Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album Lover was released Aug. 23, selling a record-breaking 867,000 copies in the first week. Its streaming total was 225 million. Based on sales and industry reviews, this album deserves to be labeled the best music of this past summer.
Lover is a pastel dreamland, unlike Swift’s sixth studio album “Reputation.” During her YouTube Livestream previewing the new album, she said, “Reputation for me was like cityscape, nighttime, darkness … this album (Lover) felt aesthetically very daytime, very sunlit fields … .”
She continued, “I really just pictured this and wrote music from a perspective of a much more open, just free, romantic, whimsical place, and I’m so happy to share that with you soon. There’s 18 songs on this album, that’s more than I’ve ever put on an album.”
In her forward on the “Lover” CD cover she writes, “This album is a love letter to itself – all the captivating, spellbinding, maddening, devastating red, blue, gray, golden aspects of it.”
A Look at Some of the Tracks
The title track of “Lover” is a ballad in which Swift reflects on her current relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. It brings a country feeling with acoustic guitars while keeping to pop with dreamy chords. The bridge takes you to a wedding ceremony with,
Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand,
With every guitar string scar on my hand,
I take this magnetic force of a man
To be my lover.
The fifth track and third single, “The Archer,” is a self-reflection ballad. It focuses on how Swift has been viewed by others in her life. There have been times at which she’s had to fight to stand up for herself because she’s been attacked by others and the media. She wonders if anyone could ever truly love her. The chorus drives this idea:
I've been the Archer
I've been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling?
But who could stay?
The closing track, “Daylight,” brings us out of the darkness of the “Reputation” era and into the light of the “Lover” era:
I've been sleeping so long
In a twenty-year dark night
And now I see daylight.
Swift collaborated with The Dixie Chicks on “Soon You’ll Get Better.” She wrote this song for her mom who has been battling cancer, explaining on the YouTube Livestream that this was one of the hardest songs to write.
“It was a family decision,” she said. “We as a family decided to put this on the album … I can’t sing it. It’s hard to emotionally deal with that song.”
Swift also collaborated with Brendon Urie, the lead singer for Panic at the Disco, on the lead single “ME!” This track introduced us to the “Lover” era in an April 26 release as a single. It’s a catchy pop song about embracing your individuality. Swift sings:
I’m the only one of me
Baby, that’s the fun of me.
Sales and Reviews
Music industry critics generally gave the new album high marks.
Will Hodgkinson of London-based The Times, wrote, “Lover is an example of what Swift does best: classic songwriting on everyday themes.”
Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote, “Taylor Swift emerges from the darkness unbroken on Lover.”
On Sept. 17, Swift announced that she will host festivals around the world and in the U.S during the summer of 2020. The U.S. festivals are called “Lover Fest East” and “Lover Fest West.” She will also be the first artist to perform in the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Taylor started working on ”Lover” after the close of the stadium tour for “Reputation” on Nov. 21, 2018. The album was finished Feb. 24.