Tag Archives: album

KelSwift and Kaylor on again off again

1 Oct

You saw my disclaimer on the other 3-4 posts that yes, this post is Taylor-centric because I’m trying to find connections.  The thing that started this was Kelsea’s lyric:  DAISES ON THE DASHBOARD?!  For what reason?  It’s not a common expression, or something that happens.  That is a purposeful, direct connection to Kaylor.  So here we are, seeing ANY possible others…  But I like Kelsea as an artist in her own right, I’m not saying she’s copying Taylor, or that Taylor wrote her songs or anything disrespectful.  I’m just trying to call out possible intentional connections that Kelsea placed across her new album.

If this is confirmation bias–it’s sure strong.  And it speaks to how Taylor’s writing has the ability to capture universal, relatable feelings in all sorts of situations.  So many lyrics of Taylor’s encapsulate just what an individual is feeling or going through.  If this song is not intentionally referencing Taylor’s work–then Kelsea needs to give Taylor a call, because Tay could really be an understanding shoulder to cry on.  She gets what Kelsea is going through–says her lyrics.

Each one of these lyrical parallels would be considered a “reach” by the mean-Gaylors and the hetlors.  And it’s true, after seeing the daises line, I was really looking deep, and trying to pull out any, little thing that connected to Taylor. So some of these just might be stretching it. This write-up may delve into fan-fiction territory, but take from it what you like, and leave what feels too “reachy” (to use a word I’m tired of). But when there’s TEN “reaches” in one song is it confirmation bias or a preponderance of evidence?  Time will tell.  Midnights out October 21, 2022.

I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’ (Lyrics)

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on the ground/You can’t live forever with your head up in the clouds

I mean, Taylor Swift [Lover] OUT now?!

As we discussed before Kelsea might be talking about the beginning of the Lover era where Taylor was actively trying to get Karlie back (the literal signs, the mural, etc, etc…).  A lot of cloud imagery was used for Lover promo so Kelsea uses the word “clouds” to describe this more complex situation.  See Kelsea’s song Weather in another post.

Think it’s written in the stars ’til they burn out

I am waiting to see if Taylor talks about stars in her new album–it’s a pet theory of mine with no evidence yet.  I have seen stars (and the moon) mentioned across this album of Kelsea’s.  And it makes sense to me for Taylor to move on from Karlie (the sun) to Kelsea the stars and/or moon.

…I was like, “Oh my God”, every thought played like a video

I thought the quotations and video was an odd turn of phrase, so I looked up Taylor’s lyrics where she says, “Oh my God” and found:

A song about the media and public having this perception of Taylor.  She is tongue in cheek here, playing into that (false) perception.  The subtext/secret meaning of the song is about bearding.  

Shake It Off is a song about ignoring haters and living your best life. 

That song also addresses the media and public’s perception of Taylor:

The third song where Taylor uses, “Oh my God” talks about the perception that Taylor is a serial dater who just writes songs about her exes:

All three of these songs talk about the (false) perception in the general public that Taylor is boy-crazy. And the narrative pushed by the media that Taylor just writes songs about her exes. The were really big music videos for Taylor as well.

I think in this line Kelsea is saying when her and Taylor were first having romantic sparks, she was incredulous.  Kelsea might have been surprised because the media portrays Taylor as a man-eater, and Taylor’s public persona leans into dating and writing songs about men.  So Kelsea might have been shocked to have a romantic connection with Taylor. She might also have been a bit star-struck to have something serious with someone of Taylor’s caliber of fame, since Kelsea had seen Taylor in her music videos before meeting her in person.

Left your shirt, and the hurt, now I curse your Acqua di Gio

Taylor’s Tis the Damn Season mentions perfume:

It’s about how Taylor goes back to her hometown (Nashville, where Kelsea also lives) to visit her parents and has an on again off again fling when she’s home. Both people are OK with this situationship. Taylor talks about how when she’s home that relationship and life (road not taken) seems good, but she left that geographic location.  But it still is part of her and stays with her.   

In Illicit Affairs Taylor talks about sleeping with someone who is committed to somebody else (Karlie is officially with Jo$h).  They have to lie and sneak around to see each other.  But living in secret gets real old, and the high of their encounters feels less and less good as time goes on because of the million lies.

The perfume is used as a “tell” of the encounter.  Perfume can be used to cover up the scent of the side-chick so her smell is not noticed by the boyfriend. Karlie might put on the perfume Jo$h bought her (or perfume she picked out because Jo$h liked the smell) to cover up Taylor’s smell on her. It could go the other way too: Perfume cannot be worn during the encounters because it would leave scent-evidence that the person was there.  If Jo$h could smell Taylor’s perfume on their bed there would be questions.

Kelsea curses the perfume because the scent left behind makes her think of Taylor.  And also the perfume represents secrets and hiding an affair, so it makes Kelsea think of the Kaylor bearding triangle.  

That night you told me I hung your moon (I hung your moon)

If Midnights has moons and stars, I will not shut up about it!!!

I jumped right in with no parachute (No parachute, oh, oh)/…Did you only get me high to let me down?

Taylor uses “high” in two of her more WLW songs:

Call it What You Want is a definite Karlie song (Call it what you want, Karlie what you want).  Taylor tells Karlie that she can call what they have going on whatever she wants.  Karlie is  nervous about it.  Karlie doesn’t want to be a cheater.  But Taylor just wants to keep what they have going alive, even if it needs to be secret and unofficial.  It doesn’t have to be lesbian-love, call it anything that makes you more comfortable. It speaks to the on-again off-again nature of Kaylor also. With Karlie being nervous about breaking her commitment to Jo$h as one reason for the encounters to be fleeting and secretive, on and off.

Kelsea using “high” in opposition to down could reference an on and off Taylor relationship.  And when Kelsea thinks of Taylor’s songs pleading with Karlie to be with her, that’s what gets Kelsea down.  Whenever Kaylor is “on” that means Taylor is emotionally unavailable and physically gone from Kelsea. Kaylor and KelSwift and similar relationships. One person is on, then off, here than gone.

Another song where Taylor uses the word “high” is Don’t Blame Me.  In the song Taylor compares WLW love to a drug.  She says it’s bad for her and her brand and her image, but also she can’t stay away. “My drug is my baby.”  

Kelsea feels like her love with Taylor gets her high also.  When Taylor comes around and loves Kelsea, it’s like a drug.  It’s that same drug Taylor speaks about in her song, the WLW love, and Kelsea can’t leave it alone even though there’s a let down when Taylor/the WLW love leaves again.

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on your face/Sleeping by myself in a bed I didn’t make

If Taylor and Karlie were on and off, it’s possible Taylor got with Kelsea during the Kaylor “off” periods.  And it wasn’t Kelsea’s choice to be alone during the Kaylor “on” periods.   Taylor’s song, Willow describes Taylor sneaking in to see Karlie even though she’s committed to Jo$h (bearding contract or bisexual love, we don’t know).

