It’s been a while since I launched my Tay-Tay Top Five series, but today I’m determined to pick things up again with my top picks from the Lover album. I’ve always said that 1989 has a real personal meaning for me (more on that later), but I think Lover definitely earns the title of my favourite. It’s 18 tracks of absolute perfection, and this is why…
Lover is a beautifully eclectic selection of classic pop, synth-pop and electro-pop, combined with country, folk, and even a touch of indie pop; There is literally something for everyone. Taylor defined the album as “a love letter to love itself,” and if you’ve listened to the whole track list, you’ll probably get that. The album has connotations of soft pastel colours and summery themes, which a lot of Swifties will know is a contrast with Reputation, with Lover Fest supposed to be a key event of the summer. But you know, covid (fuck you, covid). Either way, it doesn’t take away the fact that Lover is a goddamn masterpiece. No other album will have me bopping, singing, dancing and crying all within 10 minutes while driving in my car.
Information correct at time of writing.
Release Date: 23rd August 2019
Producers: Jack Antonoff, Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, Joel Little, Taylor Swift
Label: Republic Records
Awards & Nominations:
People’s Choice Album of the Year 2019 (Won)
American Music Awards – Favourite Pop/Rock Album 2019 (Won)
ARIA Music Awards – Best International Artist 2019 (Won)
Grammy Awards – Best Pop Vocal Album 2020 (Nominated)
Japan Gold Disc Awards – Album of the Year/Best 3 Albums 2020 (Won)
RTHK International Pop Poll Awards – Best Selling Album 2020 (Won)
Guinness World Records – Best-selling Album Worldwide for a Solo Artist 2020 (Won)
CD Shop Awards – Music Jacket Creative Awards 2020 (Won)
iHeartRadio Music Awards – Pop Album of the Year 2020 (Won)
Information Source: Wikipedia
My Top Five
- Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. The Chicks)
- London Boy
- Cruel Summer
- Paper Rings
Honourable Mentions: Death by a Thousand Cuts, You Need to Calm Down, ME!, Daylight, I Forgot That You Existed, The Man
Soon You’ll Get Better (feat. The Chicks)
I have to start with Soon You’ll Get Better. I remember the first time I listened through the album, I was bopping away to London Boy, and was then hit with this. Soon You’ll Get Better was allegedly written about Taylor’s parents, especially her mother, battling cancer. I’ve always loved the relationship Taylor has had with her mother because it reminds me of me and Mama J. The Best Day from Taylor’s Fearless album really gets me because of how much it reminds me of my Gilmore Girls-esque childhood with my Mum. There have been a few instances over the years where Mama J has been unwell over the years (one of which I mentioned in an earlier post) – thankfully, most of them have been when I was a lot younger so didn’t really know much about what was going on – but listening to Soon You’ll Get Better really hit home. Additionally, in early 2019, my Dad suffered a heart attack, and it was totally unexpected and terrifying, and seeing him in the hospital as ill as he was genuinely frightened me. I should clarify that both my parents are fine now, but you never really forget those periods of worry when they’re not well. So, when I first listened to Soon You’ll Get Better, all of those memories hit home. The song just gets you thinking of every loved one you have. More than anything, the bridge especially gets me:
“And I hate to make this all about me,
But who am I supposed to talk to,
What am I supposed to do,
If there’s no you?”
Can’t say I’ve ever cried while driving home from work up until I listened to this song. It’s just heartbreaking with the most honest and emotional lyrics. Just when you think the song couldn’t get any more emotional, Taylor performed it as part of the One World: Together at Home event, put on in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The performance was utterly heartbreaking and beautiful, and in my opinion, it’s one of Taylor’s most incredible performances of all time.
I bloody love London Boy. It’s such a bop. It’s cute and catchy, and Swifties will know that the song was allegedly written as an ode to Joe Alwyn, Taylor’s BF. I feel a bit of a twat going from one extreme to the other given my reasons for loving Soon You’ll Get Better so much, but in all honesty, there isn’t really a personal or emotional reason behind why I love this one so much. I just do. I ended up loving it even more when she performed it on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge last year – so much sass in her performance.
