Archive | 6:19 PM

The [Dixie] Chicks: Gaslighter Album Review

16 Dec

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.

Sure, the Chicks have taken MORE then their fair share of heat for getting political.  Still, I wanted this album to be more outspoken politically.

Instead we got a divorce album.  Which is normally one of my favorites, because I like a bitter song.  But it’s just a bit of a disappointment.  I wish  they would comment on this current political situation.  That said, I’m glad they are back at all.

I ALSO WISH THAT WOMEN WOULDN’T BLAME THE OTHER WOMAN.  If your loser-husband cheats on you, don’t be mad at other women, be angry at that piece of shit.

I would have like at least one cheeky song on the album.  It’s one of their specialties, and I enjoy the fun-loving stuff.  I also wanted to hear more strings on the album.  They were really only strong on one song.  And I would have liked some faster-paced songs.  Sin Wagon, for example is kind of a breakup song, but it’s very fast and fun to listen to despite the lyrics.

Evermore Analysis:  Amalgamation 

16 Dec

Amalgamation- is the process of combining or uniting multiple entities into one form.

Similar to folklore, I think Taylor continues obscuring who her songs are about in Evermore.  To keep her writing as an outlet for very private relationships, feelings, and emotions, but protect her privacy (and secret).  It is my assertion that Taylor has weaved several real-life people together in each song.  Like the braid on the cover? 3 stands combine to make a hairstyle-symbols!

So when you say is “Willow” about her boyfriend/beard?  Yes.  Is it about Taylor, herself?  Yes.  Is it about a romantic relationship, perhaps Karlie?  Yes.  Her work situation?  Yes, that too.  It has pieces and characters and symbolism for each of those people/scenarios.  And also media like books and movies and historic figures mixed in.  I think Taylor sews chaos in her songs which makes analysis simultaneously universally relatable and also too complex to untangle.  

When Taylor released Evermore, she said she was going deeper into the forest.  And in the first batch of images was a wedding-looking dress? To me, Taylor saying she is going further into the woods (as opposed to Lover’s coming out into daylight) means she is going to double-down on the bearding, and stay in the closet.  I have a bad feeling the few remaining Kaylors are about to be disappointed.

When I heard folklore, I thought a lot of it was ambiguous.  And I think that was intentionally conveyed, because that’s exactly how Taylor felt.  She knew her Kaylor affair was having problems (and toxic and she was getting codependent), but she ended the album conveying their love was bigger than problems so she was sticking it out. She said, “No other shade of blue would do…She’s going to the lakes, but not without her muse.”

And Karlie did tease a completely secret album 13 days prior to its release.  I see that as them being together, or else Taylor would have sued Karlie’s a$$.  But then maybe after the album dropped Kaylor imploded, so now Tay wants to clarify?  I mean pregnancy and Miami nextdoor to Jarvanka aren’t very good signs…  And instead of a pre-planned tease, this time Karlie did a desperation-pap the day of release to prove she was in NY, not FL.  It tells me she didn’t know about Evermore…


I suspect folklore was confusion, grasping at straws, and ultimately the break-up in progress.  The sister album Evermore is the Kaylor is over for sure, album, but P.S. doesn’t Taylor have a lot of gay and lesbian-adjacent stories and interests?  And I do think there will be a 3rd album in the trilogy.  The merch doesn’t lie–but Taylor has been known to, “Nothing much going on here.”  It will be a brother album (one album for each cat, for each star on the cardigan, for each scrunchy-color)  that will take place at Woodville property at The Lakes, called (my guess) Sycamore!  And I’m afraid it’ll be all about the “boyfriend”…  But I hope I’m wrong.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore as Amalgamation: Tolerate It Analysis

16 Dec

The production is minimal, which lets the listener focus on the lyrics.

Tolerate- accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance.

[Verse 1]

I sit and watch you reading with your head low

First subject of the song reads.  Maybe it’s her father, b/c we know Taylor is an avid reader.

I wake and watch you breathing with your eyes closed

The second subject in the song is a more intimate relationship.  Karlie?

I sit and watch you

The third subject of the song is more distant, professional maybe.  Scott Borchetta?  She goes through three lines of description to denote each character addressed in the song.

I notice everything you do or don’t do

Her father was a dreamer, though Taylor never said (as far as I know) if her lyric about “a careless man’s careful daughter” is autobiographical: “My mom thinks of things in terms of reality and my dad always thinks in terms of daydreams… ” He was the one who envisioned (and funded) success: “I never really went there in my mind that all of this was possible. It’s just that my dad always did.” 