Willow talks about sneaking around to be with your secret WLW lover despite commitments to men and secrecy to preserve public images. The partner is mythical, because they are gone a lot, mostly a dream not reality. Describing a lover as a trophy or champion ring could speak to Taylor and Jo$h fighting over Karlie. In their fighting, they’re treating her as an object without autonomy to make her own choices. “Prize I’d cheat to win” probably has the double meaning of cheating in a relationship, and also cheating/lying to the public to hide the true nature of the relationship. “I’m begging for you to take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man” is one partner asking the other to commit fully to them. Wreck the bearding plans (for one or both Taylor/J0e and Karlie/Jo$h). In an interview, when asked about Jo$h, Karlie repeatedly referred to him as “my man” which came off as awkward. So Taylor may have written Willow with that in mind, to convey Karlie’s commitment to Jo$h as a stumbling block to be “home” (a committed relationship with each other).

Sleeping in a bed I didn’t make, is Kelsea saying that her relationship with Taylor, got her dragged into all this Kaylor drama. She didn’t create the Kaylor bearding triangle, but she has to live with the consequences of it too. Kelsea is left alone when Taylor is literally going back to Karlie, or emotionally still hung up on Kaylor.

… I should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known (I should’ve known, known)

I thought Kelsea’s repetition of this phrase was pointed, but didn’t know why.  I looked up the phrase in Taylor’s lyrics to check if Kelsea was insinuating a connection.

It’s funny that the lyric ties to White Horse a song about someone holding out hope that this other person will come around.  Ultimately Taylor realizes this person is going to let her down because she is being starry-eyed and dreamy about love, not realistic.

So that sentiment goes right along with Kelsea falling for an person who is back and fourth, in and out of her life.  There are highs when they’re together, but it comes at the cost of loneliness and feeling bad when Taylor physically leaves for Karlie (in earlier years), or emotionally checks out for missing the Kaylor relationship (in more current times).

… Then the wind, blowing in, threw me right off of my pedestal

Red is a song also about highs and lows of a passionate love that ends suddenly.  It seems connected to the theme of this song as well.

The word, “wind” again conjures, Willow which describes secret meetings and fooling the media/public with the bait and switch.  It’s a lover that comes and goes in secret, same as in Kelsea’s song.

In the second half of Kelsea’s phrase she says threw me off my pedestal. “Pedestal” is a very loaded word in GayLore.  It conjures Dianna, one of Taylor’s early girlfriends.  It’s also a common phrase when digging into Gaylor (Taylor’s LGBT subtext and secretive relationships) to say “going down the rabbit hole” which was Dianna’s heading on Tumblr (I think?).  

Taylor doesn’t have a copyright on the word, but if Kelsea were trying to reference Gaylor things, that would be a good way to do it.  In Long Story Short, Taylor describes being at the top, then falling down (kinda like this song) then clinging to the nearest lips. . .

…[Bridge]/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

In one of Taylor’s gayest songs, she uses “gravity” to describe the pull she has to a dangerous partner/type of love.  And Taylor says that other person (Dianna?) is quicksand.  Meaning not stable, fickle, here and gone.  Sort of like this song is saying Taylor is in and out, bringing Kelsea love to make her high, then leaving and making Kelsea fall to the ground, sad and lonely.

But I know now/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

A second song of Taylor’s uses “gravity” to describe her inability to stay away from this lover/love that’s bad for her brand.  Dancing with Our Hands Tied aka the Kissgate song, is another of Taylor’s gayest songs.  So it’s funny that this song talking about a love interest that is fickle and leaving all the time, talks about that love interest feeling scared about homophobia.  Taylor, loves Karlie, but doesn’t want to get caught as WLW and lose her career success.  So she runs away and hides, despite love.  And Kelsea is acknowledging that not only Kaylor takes Taylor away from their relationship, but Taylor’s skittishness about being out(ed) is a barrier to her being emotionally/romantically available.

But I know now/…[Outro]/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)/I guess they call it fallin’/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)

Finally, one of Taylor’s songs that uses “falling” perfectly encapsulates the meaning of this song.  

Taylor tells Dianna to stay with her instead of leaving all the time.  Taylor fell in love, but it’s not happy, it’s cruel because Dianna is worlds away.  Now the shoe is on the other foot and Taylor is worlds away while Kelsea is sad when she’s gone.

If you were only gonna let me go/Ah-ah, ah, ah-ah

Kelsea Ballerini Tells Taylor She’s Being as Fickle as the Weather as Long as She’s Not Over Kaylor

29 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.

[ellipses indicate lines I omitted.  Highlighted text is her lyrics, plain text is my commentary]:

Weather

I’ve been thinkin’ you’ve been thinkin’ ’bout something else (Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm)

I suspect at least 10 songs on Taylor’s last (true vs re-recordings) album Evermore contain Karlie references.

The, I Bet You Think About Me music video dropped 11/15/21 was practically overt in it’s Karlie images and symbolism.

On the left, music video groom on the right, Jo$h Ku$hner, Karlie’s husband:

Taylor knocks the groom over on the wedding cake:

I think she’s going for some symbolism here:

And Taylor eats a cherry: 

Whatever the red scarf represents (many Swifties say it’s Taylor’s virginity)…  Taylor gave it to the bride:

At the first dance, the groom (Jo$h) pulls the bride in, and to me, it looked like a “you’re mine” gesture.  As in Jo$h made known he owns Karlie, or there is a contract, or he will keep her:

When Taylor/bride walks away from the dance, she shows us red sneakers under the wedding dress.  I’m sure you can guess who else wore sneakers under her wedding gown?  It’s Karlie.

And in the lyrics of this same vault track I think Taylor snuck in a more modern reference to some shoes that Karlie was recently marketing:

Aside from this video, as well as a preponderance of lyrics from folklore, Evermore, and some vault tracks, and the general sadness on Taylor’s face and in her voice for every event/performance she’s attended since 2020–the new album about to drop is called Midnights.

Karlie is a spokeswoman for this Midnight perfume released July of 2022:

And Taylor, wearing silver (right picture), said TS10 will be called Midnights.  A month later:

And during this Midnights Era, Taylor wore gold, which is similar in aesthetic to the gold in Karlie’s Midnight perfume ad.

This was not an exhaustive list of the times Taylor has referenced Karlie in recent times.  So you can see why Kelsea would feel the person she’s talking to in the song (Taylor?) is thinking about something else–breakup with Karlie.

Yeah, we felt perfect, now I’m nervous, can you even tell? (Oh,oh)

This headline says, “. . . perfect for a date. . .”  when Taylor and Kelsea were photographed shopping together.  It just might fit with the perfect lyric if Kelsea is trying to contrast the current unsettled times in a relationship, where someone is not over their ex, and maybe a flight risk, with the good times they had.

Did I wake you up on the wrong side of the bed?

Kelsea just might be alluding to Taylor sleeping with Karlie, and the image that Taylor snuck into her video while dressed in drag.  In The Man music video Taylor, as the man, gets out of bed with a slender woman.  And when the man gets out of the bed, this sun-looking item on the wall is obscured, bringing “my loaded gun, my eclipsed sun” lyrics from Hoax (a song probably about the Kaylor break-up) to mind.  Make of that what you will.  

Is there someone’s body that you’d rather be laying with instead?

The line in this song might be intended to conjure the mental image of that video clip and its wink to Kaylor.  Also, the expression ‘wrong side of the bed’ means grumpy, bad day, etc…  Kelsea (if my theory pans out about her and Taylor being together in some manner) may be telling Taylor that she’s acting moody, and negative, and grumpy, because she is missing a different person in the bed (Karlie).  Or missing the person that used to be on that side of the bed (Karlie).  Without more info it’s hard to say for sure, but if all these references across Kelsea’s new album are about Taylor, I can see how anyone would have had enough of their fling/new relationship/GF being hung up on an ex.

