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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Folklore

Taylor Swift surprised everyone with a new album during the pandemic. According to news articles on this, she did not plan to release one, but she had created so much during the pandemic that she had to release it. Good thing that she did, since this is something that fans (and non-fans) like me can enjoy from start to finish!


The title of the album is Folklore, and it has a more laid-back, folk vibe that I think many of us who are stressed out because of the pandemic would appreciate. As usual, there were songs that I could relate to and have immediately fallen in love with, and ones that have stories that take the listener to another place in time and makes you feel for the people written about.



Cardigan, which was the first single from the album, is said to be a trilogy with the other songs August and Betty. It is about a love triangle where James cheats on his girlfriend Betty with another girl. Each song talks from the point of view of the three people involved. Cardigan is Betty’s point of view. August is the point of view of the girl James cheated with and Betty is from the point of view of James. It was interesting to listen to the songs one after another. It really was a complete story of how Betty was talking about a lost love, the other girl was enjoying an affair that would not last, and James was trying to win her back without any success.

The message that two of her songs The Last Great American Dynasty and Mad Woman talked about was something that reminded me of her previous song The Man. The first song is about the past owner of one of Taylor Swift’s homes, someone who was judged as a sort of wild woman of her time. This relates a lot to the second song which is about being called a mad woman because she speaks her mind and talks back. To me, this is about strong women who are often misunderstood because they do not conform to what people think women should act.

I enjoyed listening to all the songs in the album but I do have my personal favorites: The 1 is about looking back on a past love that didn’t work out and how it would have been good if she ended up with the guy. Exile, a duet with Bon Iver, is about a former couple who are talking about their respective points of view of why the relationship did not work out. Illicit Affairs, obviously, is about being in an illicit relationship and the pain that a love like that brings. I could feel the pain that she was singing about being in love with someone, but you cannot share it with anyone else. Another song, Mirror ball, also resonated with me because I felt the message of this one on a personal level.



One song that stood out was Epiphany, which is obviously about the current pandemic. There are lines about holding a person’s hand through plastic, dealing with something med school did not cover, and about crashing out. It talks about how painful these times are and how challenging it is, particularly for the people who are front liners who are dreaming of relief from the times where they can hardly stop serving the people who are suffering from the virus. It is a haunting and moving song. 



There are other songs in the album, and they are also equally good, it is just that the songs I mentioned here are the ones that really made an impact with me when I was listening to the album. 

Has anyone else enjoyed Folklore?


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