TRACK BY TRACK: We Take You Through Taylor Swift's Brand New Album, 'Lover'

23 August 2019 | 4:26 pm | Keira Leonard

Does it live up to the hype?

When Lover’s lead single ME! was released, this Taylor Swift enthusiast was utterly bummed. We're suckers for catchy pop songs, and sure, this was one, but it quickly saw us sink into our seat with disappointment. It didn't have the essence of Swift authenticity. 

When she released Shake It Off, that was a total moment and we bowed down to the witty ways she said screw you to the haters. Look What You Made Me Do was ironic combat and brilliant the deeper we delved. There was a deep sadness disguised in that record that saw her put on a dark persona after a year in hiding. 

ME! felt like it was trying to replicate another major pop moment for her career; it followed in the footsteps of Shake It Off and We Are Never Getting Back Together with its cheeky lyrics. This era, we get “Hey kids, spelling is fun,” and, my god, “You can’t spell 'awesome' without 'ME'” - ultimate cringe factor. This could not be from the same woman who solely wrote the entirety of her third record during her teenage years. 

We did not have high hopes for TS7 -  for those not up with the Tay Tay lingo, that’s Taylor Swift’s seventh album/era. But now that it's out, here's how one of the most anticipated albums of the year shapes up.

I Forgot You Existed

Oh my, this a bop dressed in its finest attire and we’ve only just begun. We won't name names, but this is definitely a call out to one high-profile ex. We’re absolutely loving the giggles and sass in this one. There is no sadness in this break-up anthem; it’s freedom, it's closure, it’s reassurance and we’re immediately adding it to our breakup playlist.

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Favourite line: “Would've been right there, front row / Even if nobody came to your show.”

Cruel Summer

We love a Jack Antonoff and Swift collab and this is one through and through. It’s got an Out Of The Woods feel but is more mature. When Swift screams, "'I love you,' ain't that the worst thing you ever heard?” we feel every bit of it. This feels like it belongs on 1989, an amazing place to be.

Favourite Line: "I don't wanna keep secrets just to keep you."


This sounds like we’re being transported back to 2010 when Swift would write love songs without a sense of coming judgement. She’s back, and so too is our belief in happily ever afters because this song is god damn romantic and we are ready to walk down the aisle. These pure and passionate lyrics couldn’t be written by anyone else but Swift, and here we have the first of three tracks that see no co-writers.

Favourite line: With every guitar string scar on my hand. I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.”

The Man

Well, HELLO. This is showcasing Swift’s power at the highest level. A synthetic dance track with an important and poignant tale. In the first ten seconds, she has ripped into every single outlet that has ever called her out for her dating life and it’s perfectly worded. “I would be complex / I would be cool / They said I played the field before I found someone to commit too / And that would be okay for me to do”. The further it goes on, the more we love everything Swift is standing for.

Favourite line: I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I would get there quicker if I was a man.”

The Archer

Woah, what a shift from track five. This song is exactly what Reputation tried to amplify but was lost on the less fanatic Swifties. The immense scrutiny that coincides with being Taylor Swift, alongside the universal anxiety that comes in the midst of a romance you’re praying won’t ever end. It well and truly deserves the placement of track five, where Swift showcases some of her most vulnerable and gut-wrenching tracks. Hats off to Antonoff for the eerie synth sounds – we also wouldn’t put it past the pair if that delicate drum sound wasn’t Swift’s very own heartbeat.

Favourite line: “The room is on fire, invisible smoke / And all of my heroes die all alone / Help me hold onto you.”

I Think He Knows

She’s starting to rap and we are not hating it one bit. There is a new-found confidence in this track and we’re not only feeling ecstatic about the sound but also very frisky as she sings “Hand on my thigh, we could follow the sparks / I’ll drive, so where we gunna go?”  It’s a new sound for Swift; she verges on rapping the entire thing, but it comes together perfectly. Another shout out to Antonoff here.

Favourite line: His hands around a cold glass make me wanna know that body like it's mine."

Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince

A love song dressed up as a high school movie, as Swift sings the tale of Miss Americana & The Highschool Prince, aka a massive superstar and her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. 

I’m feeling hopeless, ripped up my prom dress, running through rose thorns.” Swift’s subtle backing track sounds have become genius over the years and we love the fitting cheerleader sounds on this one. It’s so sad, and so beautifully worded, but we’re not surprised. This is everything we love about Swift, as she brings forward some of her best lyricism yet.

Favourite lyric: Darling I’m scared / No cameras catch my muffled cries / I counted days I counted miles to see you there / And now the storm is coming but it’s you and me.”