I’m so tired of your weather/Stormy when we’re together/Yeah, we used to be sunny and seventy-five/We wеre dancing, baby, rain or shine

Kelsea met Taylor June of 2015.  And they danced at that first party:

…Now somehow, I need a sweater

Kelsea is possibly talking about the cardigans Taylor sent her close friends for the folklore rollout (for the song/single, Cardigan):

Aside from this lyric possibly talking about the cardigan gift, a deeper meaning could be Taylor’s album/era.  During folklore, it was clear in a lot of lyrics that Kaylor were breaking up or broken up, and Taylor didn’t want that.  It’s full of regret and longing, and Taylor seems very preoccupied with Karlie in this time frame.  If Taylor had seen, was currently seeing Kelsea, or even if Kelsea wished Taylor would see her as a love interest–Taylor’s heartbreak over Karlie would get in the way.  It would not be happy, sunny times, it would be gloomy, sad times that made Kelsea feel chilly and left out. 

How’d we go from summer to cold as ice?

The romance with this person went from steamy and hot and comfortable to distant and chilly.  If Taylor was unable to move on from an ex, or held out hope of getting back with Karlie, it would put a relationship with Kelsea on the back burner.  

In Taylor’s The Lakes, she says she can’t move on.  And Taylor wishes Karlie would come back to where they had been (in the closet together) in total privacy.  The red rose is a Kaylor reference we talked about earlier, and the ice frozen ground is all the depression and loneliness and heartache and chilliness toward one another.  In Taylor’s wishful thinking Karlie and her could be together and that difficult, calamitous love, is causing her a grief she can’t overcome.

Right Where You Left Me is another of Taylor’s songs that uses frozen imagery to show she is not moving on from the Kaylor breakup:

Because Taylor can’t move on from the Kaylor breakup, any relationship between Kelsea and Taylor cannot move forward either.  If Taylor is frozen in place to where she had been with Karlie, it would be distant and chilly inside any relationship between Kelsea and Taylor.  Kelsea is left out in the cold, feeling the aloofness of a Taylor stuck in the past, or in a fantasy in her head.

Are we really lovers if you’re changing your mind/Like the weather? (Weather)

Taylor can’t decide if she wants to pine and be heartbroken about Karlie, or if she wants to move forward with someone new.  She is not committed, and Kelsea can feel how this person she’s trying to be in a relationship with is fickle, running hot, then cold as her moods change.

Uh-huh, oh/Get in or get out

Kelsea tells Taylor to either be present in the relationship with her or be alone wishing that Kaylor would have worked out.

But honestly, right now, you’re killin’ my vibe/(Killin’ it, killin’ it, killin’ it)/(Killin’ it, killin’ it, killin’ it)/So, if you wanna stay stuck in the clouds/Keep ’em around but not in my sky (Mm-hmm)

Taylor doesn’t own clouds.  Put clouds and sky were constant themes in the Lover era.  

Me! video:

Taylor didn’t want to date the man, nor did she want this man’s hand in marriage.  She accepted a kitten.  She’s saying no to men here.

Many Gaylors think Kaylor broke up or were on and off before 2019, and the Lover era was Taylor trying to get Karlie back. Evidence for the beginning of the Lover era wooing Karlie back are the lyrics around New York and the butterfly mural commission:

I think the commissioned mural looks a lot like Karlie’s Victoria’s Secret wings!

Here is a well-worded comment from a Gaylor on Reddit that explains the many reasons the Lover album isn’t a romantic love story, it’s a plea to Karlie; begging her to get back together:

Kelsea using “stuck in the clouds” in this song is not accidental.  A lot of the Lover album, imagery, videos and roll-out focused on the sky.

When Kelsea says you can stay stuck in the clouds, I think she means the mindset of trying to get Karlie back.  Just like in the Lover era.  And Kelsea tells Taylor, it’s fine if Taylor stays stuck in the Lover-era clouds, pining for Karlie, but not in her sky.  Kelsea doesn’t need anyone who is moody and hung up on their ex.

When it hits the fan, I don’t know who you’re gonna be/I’m not asking for much, just a little reliability

Kelsea is emphasizing the point that Taylor’s heartbreak about Kaylor is making her a flake in their relationship.

I’m so tired of your weather/Stormy when we’re together/Yeah, we used to be sunny and seventy-five

The number/temperature 75 is very specific.  Kelsea is saying her and Taylor(?) used to be happy, but are now gloomy.  And I found this tweet from Kelsea:

It is exactly the same temperature in the lyric!  If we can find out who Kelsea saw in L.A. on July 1, 2022 (or the few days before) we will know who this song is about!

I tried to figure out where Taylor was late June to July 1 of this year, 2022, and had a very difficult time (since I don’t know anything about Jet tracking).  If anyone can get the jet data, or other sources showing if Taylor Swift was at her L.A. house June-July, we’d be one step closer to knowing if this song is about her.

This was as close as I could get to narrowing down where Taylor was:

June 11, 2022 (Tribeca Film Festival, NY)

July 4, 2022

…[Bridge]

Baby, talk to me/Tell me what you need/Don’t leave me hanging anymore

Taylor’s song, Cowboy Like Me has a lyric about hanging.

Skeletons in the closet means a dirty secret.  Something bad in your past you hide from others.

It’s funny Taylor mentions closets in this context.  I’d say part of the point of this song is having gay-dar and being able to identify other gays (because you’re one too, so you know the signs).  And gay people hide in the closet before they’re out.  A secret and hiding in the closet??!

Here’s an excerpt about the Gardens of Babylon:

As a sidenote: The central club in America’s Queer as Folk series, about mostly gay men and a pair of lesbians, was called Babylon.

The fact that another track on Kelsea’s same album called, Love is a Cowboy really puts it over the top!

…  Are we really lovers if you’re changing your mind/Like the weather? (Weather)

And the word, “Lovers” to end the song???  OMG.  I think I’m on to something here.

Kelsea Ballerini Promises Not to Out Someone (Taylor Swift?) Because it Would Out Her Too

25 Sep

Disclaimer:

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” (can we retire that word?!) as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse of anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  

IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)

I’ve known you since Brad and Angelina

Brad and Angelina got together on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in 2005.  They collected children, and then got engaged in April of 2012.  The wedding took place in August 2014.  Angelina filed for divorce August 2016.  So that puts the timeline anywhere between 2005 and 2016, with the actual marriage between 2014-2016.  Kelsie and Taylor met in 2015.

Taylor’s Tweet:

Taylor invites Kelsea to her friend, Abigail’s birthday party:

…If I got an aisle with a mess I gotta clean up

A double entendre–clean up a mess on aisle 7, and also walking down an aisle to marry, cleaning up that mistake with divorce.

Kelsie learning about herself and realizing she had been forced into a straight marriage?  She had to use a lot of introspection and therapy to realize she was in a comp-het situation, and un-learn her heteronormative training.  And when she was finished with that she realized the man had to go.

I know you’ll be showin’ up with bleach, hmm

This reminds me of Taylor’s song, No Body No Crime:

Taylor was going to clean up a mess of a different marriage that ended in that song.

