‘evermore’ is a gold-infused dream

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February 12, 2021

Though other artists could drop two back-to-back surprise albums during a pandemic, only Taylor Swift could produce the two strongest albums of her career. Taylor welcomed December with “evermore,” the “sister album” to her summer release “folklore.” “evermore” continues the indie-folk sound that Taylor introduced in her previous surprise album. With the soothing guitar of “willow” and “coney island,” the soft piano introductions of “happiness” and “evermore” and the dreaminess of “ivy” and “gold rush,” this album has everything that made people fall in love with Taylor’s music and then some. 

This particular album is full of powerful lyrics, but “tolerate it” is easily one of the more memorable tracks. As the fifth track in her albums are known to be the most emotionally vulnerable ones, fans shouldn’t be surprised by the rawness of this particular song. However, “tolerate it” takes emotional vulnerability to the next level by telling the incredibly visual story of a person loving someone who, as the title suggests, only tolerates it. With lyrics such as “use my best colors for your portrait,” Taylor goes straight for the hearts of those who have ever felt as though their love for another was never appreciated or fully returned. 

The explored heartbreak in this track reaches its peak in the bridge, with the powerful lyrics: “you assume I’m fine, but what would you do if I … take this dagger in me and removed it?” Here, Taylor captures the desperation one feels when recognizing that a relationship is too one-sided, and by doing so, she leaves her listeners feeling, like the song suggests, as though a dagger had stuck itself inside. Despite the intensity of the fifth track on every Taylor album, the beautiful imagery in this song makes it Caroline’s favorite track five.

With track eight, Taylor once again showcases the power of her songwriting, with poetic lines that speak of, crazily enough, infidelity. Using imagery that rivals the beauty of Neruda’s love sonnets, “ivy” takes listeners on a journey about a broken marriage (perhaps the one described in “tolerate it?”) and a new love that will heal the pain. The track opens with a stunning revelation, “how’s one to know, I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones, in a faith-forgotten land?” Her way with words has always been phenomenal but it is clear that when Taylor said in “folklore” to take her “to the lakes where all the poets went to die,” she made sure to learn from the ghosts still clinging to the memory of their words. Her voice is like liquid honey injected straight into the veins, flooding your heart with an unexpected warmth. It’s no surprise that this is Emma’s favorite song from the album, and even one of her favorite Taylor songs of all time. 

Another standout came in the form of a bonus track only available on the deluxe edition. With “right where you left me,” Taylor takes listeners on a journey that is all too relatable. “I could feel the mascara run, you told me that you met someone. Glass shattered on the white cloth, everybody moved on” portrays the heartbreak one feels when facing unexpected abandonment by someone you love. She sings about all of her friends, all of the people in her life both familiar and strange, growing up and living as she stays stuck in time, unable to move on from an ended relationship: “Did you hear about the girl who lives in delusion? Break-ups happen every day, you don’t have to lose it. She’s still 23 inside her fantasy.” This haunting track goes back to the singer’s country roots in the form of a devastating ballad that sounds like it came straight off the B-side of “RED.” 

The biggest surprise on “evermore” was the angry bluesy anthem of track six: “no body, no crime.” In this collaboration with HAIM—an indie band made up of the Haim sisters: Este, Danielle and Alana—Taylor goes back to her country roots, giving listeners a revenge song reminiscent of early works by legends like Reba McEntire and The Chicks. She takes advantage of this collaboration, telling the (imagined) story of Este’s murder, cheating husband and the subsequent framing of his mistress. Taylor especially channels female rage in the bridge, “Good thing Este’s sister’s gonna swear she was with me (She was with me, dude). Good thing his mistress took out a big life insurance policy!” Taylor’s more recent works have been rather light and soft so it was refreshing to listen to a more mature version of the angst that characterized her debut album. The track is maybe a little out of place on an indie record, but who doesn’t love a good song about murdering cheaters and criminalizing homewreckers? 

Whether or not Taylor decides to release a third surprise album, listeners have plenty to digest and pick apart “evermore” every time they want to paint portraits, return to dreamlands or maybe commit some morally questionable deeds. Each track is a new story to lose yourself in, a new tragedy to delve into and explore. Complete with the powerful images and themes of love and loss that only Taylor could promise in an album, “evermore” is a sure favorite for listeners ready to go on another magical adventure. So, if you’re ready for it, feel free to listen to this album while doing any of your other mundane tasks and let yourself be whisked away. 

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