Taylor Swift dropped her first album without her longtime label Big Machine Records on Aug. 23. Lover is her debut LP on Republic Records and seventh overall release. Like the colorful album art, Swift's latest musical direction is bright, poppy, and an absolute mood. Across 18 tracks, she looks for some fun or falls in and out of love as the title suggests. There's so much to love about her latest heart-on-the-sleeve adventures.
Swift previewed Lover earlier this year with the Disney-like lead single "ME!" featuring Panic! at the Disco's Brendan Urie, the big-talking "You Need to Calm Down," and the atmospheric ballads: the title track and "The Archer." She co-produced most of the album with Jack Antonoff, the guy behind Lana Del Rey's Norman Fucking Rockwell album, who puts Swift's signature confessional lyrics on an anthemic stage. Not only are her words relatable but they're ready for any loud sing-along.
The highest highs and lowest lows from being any kind of lover are documented well on Swift's latest album. Beyond the singles, here are five more songs to check out on it.
1. "The Man"
Swift wrote and produced "The Man" with Joel Little, who is known for producing Lorde's Pure Heroine album and "You Need to Calm Down." Backed by club beats, she looks to break the glass ceiling on sexist views against women. As one of pop's top superstars, Swift still catches flak in the media for things that the guys don't hear about. "If I was out flashing my dollars, I'd be a bitch not a baller," she sings. Swift stands tall and stands her ground on this boss banger.
2. "I Forgot That You Existed"
Swift teamed up with hip-hop producers Frank Dukes and Louis Bell, who both have incredible credits under their names like Camila Cabello's "Havana," on "I Forgot That You Existed." Booming beats and breezy production back Swift as she gleefully shakes off an old flame for good. "I thought it would kill me, but it didn't," Swift sings. That guy that you think you can't ever get over, she's got you covered with this sassy kiss-off.
3. "Cruel Summer"
Swift wrote "Cruel Summer" with Antonoff and indie rocker St. Vincent. A flurry of sparkling synths and a robotic voice soundtrack her recollection of a summer fling that was more hurtful than hot-and-heavy. Swift's feelings complicate the no-strings-attached situation and erupt out by the end of the song. "I don't want to keep secrets just to keep you," she yells. With summer winding down, Swift beautifully captures the magic and misery behind those seasonal romances.
4. "I Think He Knows"
The thirst is real on "I Think He Knows," another Swift-Antonoff production. She details her crush on a guy that either has to make his move or bounce. "I mean I wanna see what's under that attitude," she winkingly purrs over funky bass guitar and beats that slap. The dude has got Swift so sprung that she even lets out a loud moan on the chorus. Her feelings couldn't be any more obvious on this slick and sexy pop romp. He better know.
5. "Soon You'll Get Better"
The best of the ballads on Lover is "Soon You'll Get Better," one of the album's most emotional moments because Swift wrote it about her mother, who was diagnosed again with cancer last March. She returns her country roots with one of the genre's biggest bands, The Dixie Chicks, as her vocal and moral support. Like a lullaby, Swift and lead Dixie Chick Natalie Maines do their best to repeatedly reassure: "You'll get better soon because you have to."
Photo composite credit: Republic Records