This line could also be a reference to hair bleach.

The Met Gala of Getaway Car fame.

Depending on the narrative you believe, this is the night Taylor left Calvin Harris for Tom Hiddleston.  It has also been said Taylor met Joe Alwyn at the 2016 Met Gala.  If you’re a Kaylor, you know it’s the night Taylor ditched 2 beards (Calvin and Tom), arranged a long term beard (Joe), and ran away from Jo$h Ku$hner (Karlie’s long term BF/beard) with Karlie.  A lot was happening that night!  Been in each of those scenarios Taylor, with her bleachella hair, was leaving a relationship.  And Kelsea is talking about leaving her marriage.

All those names that we don’t ever speak of

Kelsie and Taylor both have had their share of feuds and exes:

Got a couple nights that have slipped my mind/Proof and photographs have been deleted

I found this headline by Googling their names:

https://country925.iheart.com/alternate/amp/2018-05-09-kelsea-ballerini-and-taylor-swift-in-towels/

I included the link so you can see I didn’t do any fancy cutting and pasting–the image that used to be on that provocatively headline was removed… Just like Kelsea said in the song…

If you ever needed an alibi/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news

Here’s another headline with a deleted picture that I came across:

Taylor’s song, Delicate is about the nervousness of getting closer to someone when you’re first seeing each other.  There’s an added layer of precariousness in the song because this date is between two gals.  There’s an anxiety about going for this relationship, but also a lot of sexual chemistry.  It’s pretty steamy, really:

Kelsie doing a cover of that particular song is very loud to me.

If you go down, I’m going down too/It’s a good thing we’re each other’s kinda crazy/Ain’t no judgment or keepin’ score

Kelsie might be referencing Taylor’s song, hoax, where Taylor references her painful breakup with Karlie:

In, False God Taylor told us she’s New York City:

And Karlie Kloss was the West Village:

So part of me back in New York is saying Taylor had her heart in NY, but had to leave because she can’t bear to be reminded of Karlie everywhere she goes.  The keeping score bitter line in Taylor’s heartbreak song is what Kelsea brings up in this song–she won’t do that to Taylor like Karlie did.

If you rob a bank, I’m your getaway Mercedes

God knows that’s what friends are for/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news/If you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too, yeah/I keep all your secrets by the dozen

These lines have to be about closeting and outing.  If these two had a fling or shared their secrets that gives each one of them ammunition and leverage over the other.  One cannot out the other without outing themselves. 

I think rather than a threat, this is meant to calm Taylor.  She does not want to be outed and is always fearful that she will get recognized by everyone as WLW before she’s ready, so Kelsea is saying, don’t worry, I can’t out you because I would be outing myself.  And since they’re both singers they both understand what they would be losing by being outed. It’s a sort of consolation that the gayness of it all will remain secret.

You know where my skeletons sleep

Kelsie may be talking about Taylor’s song, Cowboy Like Me here:

In the song Taylor is saying she does stuff purely for money.  Bandits, tricks up my sleeve, takes one to know one all indicate she has met someone just like her–pretending to like rich people or date men so rich people approve in order to get the money/fame.

Forever is the sweetest con is a line that I think speaks to lavender marriage.

Hypothetically, if you ever kill your husband

Kelsie is using this as an exaggeration of something terrible that she would still keep a secret.  It does double-duty here being a call-back to Taylor’s No Body No Crime:

And also could be speaking about “killing” the bearding contract.  Killing the idea of being married to a man.  Killing the charade.  And if Taylor decides to ditch Joe and other beards, Kelsea says she will still never tell that Taylor is WLW or that they had/have? a thing.

Hand on the Bible, I’d be lyin’ through my teeth/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news/If you go down, I’m going down too/Our bodies are buried and they’re in the same ditch/So even if I wanted to, I can’t snitch/30 to life would go quicker with you, yeah/So, if you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too

This song to me, is an acknowledgement that Kelsea knows a secret about Taylor, and has that same secret.  I don’t know if they were just honest with each other, or had a fling, or are dating, but this song is LOUDLY about closeting and being outed.

One Taylor Reference Might be a Coincidence, But a Dozen? That’s a KELincidence

25 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  For more Kelsea-centric content, see my album review from 12/8/20:

And my Top 12 songs from 1/6/17:

Now on to the clues in Kelsea’s new album!

THE LITTLE THINGS

Save your money on the roses, baby/Just leave a daisy on the dashboard

The first few lines are Kelsea rejecting romantic gestures like roses and idealized prince on a white horse rescuing a’la heteronormative tropes.  Kelsea is saying she’s OK with breaking all the straight-dating-rituals and norms for this relationship.  

Also, these lines tie directly to Taylor, and pretty blatantly.  On first listen to the album, these were the lines that clued me into the fact Kelsea might like women–and specifically, Taylor. 

At one point Taylor was using so much rose imagery that fans speculated her next album might be called Roses.  

At another point, fans speculated that Kelsea’s new track, ROSES was a collaboration with Taylor:

Interesting…

Remember Taylor’s song Gold Rush? This product is called Rose Blush:

Walk past, quick brush/I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush

Here are other examples of roses/gardens in Taylor’s work:

  • Love Story: So I sneak out to the garden to see you
  • Blank Space: Rose garden filled with thorns
  • Cruel Summer: And I snuck in through the garden gate every night that summer just to seal my fate
  • Betty: Would you tell me to go fuck myself or lead me to the garden?
  • Betty: In the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing?
  • Cowboy Like Me: Now you hang from my lips like the Gardens of Babylon

Here’s some more interesting rose/flower/garden incidents in Kaylor:

Taylor is twinning with Karlie’s cover from 5/21/18 when she collects are folklore Grammy on 3/15/21.

And again here Taylor is undeniably twinning with Karlie’s 9/13/21 Met dress for her I Know You Think About Me video announcement/promo on 11/14/21:

And daisies.  Let’s not forget how important daisies are in the story of Kaylor.

The Big Sur road trip was epic in the start of Taylor and Karlie’s love story.  With many lyrics referencing it, the daisy on the DASHBOARD, daisy tag on Karlie’s social media, and the same daisy in Taylor’s liner notes–it’s one of the biggest proofs for Kaylor.

In other words those 2 lines of Kelsea’s song are telling her new romance to leave Karlie behind and stop with all the roses/daisies/gardens to focus on the little things with her.

Don’t gotta ride in on a white horse

That is a literal title of one of Taylor’s first hit songs.  And that song also fits the theme of this song about rejecting heteronormative indoctrination:

Kelsea is saying she doesn’t want a Prince Charming on the white horse to rescue her. She wants a non-stereotypical love that means more to her because of little things rather than grand gestures of Disney movies and rom-coms.

When you’re younger they say it’s a kiss in the rain

Again, I’m not saying Taylor has a copyright on “rain” the word, imagery, metaphor, symbolism–it’s pretty common in writing.  But there is a preponderance of rain songs, especially kissing in rain songs in Taylor’s work, so if you were trying to reference her this might be a subtle way to do it:

Throwing rocks at a window

Taken alone, this line is just a common writing theme.  As the fourth very close association to Taylor things in one song, in a row–it seems intentional on Kelsea’s part that she wants the listener to be reminded of Swift.  The next line of Kelsea’s song could also be a reference to another early Taylor Swift song, Ours:

 And Ours just happens to have one of the same messages contained within Kelsea’s track 1:  Subject to Change.  That society may judge LGBT love, but the happiness of the individual must be prioritized so the relationship is pursued even so.  