I just love the intensity of Cruel Summer. The song is said to detail the vulnerability, pain and desperation of a summer romance, and while that specifically isn’t something I relate to, I certainly felt a connection to it in a way when it came to thinking back to the early years of mine and Liam’s relationship, where I was (to put it politely) a needy, crazy bitch. Cruel Summer has one of my favourite bridges of Taylor’s songs, purely because of the line “I’m drunk in the back of the car, and I cried like a baby coming home from the bar” – in almost 12 years of being together, nothing changes. The song overall is a great one to belt out when you’re driving too, especially “I LOVE YOU AIN’T THAT THE WORST THING YOU EVER HEARD?” One of my favourite memories from Swiftogeddon in particular has to be when this played, with hundreds of us screaming out the line at the top of our lungs.
Paper Rings is just such a happy and upbeat song and I just love the tone and fast pace of it. While it’s a song that reminds me of the happy times Liam and I have had over the years, it also reminds me of my friendship with Lillie, as I mentioned earlier in my World Music Day post. When we went to Swiftogeddon in November (ah, the days of sweaty, gross nightclubs), we arrived half an hour late after a nightmare of trying to get an Uber and we were freezing and pretty pissed off. However, we knocked back a couple of tequila shots and Paper Rings came on. It was the first song we danced to that evening and it just set the tone for the whole night – it’s one of my favourite memories of our friendship.
I remember the first time I heard Lover on the radio, and it hit me right in the feels. I love the lyrics, and I’m genuinely gutted that it hadn’t been released when Liam and I got married, as it would have been our first dance, no questions asked. I’m sure it’s the same for many other couples, but I just love how relatable it is to our relationship, with subtle things like “you’ll save all your dirtiest jokes for me, and at every table I’ll save you a seat” certainly being a part of it. Again, there’s also more Swiftogeddon memories linked to this one, as at the end of the night, we sat drunkenly singing it with the rest of the room before we left, so there’s a dash of friendship thrown in with this one too. We need to also draw attention to the music video, which is just perfection. The colour, the set up, the easter eggs (each room in the house is a nod to one of Taylor’s albums and when I found this out my mind was blown), all of it is just so pretty to watch.
It was incredibly difficult to narrow down Lover to just five of my favourite tracks, so much so that my list of honourable mentions is still pretty hefty. Death by a Thousand Cuts was actually a song I wasn’t too keen on to start with, but the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. I don’t really know why I like it so much, but I especially love the bridge of the song, as it’s another intense one that you can belt out while driving. You Need to Calm Down and ME! had to be given an honourable mention too. I know ME! recieved some mixed reviews, but honestly, I loved the collab with Brendan Urie, the music video is a delight to watch, and I love the overall message of the song being about accepting your individuality. You Need to Calm Down is also an absolute banger while aiming fire at all of the assholes on the internet – the homophobes, the racists, the bullies, the trolls – and it’s incredibly empowering and well needed. For anyone who has ever been sent a hateful comment or message, or had some complete asshole slide into their DMs, this is the best song to listen to (or belt out in your car/bedroom/office/whatever) – it’s so cathartic! On a similar note, I Forgot That You Existed is quite a therapeutic track to listen to when someone’s pissed you off or when you’re just completely over someone’s shit. The Man also has to get a mention, purely because it’s a goddamn feminist bop, imagining all the ways Taylor’s career would be different if she were a man. Finally, the album closes with Daylight, which, again, wasn’t one I was that thrilled about to begin with. But the more I listened to the lyrics, the more I started to love it. It’s a calming song with a positive message about moving on from past mistakes and looking ahead to the future, and I think for that reason, it kind of resonated with me in a mental health sense and got me thinking about my OCD recovery.
Honestly, I don’t think I can say much more than I’ve already said. Lover is without a doubt my favourite Taylor Swift album and despite the fact it spent longer in my car CD player than any other album ever, I’m still not bored of it. I love the lyrics, the inspiration and messages behind the song, and the fact it has so many personal memories attached to it.
What did you think of Lover? Let me know what your favourite song was in the comments!