As you can read in the title I haven’t really moved on from folklore (who has?) and I haven’t listened to anything after Taylor Swift dropped this bomb album. I feel like I didn’t express my love for the album enough from my previous review for the album because I initially wrote that review after my first listen to the album, I was so excited about it that I wanted to share it with you guys already without fully taking it in and reflecting. But now I did so many times, I am going to try my best here to explain my analysis of each songs and I’ll also try to rank it (please don’t hate me for this).
1. invisible string
- I really love this song because it is the only song that I am sure of that is about Taylor Swift’s life. It has Joe all over this song, the fact that this is such a lovey-dovey song and the lyric on the 2nd verse “bold was the woman on our three year trip getting lunch down by the lakes”, as far as I know she and Joe have been together for more than 3 years now. And Joe was the only guy Taylor dated that long. Plus, that “dive bar” reference in the bridge? Hello? Delicate? “Dive bar on the east side where you at?” JOE, JOE, JOE.
- I also really love the feel of it, listening to it chronologically and then hearing this was such a nice break for the sadness-madness that has been before this track.
- I love how she continuously describes time as this powerful concept. Like, how funny time plays with you and making you go through all this stuff but then it also heals you. “Time, mystical time. Cutting me open, then healing me fine.”
- Also, may I add that when I first read the title I initially thought of the red string story where you and your soulmate are tied together in a red string just waiting to be found by each other, which I was sort of right though.
2. the 1
- With just the first line you know it’s going to be such a mood, “I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit.” It such a perfect song to start the album. Like, I knew it was going to be a full of “All Too Well” like songs, this is that song. The piano and the melody makes me want to crawl in my bed and just snuggle my blanket.
- I honestly don’t know who she’s talking about here but it’s about her “one that got away”, she’s reliving the memories she had with this person, and she’s thinking the “what ifs”. I think it’s someone that she still has contact with because in the bridge she sings “resist the temptation to ask you if one thing had been different, would everything be different today?”.
- I might be wrong with this and with all my analysis lol but I keep going back to this when I listen to exile, she keeps referencing about films. I think they’re connected.
3. exile ft. Bon Iver
- The Last Time 2.0
- I never expected I would hear Bon Iver’s (Justin Vernon) voice first with this song, he is such the perfect guy/band & collaborator for this duet and for this album.
- I think this song is about a toxic relationship with plenty second chances. But there was no way of saving it anymore as they both sing “I think I’ve seen this film before and I didn’t like the ending”. I think the girl was the first to leave the relationship as Taylor was the only one who sings “So, I’m leavin’ out the side door”. In the exchange of lines in the bridge, I can totally hear their different perspective about the relationship where there is lack of communication. As the guy sings “you never gave a warning sign” and the girl sings “I gave so many warning signs”.
- Thinking about it, I don’t know if that is part of the whole trilogy that Taylor revealed. But my mind kind of started thinking that the guy in this song is the perspective of Calvin Harris, the way Taylor was too quick to move on with Tom Hiddleston. (this is just me though).
- The bridge in this song is just so perfect, it’s sad but it’s amazing. Their harmonies and the way they sing back & forth to each other is just pleasant to listen to.
- Apparently, this is the perspective of the side-chick and it makes sense with lines like “you weren’t mine to lose” and “so much for summer love, and saying ‘us'”. Making me think all the side-chicks have an anthem now.
- Jack Antonoff has his signature written all over this track, you’ll know it in the bridge.
- I ranked this as my 4th fave, it has such a playful vibe I feel The Corrs vibe with it too and I don’t know why lol.
- Also part of the trilogy as Betty’s perspective.
- proof of cheating:
“And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed you put me on and said I was your favorite”.
You know how guys makes you feel really special when they’ve done something wrong? This is that in a Taylor Swift song.
“I knew you playing hide-and-seek and giving me your weekends” – cheating guys does this, it’s like you barely see them anymore.
- I’m loving the lyric “when you are young, they assume you know nothing” at first it made me think of it as a political statement. But I think it’s about how Betty is young, and that she feels other people see her as naive and innocent to about her cheating boyfriend.
- This is my top 5 because I kind of hear the old Taylor singing The Other Side Of The Door from Fearless album in the bridge, which is one of Taylor’s gem song.
- Okay while I was writing this I kind of wanted to go back to the 1 where I told you she’s singing her “what ifs”, I realized that Taylor sings “I knew you’d haunt all of my what-ifs” and she’s singing “you’d come back to me”. Is it connected? Is the 1 Betty’s perspective after she has finally moved on from the relationship?
- The old country Taylor Swift is back.
