Album Review: Taylor Swift – Evermore21st December 2020
To do anything productive in the lethargic state of this year is a bold accomplishment. Releasing two albums mere months apart is just showing off. Taylor Swift’s second offering stripped-back, intimate acoustics, Evermore, will appeal to those out there who found comfort in Folklore. There’ll be a few stragglers, those that found the acoustic merits of her first 2020 offering a nice break from her usual pop antics, but not enough to stretch over two albums.
Most of these songs will appeal to a certain demographic, something far removed from myself. An avalanche of bland love songs making use of the acoustic guitar and piano backing Swift has become so reliant on recently. Out of all of them, champagne problems is by far the most obvious and generic. Singing of lost loves and the positivity at the heart of the future, it smacks of wholly bland ideas, re-treading old ground that thousands have covered before. At least some have offered a variety worth listening to, Swift has fallen back into parody. The shift in tone from Folklore seeming more and more like a happenstance response to unlikely problems, rather than permanent growth for the artist.
There’s a real sense of narrative and thematic inconsistency here. Occasionally, there are lyrics that stand tall above the rest, but that may be because they’re sudden and out of the blue, rather than vaguely boring. Trying her hand at everything possible, from love ballad to Christmas filler. Her mindset that the jack of all trades is often better than the master of one is a sign of her ardent push for the craft, but it doesn’t come together as it should. Songs of reflection, found in happiness and gold rush, miss their charged mark. There are signs that Swift doesn’t care for the brand image she cultivated through her pop tracks, a nice fight against that would work better if her anger and lyricisms were focused in on fresh topics. Folklore managed it, Evermore feels like a mere afterthought.
Another setlist of satisfactory songs, Swift provides a handful of solid collaborations and musings on a variety of expected topics. Nothing incredible, and rather bland. To call Folklore the superior album is to credit it as more than a forgettable bit of experimental filler. Growth from an artist is always good to see, a bold charge into unknown territory. Evermore might not be the best when regarding consistency or entertainment, but the simplistic approach Swift is taking to songs that could very easily adapt themselves to pop is something we can at least respect. Still, sixteen bland songs that’ll appeal to people that unironically say “that’s the tea”, or maybe that’s just pigeonholing.