Arts & Culture, Fuinneamh

Lover by Taylor Swift review: A return to form

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The quintessential American sweetheart is back with a fantastic seventh album.

Lover has got us talking almost as much as we did when the Katy Perry – Taylor Swift feud was a thing.

The album is a welcome return to form after the indulgent misstep that was Reputation.

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Lover possesses a new attitude that is just as spellbinding as her previous work.

Speaking about the new album, which features appearances from Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and the Dixie Chicks, the laid-back songstress has said that “this album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, cosiness and chaos.”

After listening to Lover, it is evident there is a huge emphasis on all the ups and downs of all things romantic.

The album is filled with some infectious sing-alongs just like her summer smash hit ME!, but there’s also some passionate ballads for when you’re feeling a bit more relaxed.

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Lover had the biggest first-week release of any album from 2019 so far.

The first track on the album, I Forgot You Existed is all about choosing happiness and self-love over bad relationship vibes. It’s a fab, feel-good tune that really sets the tone of the album, bringing us right back to the pop sounds of Shake It Off which sticks in your head after just one listen.

Fans of the album 1989 won’t be left disappointed either by I Think He Knows as it’s a track that gets you into the romantic mood.

Tracks like Paper Rings and It’s Nice To Have A Friend are similar in that they are about exploring the virtues of a lover your swooning over with an upbeat rhythm and raw lyrics.

It’s apparent she has taken even more inspiration from her own love life with the controversial “London Boy” reminding us of her love for the British, especially Joe Alwyn.

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Up The Parish: Taylor Swift and her actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn spent Christmas together in Limerick in 2018, and Ms. Swift is reported to have bought a ticket for a local GAA clubs raffle.

Perhaps the album stand-out track is  haunting quality of ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ and ‘Afterglow’ which describes the fractious nature of a relationship – something Swift has been doing with ease since she burst onto the scene in the late 2000’s.

“The Archer” and “The Daylight” touches on our inner thoughts and lessons surrounding different relationships and reminds us of her radio staple Delicate.

You Need To Calm Down and The Man touches on issues in LGBTQI + community.

It also challenges unfair gender roles and views around sexuality – which may be seen as a rebuttal to accusations from sections of the media who claim she is too apolitical.

The raw emotion displayed Soon You’ll Get Better is breathtaking in that it’s a warmhearted tribute dedicated to her mother and her recent battle with cancer.

Overall, ‘Lover’ draws fans in the same way Taylor Swift has always had.

She’s upfront about feelings, her experiences, and dreams, she sings about love in all forms and is not afraid to write from the heart, she offers romance, atmosphere, and tragedy all in one album.

It’s the quintessential Taylor Swift album – for better or for worse.

If you like 1989’s sleek Max Martin-produced beats and Jack Antonoff penned-tunes about daydreaming about your future other half, you’ll heart this album very much indeed.

The album is packed with an upbeat, funky twist that appeals to fans all across the pop spectrum.

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