Criticism | Taylor Swift turns vulnerability into poetry with passionate ‘Evermore’

From her eponymous debut in “Folklore,” Taylor Swift has shown that she manages to dominate the year in many ways. Diving headlong into country-pop and American, embarking on synaesthetic journeys with pop-rock and even turning to dubstep, Swift was never afraid to bet on new genres that reflected his importance and his legacy in the music industry. It’s no surprise that over the past few years she has given in to several quite different forays with “Reputation,” “Lover” and the aforementioned new album – only to surprise us once again with the surprise announcement of “Evermore. », A sister production to his indie folk and chamber music journey of self-discovery.

Taylor needed it? Certainly not. In fact, the singer-songwriter who owns no less than ten Grammy statuettes – and maybe a few more in a short time – no longer needs to prove anything to anyone, not since her maturity and her understanding that she must not please anyone else. of himself. Taylor was once held hostage by the charts and the acceptance of others, including the benches of the mainstream music industry, but at the age of thirty and the launch of the interesting documentary ‘ Miss Americana ‘earlier this year with the political song “Only the Young” (one of the best in 2020), he left it all behind and did what he wanted. It is for this reason, and for its creative competence, that “folklore” and its multiple romantic tales have captured the hearts of audiences and reached their best iteration to date.

With “Evermore,” Swift made it clear that he still has a lot to say, especially in a time as complex as the one we live in. While some opted for the escape lines of the 1980s, like Dua Lipa, or opened up nostalgic trends for the nightclub (Kylie Minogue) or the purest and most dance house (Lady Gaga), she was immersed in a personal and intimate melancholy that gave life to “Exile”, “Cardigan” and the historic and sad “The Last Great American Dynasty”. Five months later, her poignant metaphor-filled recitations aren’t over – and she’s given us fifteen more original pieces (or seventeen, if we’re talking the deluxe version) from the most vulnerable and deepest side of his soul. But can lightning strike twice in the same place?

The answer is yes. Of course, Taylor’s ninth album doesn’t have the same finesse, so to speak, as its predecessor, but it’s an incredible entry for someone who still has a lot to tell us. “Evermore” is a continuation one would expect from “Folklore,” but perhaps it includes a much broader dramatization of stories that we would consider everyday and fleeting. Swift has the ability to turn the mundane into allegorical, the simple into pure instrumental ecstasy – and he continues to do so with a passion we haven’t yet seen. Whether with the well-known echo keys of the piano, or with the use of very original instruments, this iteration is exactly what we needed to end the year at its peak.

While the previous work yielded to the more independent suis generis, the one that comes in the midst of a dawn of pure anxiety is bold in parts because it maintains a familiar, inviting and mysterious atmosphere. It’s like Swift is reaching out to her fans for a walk through a forest about to fall into the morbidity of a harsh winter, in a bittersweet sensation that causes butterflies in your stomach and leaves us in a sort of dreamlike ecstasy. “Willow”, the album’s opening song, is a charming and mythical tale that takes the unexpected cajon to progressions ruled mostly by percussion, minimalist synthesizers and an appreciation for simply passionate bass – a perfect start, fault of another adjective.

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Swift capitalized on some original elements by putting her most popular songs side by side. We have the respectful presence of the harp in Florence Welch’s best style “Florence Problems”, contrasted with the painful verses that emerge from the depths of a core marked by disappointment and disillusionment; in the “gold rush” he throws his chips into a deliberately dissonant structure that reminds us of Bob Dylan and his musical novels – although the parts themselves speak louder than the whole; in “no body, no crime”, Swift joins the acclaimed trio of HAIM sisters for the best entry on the album and, once again, saves the roots of the country with the punctuality of the harmonica and powerful melisms that would be drawn into a delicious nostalgia for “ivy” and even midtempo “dorothea”.

The performer is not only right in signing these new tales of romance, empowerment, and self-acceptance, but understands that maturation, which ends up happening to everyone, is something precious to waste on things. insignificant. This enviable understanding is conveyed even to the majestic vocal control, forcefully expressed in “cowboy like me” empathy, which blends alternative rock and country-folk in a dark and controversial statement (in the best sense of the word, of course). The subtlety of its linear extension never shows itself dated – on the contrary, it provides a fragility which further humanizes an artist already martyred by cruel media – like the surrender which channels towards the “long short story” and the poetic alliterations of “marjorie”. “.

While shy of the glorious outlook of “ Folklore, ” “ Evermore ” offers an even more intimate side of Taylor Swift, who isn’t afraid to show who he really is and who seems to have found himself in a place. where he can explore his best. and its maximum.

Rating per track:

willow – 5/5 champagne problems – 5/5 gold rush – 3/5 ‘it’s the fucking season – 4/5 tolerate it – 4/5 no body, no crime (feat. HAIM ) – 5/5 happiness – 3, 5/5 dorothea – 4/5 coney island (feat. The National) – 4.5 / 5 ivy – 4/5 cowboy like me – 5/5 short story – 4.5 / 5 marjorie – 5/5 closing – 4.5 / 5 always (feat. Bon Iver) – 3/5

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