Archive | August, 2020

Hoax: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post) Addition Added: The Lakes

31 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

16. Hoax.

This song is difficult for me to listen to.  It’s just so bleak.  And I can’t believe Swift ended this album on such a hopeless note (and no final voice memo or anything).  Maybe The Lakes will be lighter–I haven’t received my merch yet.

“My only one”  The first song, The One told us Taylor was looking back at her choices.  now she says the subject of this last song is “my ONLY one”.  I think even more than being about 1 person this song is the bookend that shows bittersweet of what her life DID turn out as after all these choices, endings, breakups… This is the conclusion to the album.

“Smoking gun” is the clue that unlocks a mystery.  When Taylor is with Karlie, it’s impossible NOT to see their love.  And they got caught kissing.  Karlie outs Taylor because their love is evident.

“My eclipsed Sun.”  The sun again symbolizes Karlie, but also Daylight where Taylor can come out and be openly queer.  Taylor is saying that she is still in shade, because she’s afraid to come out of the closet.  And also Karlie is eclipsed under the shadow of the fake Kushner marriage, and is also partially in the shadows since Kaylor has a hidden, closeted relationship.

“Your faithless loves the only hoax I believe in.” Faithless, because Karlie is cheating on her “husband”. “Your sleight of hand” is Karlie acting like her marriage to a man is real–when it isn’t.

“My best laid plan” is Taylor’s Lover era where she was going to come out. But circumstances prevented it.

She’s also telling that her situation is bittersweet because to be authentic to herself, Taylor has some hard choices that she must follow through with.

“Don’t want no other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do.”  Taylor, despite all the sadness and complication of all the bearding and closeting and being gay.  She would choose Karlie because it’s authentic and true, but it has taken a toll.

Such a bummer.  And really lends credence to the Kaylor breakup theories.  The only thing that tells me they’re still together are Karlie’s spoiler/promo pics 13 days prior to the secret album release.  She HAD to know, know.  We’ll see what follows in real life.

 

+++Addition+++

I finally got The Lakes, and as such needed to add my analysis to the main post. And you really can’t without discussing Hoax too. They’re companion songs, yin and yang, can’t have one without the other.

Hoax:  I’m glad Taylor released an additional song, because I think this one is too negative and depressing to end an album.  It is melancholy and Taylor sounds a little defeated in it.  She basically says she’s sad, but nothing else will work, she is going to live with the sadness because her heart is taken with this person.  It’s a little bit, ‘victim of domestic abuse’ a mentality.  “This has frozen my ground”–pay attention, this becomes important later.  The piano and strings are beautiful, but the lyrics are just so dreary.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song–I just wish Taylor was happy, and the subject was not hurting her.

The Lakes:  The first sounds remind me of when a movie shows a record player.  A litter antiquated and slightly degraded.  I think this song is chock full of poetry references, but let me be honest–that is not where my interests lie, so I didn’t take the time to do a true analysis.  The musical backing sounds much more optimistic than the prior couple of songs on the album (Peace and Hoax).  And Taylor makes sure to indicate she wants to leave her life for this dreamscape–but not without her muse.  “A red rose grew up out of ice frozen grounds…” is a good symbol for the barren loneliness and horribleness that Taylor’s relationship with her lover grew out of.  Things were bad and cold and icy, but from that stemmed (pun!) a beautiful red flower (glitch rose, Klossy?). 

Since it follows the depression of hoax, it shows Taylor has come through all of that negativity, that’s not where the story ends (a break up and toxicity) afterall.  It’s a more optimistic closer–thank goodness.  Also, Taylor is known to start the next album from the last song of the previous so this gives the listener a hint maybe the next album will be from some English chateaux where Taylor is holed up with her lover, doing what she does best–writing.

Peace: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

30 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

15. Peace.

From perspective of Karlie Kloss. “I’m a fire…” Remember she’s a Leo, a fire sign. And she goes on to say she’ll keep Taylor’s heart warm. “People think loves for show, but I’d die for you in secret.” Is this Karlie acknowledging the fans on social media who troll her for trying to ‘use Taylor ‘s career to succeed’? Who accuse her of queer-baiting Kaylors to get fans? When, in fact, Karlie deeply loves Taylor in private. In the song, Karlie remembers how Taylor had the butterfly angel wing (that look a lot like ones Karlie walked in one time at a show) mural commissioned in the Lover Era, by saying “you paint dreamscapes on the wall.” It might also mean The Lover music video and Taylor’s art in general, which often (secretly) portrays their love. “Family I chose” is a very gay line, “Now that I see your brother as my brother.” Taylor has a brother, who would be newly related to Karlie if there was a marriage.