So Taylor admired her dad’s dreamy thinking, at least as far as getting her on her trajectory as a star.  Yet, in the Miss Americana doc, her and her father don’t sit next to each other.  He doesn’t seem to treat her with sympathy or talk to her like a daughter, in my opinion and from my own father-daughter experiences.  The relationship portrayed in those couple of scenes (I know, it’s not the whole story) was more like one of client, or even product.  And lines like, “leaving like a father running like water” [“Cardigan” folklore] underline the fact that not all is well between Taylor and her dad.

You’re so much older and wiser, and I

These lines show that these three characters are people Taylor watches and learns from, people she admires.  Authority figures and maybe even inspirations.

[Chorus 1]

I wait by the door like I’m just a kid

“Kid” tells me this verse is speaking to a person around when Taylor was a child.  

Use my best colors for your portrait

These two lines also remind of of “Illicit Affairs” in folklore, suspected to be about Karlie cheating on Jo$h with Taylor.

“And you wanna scream

Don’t call me kid

Don’t call me baby

Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me

You showed me colors you know

I can’t see with anyone else”

Lay the table with the fancy shit

This table could be a family dinner.

And watch you tolerate it

If it’s all in my head, tell me now

Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow

I know my love should be celebrated

But you tolerate it

These last four lines in the chorus really speak to the gay experience.  To me, “tolerate” invokes religious figures preaching tolerance of sinful behaviors, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”  And this sentiment has historically been used in regard to LGBT people when churches interpret the Bible as condemming homosexuality.  It’s bled into the mainstream with people believing tolerance isn’t homophobic (spoiler alert: It is homophobic).  And Taylor sings on her personally-wrenthing TRACK 5 that the hurt of someone who you really look up to not accepting you for who you are is painful. Track 5 is not going to be a made up fairytale/horror story.  This is Taylor’s life.

[Verse 2]

This verse, unlike the other two doesn’t begin with the “kid” line, so we know this could be one of Taylor’s more recent relationships.

I greet you with a battle hero’s welcome

Here’s an actual headline I found:

Karlie Kloss Is a Fashion Week Hero | W Magazine | Women’s …

www.wmagazine.com › karlie-kloss-louis-vuitton-garage

Feb 12, 2016 —

This line also reminds me of folklore’s My Tears Ricochet, largely thought to be about $cott

“I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace

And you’re the hero flying around, saving face”

See  how the lines are doing double-duty and addressing more than one person simultaneously?

I take your indiscretions all in good fun

See my analysis of “Illicit Affairs” about how Karlie Kloss was cheating on Jo$h with Taylor as the other woman.

Talking about Karlie in a song mostly about people Taylor looks up to not accepting her sexuality, still works in the song.  Because Taylor seems to have truly loved Karlie, and really invested in their relationship.  To the point that Taylor was participating in behavior she wasn’t entirely comfortable with (being the other woman).  And overlooking behavior in Karlie that she normally wouldn’t put up with (cheating, chasing fame, being thirsty for money).  Taylor changed herself and her morals, to impress and to keep Karlie, who she looked up to as a true soulmate.

I sit and listеn, I polish plates until they gleam and glistеn

I can see how each surface of a disco ball might be referred to as a plate.  Like, a plate of glass.  Tolerate It speaks to how she had to change and hide pieces of herself to keep others happy, and keep them in her life.  She shines up each of those plates to present.  Which references Mirrorball’s sentiment:  Taylor is perpetually putting on a performance only to be met with indifference, or dismay. 

You’re so much older and wiser and I

[Chorus 1]

I wait by the door like I’m just a kid

Here’s the kid line again to denote this person was around during Taylor’s childhood.

Use my best colors for your portrait

Online there was a photographic portrait of $cott Borchetta.  

This line could also harken back to 

“The rest of the world was black and white, But we were in screaming color.” [Out of the Woods, 1989] 

widely thought to be a song about Swift’s (secret) relationship with Karlie Kloss.

Lay the table with the fancy shit

Maybe the table is some kind of professional table for merch or photo-ops.

And watch you tolerate it

If it’s all in my head, tell me now

The line “’Cause I knew everything when I was young” [Cardigan, folklore] has been decoded!  Taylor knew her sexuality when she was young.

Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow

Remember all those lines from folklore:  “I’m only 17, I don’t know anything” [Betty] “When you are young, they assume you know nothin’” [Cardigan] “?  Now Taylor gives us more context.  It’s so reminiscent of a young LGBT kid being told that their feelings are probably a phase.  A way to invalidate their (divergent) sexual identity..

I know my love should be celebrated

But you tolerate it

[Bridge]

While you were out building other worlds, where was I?

$cott Borchetta used money (some of it from the sale the Taylor’s masters) to buy 5 properties on Music Row in TN according to: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2019/08/22/scott-borchetta-music-row-properties/

Where’s that man who’d throw blankets over my barbed wire?

