When Taylor Swift said, “but I come back stronger than a 90s trend”, I felt that. It’s been a hot minute since I posted anything on here, and this post is long overdue. Did I want to post an evermore review right after it came out like folklore? Yes, I did. Did I? Nope, but better late than never, am I right? So, welcome to the evermore Album: Track-by-Track.
Let me transport you all back in time to December 10, 2020, real quick. I woke up to several Taylor Swift Instagram and Twitter notifications. Was I anticipating it to be her ninth studio album not even six months after she released folklore? Not in the slightest. In fact, I was thinking the next thing she would announce was the re-records. But she actually gave us TS9 and kept on saving the hellscape year that was 2020.
I honestly cannot choose if folklore or evermore is better. She was right to call them sister albums because it really is a continuation of the stories from folklore. With the release of evermore, it’s far more evident that folklore is a summer/spring/early fall album and evermore is fall/winter vibes. In terms of musicality, folklore feels “lighter” like spring/summer and evermore feels “heavier”. Both albums hold heavy lyrics but it’s the music that really makes the difference in the moods of the albums. However, I think that we can all agree on the fact that both albums make us sob. Taylor Swift is the music industry. She is insane – but in the best way possible.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
As I stated in my Lover and folklore album review, if you’re looking for an in-depth critical analysis of the album, this isn’t it. This is a hopeless romantic, daydreamer, Taylor-Swift-loving woman’s take on the album. I’m just here to talk about why I’m obsessed with this entire album. Gather your spite, tears, beers, and candles, and let’s get into the evermore Album: Track-by-Track.
Favorite Line: “Wait for the signal, and I’ll meet you after dark | Show me the places where the others gave you scars | Now this is an open-shut case | I guess I should’ve known from the look on your face | Every bait-and-switch was a work of art”
This song makes me feel like the way “invisible string” makes me feel. And that’s delightfully happy. Between these two songs, and her “You Are In Love” from 1989, really feel like love personified to me. These are the songs that I want to forever live inside of because they just feel so magically, blissfully happy.
I feel like this was the perfect opener for the album. Since evermore and folklore are sister albums, I imagine “willow” coming right after “the lakes” and it fits perfectly as it transitions from the stories of folklore to evermore. The music of this track sounds “witchy” in the best way and that’s exemplified in the music video.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
Speaking of the music video, there’s so much to talk about there. Notably, it’s a continuation of the “cardigan” music video with an invisible string laced throughout. All for it to wrap up in the end, with the two characters walking into the daylight – or rather walking back into the Fearless era. It’s genius and I love it.
Bringing it back to the lyrics, the imagery is so strong and magnificent. When she say’s “wreck my plans, that’s my man” it gives, “I Think He Knows” vibes and I’m obsessed with it. Taylor shared that, “‘willow’ is about intrigue, desire, and the complexity that goes into wanting someone. I think it sounds like casting a spell to make somebody fall in love with you (an oddly specific visual)”.
Favorite Line: “But you’ll find the real thing instead | She’ll patch up your tapestry that I shred | And hold your hand while dancing | Never leave you standing | Crestfallen on the landing | With champagne problems | Your mom’s ring in your pocket | Her picture in your wallet | You won’t remember all my | Champagne problems”
This is the song I dream about screaming along to at her concert one day. The song depicts a failed proposal where the woman turns down her boyfriend and everyone is shocked that she broke it off. The song also alludes to mental health problems with the woman and the whole town shrugging it off as “champagne problems” and saying that she’s “fucked in the head”.
Honestly, before this song, I never knew what champagne problems meant. As it turns out, it means something is just a minor problem compared to bigger issues like poverty, or a natural disaster.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
It would pretty much be a crime if I didn’t talk about the bridge of this song. It’s iconic. Arguably one of her best bridges comparing to “All Too Well”, “Death By A Thousand Cuts”, and “Out of the Woods”. Just imagine trying to find the most eloquent way to say, “it’s cold so he gave me his jacket” and by doing that you get, “November flush and your flannel cure”. Amazing.
The opening of the song reminds me a lot of the intro to “New Years Day”. Knowing how Taylor works, she probably intended that for some reason. And I love that especially if this song is in some way a continuation of “NYD”. Aaron Dessner on the piano really added that special touch to the track.