The “robbers in the East” might be talking about the Kushners she’s tied to. And the white house that stopped their coming out plans in the Lover Era. And “Clowns to the West” might be Scott B. and Scooter giving Taylor so much trouble with her music catalog. And of course KimYe in LA, who are constantly stirring up trouble for Taylor.

But Karlie emphasizes “I’d give you my sunshine.” That Leo sun again. “The Devils in the details.” Makes me think of DWOHT a kiss gate song where they were outed by someone “grinnin’ like a devil.” It was at that point, Karlie and Taylor hid safely in the closet, ramped up the bearding, and each complicated her individual life, and their relationship. The details she speaks of might be ending the bearding contracts and being together for real without violating any non-disclosure agreements or creating political enemies.

This song is Karlie assuring the audience that she’s suffering also, but she is genuine and she wants to have a real, meaningful, authentic, loving relationship with Taylor.  And it’s going to come back out in the public as soon as those details get sorted out.

Betty: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

29 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

14. Betty.

This is the song that unlocks the ‘high school love triangle’ angle of the album.  This is also the song that made most listeners stop and go, “hmmm, this song doesn’t seem super-straight…”  It’s from James’ perspective, and we know that because the person telling this song is invited into a car by name.

But I spy inconsistencies.  “Betty, one time I was riding my skateboard when I passed your house it’s like I can’t breathe.”  This might sound like a stereotype, and I apologize.  But I’ve known teenage guys, and the ones I have had contact with don’t have the emotional maturity to go breathless about a girl.  The ones I know might think a girl is cute, or have a crush, or want sex, but I’ve never known them at a teen age to get like, no breath about it.  That seems very female to me.  But I’m female, so it’s difficult to go outside my own perspective–just as it was probably difficult for Taylor.  And at the end, James put on Betty’s cardigan.  Does a guy wear his girlfriend’s sweater?

Taylor was named after James Taylor.  And Karlie Elizabeth (Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth) Kloss is the other female in this story, Betty.  And Taylor mentions the cobblestones, streetlight, and also the garden of the romantic Lover album.  Hello, “Cruel Summer” fame “sneaking through your garden gate just to seal my fate” then in real life Karlie Kloss sells her condo, and featured in the real estate ad is a garden?  And there’s pictures of Taylor going in and out of a garden gate in that same neighborhood.

So yeah, there’s some high school kids mixed in this song.  And age of 17.  A gym and a school dance.  But that’s just the unreliable narrator again.  Taylor even confirms that she’s James in the “Cardigan” music video–she puts on that cardigan at the end.  And has a knowing look.  Yup, I’m James.

Mad Woman and also Epiphany: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

28 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

12. Mad Woman.

This is musically my favorite song on the album.  And I always appreciate a good bitter song.  Chapter 2 of The Man.  “Cause you took everything [her masters] from me.  Watching you climb over people like me [other singers] The MASTER [not an accidental word] of spin.” Then Taylor goes low and says, “has a couple of side flings good wives always know.”  She knows she can away with calling him out because she has already explained to the audience that Folklore is just stories.  Scooter Braun cheats on his wife. And Taylor said it.  But maybe she didn’t because remember our unreliable narrator.

 

13. Epiphany.

This is my least favorite song on the album.  It’s too short, and not thought out very well.  It had potential to be a comparison between war and Covid, but came short.  In My opinion, a little disjointed of a song. I think it’s about PTSD. 1st regarding war. Apparently about Swift’s veteran grandfather.  Then sickness, probably Covid. The song would be better if there was a 3rd trauma. Or if it covered 1 trauma at greater depth.

Invisible String: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

27 Aug

 

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

11. Invisible String.

It’s important that this is the song that follows “Illicit Affairs.”  This track shows all is well with Kaylor.  Despite everything, Taylor believes Karlie is her soulmate. And I think this song is about Karlie, because green is mentioned. Karlie has green eyes. Bad blood is also mentioned though obscured, lyrically. That’s a music video Karlie was in. “Looked like an American” references the interview with a handful of VS Angels where Karlie says Taylor is an American girl.

“Pulled me out of all the wrong arms into that dive bar.” Perhaps the one from Delicate? My biggest hint that this song is about Karlie is “one single thread of gold tied me to you.” Gold.  Color of Leos and fire and sunshine.  The color associated with Karlie.  And I know they’re still happy and together because “Hell was my journey [the journey she’s remembering across the songs in this album] but it brought me to heaven.” And she talks of Karlie being the Lover album’s muse by singing, “Gave me the blues then purple pink skies.”

As a side note Taylor explains that those previous people in her life that made her mad enough to write songs–she’s over that.  Now she sends their children gifts.

I love this song and how romantic a thought that these two people were always meant for each other.  Every failed relationship, every fork in the road–led them on the path right to each other.

Illicit Affairs: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

26 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

10. Illicit Affairs.

Maybe “break up of Karlie’s marriage” bc she was cheating w/Taylor.  But please, show me the marriage certificate.  Show me an actual marriage record for Karlie and Jared.  She is a model and went to a wedding photo shoot.  He is in a long term relationship with a man named Mike.  He needs a woman to seal his dirty deals.  She was in a long time contract to be his fake girlfriend, and because of Trump’s election, she couldn’t extricate from that cleanly.  Taylor can’t be super mad or upset, because she has also been having fake boyfriends for years.  “Look at this godforsaken mess you made me.. .  Look at this idiotic fool that you made me”  It’s a problem.  It’s a complication.

Enter this song.  It sets up a “real” love triangle.  This shows Karlie “cheating” on Jared with Taylor.  “But they lie and they lie and they lie” is a line that talks about how the relationship is a lie, their position in the White House is a lie, and the way the Kushners make money is a lie.  It’s all fake.  But Swift clarifies, “Tell your friends you’re out for a run [which is a very visible part of Karlie’s social media] You’ll be flushed when you return.” Taylor is spelling out the her and Karlie have sex.

But in the end, Taylor conveys over and over she will stick with it.  This is not a breakup of Kaylor.  On the contrary, Taylor can only be herself when she’s with Karlie.  Their whole situation is a mess, but she really loves Karlie and no one else does it for her:

“You showed me colors [in screaming color!] I can’t see with anyone else”

“You taught me a secret language I can’t speak with anyone else.”

“And you know damn well for you I would ruin myself a million little times.”

This is Me Trying: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

25 Aug

This is a more digestible portion of my album analysis:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

9. This is Me Trying.

Takes place after “The Archer.” In that one it goes, “Combat, I’m ready for combat” like she’s ready for a fight.  This will not be easy.  She continues, “I say I don’t want that, but what if I do?” This speaks of hesitation.  Taylor fears this announcement.  But also, she wants it.  She’s preparing.  The next line is, “Cause cruelty wins in the movies.” And I think that is telling how every gay movie ends badly.  The queers don’t get that happy ending, just sadness and tragedy.  The last line in this verse:  “I’ve got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you.”  And she means the fans.  The public.  Taylor Swift is afraid, but wants to come out.  She had many false starts, but she continues to head in the direction.  Think about the Archer’s line, “Help me hold onto you.” and when Taylor sings this song at concerts and says who could leave me, who could stay, you could stay.” And she points at the crowd on the YOU could stay.  This confirms The Archer is addressing the fans.

In this part B of that song, she sings, “I don’t quite know what to say, but I’m here in your doorway.” Taylor is taking to us, her fans. Proof?  “Pouring my heart out to a stranger.” She speaks of trying to come out, but also keep her career. “They told me all of my cages are mental.” It won’t be as scary as she has always feared.  Taylor just has to get out of her head–out of her own way.  She talks about lashing out in past songs. “And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad, I have a lot of regrets about that.”  She’s saying two things here:  1) In telling these stories about break ups with boys, and in laying down Easter eggs as encouragement to analyze her artwork, Taylor has created a monster.  She did it out of fear and anger, but now fans eagerly comb through her songs looking for the real people they might be about.  So now, that she wants to present the more authentic version of herself, it seems like she was disingenuous before.  Which wasn’t her intention.  She is reminding the fans about how much she cares about what we think about her.  2) I think she wants to come out carefully so as not to hurt or anger anyone else, especially anyone who was previously or who is currently in her personal life.

