By Morgan Miles, Staff Writer
Released on Dec. 11, Evermore is Taylor Swift’s ninth studio album. Evermore brings back producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner alongside Swift, “WB” Joe Alwyn and Bryce Dessner to create Folklore’s sister record.
Though described as similar to Folklore’s indie-folk Evermore expands the reach of genres to include alternative rock, folk-pop and country elements.
There’s such a vast array of choices ranging from love songs to ID-channel-esque murder mystery to a wife consumed by her affair with another man.
Vocally, Swift’s more memorable country twang or era of peppy pop radio hits are hardly recognizable. She uses a more somber tone, utilizes deeper pitches and isn’t afraid to allow emotions to seep into her voice. Even so, that emotion never harms her performance.
Evermore has 15 tracks in addition to two bonus tracks. Kickstarting the album is “Willow” followed by “Champagne Problems.”
The depth of the lyrics Swift provides in the two songs allows a sort of rawness to prime listeners to feel more personally connected to Swift’s storytelling. Nitty-gritty, lower-pitched vocals matched the tone of the beginning perfectly.
As Swift reflects and admits to past mistakes or endearment for her lover, the album shifts to “Gold Rush.” A magically soft and airy sounding instrumental aids Swift in illustrating the story of a beautiful love that is all passion and not based on reality — it’s not meant to be.
“‘Tis The Damn Season” and “Tolerate It” follow, but fall flat instrumentally in comparison to the previous tracks. In both, Swift sounds convincingly emotional as she sings. The latter is track five, which is generally known as Swift’s most vulnerable track. She delivers by reminiscing a once happy relationship turned sour.
“No Body, No Crime” is an ID channel story wrapped into a country song. Swift collaborates with HAIM. Though you can’t hear their vocals because of Swift’s lead, I think they pair well together for the intensity of this song.
Next, “Happiness” serves as a message to appreciate relationships even when they come to an end. She doesn’t play the victim and doesn’t turn her lover into a “villain” for moving on.
Lighter and peppier sounding than the previous tracks, the song “Dorothea” contrasts Swift’s more somber tone. The tone compliments lyrics recounting an old friend wondering if Dorothea would ever remember them or if she’s still the same person.
“Coney Island” is a collaboration with The National, and I adore the far deeper male vocals paired with Swift’s. Although not astonishingly sounding, “Coney Island” is another tale of love, loss and regrets with emotional lyrics.
The song “Ivy’’ story captures attention far more than its sound. Roots from another man grow into a married woman’s heart, and she realizes she can’t escape her affair.
“Cowboy Like Me” is another country song. It reminds me a bit of a matured version of her older music because it adds the album’s consistent love-story-with-a-twist element. It’s soft, slow and toned down but pleasantly so.
“Long Story Short’’ is quicker in pace and differs in instrumentals. I’d describe it as sweet and catchy.
“Marjorie” is a personal, bittersweet track in memory of the relationship Swift had with her grandmother. Vocals of Marjorie herself are featured in the background.
The song “Closure” has a choppy sound that is less appealing and more so annoying and distracting. The powerful message of independence and emotional maturity is still heard, which I think still has the potential to be helpful for Swift’s audience.
“Evermore” is the closing track and title of the album. Collaborating with Bon Iver, Swift is cut off and then begins to sing over — yet simultaneously alongside — Justin Vernon.
Their voices mesh together seamlessly and provide insight into a journey of healing after experiencing the pain of deteriorating mental health.