Taylor Swift’s newest album is a chillingly poetic masterpiece

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s newest album evermore is a phenomenal work of art, and this article is just as much a review as it is a love note to Ms. Swift.

I’ve never been what one considers a “Swiftie.”

For the longest time, my identity as a Taylor Swift fan could best be described as a Taylor Swift apologist. I listened to her music once in a blue moon, but I was never a die-hard fan. I recognized her talent, but I never idolized her; in layman’s terms, I was ignorant of the intricacies of her musical prowess.

Swift’s not-so-hidden artistry was a mystery to me until her album folklore came out. It hooked me, and my Spotify playlists still haven’t recovered from the sudden inundation of the suave lyricism only attributed to one of the biggest names in modern music. 

I find myself discovering more and more treasures with each bounding leap I take into her discography. I lose myself in her words to the point where it’s troubling; just a week or so ago, at an hour of the morning I’m too ashamed to admit, I found myself drinking in “Cornelia Street (Live from Paris)” like it was a vial of melatonin. It was a dark and quiet night with a serenity only permeated by my whispering vocals alongside Swift’s passionate performance. It was just the two of us in a makeshift concert setting with an audience of me, my blankets, and the shadows on the wall. 

The first raindrop of the thunderstorm that was my evermore experience: a text from the one and only Meredith VanSkiver.

I woke up Thursday morning a fully-realized Swiftie with the lack of prophetic cognizance that Swift would be announcing something—more than a something—within hours; at 8:00 am that morning, I got a text.

The rest of the day was saturated with favorite song predictions, listening-party planning, and sheer exhilaration. The rest of the day was filled with evermore.

Flashing forward, it was 11:45 in a parking lot, and I was ready. Sarah Wordhouse and I eagerly awaited the drop of the album, and after a passive conversation that was too giddy to be serious, the album dropped. 

And the whirlwind began. 

In the time it took for the album to reach completion, there was twirling under the stars, sitting in our cars, and pondering conspiracies made lyric after lyric, bar after bar. There were spoken statements of her stardom, but there was also a commensurate amount of time spent in pure silence admiring the sounds we’ve heard before transposed into a wintry setting.

Despite the dedicated listening, evermore hadn’t completely set in. Friday was filled with the album on loop, and the slow burn had started to itch its way throughout my body. My fingers tapped along to the chorus of  “tis the damn season.” My lips silently spoke the narrative of “champagne problems.” My mind folded in on itself as it bore the weight of the incandescence of “ivy.”

I had surrendered to the numbing invasion of evermore, and it’s all I’ve felt since. 

Wow, just wow. (Taylor Swift)

I’ve learned to budget my time to make room for a daily drive where my car is enveloped by the melodies of “marjorie” while my exhaust pipe spits out as many fumes as it can alongside the lyrics of “long story short.” 

Every time I’m alone, I fill the silence with the complex storytelling of “no body, no crime,” and as the minutes tick by, my heartbeat begins to yearn for the cadence of “closure.” When night falls through my five-bedroom windows, I queue “willow” before eventually climbing into bed and drifting off to sleep to the ferocious melancholia of  “happiness.”

Day breaks, and I’m serenaded by Swift’s vocals in “dorothea” before I ultimately sing along to The National’s featured lyrics on “coney island.” Passing minutes are furnished with the imaginative yet tangible tales of “gold rush.” And, in every second of downtime, I press play on “cowboy like me.”

Forever and always, I’ve found myself listening to evermore, and, of course, each listening party’s swan song ends up coincidentally being “evermore.”

In an Instagram post, Swift wrote “It feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or travel further into the forest of this music.” The message of this post rings true because the best way, the only way, to describe Swift’s two most recent albums is as an exploration.

No matter how detailed my map of the folklorian woods is, each time I return, there’s something new to be found. It’ll be a crisp afternoon in the forest as I stumble upon tree-carved lyrics “Now you hang from my lips / Like the Gardens of Babylon / With your boots beneath my bed / Forever is the sweetest con.” 

Deeper in the forest, I can hear the invitingly winsome echo of the lyrics “Watched as you signed your name Marjorie / All your closets of backlogged dreams / And how you left them all to me.” 

And just when I think it’s time to leave the forest, the v-formation of birds up above croon the lyrics “No one teaches you what to do / When a good man hurts you / And you know you hurt him too,” and I get the gut feeling that now isn’t the time to go. 

Every time I’ve listened to evermore, I have to rip myself from the connection I form with it. No matter the energies I drowned in, my heart dovetails with the emotions elicited in each song each day, and I become one with the album. 

I am different every day, and evermore always manages to harmonize with me.