But it’s when we’re in a crowded room, put your hand on my back

This line reminds me of the themes in at least 3 Taylor Swift songs:  Ours that we just talked about.  Taylor’s line, 

They’ll judge it like they know about me and you/And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do

When people see a same sex couple, they’re not sure if they’re just friends, or if the two people are in a relationship, especially straight people!  Heteronormativity works hard.  When Taylor says they know about me and you, she’s saying people are speculating that she and the person she’s talking about in the song are not just friends, but gay together.  Furthermore, those gossiping people disapprove and stigmatize anything that is not straight.  So Kelsea’s line makes me think of a covert couple in a public space.  They can appear as friends to safely avoid further scrutiny or judgment.  Because when it’s a woman’s hand on another gal’s back, heteronormativity says they’re just friends!  

The second song of Taylor’s that this line makes me think about is, I Know Places:

Pretty much that whole song is an expansion of the line we talked about in Ours.  Same theme.  “Friends” out in a public space, and someone inside that secret relationship daringly depends on heteronormativity to make their gesture of love to appear as just friendly.  It’s both daring and safe for a female couple to touch out in front of the public.  People usually chalk it up to friendship.  But there are the gossips that want to call it out as WLW and disparage it.  So for the couple there is always that fear of being exposed.  And in Taylor’s case, she says she hides the relationship away from prying eyes so they can love safely. 

The third of Taylor’s songs that Kelsea’s line reminds me of is, So It Goes… 

I think Kelsea is talking about the same phenomenon Taylor speaks of with “magician” and “illusionist” in public spaces.  When this couple is out on the town, they appear straight.  Maybe they’re flirting with guys, or “dating” a guy.  They can do small coupley things that the naysayers will interpret as female friendship, but this couple is on high alert not to get caught.  But Taylor’s song is saying when they’re alone, it’s “wear you like a necklace” time.  

And waiting on me in the morning with my coffee black…

It’s wine and vinyl, my head on your shoulder…

Reminder, I know Taylor doesn’t have the only references to drinking in any song.  But also, if you were talking about Taylor Swift, it might be apt to mention alcohol.  Taylor’s discography has at least 11 lines that talk about wine, not counting all the champagne/beer/whiskey/cocktails/drunk references.  And it wouldn’t be surprising that two artists might hang out listening to vinyls, signing vinyls, or otherwise listening to music and doing merch.

Used to think it would be a backseat sex scene/Drawing hearts on the window…

A clear callback to the song, Heartfirst where she met a man at a party and went to the car with him. But the line here says, USED to think.  So Kelsea has changed her mind about what love is to her.  Which she clearly tells us on the first track.

Just pull me in and kiss me slow/Ooh, it ain’t just for show (it ain’t just for show)

And this line reminds me of Taylor’s Peace:

Peace describes half of the couple being blue and depressed.  The other person says they will be there for them, warm their heart, die for them.  But only privately.  Outsiders think the love is PR or just friends, but they don’t know the real story.  Their love is a hidden secret and it’s true and deep, but also the person asks is this secret relationship going to be enough for you?    

(Ah) let’s not go big, let’s just go home

I know, I know the concept of “home” is not owned by Taylor.  But also lyrics of Taylor’s that contain the word…

home {also in Exile and Peace and Tears Ricochet}

~[Cornelia Street from Lover = “leading us home” “I took the long way home“]

~[Cruel Summer from Lover = “…I cried like a baby coming home from the bar”]

~[Delicate from Reputation = “do the girls back home touch you like I do?”]

~[Gorgeous from Reputation = “guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats”]

~[I Think He Knows from Lover = “I’ll make myself at home“]

~[Lover from Lover = “take me out and take me home (forever and ever)”]

~[Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince from Lover = “I think you should come back home“]

~[New Year’s Day from Reputation = “or if you strike out and you’re crawling home“]

~[Paper Rings from Lover = “went home and tried to stalk you on the internet”]

~[Style from 1989 = “takes me home” “just take me home“]

So here, Kelsea is offering to be the one to take Taylor home.  She’ll provide peace and stability, just the little things.

Kelsea Ballerini Just (softly) Came Out, and is possibly with Taylor Swift

25 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” (can we retire that word?!) as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse of anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  For more Kelsea-centric content, see my album review from 12/8/20:

And my Top 12 songs from 1/6/17:

Which, by the way has some lines that pop out to me

[ellipses indicate lines I omitted.  Highlighted text is her lyrics, plain text is my commentary]:

And I’m unapologetically in love… /No matter where it takes me/Even if it breaks me…

A love that breaks you because it breaks social norms?

And it don’t even phase me/When they call me crazy

Why would people call this cute blonde country singer crazy for being in love with a man?  Maybe it’s a woman and homophobes not understanding same sex love?

I’m unapologetically in love…/So I could care less if I’m being careless/Might wreck me to be reckless

Why would a straight relationship be unpalatable to people?  Why does Kelsea feel like she has to justify this relationship in the song?  What is careless or reckless about a cis, white, upper-class, woman dating a man?  Maybe it’s reckless because it’s a same sex pairing?

But I’d rather fall apart than/Love half-hearted

Love half-hearted sounds like comp-het to me.  Loving a man doesn’t fulfill her even if it’s more socially acceptable, so she is taking the chance to fall apart (risk her career/fame/money/social status) to be with a woman.  Because being with a woman is loving with her whole heart.

Yeah, maybe it’s true that you know when you know…

We are all raised in a heteronormative society.  From the time we are little, people are pairing up boys with girls.  There’s nothing to know when straight is considered the default.  But this you know when you know could be talking about finding the one, sure.  But also it could mean she realized she likes women.

…keeps my eyes starry so

I heard starry eyed references a lot in the new album.  And I have this theory that I want to publish and time-stamp:  Taylor Swift has an album coming out Oct 21 (a month after Kelsea’s album just came out referencing starry eyes a lot) and it’s called Midnight.  I predict Taylor is going to indicate love went from burning red to golden and Sun to more fake gold veneer to blue sadness to maybe starry?  

Slow motion double vision in ROSE BLUSH

From TS Daylight:

Stars in eyes.  Not one sun, but all the stars in the (night) sky?  We’ll see if this comes to fruition. 

I’m so sorry for not being sorry

On to the new stuff on this brand new album! 

Song titles written in all caps (contrasting to the all lowercase of folklore).

SUBJECT TO CHANGE- There is the surface meaning of this song.  And I’m not talking about that, I’m reading into it.  

Seasons do it

I know, Taylor doesn’t own seasons, or the concept of seasons indicating changes.  But also, she conveys things in terms of seasons a LOT:

also somebody compiled all of Taylor’s lyrics mentioning a season:  

And it happens when the night goes day

Like the evolution of dark, moody Reputation to the butterflies and sunshine Lover, Kelsea is mentioning a night to day transition. 

Going through it, I knew it/The right and the hard thing are sometimes the same…

Thank God, I got a strong gut feeling/Leading me to somewhere new

To me this sounds like Kelsea discovered she liked women, and now is “new” to dating them.