Paper Rings

Yet again we’re hearing a whole new sound from Swift. This one is almost Avril Lavigne in her The Best Damn Thing era. We’re sitting at a desk with headphones on and all we want to do right now is dance. “I like shiny things but I’d marry you with paper rings” sums up that feeling perfectly of forgetting everything you ever thought you wanted in a person/relationship when you meet that special someone. Swift has been writing it for over a decade now, and it seems like she can finally word it in the most authentic way possible.

Favourite lyric:I hate accidents, except when we went from friends to this.”

Cornelia Street

Another track written by Swift, and Swift only - this is where she gives us her most personal stories. “I hope I never lose, I hope it never ends, I’d never walk Corinella Street, that’s the kind of heartbreak could never mend.” There is a sound of thunder here amongst a chaotic collision of music. The most beautiful parts of this song are when the music dulls and it’s just Swift and her piano. As she sings “I hope I never lose you”, we feel every ounce of emotion.

Favourite line“Years ago, we were just inside / Barefoot in the kitchen / Sacred new beginnings / That became my religion.”

Death By A Thousand Cuts

This record isn’t backing off from surprises and here we go again. “I get drunk but it’s not enough 'cause the morning comes and you’re not my baby.” - another heartbreak anthem that is going to resonate with everyone, because how can you not relate? There is a reference to chandeliers - surely a nod to This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, a time where she was at her worst when she was surrounded by the most glamorous of things.

Favourite line: “My heart, my hips, my body, my love / Tryna find a part of me that you didn't touch / Gave up on me like I was a bad drug.”

London Boy

THIS IS SO PURE. Swift is more open than ever as she sings the tale of her lover with intimate details of their life. It’s not a highlight of the album, it’ll be the track you wanna boop your partners nose with or put on when you’re feeling down. We love how much detail she’s giving us about falling in love with her London boy. “Something happened, I heard him laughing, I saw the dimples first and then I heard the accent.’’ Giiirrl.

Favourite lyric:They say that home is where the heart is, but that’s not where mine lives.”

Soon You’ll Get Better

There is no other way to put it, this is misery at its finest. It’s hope in the darkest of days. We have no doubt it’s a dedication to Swift’s mother’s cancer battle. The addition of The Dixie Chicks makes for a bitterly sweet melody because as Swift has mentioned in the past, the country legends were her mother’s favourite. We’re not sure how we can recover from this song so quickly to focus on the next.

False God

There is a trumpet in False God, which is cool. Swift’s vocals are strong and would have sounded better without the sound effects. This song seems like a bit of a filler.

Favourite Line:The road gets hard and you get lost when you're led by blind faith."

You Need To Calm Down

Ahh, the LGBTQ+ anthem that divided opinion. Frankly, amen to Swift for singing about poignant political issues in the era of Trump. Alongside that, there is an admission of guilt for her past ways, where she’d previously pitted herself against another star in her single Bad Blood. It's personal, it’s political, it’s important and it’s damn right catchy.

Favourite line:Like can you just not step on his gown?


This album is going to be one of the greats, and that’s because of the simple songs like this. Swift has never sounded as awe-inspiring. We’re at the point in the album – after the shock wave of track 13 – that you just have to sit back and appreciate every ounce of warmth and honesty Swift provides.

Favourite line: “It’s so excruciating to see you low, just wanna lift you up and not let you go.


Ok, ok, we’ve warmed to this track and it’s a fitting piece for Lover even though, as a standalone, it could very well be the latest soundtrack to a DreamWorks movie. “Girl, there aint no ‘I’ in team, but you know there is a ‘ME.’” OH GOD IT’S SO CRINGY BUT IT’S A BOP. This record has been a rollercoaster of emotions and this is the up we all needed. If you’re not singing “ME-EE-EEEH” all day after hearing this, you’re lying to yourself.

Favourite line:Trouble is going to follow where I go.”

It’s Nice To Have A Friend

Opening the track with a choir means we’re completely lost in this song. Is that a harp? There is a horn! There is an almost spooky sound coming from this one as Swift sings about falling in love in your twenties. How does she keep doing new and unexpected things, we are on track 17!? This is somehow so complex yet so simple. We’ve never heard anything like this from Swift before.

Favourite line:You’ve been stressed out lately, yeah me too. Something gave you the nerve. To touch my hand. It’s nice to have a friend.


We couldn’t think of a better way to end this ride than with another 100% Swift-written song. Swift tells the tale of her battle with darkness before finding the brightest colours of them all. It’s such a moment considering the broody pitch-black feel of Reputation. ”I don’t wanna think about anything else now that I thought about you,” she sings softly and proudly. OH BOY, OH BOY, we were NOT ready for that ending. I’m not crying but yes I am, because it just summed up the entirety of Swift’s career. If after listening to that lyric, and the entirety of this record, you still have a reason to drop slander on the popstar, we want answers because we just don’t get it.

Favourite line:I’ve stormed out of every single room in this town.”