- James’ perspective as part of the love triangle story. He’s explaining and apologizing to Betty and that the affair was just a summer thing.
- I love how they all go together and how these 3 songs connects.
Like, the lyric: “James, get in, let’s drive” and in august lyric “Remember when I pulled up and said ‘get in the car’
- Okay, this part of betty and cardigan is just a hunch that it is a progressive storyline.
betty lyric: Standing in your cardigan // kissing in my car again // stopped at a streetlight, you know I miss you
cardigan lyric: But I knew you dancing in your Levi’s // Drunk under a streetlight // I knew you hand under my sweatshirt // baby kiss it better.
It made me think that James went to Betty’s and he sees her standing in her cardigan and Betty sees him under the streetlight, and they hook up one last time????
betty lyric:I saw you dance with him
exile: I can see you standin’, honey // with his arms around your body
I can see you starin’, honey // like he’s just your understudy
Could it be? I feel like this whole album is connected to each other and it’s just a one big story.
7. my tears ricochet
- I think it’s about Scott Borchetta selling her masters and Taylor leaving her old record label.
- Taylor and Scott had a fight during Taylor’s “downfall”. Taylor wanted to leave Big Machine referencing the whole chorus lyric “to go with grace”.
lyric: and if I’m dead to you why are you at the wake? // cursing my name // wishing I stayed
With Scott selling Taylor’s masters and thinking that Taylor’s career is over. He still wanted her to stay.
lyric: You know I didn’t want to have to haunt you // But what a ghostly scene // You wear the same jewels // That I gave you as you bury me
This lyric in the second verse is like the slap in your face to Scott. Taylor didn’t want to make a scene but she had to publicly voice out her disappointment with her old record label as Scott selling Taylor’s masters referencing the jewels.
lyric: And I can go anywhere I want // Anywhere I want // Just not home
She’s finally free and she can go to any record label she wants.
lyric: and when you can’t sleep at night // you hear my stolen lullabies
Her stolen masters.
- A Jack Antonoff masterpiece again.
8. the last great american dynasty
- it is said to be a story about Taylor Swift’s Rhode Island house.
- I really love the story telling in this one. A slightly upbeat song.
- I don’t know if this song is about Taylor’s childhood or Betty’s childhood.
- It has this haunting sound with Taylor’s bars.
- I hear The Cranberries in the beginning of this song.
- This song is like the title itself, it’s peaceful. A perfect lullaby song.
- I have 2 interpretations to this song
1st: Taylor’s love for Joe and how being with her can be a little complicated with all the attention that surrounds their relationship like she can’t give him the peace like what Joe gives her.
2nd: Side chick perspective again (I might be wrong). Now that Betty and James broke up, she made a move on him and she would give everything to him for him to stay.
lyric: But I would die for you in secret
as if she’s contented to just be a ‘secret’
lyric: I talk shit with my friends // It’s like I’m wastin’ your honor
she’s the one who spreads rumors as sang in betty.
- I guess this is about her still trying to impress the public. After being in this industry for more than a decade now, she still feel like she still has to prove herself. Singing she’s still in that tightrope.
- chorus is so cute
12. illicit affairs
- I still think this is part of the whole love triangle story.
- This is side chick’s POV about her just being a fling.
lyric: What started in beautiful rooms // ends with meetings in parking lots
remember august? getting in the car? meet me behind the mall?
13. this is me trying
- when I was reading the lyrics, I think of it as the point of view of James’ regret and misery.
Lyric: I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back // I have a lot of regrets about that
- can also be about Taylor when she took a break.
- if you want a good background song to cry to, this is it.
14. mad woman
- This song is probably about her and her enemies. KimYe? No need to explain as the whole lyrics says it all.
- This song is just so dark to listen to, I’m not complaining though.
- This is a break-up song which had me worried that maybe Joe and Taylor broke up because of New York reference in this song but that’s not possible especially with the invisible string included in this album.
- This is like the song you listen to when you want to literally die of heartbreak.
- It was revealed that this song is about Taylor’s grandfather during WWII and about the frontliners during this pandemic.
I can’t believe I finished writing this whole blog entry, sorry for how my views got shorter in the end. I really focused on the love triangle story of the album. As I’ve said my analysis could be wrong these are all based from my own understandings, please correct me if I’m wrong.
I want to hear your views as well and also your rankings. Share it in the comments Swifties. ☺️
Edit: (July 30, 2020) I’m still contemplating on this album. Taylor said there are only 3 songs that are connected to each other right? But the other songs feels like it’s still part of the story. Isn’t it possible that the love triangle story were based on real life that she experienced? Can it be that Taylor is Betty?
STREAM folklore on Spotify: