2020, Music

Evermore (2020)

I just finished listening to the HAIM record from 2020 and since they guest here and Swift has guested with them and I think they’ve opened for her and they all hang out together I think it’s worth pointing out just how much better Swift is as a songwriter. I don’t particularly like the music Taylor Swift made in 2020 – it’s just way too polished and fabricated for me. I can’t really ever imagining a world in which I will sit down, of my own accord, and listen to this or its (better) predecessor. But I can fully accept that there are few if any misses from a songwriting perspective on either record, particularly when it comes to the melodies. (I have very few opinions about her lyrics.) She’s a great songwriter (with the caveat of collaborators for these records) and I think this and the previous album are clear examples of that.

Now the music itself feels very much a retread of Folklore. Not knowing anything about the rest of her catalogue, it’s clear these two albums were made in a similar, um, era and feels like it was the result of a very similar process (though it may not have been). I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that they were recorded at the same time. (I don’t think they were though.)

So nearly everything about this record sounds like Folklore 2 to me. (Except the HAIM track doesn’t sound like Folklore, it sounds like some post-Chicks thing.) And that, for me, takes away some of my genuine surprise at listening to that earlier record, discovering that Swift (at least at this point) absolutely sounded nothing like I thought she did, inhabiting this weird space between extremely polished, careful pop music and “indie folk” and “chamber pop” or whatever name you want to throw on it.

Maybe there’s some growth here but it’s not super obvious to me. As I said at the top, I think the songs are very strong. (Are they a little closer to what we expect from her? I don’t know.) I guess Folklore suggested all sorts of new pathways to me, for someone I was only aware of due to era-defining pop hits and a few country songs I somehow managed to hear. And this just feels like it’s on that same path. And that’s fine. It’s certainly her prerogative. It’s just not so interesting to me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.