Taylor Swift’s Lover is an uplifting pop album that explores the different sides of relationships.
The album gets off to a sassy start with the question-declaration: “So, what’s your name? / What was your name? / I can’t remember something so lame.” By commencing the record with a breakup song, Swift assures fans that heartbreak heals. Once the “Cruel Summer” is over, love is waiting for you again on the other side.
The titular track “Lover” is a gooey romantic anthem. Swift is no longer singing about the players and her flings, she is singing about a longterm relationship. “We could let our friends crash in the living room /
This is our place, we make the call,” she suggests, sharing her experience of moving in with her longterm partner for the first time. Whereas earlier in Swift’s trajectory “longterm” may have equated to “boring”, here Swift shows that relationships can be filled with just as much fun and joy, if not more. “Lover” is her poppy, romantic declaration of love.
The subsequent track “The Man” is a commentary on gender. Swift sings about how different things would be if she was a man, making digs at those who have shunned her for things that she would have gotten praised for if she were a dude. She chants: “‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man.” 2019 has been a musical platform for feminists, LGBTQ+ artists, and other minorities to have their say. Swift’s simplistic anthem on manhood may be a little late to the party, but it’s still a pretty catchy tune.
It is around about this point that the album starts to fall a little flat. “Death By A Thousand Papercuts” is weak and disjointed while some of the other tracks are simply forgettable. With eighteen tracks on the album, not every song is guaranteed to be a masterpiece. Still, things pick up again towards the end and by Swift’s hit single “You Need To Calm Down”, the party is back up and running.
From start to finish, Lover is a charming pop affair which redefines the angsty, edgy Swift we briefly saw back in 2017 with Reputation. This Swift is the women that tweens look up to and that the rest of us give in and dance to at the club. She’s loved up, passionate and proud to be pop. At least, this is the Swift we receive with Lover.