Seven & August: Analysis of Taylor Swift’s folklore (from larger post)

23 Aug

This is from my other, longer post.  I thought some people would like it in smaller increments.  here’s 2 relatively short ones:

 

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

7. Seven

The companion song to “It’s nice to have a friend” (if you recall “Something gave you the nerve to touch my hand” which is decidedly not a childhood unromantic thing to do).  Taylor describes a very Sapphic relationship with a young PA neighbor in her elementary years.  “Your braids like a pattern” emphasizes the femaleness of this friend Taylor says she loved then, and still loves now.  The line in the song that says, “or hide in the closet” is not an accident.  Taylor is an honest writer and a woman of 30–she knows what that phrase means.  And she used in intentionally.  In telling this childhood story, she’s saying that her queerness is nothing new.  She has had it in her the whole time.  And she’s just now alluding it to her fans, and the public.

Also, each person’s story is not the central position of my song analysis, but I’d be remiss not to mention Taylor also alludes the the fact this girl-neighbor may have been in an abusive household.  It sounds like her father wasn’t a good guy, so that’s a central premise of the song as well as the childhood love component.

 

8.  August.

This song is supposedly the perspective of the 3rd person in the ‘high school love triangle’ of Betty & James and this person.  Who is it? If anyone. Is this just a generic song to round out the love triangle?

I’m not sure who it’s supposed to be about, though it does brings up someone’s 1st (female) sexual experience with, “whispers of Are you sure?’ ‘Never have I ever before.’”  “And I can see us twisted in bedsheets.”  This section reminds me of Reputation’s, “…Ready for It?” and “Dress” which are also pretty sexy songs.

But it talks about this 3rd wheel feeling like James was never hers.  And it’s not during high school, because “August slipped away like a bottle of wine.”

Main message in this song, “you were never mine.”  That line is repeated 4 times during the short song.

 

The Memories

20 Aug

I remember when I saw you and when you said
you would show me where the Walmart was,
but you forgot and took me to your house instead.
It was desperation at first sight.
You were nice to me and treated me right.
I felt guilty, taught it’s not the looks, but what’s inside…

you invited me on a date, it was a hike…
so you could simultaneously walk your dog
I played with your dog, then itched my flea-bit ankles

I still feel the butterflies tingle when I think back to
kissing you all night your garlic tongue gouging me
making out on your dirty, curb-side couch, never cleaned
going back to the dorms with your wet spot on my jeans

I remember those sweet moments
you took me to a bar, then ordered a pitcher of beer I hate
at the resturant ordered my meal, despite my complaints
took me to meet your friends, talked over me, I was your trophy
you threw a party for me, with none of my friends, just your cronies

All those sentimental times flood back to me
we were supposed to go out, but you were hungover
when I injured myself you were full of fortitude,
told me to put on my shoes so I could meet up for food

our relationship was a dream come true, like Camalot
planned a romantic evening, then instead you smoked pot
so much chemistry, but with your brother, with me it’s fraught
laying on your bed with one untucked, threadbare blanket
in the middle of it all, started crying, no explanation

Awww, all the happiness and generosity
invited your family to stay in our house, and never told me
went on vacation during my busiest work week
you made out with some dude, then thought you would fuck me

NOPE!

 

broke up.. relief.. out of my misery
I stopped a flirtation out of courtesty
meanwhile you planned to kiss some skank so I could see
asked to be my friend, then would gaslight me
invited me to dinner then spent the meal texting Jocie
enticed me to a friendly trip to Saint Louis then left with her–smutty!

getting you out of my life was the best thing that ever happened to me
you are a calamity

MY RANKING OF TAYLOR SWIFT ALBUMS

18 Aug

I was wondering how I ranked Taylor Swift’s albums.

And I would have told you I probably liked:

Reputation

I love that moag!  And it’s sassy and bitter in a good way.  But it’s optimistic and full of hidden love too.  Also, it really reminds me of Karlie Kloss.

