A Review Of Evermore

Mila Koivula, Asst Editor


Fewer than five months after releasing her eighth studio album, folklore, Taylor Swift released its sister album, evermore. A more lyrically complex piece of art, Swift broke even more records with the release of her ninth album. Also in all lowercase lettering like folklore, Swift described evermore  in an instagram post as, “we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music, we chose to wander deeper in.” She definitely traveled deeper in with 15 songs and two bonus tracks. 

It’s lead single and opening track Willow has a fun guitar string pattern and is similar to invisible string from folklore. With lyrics like “life was a willow and it bent right to your wind” and “where ever you stray I follow,” it paints the picture of a whimsical head over heels in love. The music video for willow  takes place after the music video for cardigan from folklore

After the upbeat swaying love song came champagne problems, which was far from bubbly. It is the story of lovers who had two different plans for an evening. One was planning for marriage, the other was breaking it off. The perspective is from the person who broke it off, with lyrics like “I dropped your hand while dancing// left you out there standing” and “your heart was glass, I dropped it.” The singer looks back with regret on a failed love, apologizing for breaking the other’s heart. It ends on a sad note with the woman calling herself mad and the man with a new love: “your mom’s ring in your pocket// her picture in your wallet.” 

In stark contrast to the first two songs, gold rush is the song of falling for the first time, and describing someone you could never have, something, someone everyone wants: “I don’t like that falling feels like flying till the bone crush.” In saying this, Swift managed to perfectly paint the picture of loving someone that everyone else wants and dreading the feeling of blindly falling in love.

tis’ the damn season, the fourth song off the album, is from the perspective of someone returning home for the holidays to their old lover, which is seen when she said, “We could call it even// you could call me babe for the weekend.” It’s about pushing aside your past and coming together again, just to be together: “We could just ride around// and the road not taken looks real good now.” It represents escaping together, even if just for a while. 

Swift is known to put her saddest songs on her albums on track 5. tolerate it is the tale of a woman who is looked over by her partner, shown through  heartbreaking lyrics like, “I know my love should be celebrated// but you tolerate it.” It exposes the pain of knowing you deserve better, but yet you are tolerated. 

After the heartbreak of tolerate it, one of the more upbeat songs from the album, no body, no crime (feat. HAIM) is the tail of adulatory and murder. It tells the story of Este, who thinks her husband is cheating; she then confronts him. The next week, she’s gone missing and her husband’s mistress moved in: “Sleeps in Este’s bed and everything.” The bridge depicts the murder: “I’ve cleaned enough house to know how to cover us a scene.” The song ends with the mistress knowing she did something but “just can’t prove it.” 

happiness is the story of divorce and trying to understand and move on. Knowing that, “There’ll be happiness after you// but there was happiness because of you” and understanding that just because you aren’t the person you used to be, doesn’t mean there aren’t good memories left.  

On the opposite point of view from tis’ the damn season is dorthea, which tells the story of seeing an old lover who’s “got shiny friends since you left town.” It’s told of missing them but knowing they won’t return to your small town: “This place is the same as it ever was// but you don’t like it that way” and telling them that “it’s never too late to come back to my side” reveal that even though they left, there is still a spot next to them.

Swift is known for her breakup songs, both upbeat and heartbreaking. The song coney island (feat. The National) is definitely high on the heartbreaking list. It’s about when you’re so caught up in the moment that you are suddenly “on a bench in coney island wondering where did my baby go.” She captures the heartbreak of the sudden loss, left wondering what happened. 

Track 10, ivy, captures the unstoppable love between a married woman and another man. It’s about the fire that he started and she can’t stop because, “I can’t stop you putting roots in my dreamland.” She describes the sinking feeling of falling in love with someone at the wrong time with lyrics like, “How’s one to know?// I’d live and die for moments that we stole.” 

The next song, a cowboy like me, is the story of two con-artists who against all odds fall in love. “We could be the way forward// And I know I’ll pay for it” describes knowing that there is no stopping the fall, and knowing it will end in pain. However, toward the end of the bridge, she sings, “With your boots beneath my bed// forever is the sweetest con,” in which she describes having finally locked it down, and forever is the sweetest con, because they both wanted it. 

Swift’s fall from grace in 2016 isn’t widely known in detail. A feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and being bullied into hiding by the media resulted in her album reputation as a comeback album. Now, several years later, she writes at it from a different perspective in long story short. She looks at it from a different perspective: “fell from the pedestal// right down the rabbit hole// long story short it was a bad time.” She speaks of her experience from a view of, ‘it happened but without it I wouldn’t have ended up here. Swift speaks to her past self, saying, “Past me// I want to tell you not to get lost in these petty things” and “he’s passing by// rare as the glitter of a comet in the sky.” She looks back on her experiences with her life in the spotlight, wishing she could tell her past self that things are going to go wrong but they’ll turn out all right. 

The song marjorie is written about Swift’s grandmother who’s “all your closets of backlogged dreams// and how you left them all to me.” She talks of her passed grandmother, whose old opera vocals back the bridge in a bone chilling way. 

Swift’s split from Big Machine Records (BMG) was big news when it hit the public. Especially when she had to re record her albums in order to own them.  In closure it opens with the sound of a breaking down machine. The rest of the song is about not wanting closure from and old lover, saying “yes I got your letter// yes I’m doing better// I know that it’s over I don’t need your closure” She even goes as far to say “Guilty, guilty// reaching out across the sea// that you built between you and me” It’s a beautiful song about moving on from something or someone and not needing their closure, for them to feel more at peace. 

The closing track to the album, and also the title track evermore (feat. Bon Iver), is heartbreaking at first–the first few minutes of the song balance around the lines “I had a feeling so peculiar// that this pain would be for evermore,” describing the empty feeling of knowing there is nothing left to do. Then, there is a key change picking up and Bon Iver joins, asking, “Can we please just get a pause,”  which depicts the desperate feeling of trying to stop a fall from grace. Swift describes the feeling of being shipwrecked but only being able to see one face, one person: “And when I was shipwrecked// I thought of you.”  In a perfect ending, the closing line of the album finishes off  is beautiful calamity “This pain wouldn’t be for evermore// evermore” 

The two bonus tracks for evermore were right where you left me and it’s time to go. Many fans speculate that it is two sides of the same story. right where you left  describes a woman sitting in a restaurant ‘right where you left her.’ However, she doesn’t seem to want to be there, saying, “Help I’m still at the restaurant”  and also adding that “you left me no choice to stay here forever.” This describes a failed relationship that didn’t end right and one of them is still frozen in the past. 

On the other hand, it’s time to go, it’s about knowing when it’s no longer necessary to stay, and that “you know when it’s time to go.” The middle of the song breaks down into her looking back on her relationship with BMR. Swift sings, “15  years, 15 million tears” referring to her 15 year relationship with the label and her inability to own her own music. Then referring to BMR owning her first six albums from the ages of 15 to 27, she says, “he’s got my past frozen behind glass// but I’ve got me.”  Here she is talking of rerecording her albums under her own name, so she owns them. 

The ending of her album “So then you go// Then you go// you just go” is a finality of the statement. Fans have speculated about what it means, but Swift is known for planning out months in advance for album drops. So who really knows? 

Swift managed to surprise  everyone with a second album and a lyrical masterpiece in quarantine. Overall, evermore is the kind of album you put on to listen to with a nice book while snow falls softly outside–a comfort album of winter, to take you away into the lyrical woods.