Folklore and Evermore: Swift stays on top during shutdown

a+split+screen+of+the+cover+images+to+Evermore+and+Folklore%2C+Taylor+Swift%27s+most+rcent+albums

a split screen of the cover images to Evermore and Folklore, Taylor Swift’s most rcent albums

Taylor Swift has once again proven she runs the music industry. 

In 2020, Taylor Swift released her 8th and 9th studio albums, Folklore and Evermore, within six months of each other. Both were surprise drops that took her fans and the world by storm.

Swift, known for her switch from the country to pop world, floats into the alternative scene with these folk-pop albums. With Folklore being nominated for six Grammys, including the coveted album of the year, now is the perfect time to give these projects a listen. 

Both Folklore and Evermore had commercial success. Folklore was released July 2020 and topped the Billboard 200 for 8 weeks and was the best selling album of 2020. Evermore was released in December 2020, and topped the charts for 3 weeks and has had a top 10 spot for 6. The lead single off of Folklore is “Cardigan”, which debuted with 7.742 million streams, the biggest opening day for a song by a solo artist in 2020. “Willow,” the lead single from Evermore, also debuted at number 1. 

Swift is known for her iconic music videos, with classics such as “You belong with me,” “Bad blood,” “Blank space,” and “Look what you made me do.” Folklore and Evermore videos add to this tradition, featuring Easter eggs for super fans and deep meaning for the attentive viewer. When watched together, the videos tell a cohesive story, with “Willow” picking up where “Cardigan” leaves off. The music video for “Cardigan” has over 80 million views on YouTube and the video for “willow” has over 60 million views.

Swift, an artist known for her storytelling, displays her masterful lyricism and creativity on Folklore and Evermore. One major way she does this is by shifting from completely autobiographical writing to telling stories that are not her own. For example in “The last great american dynasty” on Folklore, Taylor tells the story of Rebekah Harness, the woman who formerly owned Swift’s Rhode Island mansion.  However, Swift did not completely abandon her ultra-personal writing style. In Folklore she shares some of her deepest thoughts and feelings with the songs “Mirrorball” and “Peace,” in which she reveals some of her struggles with being in the spotlight.

Despite being in a happy relationship with Joe Alwyn, Taylor lives up to her reputation of writing epically depressing breakup anthems with “My tears ricochet”, “August”, and “The 1” on Folklore and “Champagne problems,” “Happiness,” and “Coney Island” on Evermore.

Beginning with her 7th studio album, “Lover”, Swift has delved into social commentary. She does this in her songs “The man” and “You need to calm down.” Swiftcontinues this pattern with the song “Mad woman” on Folklore, which Taylor has explained is about “female rage.” 

Folklore and Evermore feature some amazing guest artists including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, the National, and HAIM. Bon Iver, an Indie artist with hits such as, “Skinny love,” is featured on Folklore with the radio hit “Exile,” and  on the title track of Evermore. HAIM is featured on Evermore with the song “No body, no crime,” which is very reminiscent of country Taylor. The National is featured on Evermore the song “Coney Island.”

The people who dislike Folklore and Evermore criticize them for the lack of upbeat songs. Compared to Swift’s other albums, these two have a much more chill vibe. In my opinion, those people need to listen to “Gold rush” and “Long story short,” because those songs get me on my feet just as much as “Shake it off” does. 

Personal favorites: My favorite song from Folklore is “My tears ricochet” and my favorite song from Evermore is “Gold rush.” 

Rating: Coming from someone who has been a Taylor Swift fan since 2006, these are the best albums she has ever released. 

Folklore- 10/10

Evermore- 10/10

Links:

 Cardigan video

Willow video

 Evermore album

Folklore album

The reviewer at 2009 Taylor Swift “Fearless” concert