“Folklore” Review: Taylor’s Most Mature Yet

By Lorena Grajales, News Editor–

If you’re anything like me, you might have spent a part of quarantine learning new recipes, learning to paint, or even revamping your room. Or if you’re anything like Taylor Swift, you might have written your eighth studio album in the depths of isolation. The standard version of her new album “Folklore,” contains sixteen story-telling, heart break-filled, dream-like songs. Listed as an alternative album, Swift expanded her musical talents into what is in my opinion her best album thus far. Allow me to further break down my thoughts on these songs.

First off, I’d like to talk about the love triangle brilliantly referenced in this album. The song “Betty” describes the regret of cheating and heartbreak that seventeen-year old James feels, as he reminisces on what would happen if he were to reunite with his ex-lover, Betty. James says, “…in the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing? I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything but I know I miss you.” 

But in the song “Cardigan,” told through Betty’s eyes, we can gather another viewpoint through the lyrics “chase two girls, lose the one. When you are young they assume you know nothing” and “I knew you’d miss me once the thrill expired, and you’d be standing on my front porch light, and I knew you’d come back to me.” 

The song is beautifully and metaphorically written, with a calm and soothing melody that’s a complete new intricate sound for Swift. Completing the love triangle is the song “August,” told by the perspective of “the other girl.” I’ll be honest, this song makes me want to go on a drive with the windows down at the peak of sunset, which is probably why it’s my favorite song on the album. With more of an up-beat tune, the listener can step into the point of view of the “other girl” from that summer through the lines “so much for summer love, and saying “us” cause you weren’t mine to lose.” In my opinion, Swift perfected the art of displaying different perspectives through her incredible imagery and passionate lyrics.

“Folklore” wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift album without deep heartbreaking songs, would it? The songs “Exile,” “My Tears Ricochet,” “Illicit Affairs,” “Mad Woman,” and “Hoax” fall into this category, and may be some of her most mature songs yet. Filled with carefully thought-out, soul touching lyrics, these songs will put you in all the feels whether you’re single or completely in love. And if you ask me, that’s something only a great songwriter and artist can do.

If you’re the type of person who looks for a storytelling aspect in songs, the song “The Last Great American Dynasty,” is perfect for you. Here, Swift eloquently gives us a sneak peek at the life of the previous owner of her home in Rhode Island. Similarly, the songs “Seven” and “Invisible String” graciously carry melodic storylines of childhood stories, and meeting someone for the first time, knowing it was fate that brought you two together.   

Some of her most vulnerable songs on this album include “Mirrorball,” “This is me trying,” “Epiphany,” “Peace,” and last but not least, “The 1.” While going into detail all about emotions, internal battles, recognizing personal flaws, and all the “what if’s” of life, it is evident Swift poured out her mind and soul into this album, definitely making it worth the listen.

1 thought on ““Folklore” Review: Taylor’s Most Mature Yet

  1. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard. It was really well thought out. Great article.

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