$cott softened her rough edges, feminized her.  He didn’t want her secret out.  Taylor’s identity was treated as a shame, a dirty secret. Taylor knew her love wasn’t wrong, but yet Scott still tried to stifle this in her.  Despite the pain, she still tries her best to be what he wants, fit into a princess mold, do what she has to (stay closeted and beard/stunt) to make them both successful. This is her dream and she believes him that this is the right thing to do.

I made you my temple, my mural, my sky

Taylor Swift-commissioned “wings” mural being removed from The Gulch

  • WSMV DIGITAL TEAM
  • POSTED MAY 2, 2019

These lyrics are very representative of Lover-era Karlie.

Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life

Taylor wants is her masters, her music, her life story. 

Drawing hearts in the byline

Always taking up too much space or time

You assume I’m fine, but what would you do if I

[Chorus 2]

Break free and leave us in ruins

Taylor left her first label on bitter terms.  

Took this dagger in me and removed it

Threw out our cloaks and our daggers because it’s morning now It’s brighter now, now [Daylight, Lover]

I read “Daylight” and stepping out into the sun and living authentically by coming out of the closet.  It’s interesting the lyric is referenced near the end of a song about hiding your sexuality at the bequest of someone you look(ed) up to.

Gain the weight of you, then lose it

Believe me, I could do it

$cott betrayed her by selling her masters to the man who she cried to him about = $cooter. Taylor put her everything into both career and $cott’s.. She made Big Machine. But instead of acceptance from $cott, she has to constantly defend herself from his attacks on her character and business ethics.

If it’s all in my head, tell me now

Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow

I know my love should be celebrated

But you tolerate it

We all look up to someone and want to be like them. We change our behavior to make ourselves more likeable for the person we admire because they mean a lot.  

Taylor has hidden 3 different people, not to mention similarities to Charles and Diana and the unspoken relation this track has to Taylor’s fans.  Will her audience embrace her if she shows her true colors?  Or will the audience read this Track 5 song as somebody else’s story in order to straightwash Taylor for their own palatability?

Taylor pours her entire heart into her family, her romance, her career, and primarily her audience–showing them what they want to see (vs what is actually in front of them).  And it’s very meta, and brings us back to 3-5 possible subjects in 1 song to obscure the truth.

[Outro]

I sit and watch you

Indigo Girls: Look Long Album Review

16 Dec

Shit Kickin’: Awesome!  It’s really catchy, and the background sounds choral, which is nice.  Amy tells a detailed story of growing up.  I like her grit–she conquers horses and carburetors alike.  And it is really cool, and I think rare in the South, that her family saw she was a bit different but let her be.

Look Long:  OK.  It’s a slow, lyrically centered around current political anxieties.  

Howl At the Moon:  Awesome!  It has a sort of African tribal chant, it’s upbeat and features banjo–all things I like!  Later, the penny-whistle(?) gives it an Australian vibe.  There are many elements that make this song interesting.  

When We Were Writers:  OK.  I like the song structure, the harmonizing echo (especially!), the instrumentation.  I don’t really care for the lyrics, I guess.  It’s not that relatable to me.

Change My Heart:  Good.  I’m not sure about all this erection talk Emily is writing about lately–even as a metaphor for the patriarchy and toxic masculinity, it is just YUCK.  But the guitar, and orchestral backing is amazing, and really the star of the song for me.

K.C. Girl:  Good.  Jazzed up baseline is exciting.  And a real too cool for school vibe–very alternative.

Country Radio:  OK.  A song that reminds us that the gays are in rural areas also.  And about that feeling of not belonging as a gay kid even though mostly you’re like everyone else, enjoying country songs.  The orchestral touches really shine in this one.

Muster:  Good.  The bridge when the tone becomes more insistent is the best part of this song.  

Feel This Way Again:  Good.  This one is about how you feel as a kid *and how you feel as a parent watching your child grow up.  Some great lines:  “I know you wanna, hurry through your homework, Youth is a hungry beast, I know you wanna, rise in the West and set in the East.”  The importance of going through all the stages, and how that’s valid.  And about how people miss their childhoods.

Favorite Flavor:  Awesome.  This one reminds me of Green Day, musically.  Just a touch of pop-punk.  And that is perfect, because lyrically it’s about a fiercely independent child.  A bit strong-minded and rebellious just like Amy, herself.  And about how “to let [her] light shine” rather than trying to reign that in.  I love letting little gals be their spunky selves!  

Sorrow And Joy:  Awesome.  I love that the Indigo Girls remind the listener that without sorrow, there would be no joy.  People have to have down times to appreciate good things.  And that opposition is the most natural thing–we shouldn’t try to avoid pain.  And we should appreciate all the good.  This features the harmonies the Girls are most famous for, and of course it’s to good effect.