Taylor Swift released a surprise album in July of 2020 called folklore, and it threw fans into a frenzy. What? Taylor just releases mysterious albums without any hint?!
Well, yes. And now she’s done it again. On Decemeber 11th at midnight, Swift dropped her newest album, evermore, the sister album to her previous effort.
Evermore is a continuation of her former work in that each of the 15 tracks here tells a story. Some seem as if they’re about Taylor’s life; while others, well, they’re just fiction. Still, each is filled love and loss, pain and forgiveness. And though this compilation shows off Swift’s talent for writing, it still earns an explicit label on some songs.
In “willow,” Taylor commits to walk through life with her significant other (“Wherever you stray, I’ll follow/I’m begging for you to take my hand/Wreck my plans, that’s my man”).
“Happiness” finds Taylor admitting that although a relationship is over, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t good times or positive moments (“There’ll be happiness after you/But there was happiness because of you/Both of these things can be true”). That track also finds her ready to forgive (“All you want from me now is the green light of forgiveness/You haven’t met the new me yet/And I think she’ll give you that”).
“Dorothea” is about a man who still loves a big star who once lived in his small town. In “long story short,” Taylor admits that hard times have led to the right guy.
“Marjorie” is a beautiful tribute to Taylor’s deceased grandmother: “I should have asked you how to be/Asked you to write it down for me/Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt/’Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me.”
Taylor processes insecurities on “gold rush” and works through the many emotions of a changed relationship on songs such as “tolerate it,” “closure,” “evermore” and “’tis the d–n” season.”
In “champagne problems” Taylor tells the story of a woman who ends her relationship right before her boyfriend proposes. But local gossips believe it was either due to drinking or her being “f—ed in the head.”
In “no body, no crime,” Taylor tells a murder mystery tale. A woman who was murdered by her unfaithful husband is avenged by a friend. But, as the lyrics suggest, it’s not a crime if you can’t find the body.
Taylor makes a few references to sneaking out at night with a lover, lying in bed and engaging in weekend affairs in the songs “willow,” “’tis the d–n season,” (“You can call me babe for the weekend”), “cowboy” and “ivy.”
Harsh profanities such as the f-word and s-word are heard on several tracks, while other songs include misuses of God’s name and the word “d—n.” Taylor briefly mentions drinking in “champagne problems” and closure.”
If you’ve followed Taylor Swift from the beginning, you’ve inevitably recognized change not only in genre but in lyrics. From a dreamy teenager to a young adult bent on revenge to a woman learning about forgiveness and security. Taylor has evolved. And so she should.
Growth and change are necessary in life. Which is why evermore effort talks in-depth about forgiveness, commitment and moving forward past hurt. But as you well know, not all changes are kid friendly.
Over the years, Swift has increasingly added lyrics that blatantly talk about sleeping with boyfriends and drinking too much. This effort is no different. And just like her last album, evermore includes some harsh language, where f-words and s-words are heard on multiple tracks.
Yes, this album is a beautiful effort featuring Bon Iver, HAIM and The National and filled with plenty of depth, but it’s also one that parents will want to be aware of. Because while Taylor may have been family friendly in the past, those days are long gone.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).