Swift continues to amaze with ‘Evermore’


Aytek Abdulla

If you had told me a couple of months ago while I was penning a review for Taylor Swift’s surprise album, “Folklore,” that I would be doing the same thing with her new work just a few months later, I would have called you crazy. But, here I am, hunched over my computer, late at night, trying to look for the right words to explain the genius of an album that took the words right out of my mouth. 

Nearly six months later after releasing “Folklore,” Swift surprised the world again by releasing her ninth studio album, “Evermore,” on Dec. 11.

Similar to the “Folklore” release, Swift’s announcement came only a day in advance. 

“To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs,” Swift said in a letter on her social media. “To put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in.”

Swift once again leads us through the forest into a mystical atmosphere to escape reality with. Story-telling remains the heart of this album, as it did with “Folklore.” With her beautiful instrumentals and vocals, Swift creates new worlds and stories for us to take a gander at. It sweeps you into gut-wrenching feelings of nostalgia and heartbreak with songs such as “happiness” and “coney island.”

“Evermore’s” storytelling makes the listening-experience intimate. It reopens the emotional wounds made by “Folklore” just as they began to heal. It tells us tales of love, friendships and relationships disappearing like dust in the air. Despite each song being around a mere four minutes, I felt totally encapsulated in each of their individual worlds. Similar to “Folklore,” the stories Swift tells aren’t necessarily hers, yet she somehow makes them seem like familiar additions to the Taylor Swift mythos. 

According to Swift, “Evermore” is a sister album to “Folklore.” While Folklore explores certain themes through a youthful perspective, Evermore does this through a more mature lens.

While still sticking to the indie-folk, alternative genre we saw in “Folklore,” Swift leaves some room for exploration with “Evermore.” “no body, no crime,” a song that centers on a “Gone Girl”-esque revenge murder fantasy, is upbeat and features that familiar country rhythm we know and love from Swift.

Swift’s defining ability is her lyrical brilliance and that really comes out to shine with “Evermore.” The heart-wrenching lyrics feel ever-so personal, regardless of the listener’s own experiences. With songs such as “tolerate it,” which tells of underappreciated and unbalanced love, “champagne problems,” which centers on a marriage proposal gone wrong, and “tis the damn season,” a song about a girl returning to her home-town to try and rekindle an old flame, the stories this album tells evoke a whole spectrum of emotions.

Each of the album’s 15 tracks are masterpieces. I was completely mesmerized by the alluring stories that they each tell. My personal favorites are “cowboy like me,” “ivy,” “tis the damn season” and “tolerate it.” With each listen, however, I find myself discovering new favorites. 

Swift’s work has once again left me astonished. Producing two critically acclaimed masterpieces in these unprecedented times is no easy feat. With “Evermore,” Swift showed us how the creative spool that she employed to sew “Folklore” together hasn’t quite run out yet. It seems not even a deadly virus can stop the powerhouse that is Taylor Swift. 

Twenty-twenty has been quite the eventful year for her, from her quarantine-inspired masterpiece, “Folklore,” immediately shattering chart records and becoming a Grammy-nominated album, to her documentary releasing on Disney+, where she sings each of the tracks in a studio and explains the creative process behind all of them. On top of that, Swift has also been rerecording her past discography (excluding “Lover” and “Folklore”) in order to regain ownership of her music. When it comes down to it, the question lingering in my mind is: What can’t Taylor do?

In a year that has left us deprived of love and tenderness, “Evermore” feels like a warm shoulder to cry on. This album is absolutely perfect and truly embraces a new chapter in Swift’s career in which she doesn’t care about chart success or making others happy, more so putting out phenomenal music. “Folklore” holds a special place in my heart, so I’m hesitant to call “Evermore” the superior album just yet. However, this album features some of Swift’s best work.

Within the span of months, Swift managed to write and sing 15 more remarkable songs. Her talent is truly insurmountable and she really knocks it out of the park with “Evermore.” She has once again given us a timeless piece of work that I just can’t stop listening to. After the shocking release of this album, it’s hard to predict Swift’s next move, however, I am more than excited for what’s to come —whatever it may be.