I’m elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore’s sister record, will be out tonight at midnight eastern. It’s called evermore.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 10, 2020
📷: Beth Garrabrant pic.twitter.com/xdej7AzJRW
Favorite Line: “What must it be like to grow up that beautiful? | With your hair falling into place like dominoes | My mind turns your life into folklore | I can’t dare to dream about you anymore | At dinner parties, I won’t call you out on your contrarian shit | And the coastal town we never found will never see a love as pure as it”
This is the song for all fellow anxious daydreamers to rise to. What I love about this song is that it sounds and feels similar to what happens in my brain. The person in the song daydreams about what it would be like to be with someone but soon snaps out of the daydream. They snap out of it and realize they don’t like the anxiety, jealousy, and insecurity that comes along with wanting someone that everyone else also wants.
There is such a specific image I see in my head when the music hits the chorus and she’s singing the part of, “what must it be like to grow up that beautiful…”. What I see is almost similar to the new Fearless cover and a camera slowly following the person twirling in slow motion. It’s hard to describe but it makes me absolutely elated.
Plus, it’s a Jack Antonoff track so that really says it all.
’tis the damn season
Favorite Line: “The holidays linger like bad perfume / You can run, but only so far / I escaped it too, remember how you watched me leave / But if it’s okay with you, it’s okay with me “
The way I sing this song you would think that I have an ex back in my hometown that I want to see during the holidays. I don’t. But you would think that.
As the title suggests, it gives off holiday/winter vibes. The entire song just sounds like what it’s like to go back home during the holidays. Driving down snow-covered roads with someone that you probably shouldn’t be seeing but you both can’t resist. The heat blaring just a bit too warm as they navigate the snowy pavement under the curtain of nightfall – and it’s silent. But the silence is okay. Because it’s familiar. Basically, that’s the feeling I get every time I listen to this song.
The music is peaceful like when you watch the snowfall. I think that the violin and steel lap guitar give it that more folksy, almost country sound to the track. Not to mention, that she wrote this song one night when she was drunk. Taylor can write a song full of nostalgia and seasonal vibes when she’s drunk and I sometimes don’t wash my face when I’m drunk.
It’s also said that this song is the same universe as “dorothea”, but we’ll get into that later.
Favorite Line: “Where’s that man who’d throw blankets over my barbed wire? | I made you my temple, my mural, my sky | Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life | Drawing hearts in the byline | Always taking up too much space or time | You assume I’m fine, but what would you do if I | Break free and leave us in ruins | Took this dagger in me and removed it | Gain the weight of you, then lose it | Believe me, I could do it | If it’s all in my head, tell me now | Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow | I know my love should be celebrated | But you tolerate it”
In the spirit of tragic track fives, Miss. Swift did not disappoint. There are a lot of songs Taylor has that I feel to the core where it’s almost painful to listen to. And this is one of them. I would describe the piano as heavy here. Is that a technical term? I don’t know, I only took one semester of the history of rock and roll. But I do know that’s how it feels. It’s perfect for a heavier, more vulnerable track.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
I equate this song to giving so much in a relationship and getting virtually nothing in return. In fact, the other person simply just tolerates being in a relationship with you. You know you deserve better and you know you can leave at any time, but you don’t. Because you’ve given them the best of your love and they simply couldn’t care less anymore. You’re begging for the bare minimum. You are begging to hear anything about their life. But it’s seemingly useless. And yet you still try.
But here’s what the song is actually based on, according to Taylor, “When I was reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and I was thinking, ‘Wow, her husband just tolerates her. She’s doing all these things and she’s trying so hard and she’s trying to impress him, and he’s just tolerating her the whole time. There was a part of me that was relating to that because, at some point in my life, I felt that way.”
Ever since I was 13, I’ve been excited about turning 31 because it’s my lucky number backwards, which is why I wanted to surprise you with this now. You’ve all been so caring, supportive and thoughtful on my birthdays and so this time I thought I would give you something! pic.twitter.com/wATiVSTpuV— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 10, 2020
no body, no crime (feat. HAIM)
Favorite Line: “Este’s been losin’ sleep / Her husband’s actin’ different, and it smells like infidelity / She says, “That ain’t my Merlot on his mouth / That ain’t my jewelry on our joint account” / No, there ain’t no doubt / I think I’m gonna call him out”
Taylor Swift finally had her “Two Black Cadillacs”/ “Goodbye Earl” moment that I’ve been waiting for her whole career. Yes, folklore gave us country Taylor with “betty” but country Taylor has really shown through on this album. I’m living for it. However, the sirens in the intro always give me a bit of a startle when I’m jamming and driving.
