Evermore: An Album in Review Part 1

Evermore: An Album in Review Part 1

Taylor Swift released her second surprise album of the year, Evermore. In my last Swift article, I wrote about Taylor’s different eras. Well in this new album, Swift is continuing the woodsy theme of Folklore in its sister album. Taylor felt that while in quarantine she had just written so many songs for Folklore that she wanted to continue writing. In this series, I will explain each song off the album. In part 1, let’s look at the first 8 songs.

1) willow

This song was Swift’s music video song, which included lots of easter eggs (in true Taylor Swift fashion). The music video included lots of references to Folklore as a continuation of the “Cardigan” video, including a golden string leading her to her lover (invisible strong), a younger Taylor (seven), and she wears her folklore cardigan. Some fans even connected it back to her Speak Now days, noting the video’s resemblance to the “Mean” music video. There aren’t many hidden meanings to this song but it’s a really cute and magical album opener.

Best lyrics: “Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind”, “I come back stronger than a 90s trend”

2) champagne problems

This song was an incredible hit among Swift’s fans. It tells the full story of a couple who each want to go different directions in their relationships. The woman wants to end it, but her partner wants to propose at a party. This all happens around Christmas (“deck the halls we once walked through”).  Although it was hard to recognize at first, the title is basically another phrase for “rich people problems”. The people watching this proposal unfold regard the woman’s problems as lesser and unimportant, just as “rich people problems” are considered not life-threatening. Not only do they belittle her proposal dilemma, but they also belittle her mental health issues saying it’s not a real issue, as she mentions later in the bridge. Taylor’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, helped co-write this song under the name William Bowery.

Best lyrics: “Your heart was glass, I dropped it/ champagne problems”, “One for the money, two for the show/ I never was ready, so I watch you go”, “You won’t remember all my champagne problems”

3) gold rush

There are many fan speculations about this song. Many believe it’s about her former boyfriend Harry Styles in response to his song “Golden”. Some references to him include “bone crush” (their infamous accident), Harry’s eagles t-shirts, “hair falling into place like dominoes”, a reference to a coastal town (which Harry and Taylor have been photographed) and just how everybody wants to date Harry in general, which is what the song is about. Others speculate that this was about a rumored romance with her and her ex-best friend Karli Kloss, from the time the two were seen and photographed wearing matching gold flash tattoos. Kloss also posted an Instagram pic captioned “Gold Rush” before the album release, which could’ve been Swift’s inspiration. Despite which person you connect the song to, it was a fun pop song that almost brought us back to her 1989 days. The sparkling intro is enough to make you fall in love.

Best lyrics: “Gleaming, twinkling/ eyes like sinking ships on water/ so inviting I almost jump in”, “My mind turns your life into folklore”

4) ‘tis the damn season

This song is a Christmas song, but not your typical jingle bells and magical background music. Many would pair this song with “New Years Day” from reputation as her best holiday themed songs. Just like she did in Folklore, Swift wrote this song from a character’s perspective rather than her own and it seems to link to a later song in the album “Dorothea”. It’s all about a girl coming home from LA for the holidays and rekindling an old flame with her past boyfriend until she has to leave again. There are tons of lyrical references in this song. The lyric “You can call me babe for the weekend” seems to tie a bunch of her past songs together, including Blank Space (“I can make the bad guys good for a weekend”), It’s Nice to Have a Friend (“call my bluff, call you Babe”), and Cardigan (“giving me your weekends”). Her lyric “and the road not taken looks real good right now” is yet another reference to poetry in her two sister albums from Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken”. My personal favorite lyric reference is in the lyric “And wonder about the only soul who can tell which smiles I’m fakin’/ And the heart I know I’m breakin’ is my own” which goes back all the way to “The Way I Loved You” in her Fearless days (“He can’t see the smiles I’m fakin’ and my heart’s not breakin’/ cause I’m not feeling anything at all”). That sure was a lot to unpack, but this song truly is a lyrical masterpiece.

Best lyrics: “And the road not taken looks real good right now/ and it always leads to you and my hometown”, “Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires”, “So I’ll go back to LA and the so-called friends/ who’ll write books about me if I ever make it”

5) tolerate it

Being crowned as a track 5, this song is pretty heavy but yet another lyrical showcase. It’s about somebody who really loves somebody and shows it, but her partner doesn’t reciprocate and simply just tolerates her love. The song starts and ends with virtually the same lyrics. She’s realizing how mature her partner is compared to her. It’s yet another one of Swift’s songs about Rebekah Harkness, a past owner of her Rhode Island Home who lived lavishly and as part of high society.

Best lyrics: “I wait by the door like I’m just a kid/ use my best colors for your portrait”, “I know my love should be celebrated/ but you tolerate it”, “Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life/ drawing hearts in the byline”

6) no body, no crime (feat. HAIM)

Many would argue this is one of her best collaboration songs she’s done yet, although the HAIM feature is just two background vocalists. It goes through the story of a woman watching her friend (Este) confront her husband who cheats on her, and then mysteriously disappear. The title is the woman’s reasoning for revenge. There isn’t much of a deeper meaning in these lyrics, but it’s quite creative and gives off the same vibes as “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.

Best lyrics: “No, no body, no crime/ but I ain’t letting up until the day I die”, “And I noticed when I passed his house/ his truck has got some brand-new tires”

7) happiness

This song is both beautiful and incredibly sad. It contains several Great GatsbyI references, including “I hope she’ll be your beautiful fool” (which references the famous Daisy Buchanan quote) and “All you want from me now is the green light of forgiveness” (referencing the green light across the bay from Gatsby at Daisy’s house). Taylor seems to reference Gatsby a lot, including in folklore’s “the 1” and reputation’s “This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things”. One other obvious lyrical reference to the past is “And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention/ I haven’t met the new me yet”, which comes in response to the “Look What You Made Me Do” famous lyric “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now/ oh why? Cause she’s dead”. This lyric also explain why she is continuing the folklore era further.

Best lyrics: “across our great divide/ there is a glorious sunrise”, “I hope she’ll be a beautiful fool”

8) dorothea

This song is from the same point of view as the character in “’tis the damn season:”. It goes through an old high school relationship, most likely with her old boyfriend. Taylor confirmed that Dorothea goes to the same school as Betty, James, and Inez from “Betty” in Folklore. One of my favorite lyrical references in this song is “But are you still the same soul I met under the bleachers?” which is a subtle but not complete reference to one of her most well-known songs “You Belong With Me”.

Best lyrics: “a tiny screen’s the only place I see you now”, “and if you’re ever tired of being known for who you know/ you know, you’ll always know me, Dorothea”

That was a lyrical, emotional, and just overall amazing rollercoaster, and it was only the first half of the album! Stay tuned for next month’s issue for the last 7 songs and the final thoughts on the album!