Not only was July 23, 2020 the 10-year anniversary of One Direction’s creation but the (10:00 pm MST) release of a surprise Taylor Swift album. I have been a fan of Taylor Swift since I was introduced to her music in December of 2017. Her catchy tunes with her tremendous voice and fun melodies made listening to her music fun. I like songs from all her albums with my favorite being 1989, the album that marked her transition from country artist to pop star. I was excited for folklore upon its announcement but upon listening to it, I was very disappointed with the album.
Before I give my thoughts, I must emphasize how different folklore is from every other album she has made. First, there are five explicit songs on the album and all the songs, are, like the name of the album, lowercase. The biggest difference is the style as she drops her typical catchy pop tunes for a mellow and laid-back album with lo-fi beats.
Overall, the album is well-done and beautifully written. The lack of technical production really allowed her songwriting skills to shine. It is fantastic lyrically and it is a tremendous album to listen to in a chill setting. The best song on the album, “exile,” displays these elements as Bon Iver and Swift combine to create a blissful and heavenly melody. For those that enjoy these elements in music, this album is for you.
However, as good as this album is, it does not work for what I look for in music. I prefer catchy and upbeat melodies due to the thrill I feel when listening to them. This is one major reason I love modern EDM. Swift has incredible vocals and they work perfectly with her catchy songs from her previous albums. As a result, I feel like this laid-back album puts chains on her vocal potential. At the same time it is impressive that she pulled off a good lo-fi album.
The best example of this is in the song, “august” where there are teases of a catchy chorus but the beat drops down to a more chill note, which disappointed me. The song does not work for me.
Overall, folklore is a much different album that strays away from her typical catchy tunes of her music library. While it excels in its own way, it does not work for me and it is my least favorite album of hers. If you are a fan of chill music with an emphasis on songwriting, I highly recommend checking out this album.