There’s a lot of words I absolutely love how she sang on this track like “infidelity”, “tires”, and “life insurance policy”. How can I forget the beautiful ending of the whole thing being pinned on the mistress? It’s just perfection. Este is a real person, one of the HAIM women, and one of Taylor’s best friends, but the story is fictional. Or is it another puzzle piece in the Haylor vehicular manslaughter? I guess we’ll never know. But this song slaps.
This would do extremely well on country radio if they actually played the song…or women for that matter. But that’s an entirely different discussion for another time. What I’m trying to say is that with the vivid storytelling, harmonica, the whole “husband goes missing after cheating” trope that does well on country charts, and vocals, this song would go straight to number one. But I digress.
Favorite Line: “Showed you all of my hiding spots / I was dancing when the music stopped / And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention / I haven’t met the new me yet” and “There is happiness / Past the blood and bruise / Past the curses and cries / Beyond the terror in the nightfall / Haunted by the look in my eyes / That would’ve loved you for a lifetime / Leave it all behind / And there is happiness / Tell me when did your winning smile / Begin to look like a smirk? / When did all our lessons start to look like weapons / Pointed at my deepest hurt?” and “And I pulled your body into mine / Every goddamn night, now I get fake niceties” and “Honey, when I’m above the trees / I see it for what it is / But now my eyes leak acid rain on the pillow where you used to lay your head / After giving you the best I had / Tell me what to give after that”
This is the last song she wrote for the album and it’s rumored to be about/for Abigail of a possible divorce. She finished this song a week before the release of the album.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
Are we surprised this is one of the saddest songs that she has ever written? I feel like I shouldn’t be surprised but when she announced this album has the sister to folklore and while that one was in black and white, this one was in screaming color. Therefore, by that logic, I assumed this was going to be a happier album…and boy was I wrong.
I had trouble picking out a favorite line or section from this song because, my god, was this song devastatingly beautiful. As I mentioned with “tolerate it”, this is another song that is felt in my core and is painful to listen to. It’s optimistic in knowing that beyond this hurt, beyond the blinding pain, she’ll be okay. She’ll be happy again one day, with or without him. But for now, it’s painful because she hasn’t met the version of herself that makes it out of this yet. And when she does make it out of this, how is she supposed to give someone else her all when she already did that once. What else is there left to give?
There’s just so much lyrically in this song that hits home that I could talk about forever. The music is heavy and light at the same time. This is perfect for the overall all arching theme of the song – the breakup being excruciatingly painful but seeing the good in the past relationship. Seeing the good in the bad and the bad in the good.
Favorite Line: “You’rе a queen sellin’ dreams, sellin’ makeup and magazines / From you, I’d buy anything / Hey, Dorothea, do you ever stop and think about me? / When it was calmer, skipping the prom just to piss off your mom and her pageant schemes / And damn, Dorothea, they all wanna be ya”
This track is the first song she wrote for this album. Dorothea is the character from “’tis the damn season” who left home to chase a Hollywood dream and came back for the holidays. This song is told from the perspective of someone that might have been a former lover or friend in her hometown. Taylor said that Dorothea isn’t a part of the Betty/James/Inez storyline of folklore but that they all went to the same school.
For me, this song feels a little like “seven” from folklore reminiscing on childhood and adolescence. When I listen to this song, I find myself thinking about childhood friends that left to pursue their big dreams. We may not talk anymore, but I’m always silently rooting for their success.
This song just feels so light and happy to me after coming off of “happiness”.
Tonight the story continues, as the music video for “willow” drops at midnight eastern. pic.twitter.com/T3o0nsANpY— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 10, 2020
coney island (feat. the National)
Favorite Line: “The question pounds my head / What’s a lifetime of achievement / If I pushed you to the edge? / But you were too polite to leave me / And do you miss the rogue / Who coaxed you into paradise and left you there? / Will you forgive my soul / When you’re too wise to trust me and too old to care?”
The National’s Matthew Berninger’s voice is soft and smooth and fits perfectly into the track. This is great because that’s why she wrote this song the way she did. So she could get her favorite band to sing on it. With the lyrics, it’s like they’re almost having a conversation within the song.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track
The symbolism laced throughout like mentioning the mall before the internet, yearning for simpler days. Much like when a relationship goes south, it’s romanticizing and reminiscing on the start of the relationship. When it was easy, simple, and fun. Ultimately, it didn’t work out because of a lack of equal effort from both parties. Sonically, it’s melancholy nostalgia and loss.
