Cast your mind back to 2008, that is when Taylor Swift burst on to the scene with Love Story, who would have thought at the moment Taylor would become one of the most iconic superstars in modern day music?
Come back to modern day and while Taylor should have been on the pyramid stage making her debut at Worthy Farm, instead she was showing the world what she's been doing whilst on lockdown, thus folklore was born. The album, which was only released on Friday (24th July) has already amassed sales over 1.3 million copies worldwide in the first 24-hours of its release, Taylor also broke the record for first-day album streams by a female artist on Spotify with over 80.6 million streams.
folklore starts off with a song called the 1, this laid back pop song really sets a feeling for the album from the opening. There seems to be a character that Taylor is singing about and leaves you wondering if this character is the full base of the album. This however is a really strong opening for the album and does make you want to listen from the opening bar.
The lead single for the album is cardigan, Taylor's storytelling is phenomenal, she is carrying on the story of herself and this character who Taylor has fallen for but he seems to have found someone else. The story tells me this is someone from Taylors past and she wants him back. This again is another lovely song and really does keep you listening to wanting to know the outcome of the story.
the last great american dynasty is the next song on folklore. In this song we get introduced to Rebecca, could this be the girl that Taylor was singing about in the last two songs? From the lyrics this Rebecca is not a very nice person and seems bad news, but again your gripped to the story, you really want to know what is coming next in the story.
The second single release from folklore is Exile, this is a duet with Bon Iver. Bon Iver seems to be playing the gentleman that Taylor was setting the scene with in the first two songs. This has been the stand out track for me so far, this is a really heart felt song, there is a lot of emotion in this song and all in all a quite beautiful track. Going back to the story of the album, this song seems like the cross roads for them both, does she go with Bon Iver's character or does Taylor "walk right out the side door"?
my tears ricochet follows, this seems a really personal song to Taylor, again there seems a lot of pain and passion in the lyrics and the way in which Taylor has made them stand out with quieter single piano backing. The song builds line by line, this really keeps you gripped to the song. To me this sounds like Taylor is trying to make her mind up after her meeting with the gentleman character in the previous song.
The next track on the album is called mirror ball, this sounds like Taylor is trying to stand out from everything. She has reflected on her past and now she's "shining just for you". This is followed by seven, this sounds like Taylor wanting her male counter part to do his reflecting like Taylor did in the last song. One thing at has become noticeable is the tempo of the songs are getting more quicker paced, we started off with ballads and now we are at mid tempo. This is something very unique that I have never really seen before on an album, this fully sets a feel for the album.
august is the next track, this is the half way point of the album, and this is again is back to Taylor reflecting on previous events. Musically this is a really strong song, really nice rise and fall through out the song. Taylor and this character seems to have had an hell of a month in August from the story in this song. Big, powerful and really strong song.
As events unfold in Taylor's story, this track seems to be her really coming to terms with the gentleman character making his choice. this is me trying seems to be Taylor trying to give her feelings one last chance and get the gentleman character back in her arms.
illicit affair seems to be Taylor and the gentleman character, maybe giving into temptation a little bit and the gentleman character having an illicit affair with Taylor. invisible string is next on folklore, you get more of a picture of the gentleman character in this song, as Taylor sets his imagine for the story. The song gives you the image that Taylor and the gentleman character were always meant to be together until Rebecca came along. Again the song has great rise and fall and continues the wonderful uniqueness of the tempo of the songs setting the scene for the visuals of the story.
mad woman sounds like Taylor becoming stronger as a person in the story, it sounds like the gentleman character wants to move on but Taylor really doesn't want him to give up on them. It sounds also like there is a slight hint of jealousy in this song about his life with the Rebecca character. One thing is for sure, Taylor really knows how to grip you to her music, you really cant turn off this album, you have to listen to the end of the story.
epiphany is the next chapter to this album, is does sound like a novel in which these stories are being told. We've had the big build up and now we are going back to the sentimental, heart wrenching lyrics as we feel that Rebecca and the gentleman character are shaking off Taylor. You do get a sense of heartbreak from this song, its beautifully constructed and wonderfully written.
As we come to the last few songs of the album, we get introduced to another new character called betty. This seems like Taylor does really want her old life back and is trying to reconnect with her old friends and hope that they let her in. Melodic, catchy and somewhat cheery for the what the lyric is, this is a very strong song. We also find out the gentleman character is called James too.
peace is the penultimate song on folklore, this starts off with a really instantly memorable opening, your hooked to it straight away. Taylor seems to have fully moved on from James, she seems at peace with this now and is wanting to move on. Taylor vocal and lyrics really stand out on this track, this really makes you sympathise with Taylors character in the story and make you feel sorry for her.
The final chapter to this story is hoax. Piano poetry is the best way to describe this song, a beautiful melody from a solo piano and wonderful lyrics really sum up the end of this wonderful story. Taylor has moved on but she tells you the story of how hard it is to lose someone you thought was your one.
Sixteen chapters of what could easily be turned into an amazing and wonderful picture, Taylor really has shown her storytelling side in this album. folklore is a heart-breaking story that unfortunately a lot of people can sympathise with, Taylor will really pull at your heartstrings with her lyrics and her stories and will also introduce you to her past with the help of James, Rebecca and Betty along the way.
Its easy to see why this has broken so many records already and will continue to do so, your gripped from the opening song, your on a ride of emotions along the way with Taylor, the songs build the feel of story and paint such an impressive picture in your head and gives such a tragic story that is realistic but also relatable at the same time.
folklore will define Taylor as an artist and really does show off a matured ideology in Taylor's song writing. We are massive fans of this album hear at the Unsigned Reviewer and after one listen we are sure you will be to.