The news nearly exploded in social media on 23rd July 2020: there will be a new Taylor Swift album. Release date? Tomorrow, the next day, some twelve hours later – our however you will characterize the release date of 24th July 2020. Swift recorded the album completely in isolation, but still could collaborate with other artists like Aaron Dressner. Feels like folklore (this is the title of her eighth studio recording) is a must-review for Flyctory.com.
Taylor Swift – About The Artist
Taylor Swift is one of these artists where my About The Artist section of my album reviews is highly senseless – you anyway know much more about her than I do. Taylor Alison Swift was born on 13th December 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, which is a 88,000 people (all metropolitan region: roughly 400,000) city Northwest of Philadelphia. She signed her first record deal at the age of 14. Her roots are country music, but over the years, she more and more turned to pop music. Overall, she sold 170 million records worldwide. Since her second album Fearless published in 2008, all of her albums have topped the US charts. Though she is very popular in Germany as well, she never did that here with any of her album.
Her recent Lover, released in 2019, was the first album she released after she made it out of her Big Machine record deal. This album only lead to 13 singles with chart placements in the US. However, none of them made it high, neither in the US nor in the other international markets. Several of her songs have been played more than one (US) billion times on YouTube only.
Taylor Swift – folklore – Track by Track
The album consists of sixteen tracks. If you buy the physical copy, you additionally receive The Lakes as a bonus track. Playing time for the online version of the album is 63 minutes. The album deluxe version will be available in eight different designs – this is the standard one. There is (of course, US style…), a clean version and a (European) explicit version of the album.
1. the 1
Folklore starts with the very slow the 1. I really love that sound of songs. Promising
But I knew you, dancin’ in your Levi’s
Strong under the streetlights
I knew you, handed you my sweatshirt
Baby, cares it better
cardigan is some sort of first single out of this surprise release. Again, a very calm and slow track.
And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someones bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite
A friend to all is a friend to none
Just two girls, lose the one
When you are young they assume you know nothing
That’s Taylor Swift quality songwriting, ain’t it?
3. the last great american dynasty
the last great american dynasty is lovely storytelling. Taylor Swift does where she is good in – and the songs are not that rhythmic and pop-ish again. I really love that.
4. exile (feat. Bon Iver)
A slow piano duet with Bon Iver. Very melodic. A song to close your eyes and enjoy. Beautiful and catching collaboration.
5. my tears ricochet
I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace
And you’re the hero flying around saving face
And if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake
Cursing my name, wishing I stayed
Look at how my tears ricochet
After five tracks of listening, I have to say: the album is super-intimate, super-intense – just by the way it is recorded and arranged. It feels to me like a travel back in Taylor’s career. Not a country music album, of course. But the absence of electronics, too much rhythm and pop elements is such a treat to her music. It makes you concentrate on where Taylor Swift is best at: writing music.
I love the atmosphere of mirrorball. It even reminds me a bit of artists like Enya: very wide, atmopsheric sounds. Again, the concentration on the vocals, the lyrics, the story, is so refreshing. I did not feel comfortable with Lover all the time, but Folklore feels to be an amazing musical travel to me.
Sweet tea in the summer
Cross your heart won’t tell no other
And though I can’t recall your face
I still got love for you
Your braids like a pattern
Love you to the moon and to Saturn
Passed down like folk songs
The love lasts so long, oh
I just feel I shouldn’t just post hearts under this song – but I would simply love to. Such an amazing recall of childhood memories. Listening to these songs, I just have to think about my die-hard Swiftie fan friends. I feel your smile while you listen to this album, Melinda, Yasmin and all the others. This is just damn good.
august has this cheeky Taylor singing we listened to in Lover especially. Nevertheless, I have to say that august is the weakest track of the album so far to me. The others just touch me so much.
9. this is me trying
this is me trying is playing with a bit of wider orchestration. The accentuated singing making the song partially very rhythmic. There are like different spheres of this songs, different levels and sounds. In the intimate atmosphere of folklore, this song feels to be really bombastic.
10. illicit afairs
While I called the ninth song bombastic, illistic afairs feels like one of the most fragile songs on the whole album. Lovely music
Don’t call me kid
Don’t call me baby
Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me
You showed me colors
You know I can’t see you with anyone else
Don’t call me kid
Don’t call me baby
Look at this idiotic fool that you made me
You taught me a secret language
I can’t speak with anyone else
And you know damn well
For you I would ruin myself
A million little times
11. invisible string
And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Tying you to me
No comment. I just give you the video to enjoy that way of telling a story on your own.
12. mad woman
And there’s nothing like a mad woman
What a shame she went mad
No one likes a mad woman
You made her like that
And you’ll poke that bear ’til the claws come out
And you find something to wrap your noose around
And there’s nothing like a mad woman
The song sounds so gentle and soft, but in fact it is a quite angry and powerful track. Taylor Swift does not need hard background sounds for the message. She got her stories and she got her voice. That’s it.
This song partially has a touch of a church choral to me, before it gains more power. One of the tracks where Taylor demonstrates best how well she can modulate her voice and creates different stories.
With the harmonica sound, this track has quite some country pop sound in it. Especially towards the end, it leaves the intimate atmopshere of folklore. When I close my eyes, this song reminds me of Catherine McGrath’s way of doing country music – even though the implication is likely vice versa.
peace is back to the more intimate and close-up atmosphere. A lovely listen (do I still have to mention that?)
But I’m a fire and I’ll keep your brittle heart warm
If your cascade, ocean wave blues come
All these people think love’s for show
But I would die for you in secret
The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me
Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?
Stood on the cliffside screaming, “Give me a reason”
Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in
Don’t want no other shade of blue but you
No other sadness in the world would do
Wow, after all the intimate and intense songs, hoax feels to want to top them all at the very end of this some more than one hour. What an amazing finish of folklore.
Taylor Swift – folklore – Spotify
Here is the Spotify link for folklore:
Taylor Swift – folklore – My View
There is only one huge problem I see with folklore: the album is so intimate, so fragile and soft – how on Earth can Taylor Swift bring these songs on stage? They are not made for a worldwide stadium tour – you have to play them in a small cozy club, 200 to 500 people at most.
Okay, that’s all about the negative words. Don’t need to say too much about the album. I simply love it. Taylor Swift does magic here. I cannot really tell you how she does it. The arrangement of the songs does not differ too much. And they are so simplistic. But this just about one hour of Taylor Swift never gets boring. Not at all. The more, I felt sad when I got all the stories (apart from the bonus track). I just cannot find a reason why this should not be the second album after Joe Satriani’s Shapeshifting which I assign the full rating (in my new system) to.
US-American Media Reviews
Here are all other music and other media reviews about bands originated in the USA: