Tag Archives: analysis

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.

The Lighthouse Analysis: VIII. Mythology-Sirens

27 Aug

There are many references to mythology in The Lighthouse movie. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re themes of the movie, because none of them are carried out in an entire story arc.

The singing mermaid-like creature in the movie is reminiscent of sirens. Sirens were human companions of Persephone. After she was carried off by Hades, they sought her everywhere and finally prayed for wings to fly across the sea. The gods granted their prayer. In some versions Demeter turned them into birds to punish them for not guarding Persephone. In art the Sirens appeared first as birds with the heads of women and later as women, sometimes winged, with bird legs (1). Though early depictions of the Sirens showed them as half-woman half-bird creatures, similar to harpies, who lived by the sea. However, later on, Sirens were said to have female heads and torsos, with fish tail from their navel downwards. Around the Middle Ages, the Sirens morphed into the figure that we now call mermaids (2).

The movie also depicts both the siren/mermaid-creature, and birds (though separately). In the Lighthouse, the birds are said to be the souls of dead sailors, so that is adjacent to the sirens getting wings, and having hybrid heads of women, tails of fish, and wings of birds.

The Sirens seem to have evolved from an ancient tale of the perils of early exploration combined with an Asian image of a bird-woman. Anthropologists explain the Asian image as a soul-bird—i.e., a winged ghost that stole the living to share its fate. In that respect the Sirens had affinities with the Harpies (1).

This soul-bird concept is closer to what the movie was doing: A singing siren and in addition the birds that represent souls.

The Sirens stayed on an island near the strait of Scylla and Charybdis after the search for Persephone ended. From there, they would prey on the ships passing nearby, enticing the sailors with their charming singing. Their singing was so beautiful that they could make the wind stop to listen to them. It’s from these singing creatures that we get the English word siren, which means a device that makes a warning noise. With their musical ability, they attracted the sailors from the passing ships, who would come closer and closer to the dangerous rocky coast of the Sirens’ island and ultimately get shipwrecked and dashed on the rocks. According to some myths, the corpses of their victims could be found all along the shores of their island (2).

Younger was drawn to the fishy woman in a supernatural way. The siren/mermaid made a high pitch “singing” and was also an omen of impending danger.

The Sirens symbolize temptation and desire, which can lead to destruction and risk. If a mortal stopped to listen to the beautiful sounds of the Sirens, they wouldn’t be able to control their desires and this would lead them to their death. As such, the Sirens can also be said to represent sin (2).

The movie is trying to convey how Younger has split into Id and ego precisely because he cannot control his desires. As the parts of himself are coming back together (strongly symbolized by the two “men” dancing) Younger’s vices and impulsivity return in his character.

Some have suggested that the Sirens represent the primal power that females have over men, which can both fascinate and frighten men. After Christianity began to spread, the symbol of the Sirens was used to portray the dangers of temptation. The phrase siren song is used to describe something that is appealing and alluring but also potentially dangerous and harmful (2).

Same concept in the movie. Younger is always magnetized and attracted to the siren/mermaid. In the beginning of the movie his interactions with her are fleeting, then toward the middle of the movie, they are longer and more substantial, and at the end he tries to copulate with her fishy nether-regions. This helps show his Id returning to his personality, the break of his delusion. It also shows man’s temptations toward the feminine, which purportedly leads to other temptations. Finally, the movie uses this as a key indicator things are going to get bad.

Sources:

1) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Siren-Greek-mythology

2) https://symbolsage.com/sirens-greek-mythology/

3) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Odysseus

4) https://symbolsage.com/odysseus-trojan-war-hero/

5) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Prometheus-Greek-god

6) https://symbolsage.com/prometheus-greek-mythology/

7) https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Trident_of_Poseidon

8) https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-odyssey/book-12

9) https://www.uniguide.com/cyclopes

10) https://www.theoi.com/Titan/Aiolos.html#:~:text=AIOLOS%20(Aeolus)%20was

Ranking of Brandi Carlile’s Catalog

4 Jul

I’m about to go to a Brandi concert for my birthday, so I thought I would rank her songs. I used the same judging format that I did for the Indigo Girls and Taylor Swift, so check out those entries for the logistics and math (yes this is a quantitatively judged ranking).  Here is Brandi Carlile’s studio album (not lives or reworked. Yet.) songs from skip to best.  The later in this list, the better the song:

Skip:

82. Keep Your Heart Young-

This one is a skip for several reasons (and none of them are that it’s a bad or un-entertaining song).  It’s wildly loved by the fandom, and they play it at many a concert–so it’s just overheard by me.  More than that, this song in particular signaled a genre change that I didn’t want, as a fan of the original iteration of the band.  It’s good, it’s fine.  But prior to this, Brandi was too cool for school.  She was hipster and edgy and an alternative-something mid-20 (Me.  And Cool.) would really aspire to.  This song was the first homey, country, down-home, ‘mom’ folksy song.  I’m still mad at it.  But I am glad now that Brandi got a Grammy she’s returning more to the 2015-ish sound.  I hope she’ll do more rock in the future.  Or at least sneak it in.

Meh:

81. Heroes and Songs

80. Oh Dear

79. Just Kids-

The best of the meh category. It’s a great album ending, but not as good as a stand alone song.  The ambient noise is really cool.  It’s just too long and slow of a track when not used as a closer.

Neutrals:

78. Beginning to Feel the Years-

Slow. Brighter singing tone and a chorus. It doesn’t sound like Brandi very much.

77. If there was No You

76. Sixty Years On-

Voice cracks in this version. Symphony version is better, but I decided not to do any extra albums this go-around.  I might add them in later because I think I skipped at least 2, and maybe a third.

75. Murder in the City

It’s too much a copycat of a different band. Don’t like the talking through the song style. What a waste of Brandi’s pipes. The backing harmonies and strings sound good though.

74. You and Me on the Rock-

73. I Belong to You

72. Save a Part of Yourself-

Catchiness to the song. claps but harmonies and Italian snippets too.

71. Every Time I Hear that Song

70. By the way I forgive you.

69. Happy

Amber-lee. Writing is good for break-up song.

68. Someday Never Comes

Goods:

67. . Hearts Content

66. Stay Gentle

I like when Brandi is at least a little edgy. This is too sweet and leaves me Wanting another component in the song.

65. Wilder

Maybe it’s the way the band is mic-ed up to catch the harmonies but Brandi sounds echoy in a low quality way. Harmonies are nice, but nobody wants this one slowing down every concert as they are doing.

64. Blood Muscle Skin and Bone-

That first sound is so different and interesting! It doesn’t sound like Brandi singing for a lot of it. The claps and wailing 1950s harmony come off as a little cheesy. I do like the snare fast beat.

63. Fulton County Jane

There just a touch of yodal and it’s excellent.

62. 100

This one has an instrumental bridge with slight tension. At the Gorge, they played this with the tympani and it was the best version of this song!  If that was the album version, it would easily be an awesome.

61. Throwing Good After bad-

😞 Detailed.  Some lyrical complexity but slow and depressing. (Gr)

60. Letter to the Past

Passionate singing. Note. Built to last totally takes me out of the song and into a car commercial. It’s the last impression of the song and always makes me drop the rank a few spots bc it’s so jarring.

59. Gone

Waltz backing. Simple song. Nice bridge with twin harmony.

58. In the Morrow-

Low key. High notes just at end. Some kind of bango/subtle bluegrass really makes this song! There is a rise in the music & singing.

57. Cannonball (G-Gr)

56. The Eye

Too copycat of Fleetwood Mac. It seems like the band was lost during Firewatchers Daughter. They wanted that Grammy and more mainstream success but didn’t know how to go about it. This is one that I dislike it not for the song as much as what it indicated the direction the band was taking. Still, beautiful harmonies.

55. This Time Tomorrow

Nice and prominent harmonies but in a more authentic way to the band. Not as much of a copycat song.

54. Most of All

Talks about her parents. I like the sentiment and the growth. Notes. Harmony. Sentimental without being saccharine.

53. A Promise to Keep

More catchy, stronger writing than blood .. Backing Cello gives lots of resonance.

52. When You’re Wrong

Prelude to in these Silent Days. Haunting.  Tells a full story. Scream-wail is emotive and a good end.

51. Tragedy-

Notes put it over cannonball. (G-Gr)

We’re getting into the top 50 songs in the catalog:

50. Until I Die (G-Gr)

Over tragedy bc the jam and beat is more. Prominent twin harmonies.

49. Turpentine-

Low register. Catchy. This is another one that’s an awesome when done with the symphony. The symphony version is definitely over The Joke, but this one is pretty short.

48. The Joke-

I’m a bit mad at this song too. I see it as pure Grammy pandering. And as you can see, I ranked it at one point, then forgot to put it in the writing somehow-oops. Major infraction is this is the song the led most people to discover the band. I’m in the camp that it’s overrated. It was a moment in time, and Brandi hyped it up big-time. It is a good song with a good meaning and singing moments. I just don’t think it’s even close to the best song (as you can see by the half-number–this might bother me a lot later and I’ll have to re-do the whole damn thing. But it’s July 4th so I’m going to leave it for now.

unpopular opinion- I think this song is overrated. It also bothers me that “I have seen how it ends” doesn’t quite fit in the alloted space. I think there’s 5 beats in the music but 6 syllables in the words and she extends “how” for 2 beats. She shoves 7 in a 5 so “it” gets lost. She could have fixed it so easily by saying “I’ve seen how it end” Also that concept is cliche.

47. I Will

More catchy than the Joke. Cello snippets are nice. Falsetto. Lyrics.

46. Wasted

Instrumental bridge. Lyrics.

45. Whatever You Do

Soft Cello. I love the line, “never said I’m sorry but I meant it.” Orchestral. scream note ending

44. Late Morning Lullaby

Call back to Dreams. More twin harmony. Exciting bridge. Singing and lyrics.

The fact there are 43 songs ranked great and higher speaks to the quality of Brandi Carlile’s work. The numbers sound pretty high, but these are all, solidly great to perfect songs:

Greats:

43. In My own Eyes-

Bridge different from the song. Captures a yearning sound in the singing. (Gr)

42. My Song-

Strong guitar. Angsty. Emotive singing. Visual lyrics. “My mind is full of razors” is such a good line.

41. The Mother-

I like that this is real, not saccharine. This one is always a crowd favorite.  I had this lower in the rank only because Brandi had played it at so many live shows I was at, and I got oversaturated with it.  Also, I’m not a mother.  But after seeing the YouTube video where Brandi plays it to the female inmates, I just…  Go watch it!  (G-Gr)

40. Shadow on the Wall-

Strong harmonies-more twins involvement is nice.

39. Caroline-

Upbeat.  unique tempo to the catalog. Elton John.

38. That Year-

I had ranked it quite a bit lower because it’s a slow song that is super-depressing.  Deals with suicide without stigmatizing the person. Detailed. But I had to move it up because it’s such a powerful story and heartfelt message.

37. Touching the Ground-

Lyrics. Catchy. (G-Gr)

36. Hiding My Heart-

Call back to the story.

35. Sugartooth

Tells an entire story. Heavy subject matter of addiction and suicide packaged in a surprisingly upbeat tune.

34. Follow-

Notes. More of an instrumental break down.  (G-Gr)

33. Throw It All Away-

Notes. Great visual lyrics. Deep. (G-Gr)

32. Losing Heart-

Catchy chorus. More beat. Interesting beat. (G-Gr)

31. Josephine-

Falsetto harmony. Catchy chorus. (Gr)

30. I’ll Still be There-

If it all- note. The song builds. Then it all gets even stronger at the end. Kind of melting the middle.  (G-Gr)

29. Downpour-

Can hear Cello well.  Low register. (G-Gr)

28. Fall Apart Again-

One of my fave lyrics in her whole catalog: “And I think the world of myself but the world doesn’t think much of me.” (Gr)

27. Have You Ever-

Really fun tempo and a beat like footsteps. Inclusive of twin harmonies. (Gr)

26. Looking Out-

More complex backing than Fall Apart. Suitcase on my chest. Afraid of… List. Someone loves you high note & rock out.  (G-Gr)

On to the top 25 songs in the catalog:

25. Again Today-

Low register. Speeds up and jams at the end. Twins are more involved than pride. More of a tone change than Pride & Joy. (Gr)

24. Pride and Joy-

Wow-singing is strong throughout the entire song. Very orchestral. Instrumental from soft to intense.  (Gr)

23. What Can I Say-

So catchy. Conveys longing and religion human failure without being OTT. (G-Gr)

Awesome:

22. Alibi-

Unique sound to her catalog. Softly alt-punk is a fun experiment without changing the whole genre. Good harmony and beat. A bit repetitive. The sticks at the end and syncopation make it interesting.

21. What Did I Ever Come Here for? 

I really identify with these lyrics of putting yourself out there, going back to someone comfortable. Wanting them to look at your intentions, then being rejected. Catchy also.

20. Party of One-

More complex. Lyrically based. Instrumental swell. Depressing. Once, Brandi actually responded to my tweet regarding this song! Screen-grab is going in the scrapbook.

19. Before it breaks-

Lyrics. Instrumental jam.

18. Harder to Forgive-

Good writing. I like how it calls out someone who traumatized her without being mean or over dramatic. Like a march. I think the echo effect is put to good use here.  kazoo. Breakdown. Scream note.

17. Mama Werewolf-

Concept & lyrics. I know this is going to be a major-favorite at the concert [P.S. I had originally used ‘mega’-favorite, as in the shark.  Big, large, upsize.  And fuck Trump for (among many, many, many other things) ruining that word.]

16. The Stranger at my Door

I love all the cowboy sounds embedded in this one. It’s western folksy in the best way. best ending!

The top 15 songs of the catalog:

15. Dying Day-

Prelude to all the ‘home is your heart’ series of songs. Low-register AND high notes-very strong singing.The ‘dum. Da da dun dum’ end of phrases are good.

14. Right on Time-

Notes! Base. I like the acknowledgement and accountability for hurting another.

13. Hold Out Your Hand-

I like how fast she sings. Then also how it slows on the chorus. It’s surprisingly high difficulty to get the verses out that fast. Notes. Is this the most FUN song in the catalog?!

12. Rise Again-

Faster. Notes! Beat. Twin harmony. Rocks out at the end.

11. The Things I regret-

The most awesome of the awesome songs.  Trying to convince herself to let herself be happy. High energy. more lyrical. Hand claps.

Elites:

10. That Wasn’t Me- 

It was the lead single for Bear Creek, but totally different from every other song on the album. The piano along with the harmonies sound nice. A good rehab song. Earnest.

9. Broken Horses- 

The singing is A+! Not only the notes but playing with voice. Lyrics are meaningful and full of symbolism. I like ending a relationship and also having no guilt about that. Standing up for yourself is important. I like the tempo changes. Maybe too many repetitive choruses. Broken Horses doesn’t mean breaking a horse, which bothers me.

8. Closer to You

More catchy than Broken Horses even if the notes don’t compare.

7. Sinners, Saints, and Fools-

Instrumentals sound full and great. The story is a fun concept and not too OTT churchy. Scream note! The strings squeaky. Piano is chaotic. Motorcycle end.

6. Wherever is Your Heart-

I like the sentiment. I like the underlying fast tempo. This song makes me excited. The notes in the chorus sound so good. Twin harmony. The Falsetto back there adds a lot. Beats. The slower refrain is an interesting change and conveys an inner dialogue and strife. This song is particularly good bc the instrumentals and singing style are very upbeat but the words are pretty sad and depressing. A tiny bit over Closer to You bc it starts slow and changes speed and has a notable bridge is generally more complex

5. Mainstream Kid-

It’s really fun to hear Brandi be more edgy. The social commentary of the lyrics is awesome.  I ranked this higher than the prior 2 sings (even though I love them both a lot) bc the singing is so powerful throughout. And also some extra points for taking a risk. Scream singing is fun and powerful. The guitar repeats, beat, and even handclaps are all good elements of the song that jazz me up. The pulsing and lower register prior to a growl note is such a good end!

4. Hard Way Home-

Harmony that sounds like sirens is a great opener. Love the pace it’s just like walking. I can really get behind the message of doing things the hard way. It speaks to me a bit more than Wherever is Your Heart’s subject matter. Love the “I’ll tell you how I wanna live… Lyric. The syncopation at the end makes me amped up!

Top 3 elites:

3. Dreams-

I like the beat and the more rock sound. The strong singing and harmonies are present but packaged in a harder, more rhythmic backing. Also, I’ll never forget seeing this one live at Spokane’s knitting factory. Brandi was so cute and cool and I wanted to meet her so bad!

2. Raise Hell-

This song never fails to make me hyped! I love the message and the yells during the sock. That beat and even the handclaps. Her singing! I love to sing this anytime especially at a concert. When Brandi opened for Dave at the Gorge, the poster we made said, “Raise Hell.”

#1 song of the whole catalog:

1. The Story-

I listened to each track 2-3 times with an open mind and based my ranking solely on each song’s merits. And it’s no surprise that the band’s originally most well known track landed on top of the list. It builds from slower to rock. And the notes! It’s always exciting to hear it, and now I like to watch the indoctrinated take it in for the first time. It captures the essence of the band.

My Notes and Deliberations:

BRANDI CARLILE CATALOGUE RANKINGS

Elite 10, Awesome 6, Great 3, Good 1, Neutral 0, Meh -3, Skip -6

Brandi Carlile 2005

  1. Follow” (Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 4:13 G-Gr 2
  2. “What Can I Say” (Tim Hanseroth) – 2:50 G-Gr 2.6
  3. “Closer to You” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 2:54 E 10
  4. “Throw It All Away” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:43 G-Gr 2.7
  5. “Happy” (Carlile) – 2:32 M-N -1 (3 listen kept spacing out)
  6. “Someday Never Comes” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 2:47 M -3
  7. “Fall Apart Again” (Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:37 Gr 3.1
  8. “In My Own Eyes” (Carlile) – 3:31 Gr 3
  9. “Gone” (Carlile, Paul Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:05 G 1
  10. “Tragedy” (Carlile) – 3:45 G-Gr 2.5

The Story 2007

  1. “Late Morning Lullaby” (Brandi Carlile) – 3:27 G 1
  2. The Story” (Phil Hanseroth) – 3:58 E 10 #1
  3. “Turpentine” (Carlile) – 2:58 G-Gr 2
  4. “My Song” (Carlile) – 4:28 G-Gr 2.4
  5. “Wasted” (Carlile) – 3:47 G 1.2
  6. “Have You Ever” (Phil Hanseroth) – 2:32  Gr 3.1
  7. “Josephine” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:02 Gr 2.9
  8. “Losing Heart” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth, Phil Hanseroth) – 3:35 Gr 3
  9. “Cannonball” (Carlile) – 3:52 G-Gr 1.2
  10. “Until I Die” (Carlile) – 4:06 G-Gr 1.5
  11. “Downpour” (Carlile) – 3:14 G-Gr 1.9
  12. “Shadow on the Wall” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:15 G-Gr 
  13. “Again Today” (Carlile) – 10:38 Gr 3.3 (after slow part really good )
    • Contains a hidden track, “Hiding My Heart” (Tim Hanseroth) G 1.1

Live at Easy Street 2007

  1. “Closer to You”
  2. The Story
  3. “Have You Ever”
  4. “Turpentine”
  5. “Fall Apart Again”
  6. “Downpour”
  7. “Josephine”

Give Up the Ghost 2009

  1. Looking Out” – 4:18 G-Gr 5
  2. “Dying Day” (Tim Hanseroth) – 3:33 Gr-A 4 (Brandi’s singing conveys longing perfectly. Ending note!)
  3. “Pride and Joy” – 4:20 Gr 3.1 (Starts slow & quiet and builds speed & intensity through the song. Instrumental break.)
  4. “Dreams” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:31 E 10 #3
  5. “That Year” – 3:35 Gr 3 (Lyrically dense and meaningful but also slow and depressing)
  6. “Caroline” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:36 Gr 3.3 (Fun song and Elton John)
  7. “Before It Breaks” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:57 Gr-A 4.1 (The lyrics touch me. The instrumental break is strong.)
  8. “I Will” – 4:09 G
  9. “If There Was No You” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth) – 2:39 N
  10. “Touching the Ground” (Tim Hanseroth) – 3:17 G-Gr 4
  11. “Oh Dear” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth) – 2:50 N-M