This sounds like internalized homophobia with all the talk of fear and uncertainty.  Therapy may have caused the growth and metamorphosis (like caterpillar to BUTTERFLY).  And “unravel the architecture” sounds like dismantling, un-learning.  Built by youth = indoctrination, social-learning/norms, COMP-HET, anyone?!

But if one thing’s the same/It’s that I’m subject to change, yeah…/A little unpredictable, I confess

This is foreshadowing, people. For those of us in the know, Kelsea’s softly coming out here. For the general public who is clueless, she’s telling her audience/the world that there could be, or there’s going to be something changing about her.  Don’t set your expectations on the image we know of Kelsie, because there is this new thing she is about to become–WLW?

If I’m honest

BIG PAUSE

This pause is LOADED.  She is not brave enough (yet) to tell her truth, but Kelsea is sure hinting at it.  She says, “if I’m honest” and in the pause you think: Honest about what?  Is she going to tell us some news?  Is this secret contained in the pause the change being talked about in this song?  My guess is yes, it’s a newly realized, and now actualized knowledge she’s, “not straight” as Julianne Hough said.  Maybe a gay relationship of some kind…

Growing up, it kind of hurts like hell

Growing up different, or being different but not knowing why hurts.  Being bullied for being different leaves scars.  Knowing you’re different and not acknowledging it, or actively hiding it, is hell.  She could be talking about regular growing pains, but within the context of the song she could also be talking about growing up gay.

It’s chaotic, ironic

But it’s how I learn to find myself…

I’m going to put an excerpt in that says what I think this line is about:

I don’t think about the chapters/It’s all about turning the page/And that’s alright (Yeah, that’s alright, yeah, that’s alright)

And finally, she gives herself permission to love woman publicly, and tells the world also, that it’s OK–because it is!

This Time Tomorrow [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

20 Jan

The third track is This Time Tomorrow.

This song compares well with a few other songs in Brandi Carlile’s catalogue [see my post about these songs, Travelin’ Man: https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11954&action=edit%5D. It’s a song from the perspective of a person that travels a lot, and is very busy. But in all of those songs, the narrator says their heart is always with the other person. And that narrator looks forward to physically being with their lover again. But this iteration is more downtrodden and hopeless, with lyrics like:

begins to grow faded/hard to see the ground on which you stand/feel like a stranger/carve a faith/broken spirit /hope that you hold tightly to has all but vanished/no words of comfort/lost and without love/fight to kill that deafening sound/holy dreams of yesterday aren’t gone/haunt us like the ghosts of Babylon

The light has gone out of the partner’s eyes. Not only can this partner not be counted on anymore to ground our troubled narrator, the main character is indicating that the other person is so unstable, the ground cannot even be seen. The lover isn’t grounded at all anymore.

Thus, instead of feeling comfort when physically home with the partner, the narrator feels lost, like a stranger. There is no familiarity anymore. Carving a faith is laborious and doesn’t come easily. Spirits were once hopeful, but now the partner left home is broken. The narrator holds their lover tightly, though every positive emotion has already vanished. Instead of coming home to comfort and love, the narrator only finds a stranger they have lost track of, and who gives them silence.

Through all theses signs of being over, the narrator insists their previous dreams (hopes) haven’t disappeared. Haunt us like ghosts of Babylon is saying their tangible love, which had the couple feeling so hopeful despite constant distance (and a damaged traveler) haunts them now. The love and hope and support are only ghosts of Babylon. Babylon was the club in Queer as Folk. Queers like to use it because it’s this supposed wonder of the world. It’s supposed to be a comforting, accepting place of beauty. But it might not have even existed. It’s a good stand-in for something hidden, ephemeral, or elusive. Which also describes these past positive feelings in this relationship.

You and Me on the Rock [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

19 Jan

The second song on the album is, You and Me on the Rock. I think it’s a double meaning: Physically living on a rock, like rocky land, or a cliff, or some island? And also a relationship on the rock(s).

The first verse beautifully describes ice fishing in vivid detail. The point is transient shelters are built on an unstable, impermanent surface, fun is had during the season, then everything is cleaned up so you can’t tell anything was ever there. The song is also describing a relationship built on a slippery foundation, where both people knew it couldn’t last forever, but they had fun anyway. And now fishing season is over, so to speak.

The chorus is very co-dependent with the main character saying she can’t even stand to be apart from her lover while one is in the garden and the other is on a walk. The narrator says she doesn’t need their (our/the audience/fans) money, just her relationship/marriage.

The 2nd verse explains that the narrator didn’t build a strong, airplane out of her life, so to speak. She says it was paper (vs strong metal) and crooked (so it’s not a sound vessel to start with). Because of this faulty construction of both plane and person, ending up in the water has always been a consequence close at hand.

The narrator tells the other person (and us) that nobody cared about them in the way this wife(?) does. Nobody was asking why’s she so thin (unhealthy, not getting nourishment) and why’s she drinking again (ending up addicted or ‘in the water’). The narrator was close to crashing into the water when this other person caught her and saved her from that terrible fate (sloppiness? alcoholism?).

The bridge[is that what it’s called?] uses a tsunami as a metaphor for their relationship problems. It’s a big wave, but the couple can make it through. They will avoid the water together.

In the bigger picture of the album theme, the 1st song made clear there were relationship problems (caused by the narrator?) but this problematic main person doesn’t want to give up, and thinks things can get sorted out. In this 2nd song, the narrator acknowledges they are a bit faulty as a person, but that’s why they need their lover (as Taylor would say). And together crises can be averted.

Brandi Carlile: Right on Time

17 Jan

First of all, I don’t understand Brandi’s new look.

It’s like David Bowe & wild-days Elton John mashed up. I get that those were her heroes/idols, but the look is definitely a “show look” not street wear. So I figured it must be like an era (al la Taylor Swift) and probably fit the theme of the new album. But it was confusing that the twins didn’t change their look at all. They looked the same as they ever did. But I waited for the album, hoping it would fall into place once I heard it.

Nope.

I don’t know what’s happening. The album is not a funsy-disco, or campy gay theme, nor is it thematic like outer space, or anything that warrants a costumy look. So I chalk it up to midlife crises. And the album might support that view…

It opens with Right On Time– With the words, “It’s not too late” this song sets the album’s tone. The piano-driven, lyrically-centered tune reminds me of “That Wasn’t Me.” That latter song was the single off of Bear Creek which is apt, because I think that album was the beginning of the story arc discussed in this current album. I feel like Bear Creek was all excitement and hope for what was to come, all getting together and family-building. While In These Silent Days is the impending ending/inevitable divorce, maybe staying together unhappily in co-dependence

There are nice bits of electric guitar w/the piano, to show both regret and a bit of edginess. And oh, the singing! Brandi’s voice shines through this song, as well as every song on the entire album. She is always a stunner on vocals, but in each track she makes sure to showcase it, not in just one or two outstanding singles. In this album-opener, Brandi hits that high note. Twice. Then it’s an even higher note!

Brandi/the narrator of the song acknowledges bad behavior, which does warrant anger/hurt in the other person, but makes clear it’s not too late, and she(?) wants to try again. So this album starts at big relationship problems, and indicates things are about to fall apart. But the main character is grasping tightly, not wanting to give up and let go.

2021 Album Ranking [bottom of the barrel]

20 Dec

Gone are the days when artists can hide meh-bad songs in an album and still sell based on 1-2 singles (thank goodness).  As such, I penalized the less than good songs more than I scored the awesomes high.  Streaming is harsh.  Here’s the scale I used for this entire list:

  • awesome 5
  • A-Gr cusp 4.5
  • Great 4
  • Gr-G cusp 3.5
  • Good 3
  • G-N cusp 1
  • Neutral -1
  • N-M cusp -2
  • Meh -3
  • M-S cusp -4.5
  • Skip -6

Another aside-I try only to rank songs released on the calendar year.  Sometimes I’m unaware a ‘live’ song isn’t new, or I judge a remix or something.  This year I must say there were a LOT of cheatee, not actually new, music put out in 2021:

Madonna-True Blue (35th Anniversary Edition); Green Day- Insomniac (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition); Avril Lavigne- Bite Me single; Metallica single; Sam Smith-Love Goes (live) & soundtrack produced by him?  Rufus Wainwright-live; Jason Isbell- live; Sarah Bareilles-live; The Black Keys- remastered, live; Pink-remixes; Blondie-Spanish; Kelly Clarkson-Christmas

You see there were a lot of people putting something out, so the Wiki 2021 Albums list looked overwhelming, but a lot of artists were tricky.  They got their name out, but didn’t put in a lot of work *side-eye* Seems to me like everyone had a lot of time to think and write and get something together during the 2020 Covid-pause.

There’s my parameters.  Let’s commence the count-from bottom of my reviewed to the best of the best 2021!

Vampire Weekend– S (too experimental & discordant)

tot = nope

I abandoned this one, because I just couldn’t.  You’ll see a theme this year-not everything is made for me, not everything is appreciated by me.  It’s fine.  This is one of those.

John Mayer-Sob Rock

I was torn about even reviewing this album.  John Mayer has been a long time staple of mine, but new information has come to light (Jessica Simpson) and I feel like it isn’t all that ethical to support him.  But I thought I’d at least give it a chance.  Well, I shouldn’t have.  It’s nothing special.  Nothing much was going on in the songs.  Boring.  And by the time I got to the baby-talking track (cringe!) I was over it.  There are just too many albums this year to fuss about with a meh one.  So I aborted mission halfway through.

tot = NOPE

Last Train Home M

Shouldn’t Matter but It Does G

New Light M

Why You No Love Me S (baby talk)

Wild Blue M

Shot in the Dark; I Guess I Just Feel Like; Til the Right One Comes; Carry Me Away; All I Want is to be With You

Those were the only two albums that I could not make myself finish.  The next ones scored in the negatives.  That just means they either had tracks to skip, mehs, or not enough songs that moved me.

Neil Young Crazy Horse-Way Down the Rust Bucket-Live

I really couldn’t get past the awful singing.  IDK why listeners are very hard on women who don’t/can’t/lose their singing, but it seems like it’s tolerated if men do it *cough patriarchy/misogyny*

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 2Great8; 5Good15; 3Neutral-3; 5Meh-15; 2Skip-24 = tot-20

Country Home- S (pretty bad singing)
Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleeze- S (bad)
Love to Burn- N
Days that Used to be- G
Bite the Bullet- M
Cinnamon Girl- M
Farmer John- M
Over and Over- G
Danger Bird- N (terrible singing knocks the score down)
Don’t Cry No Tears- G
Sedan Delivery- G
Roll Another Number (for the Road)- M (bad singing)
Fuckin’ Up- M
T-Bone- S (About 5 words in the song)
Homegrown- N (good harmonies)
Mansion on the Hill- S (bad)
Like a Hurricane- Gr (probably best on album)
Love and Only Love- Gr
Cortez the Killer- G

David Gray-Skellig

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 3Good9; 1G-N cusp1; 2Neutral-2; 6Meh-18; 1M-S cusp-4.5; 0Skip =tot-14.5

Skellig- M
Dun Loaghaire- G
Accumulates- G
Heart and Soul- N-G cusp
Laughing Gas- N
No False Gods- M-S cusp
Deep Water Swim- G
Spiral Arms- M (repetitive)
The White Owl- M
Dares My Heart be Free- N
House with No Walls-M
Can’t Hurt More Than This- M
All That We Asked for- M

Doja Cat- Planet Her:
Now, I know.  This is the album that is getting the most hype this year.  I only listened to it for that reason.  And last year I listened to Dua Lipa for the same reason, and really liked it.  The magic didn’t happen this year.  I like the title of this album, and that’s about it for me.  And that’s OK.  Not every album is made for me, nor enjoyed by me.  I wasn’t feelin’ this one.  I might be the only one on the planet.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; G-M cusp 0; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
A; 1Gr4; 2Gr-G7; 2G3; 1G-N1; 1G-M0; 3N-3; 7M-21; S = tot -9
Woman- G (Repetitive.)
Naked- N
Payday- Gr-G (Good ambient sounds, but Minnie Mouse singing.)
Get Into It (Yuh)-  Gr-G (Baby-voice is ehhhh, but rap is good and fast.)
Need to Know- Gr (Catchy and I like the repeated words)
I Don’t Do Drugs- N (Xylophone is interesting and different, but the rest of the song is kinda boring.)
Love to Dream- M
You Right- N
been Like This- N-M (Somewhat high note is good, but the song is just boring.)
Options-Gr (Moag!)
Ain’t Shit- M (The only thing I liked was the counting.)
Imagine- M
Alone- M
Kiss Me More- G-M (Disco sound)
You Right (Extended)- G (The duet is probably the best on the album.  I also liked the breathes/breathing sounds.)
Up and Down- G-N
Tonight – M
Ride- M
Why Why- M

Kaleo

I wanted to love this one like I loved their last album.  But it really fell off in the second half.  It probably would have ranked higher if the latter half was edited out completely.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0awesome; 0Great; 2Good6; 2N-G cusp2; 2Neutral-2; 1M-N cusp-2; 4Meh-12; 0Skip = tot-8

Brother Run Fast G

Break My Baby N-G

Alter Ego G

Free the Slave N-G

Skinny N

Hey Gringo M-N

My Fair Lady M

I Want More M

Backbone N

I Walk on Water M

Into My Mother’s Arms M

Aly & AJ:  a touch of the beat…[title is long and annoying, I’m not writing all of it]

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

0A; 0Gr; 2Gr-G7; 0G; 3G-N3; 2N-2; 3M-9; 1S-6 = tot-7

Pretty Places M

Lost Cause G-Gr (I love a bitter song)

Break Yourself S (I died of boredom)

Slow Dancing M

Paradise N

Symptom of Your Touch Lucky to Get Him G-N

Listen!!! N-G (the brr brr noise saves it.  and nice piano)

Don’t Need Nothing N-G (finally, a beat!  is this what the album is missing?)