Lover

The aborted coming out album, with all the rainbows and kittens I adore!  This is for-SURE my favorite era (the colorful pre-masters, not the black suits post-masters).

folklore

Impeccable writing.  I like how the songs tie together and make you really analyze as a listener.

1989

Middle of the road for me.  I like the 80s electronic sound OK, but I didn’t think it had a bunch of songs I liked.  Also, I missed out on the Red and 1989 eras, because they weren’t on Spotify, so I always feel a bit left out and disengaged from this one.

Speak Now

I like the country stuff, and how spunky Taylor had been in this genre.  But I thought she had grown a lot as a writer and in maturity.  Also, all that princess stuff challenges my feminism, so I felt a little–mmm disingenuous ignoring the more problematic parts of that.

Red

I don’t like this album as well, because I feel like it’s too much of a smattering.  The genres are mixed, the songs aren’t as cohesive, and the style is all over the place.  Same as 1989, I missed out on the Red and 1989 eras, because they weren’t on Spotify, so I always feel a bit left out and disengaged from this one.

Self-Titled

I think this one is more the label and studio then actually giving Taylor creative freedom.  So yeah, it’s good, but it’s definitely a starting point.

Fearless

I thought Fearless was very “of it’s time” like 2 singles then the rest fillers.  This was prior to streaming really catching hold, so the labels would put just a couple really good songs, then just stuff to make the album come close to the price point.  People who came up with streaming, who didn’t have to buy a physical item to get their one favorite song, don’t know how good they have it!

And I thought I would listen to each album and kind of count how many songs I liked on each.

But of course as I listened, I wanted to be more specific.

So I categorized each song one of these headings:

Awesome

My favorite ones.  The songs that make me enthusiastic when I hear them.  It’s mostly based on that feeling, not necessarily musicality, lyrics, or anything technical.

good to OK (combo)

The songs that just weren’t great enough to give me chills or make me feel amped up, but obviously quality tunes.  I should not have done a combo category, b/c now I am compelled to re-listen to each song there and tease them apart into good and ok.  But later.

meh

Ones where I tuned out pretty much every time they came up.  Not bad to take off a playlist, but lower than neutral.

skip

These are the ones that are either throw-away fillers, or for me, ones that were well made songs, but were too depressing and I didn’t really want to listen to often (Soon You’ll Get Better is a beautiful melody, well written, and has its place, but it’s a fucking bummer for all the time, so I took it off all like work lists and stuff).

Once I had listened and ranked.

Then I listened again.

Just to make sure the rankings were consistent, and not based on mood at the time or anything.

The songs that were different, got a 3rd listen to rank them definitively.

And then I counted all the awesomes, good to oks, mehs, and skips for each album.  Finally, I could rank the albums.  The most awesomes obviously at the top.  And if there were ties, I went to the next category and pulled the higher # of goods up one spot.  If there were still ties, I ranked the albums with more skips toward the bottom.  And so on and so fourth.  So I am very confident it’s accurate for me.

Boy, was I surprised how different the quantitative ranking

differed from just my feelings about the albums!

Based on songs it ended up being:

1989 (Previously thought it was 3rd)

Speak Now (A lot of sentimental favorites.  Previously thought to be 5th)

Red (Previously thought to be 6th)

folklore (Previously thought to be 3rd)

Evermore

Reputation (Ranked 1st without research)

Fearless (Ranked last without research)

Self-Titled (Ranked 7th before)

Lover (Wow!  What a shocker!  I thought this was 2nd before.)

I was going to share with you what songs I put where, but after doing all that leg work, I decided I’m prepared to rank every song in Taylor Swift’s catalouge from my favorite to least favorite.

So for now I’ll just share the numbers:

.                            awesome        good to ok             meh              skip

1989                      7                       5                           4                    0

speak now             7                       5                           4                    1

red                         5                      13                          0                    0

folklore                   6                       9                           1                    1

Evermore              6                        8                           0                     1

reputation              5                       8                           2                    0

fearless                   5                       8                           4                    1

self-titled                5                       6                           3                    1

lover                        4                       7                           4                    3

_____________________________________________________________________________

overall                     44                     57                         24                   9