“coney island” is also known as the song that is the most slept on when it shouldn’t be. It’s incredible (she says about literally every Taylor song). The part I love about this song is the bridge and the iconic callbacks to her older songs. Like “Were you standing in the hallway / With a big cake, happy birthday” is referencing Jake Gyllenhaal in “The Moment I Knew”, and “Did I paint your bluest skies the darkest grey? / A universe away” is referencing John Mayer in “Dear John”, and “And when I got into the accident / The sight that flashed before me was your face” is referencing Harry Styles in “Out of The Woods”, and finally “But when I walked up to the podium, I think that I forgot to say your name” is referencing Calvin Harris when she just didn’t mention him in her speech for her winning album of the year.
I need to hear this collab on more tracks together because it’s so good. Heartbreaking. But so good.
Favorite Line: “Oh, goddamn / My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand / Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another / Oh, I can’t / Stop you putting roots in my dreamland / My house of stone, your ivy grows / And now I’m covered in you”
Songs about cheating really should not sound so beautiful and eloquent but here we are. The word choices in this song are impeccable and pretty like “incandescent”. It’s also fun to notice track 10 on folklore is “illicit affairs”. This song tells the story of a woman falling in love with a man who isn’t her husband. It’s an unhappily ever after. And yet sonically, it sounds pure and magical.
The imagery is just next level here with the ivy. It’s a tangled web of lies entrenched in their lives like the way ivy takes over buildings.
cowboy like me
Favorite Line: “And the skeletons in both our closets / Plotted hard to fuck this up / And the old men that I’ve swindled / Really did believe I was the one / And the ladies lunching have their stories about / When you passed through town / But that was all before I locked it down / Now you hang from my lips / Like the Gardens of Babylon / With your boots beneath my bed / Forever is the sweetest con”
Once again, country Taylor stans, rise. Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of Mumford & Sons, provides backing vocals. Throughout the song, the arrangement builds. Like the tensions in the story. This track tells the story of two con-artists falling in love with each other through chasing while trying to swindle rich people. Relationship goals. It is, in fact, a love song. With a harmonica and cowboys. Top tier.
long story short
Favorite Line: “Past me / I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things / Your nemeses / Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing / And he’s passing by / Rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky / And he feels like home / If the shoe fits, walk in it everywhere you go / And I fell from the pedestal / Right down the rabbit hole / Long story short, it was a bad time / Pushed from the precipice / Climbed right back up the cliff / Long story short, I survived”
This song is faster-paced than the other tracks, and it’s happy. The lyrics show us the chronicles of the pre-rep era where everyone – especially the media – was against her with the Kimye mess. But instead of focusing on how bad it was, this is when she met Joe. He’s her safe place and they live in peace now away from the media. It was a really bad time, but in it, she found what she’s been looking for. Someone to treat her right and support her.
It’s fun. And it’s happy. We love to see it.
I have no idea what will come next. I have no idea about a lot of things these days and so I’ve clung to the one thing that keeps me connected to you all. That thing always has and always will be music. And may it continue, evermore. evermore is out now: https://t.co/QYMUTL0IAj pic.twitter.com/tlSmahDkBi— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 11, 2020
Favorite Line: “The autumn chill that wakes me up / You loved the amber skies so much / Long limbs and frozen swims / You’d always go past where our feet could touch / And I complained the whole way there / The car ride back and up the stairs / I should’ve asked you questions / I should’ve 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”
This song is yet another that emotionally destroys me. She wrote this song about her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay. In folklore, with “epiphany” she wrote about her grandfather so it’s really beautiful to get a glimpse of the other half. I can’t listen to this song, especially the bridge, without sobbing. It’s beautiful and a wonderful sentiment to her grandmother but it hits home. Her late grandmother was an opera singer and can be heard on the backing vocals on the track.
A person may be gone physically, but live on in our minds and hearts. Despite it all. Despite people tossing things away like it’s nothing, seemingly wanting it to seem like nothing ever happened, and tarnish relationships. They can’t take away memories and that’s the important part.
Sonically, it’s breathtaking and calming.
Favorite Line: “It wasn’t right / The way it all went down / Looks like you know that now” and “Don’t treat me like / Some situation that needs to be handled / I’m fine with my spite / And my tears, and my beers and my candles” and “I know I’m just a wrinkle in your new life / Staying friends would iron it out so nice / Guilty, guilty, reaching out across the sea / That you put between you and me / But it’s fake and it’s oh so unnecessary”
I don’t care what anyone says, I absolutely love this song. Is the production weird at first in the intro? Yeah. But then you realize it sounds like a big machine breaking…which is the point. The way it’s written creates a feeling of dissonance. The narrator is trying to heal but the ex keeps trying to reach out because they want forgiveness. They want their “new life” to not have a messy past so they’re reaching out to the narrator to amend it. And the narrator really isn’t having it. I love it.
