied that Swift is merely wearing different masks and disguises while still hiding the one, same heart under different fits of sleeve. ‘Evermore’, however, is not the case. This time, Swift takes a step behind the curtain and takes up a role of a narrator. As it turns out, she makes an excellent, very empathic one.

While Swift once claimed that most of the tracks in ‘Evermore’ are works of fiction, her statement simply means that what transpires in each track may not necessarily occur in her real life, but sure as hell has wreaked havoc in someone else’s. Essentially, ‘Evermore’ is an unexpected chance for Swift to tell all the good, bad, and ugly situations everyone else once went through–or is going through–in what is inarguably the trickiest time ever.

Romantic desperation (“Willow”, “Champagne Problems”, “Gold Rush”), buried resentment (“Tolerate It”, “Closure”, “Right Where You Left Me”), grey areas of the heart (“Tis the Damn Season”, “Ivy”, “It’s Time to Go”), and unwelcome grief (“Marjorie”, “Evermore”) are the stuff of which the world and 2020 (perhaps beyond) are made–and Swift has personally tasted every single one of them under public scrutiny and with bigger stakes in play. If there is an artist out there with talent and trust to document what the whole world is enduring, it’s most definitely Swift. In a way, while ‘Folklore’ sounds like a dreamy fantasy of autumn, ‘Evermore’ is a matter-of-fact testimony of cold, but nonetheless beautiful winter. There is no surface-level judgement, only terrifyingly detailed compassion.

The most fascinating about ‘Evermore’ is the innate quality of which the whole record gives away more dimension after repeated listen. While there is no radio-friendly hook to wake us up in the morning and inject a good dose of “vibes”, each track demands multiple listening which, ultimately, leads to audiophile addiction only Swift could masterfully spark. Weeks after the album’s release, the heavier, longer tracks such as “Tolerate It” and “Heaviness” are slowly transforming into sleeper hits as they slowly–but surely–build up more popularity in streaming platforms.

As for how ‘Evermore’ will take place in Swift’s impressive career, well, does it matter? She has churned out not just one, but two “magnum opus” in the most difficult year of the 21st century. She has over-proven herself at this point. Trying to keep up with her is no longer a career goal for her peers and newcomers; it would be a Herculean miracle.

+ Evermore establishes Taylor Swift as not just the most talented storyteller, but also the most insightful life observer in the business
– Definitely not a recommended record for dinner parties

“Willow”, “Happiness”, “Dorothea”


Felix Martua is a writer, editor, traveler, curator, and cataloger for music, entertainment, and all things pop culture. He can be reached at martuafelix00@gmail.com


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