Stomach N

Personal Cathedrals Gr-G (a better singing style, more lyrically intricate)

Hold Out M

Billie Eilish- Happier Than Ever:
I almost aborted listening, because the entire first half of this long album was pretty ‘background music’ (boring).  But it bothers me to not finish things so I pressed on a little more, and I’m kinda glad I did, bc it did get better.  Track order is a major problem here!  Mix it up or cut the front half.
awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; G-N cusp 1; Gr-S cusp -1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6
0A; 1A-Gr4.5; 1Gr4; 4G12; 2G-N2; 2N-2; 6M-18; 1S-6 = tot -3.5
Getting Older-M
I Didn’t Change My Number- G
Billie Bossa Nova- N
my future- M
Oxytocin- G-N (Good base and moag)
Goldwing- G
Lost Cause- M
Hailey’s Comet- N-G (Sounds a lot like 1930s type of singing/crooning.  This goes on for too short of a time.  There’s a pause and then it seems to be a whole different song?  Then, that’s too short as well.)
Not My Responsibility- S (Need to sing)
Overheated M
Everybody Dies- M (I can hear her breathes a lot, and it doesn’t sound good. Big yawn.)
Your power- G
NDA- Gr-A.  (catchy . Same tune as  her 1st album. Good moàg)
Therefore I Am- N
Happier Than Ever- Gr
Male fantasy- G
M (Glitch is always welcome.  Has rap :-/  .)

Shovels & Rope- Busted Jukebox Volume 3

Soooo?  Is this supposed to be a kid’s album? Title it better, because I needed to listen with that expectation in mind.

awesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; Great 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; Good 3; N-G cusp 1; Neutral -1; N-M cusp -2; Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

1awesome5; 0Great; 3Good9; 3Neutral-3; 2Meh-6; 1Skip-6 =tot-1

Hush Little Baby- S (WTF is this shit?)
In My Room- G
What a Wonderful World- N (Great song, played too slow. Whistle & talking sucked)
You Are My Sunshine- N
Cry Baby- G
My Little Buckaroo- M
Everybody Hurts- N (Weird choice for a kid’s album, if this is one…)
Mother Earth and Father Time- M
The Ants Go Marching- A (Fucking great syncopation!)
Tomorrow- G

We’ll get into the middle of the pack tomorrow.  And I’ll come back and number these when I finish the last two album-rankings.

Travelin’ Man: A Trilogy of Related Brandi Carlile Songs

2 Nov

The song, “This Time Tomorrow” on the new album, ‘In These Silent Days’ is quiet and a bit inconspicuous. But I noticed a theme running through Brandi’s catalogue: This song compares well with “Closer to You” and also to “Wherever is Your Heart” off Firewatcher’s Daughter. It’s (all 3, really are) a song from the perspective of a person that travels a lot, and is very busy. But in all three songs, the narrator says their heart is always with their love back at home (GF? wife? the subject may change over time). And that narrator looks forward to physically being with their partner again. I’m going to awkwardly refer to whoever the primary perspective in the song as “narrator” because I’m not certain who this story belongs to. All 3 seem to write a lot of the music, and maybe it’s the combined experience of Brandi, Phil, and Tim. I haven’t seen interviews or other info that tells which one might be talking for sure.

Closer to You (the first written of these 3 similar sentiments):

I’m staring out at endless rows of green
There are miles of hay like I have never seen
Just when you think you’ve had enough and
your dreams come true
I just want to be closer to you

My mind wanders through all that I’ve been hiding from
I tried not to let you down
Now I wonder if I’ve been doin’ something wrong
Help me get my feet back on the ground

Tomorrow I’ll be lying under you
With a heart of gold and arms to fall into
I know that there might come a day
where my life is through
But I just want to be closer to you

My mind wanders through all that I’ve been hiding from
I tried not to let you down
Now I wonder if I’ve been doin’ something wrong
Help me get my feet back on the ground

Someday we might learn to tell the truth
We might even find the fountains of our youth
We all needed something real we all need proof
I just want to be closer to you
I only want to be closer to you

The tone of this song is excited, almost wonderous at these novel sights. And when the narrator gets fatigued of all the travel–all their dreams (of adventure? money? fame? musical growth?) come true. They will press on with the travel over the long term. The writer of this song thinks maybe they’re going about the relationship, career, and/or life wrong, The final verse conveys a searching for something higher-and alludes to a spiritual crises. Even so, the narrator has the tangible in their mate. And knows their loved one will be there to ground them when they get back home. It is indicated that the narrator KNOWS this person with golden heart will be there. There’s no doubt.



In Wherever is Your Heart, written early on in relationships, it’s decidedly upbeat and hopeful:

I think it’s time we found a way back home
You lose so many things you love as you grow
I missed the days when I was just a kid
My fear became my shadow, I swear it did

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

You made me feel like I was always falling
Always falling down without a place to land
Somewhere in the distance I heard you calling
Oh it hurts so bad to let go of your hand

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Even when you’re high, you can get low
Even with your friends you love, you’re still alone
We always find the darkest place to go
God forgive our minds, we were born to roam

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind
There’s a road that’s long and winding, it hollers home
I’m calling home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home



Or, might I say, the song of the song is upbeat and gives an optimistic vibe, and the chorus is true to that sentiment. This 2nd song says no matter how far apart geographically the two partners are, they both take solace in the fact that their hearts are together. They don’t need to be physically together to feel and know the love they share. BUT the verses betray a darkness in the narrator. They lost things/people as they aged, and reminisce about a simpler time of when they were a child. Now, they feel fear nearly always. The falling verse that’s next directly ties back to the plane metaphor in “You and Me on the Rock” and tells of that broken foundation that comprises this person. The narrator tells that even with this beautiful sentiment of loving and spiritually being with your lover, even when separate, their mind still fights. The mind is still lonesome amongst friends, sad during happy times, aberrant from the happy chorus.

Which brings us back to this current song, You and Me on the Rock:

When the fire inside that burns
So bright begins to grow faded
It can be hard to see the ground on which you stand
Though you may not be afraid of walkin’ in the darkness
You will feel like a stranger in this land

You can try to carve a faith out of your own
But a broken spirit may dry out the bone
And the edges of the night may cause you sorrow
You know I may not be around this time tomorrow
But I’ll always be with you
Yeah, I’ll always be with you

When the hope that you hold tightly to has all but vanished
And there are no words of comfort to be found
You will know what it means to be lost and without love
May you fight to kill that deafening sound

But our holy dreams of yesterday aren’t gone
They still haunt us like the ghosts of Babylon
And the breakin’ of the day might bring you sorrow
You know I may not be around this time tomorrow
But I’ll always be with you
I’ll always be with you

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

repeats

Now the person at home doesn’t have a golden heart, but that bright fire faded. They can’t even find the ground, and aren’t the stable force they were in “Closer to You” anymore. Instead of coming home to comfort, the narrator feels like a stranger. Carving faith is more laborious than how easily it came in the first 2 songs… What is the exact same in all the songs, is the narrator will always be with this other person in spirit when they travel, just as before. The next verse gets at the heart of this entire album again. The lyrics reiterate that love has all but vanished, yet the narrator grasps tightly to whatever is left of it. The person left at home, no longer has words of comfort as mentioned in the prior songs, which makes the narrator feel even more lost than they already felt.

I like the new album, but it’s a bleak story. And this trilogy of songs shows the trajectory of a traveling person with a broken foundation who found, and then lost, love and now lives in a codependent state. ‘In These Silent Days’ tells the same story of the catalogue, just in a more condensed form.

PS- I think I’m going to do a few of these similar song postings, as I heard a lot of pairs and triplet songs while going through the album.