Hello everyone! Today, for my first (of many, hopefully) music post of 2021, I’m going to be chatting about my top ten songs from Taylor Swift’s two 2020 releases (I think it’ll become quite clear as this goes on that I’m very biased towards one!). Onto the post!
The One– this very aptly titled opener to the first album of the duo is fantastic- it’s about never quite getting over someone, and despite knowing they aren’t, wishing they were the one. I love the piano, which is pretty upbeat in comparison to the most of the album, and some of the lines feel very apt (especially “in my defense I have none, for digging up the grave another time”). I also adore the bridge!
Cardigan– this is the first of the teenage love trilogy, and definitely my favourite. It’s Betty’s perspective on James cheating on her. The vocals are stunning, especially in the chorus, and the lyrics are so beautiful that I get swept up in the story and almost feel like I’m Betty myself listening to it. “You drew stars around my scars and now I’m bleeding” is my line of the album, and quite possibly my favourite thing Taylor has ever written. And OH MY GOD THAT BRIDGE. It makes me cry every single time without fail, especially the “Peter losing Wendy” part even though I hate Peter Pan. I’m genuinely obsessed with this song.
The Last Great American Dynasty– this is very definitely my favourite song off Folklore, although I kind of feel it would fit better on Evermore in the sense that Evermore is a bit more playful on most of the songs, and I love the story this tells so much. It’s an account of Rebecca Harkness’s life which I’m so glad I now know about, because she’s so fascinating, and I think the writing strikes the perfect balance between humour and commentary of society’s treatment of women. The whole thing is a masterpiece, but the bridge especially is, not least because of the twist that Taylor now owns Holiday House.
Exile (feat. Bon Iver)- I didn’t know how I’d feel about a Taylor Swift/Bon Iver collab and I have to admit I wasn’t totally sold on first listen, but I’m a big fan now. I think their voices work really well together, and they’re perfect for the two perspectives of this song- a couple who have differing views on why things ended, in that the guy doesn’t seem to understand that the woman left him because he was abusive. It’s a brilliant song, and the writing is incredible. I love the back and forth section especially, but their individual parts are great too. And the piano melody is so pretty, yet melancholic.
Willow– Evermore’s opener confuses me slightly in terms of meaning if I’m honest, because I think it could be taken two ways. On one hand, I feel like it’s about finding the one, but on the other it feels a little bit like the relationship isn’t necessarily positive. Either way, it’s very catchy and well written, with some lovely guitar and clever lines.
Champagne Problems– this one is so tragic, but I really love it. It’s told from the perspective of a woman who turns down a proposal, and the aftermath. This was one of the titles I found most intriguing and now I know the song, I think it’s even more clever- they both have champagne problems in the traditional sense of them being privileged, and in the literal sense that there’s all this champagne and no reason to celebrate. It’s a sad story for sure, but Taylor’s voice sounds stunning and the writing is incredible.
Gold Rush– this is the only song produced by Jack Antonoff on Evermore, and I think it’s one of their best collabs to date. It’s so ethereal in sound, which is kind of fitting, seeing as it’s about dreaming of a relationship with someone who’s so perfect they could be a mythical creature. The imagery is incredible, and I love the reveal that it isn’t a real relationship as we get into the 2nd verse and pre-chorus.
‘Tis the Damn Season– I feel like there’s been a song that reminds me of Wildest Dreams on every Taylor Swift album since 1989, but this is the only one that comes even slightly close to it (even though nothing ever really will, in my book). It’s about someone returning home for the holidays and rekindling an old flame, and how she feels about that. I love it- the storytelling is phenomenal and I’d definitely read it if it were romance book. Dorothea, which tells the story from her lover’s POV, is also great, but the sultry chorus of this is why I love it.
No Body, No Crime (feat. HAIM)– can someone please hurry up and write a book version of this please? I love it. It’s told from the perspective of a woman whose friend gets murdered after she calls her husband out for cheating on her, and her determination to prove what happened. I love the sultry, countryish vibe to it so much and it’s honestly as gripping as any thriller- I seriously do need that book adaptation please!!
Long Story Short– this has immediately become one of my favourite ever Taylor Swift songs. I love the storytelling on these albums but this one is more about her own life and it’s a brilliant song about her finally finding peace after all the drama that has plagued her for so long. It’s one of the most uptempo tracks on either of these, and I had it stuck in my head for days after I heard it the first. Also, I really love the rhyme scheme in the chorus of this one too, some of them are really clever too.
What’s your favourite song from these albums? Do you like Taylor’s Swift’s music? I’d love to hear in the comments!