When “I Forgot That You Existed” opens up Taylor Swift‘s Lover, simplicity and peace is the last thing we expect. She recalls magically forgetting a former relationship without the lingering sadness that comes with a broken heart. “It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference,” she croons, shrugging off the past with an ideal strength.
It differs greatly from reputation era Taylor, one that was adamant about revenge and passionate hidden love. With singles like the album’s title track, “Lover”, it’s no surprise the singer is now sharing her journey of discovering genuine love and not one submerged in celebrity attention.
After over a decade in the spotlight, Taylor has come to terms with her caliber of fame. She’s endured highly-publicized feuds (cue the iconic “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative” tweets following her social media war with Kimye), raging online hate, and has still maintained her reign on the pop throne.
She told her side, dusted herself off, and continued with perseverance.
When reputation was released in late 2017, there were grudges Taylor addressed, aired out for the sake of her sanity. The harbored anger the artist held close to her chest was finally revealed — she was sick of feeling inferior and delivered karma to her worst enemies. The insults being thrown her way like “snake,” “spiteful,” and “liar” were no longer effective. She told her side, dusted herself off, and continued with perseverance.
Lover is the second part to that story. While Taylor isn’t weaving tales about her haters’ well-deserved consequences, she’s waxing poetic about love, happiness, and security. It’s hard to believe there was a point in time where she was vehemently disliked because of her dating choices. Just like any twenty-something, she sought out her options, nabbed a few boyfriends along the way — behavior that follows the norm in real life.
“They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to/And that would be okay for me to do/Every conquest I had made would make me more of a boss to you,” she sings in “The Man,” calling out the double standard for women in the music industry.
Despite her chart-topping abilities, Taylor struggled to be taken seriously among her male counterparts in high-profile media outlets. The running joke became her knack for writing breakup anthems, although we question the problem with a woman songwriter openly expressing her vulnerability when it’s no different than Ed Sheeran writing a song about a sordid relationship. Taylor can do it too, and with a princess-like flare.
The 29-year-old’s seventh album catapults us into her desperation — and not the kind that her highly-acclaimed LP Red glorified. No, we’re talking about the kind of desperation only someone in love would feel. Taylor doesn’t want to lose the thing she’s found because she’s spent too long searching for it. Most of the record’s 18 tracks are undoubtedly about her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn, as she cleverly mentions anecdotes about his British traditions and quirks. While she expresses her feelings for her “London Boy,” a sense of seriousness maintains itself throughout.
Now, as she enters her 30s, she’s smitten and loved-up, ready to take on a world that was once against her.
We’re used to hearing Taylor drowning in heartbreak and reminiscing on daydreams about far-off crushes. Now, as she enters her 30s, she’s smitten and loved-up, ready to take on a world that was once against her. Many of Taylor’s fans have grown with her, watched her endure the worst of pains while still painstakingly making it to the other side. Early T-Swift’s undeniable songwriting abilities shone, and, as she got older, the stories she created came to fruition.
Lover is Taylor’s career-high. She’s mastered the art of what it means to be a pop icon in the 21st century without being too abrasive. Even though she began as a country prodigy at the mere age of 16, she ventured into the pop genre — a feat many artists can’t accomplish. But 1989 was certified pop gold, wistfully laced in pastel pinks and inevitable post-breakup conversations, while reputation was dark-pop solidified with an edge of unpredictability. Lover is all of those mixed together, further completing the singer’s cycle of astounding pop music production.
It takes a lot to lay our hearts out on the line; Taylor has been doing it underneath a magnifying glass since she was a teenager. When listening to Lover, there’s a definite feeling of unwavering comfort, one that only comes with finding ourselves. Despite Taylor’s fame and fortune, she went through the wringer just like us all to discover a purpose. As she closes out her 20s, we see Taylor hopeful for a future that she once shied away from. As she found love, she also found herself in the process along with lessons learned and newfound strength.