evermore (feat. Bon Iver)
Favorite Line: “And when I was shipwrecked (Can’t think of all the cost) / I thought of you (All the things that will be lost now) / In the cracks of light (Can we just get a pause?) / I dreamed of you (To be certain we’ll be tall again if you think of all the costs) / It was real enough (Whether weather be the frost) / To get me through (Or the violence of the dog days) / (Or the violence of the dog days) / (Out on waves, being tossed) / (I’m on waves, out being tossed) / I swear (Is there a line that we can just go cross?) / You were there”
On the standard version of the album, this is a perfect closing track. It’s a meditative piano ballad that seems to narrate the struggles of depression. When you’re in a depressive episode, there are days when it does feel like the pain will be for evermore and then there are days of light when it doesn’t feel like the pain will for evermore.
What’s sonically interesting on the track is the tempo changing more quickly for Bon Iver’s part and then it returns the original tempo afterward. During this section, it feels like “exile” 2.0 with him and Taylor having a conversation over the lyrics. This song is criminally underrated and doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for the lyrics.
right where you left me (bonus track)
Favorite Line: “Did you ever hear about the girl who got frozen? / Time went on for everybody else, she won’t know it / She’s still twenty-three inside her fantasy / How it was supposed to be / Did you hear about the girl who lives in delusion? / Breakups happen every day, you don’t have to lose it / She’s still twenty-three inside her fantasy / And you’re sitting in front of me / At the restaurant when I was still the one you want / Cross-legged in the dim light, everything was just right / I, I could feel the mascara run / You told me that you met someone / Glass shattered on the white cloth / Everybody moved on”
Listen, I don’t know what’s in this song but I cannot stop listening to this one the most. It has a more country Taylor undertone to it. Taylor said that this song is about, “…a girl who stayed forever in the exact spot where her heart was broken, completely frozen in time.”. It’s relatable because I, too, have difficulty moving on after something incredibly painful.
This is arguably one of her best bonus tracks. There is just something so incredibly vivid that happens in my mind when listening to this song. The restaurant imagery of someone just being so devastated they’re frozen in time. Everyone and life moved on but the person who is hurting is just stuck at the moment that they were hurt.
it’s time to go (bonus track)
Favorite Line: “That old familiar body ache / The snaps from the same little breaks in my soul / I know when it’s time to go”
This song also has country Taylor vibes to it and I’m obsessed with it. The lyrics of the song really focus on her not being able to own her master because of Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta. They have her albums from debut to reputation frozen behind glass, but she has herself and she’s simply going to re-record them so she can own her life’s work. She begged and begged to have her masters but it’s clear these two money-hungry sleaze-balls weren’t going to let that happen. So she left Big Machine Records for Republic Records – where she can own her music. As she should. As all artists should. It was her time to go from there.
But this really can be related to any life situation – a relationship, a job, family, etc. – when you know in your gut that it’s time to walk away from something. It can be bitter-sweet when the same feeling arises in you, once again, that it’s time to walk away. I feel like it can almost tie into the same feelings that “tolerate it” evokes. That feeling that you know nothing is going to change, you know you need to walk away. But you don’t, Just in case. Even though you know deep down, it’s going to end soon – one way or another.
evermore Album: Track-by-Track Conclusion
In conclusion, Taylor Swift has never made a bad album. She continues to be one of the best artists and lyricists of our generation. Are these last two albums more of a different vibe than what she’s known for? Yes and no. The lyrics are very on-brand for Taylor and exemplify some of her best work. The sound is also a bit different than her either country-pop or pure pop sound. But it’s still very Taylor Swift regardless and I love that.
What I love about these last two albums is the amount of vivid storytelling between the songs. It’s the way she’s now weaving parts of her life into songs without it being directly correlated to her. Because you know…the media is awful to women in the industry. But I digress. I encourage you to listen to this album even if you aren’t a huge Swift fan. It’s a masterpiece.
As we begin to switch gears from evermore and she starts releasing the re-records, I’m thinking about doing track-by-track for those as well. Does it matter that they’ve been out for most of my life and been the soundtrack of my life? No. Because each album has meant so much to me – especially growing up. Not to mention, we’re getting vault songs to the albums (“I’d Lie” and “I Heart ?” stans rise, it’s our time). It feels like a great way to talk more about why I have grown up loving and admiring this woman. She made space in the world for people who feel too much. And I’m forever and always great for that.
Next stop, 2008. It’s Fearless.