Live

Bear Creek 2012

Hard Way Home”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth3:21 E 10.1
2.“Raise Hell”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth E 10.2 #24:08
3.“Save Part of Yourself”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth N-G .53:22
4.That Wasn’t MeBrandi Carlile A-E3:42
5.“Keep Your Heart Young”Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth S3:20
6.“100”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth G 13:21
7.“A Promise to Keep”Tim Hanseroth G-Gr 2.54:02
8.“I’ll Still Be There”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth G-Gr 2.8 (high note)3:26
9.“What Did I Ever Come Here For”Phil Hanseroth A3:40
10.“Heart’s Content”Brandi Carlile G 0.9 (Cello. Sounds like Doris Day.)3:34
11.“Rise Again”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth A4:11
12.“In the Morrow”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth Gr4:02
13.“Just Kids”Brandi Carlile, Jared Faw. M-N (Very slow. Like the cycling piano. Good to close the album. 6:47
Total length:50:56

Firewatchers Daughter 2015

TitleWriter(s)Length
1.“Wherever Is Your Heart”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth3:50 A-E
2.“The Eye”Carlile, Tim Hanseroth3:35 G 0.9
3.“The Things I Regret”Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth3:26 Gr-A
4.“Mainstream Kid”Carlile, Tim Hanseroth4:19 E
5.“Beginning to Feel the Years”Phil Hanseroth3:08 G-Gr 1.5
6.“Wilder (We’re Chained)”Tim Hanseroth3:32 G 1.1
7.“Blood Muscle Skin & Bone”Phil Hanseroth4:16 G-Gr 2.0
8.“I Belong to You”Carlile4:30 N-G (end speeds up)
9.“Alibi”Tim Hanseroth3:00 A
10.“The Stranger at My Door”Carlile3:42 E (Cowboy gallop, twin’s backing. That sample at the end!)
11.“Heroes and Songs”Carlile2:47 M
12.“Murder in the City”Scott Yancey Avett, Timothy Seth Avett2:53 G 1.0

By the Way I Forgive You 2018

Every Time I Hear That Song”4:01N
2.The Joke4:39 G 1.1
3.“Hold Out Your Hand”4:22 A (The fast syncopation. Style of storytelling country like Jonny Cash)
4.“The Mother”3:17 G-Gr 1.3
5.“Whatever You Do”4:07 N-G
6.“Fulton County Jane Doe”4:43 G 0.9
7.“Sugartooth”4:28 Gr
8.“Most of All”3:51 G 1.2zs
9.“Harder to Forgive”4:06 A-Gr 4(When it slows down. And Brandi’s singing. Kazoo backing.)
10.“Party of One”5:47 A-Gr 3.5 (Depressing. I like how each piece of the song is like an entirely different song.)
Total length:43:25

In These Silent Days 2021


Length
1.Right on Time3:05 A 6.25
2.“You and Me on the Rock” (featuring Lucius)3:50 N (This song bothers me the same as when TS says, “talk real SLOW so your mama don’t e.” Like, what? I just start thinking- where does Brandi live and how did they dig the foundation if it’s on rock?  Steals the enjoyment.
3.“This Time Tomorrow”3:26 G 1.1
4.“Broken Horses”5:03 E
5.“Letter to the Past”3:40 G 1.4 (stonewall rubber band bothers me also)
6.“Mama Werewolf”3:41 A 6
7.“When You’re Wrong”4:26 N-G
8.“Stay Gentle”2:28 G 1
9.“Sinners, Saints and Fools”4:32 E #4
10.“Throwing Good After Bad”4:07 Gr
Total length:38:16

Reputation Re-listen: 3rd Lens

23 Jan

1st lense: Public persona. Straight. Thought it was bad. The BF stuff was OTT. As such, the rest of this analysis is from the perspective that Oat Milk is a beard (Grammygate).
2nd lense: Kaylor. Eyes opened, everything made better sense. It’s a WLW love story.
3rd lense: in light of Karlie baby. Post FolkMore.
It’s all of those. Taylor was layering meanings into songs (for plausible deniability) before she admitted it in folklore.

I included lyrical analysis in this, but not quotes from Taylor outside of her songs. When marketing an album to the general public she tends to be an unreliable narrator, and cherry-picking takes away from the credibility of these conclusions. The truth is (buried) in her lyrics.

Call It What You Want (pertinent lines and [brackets show my words]):

My castle crumbled overnight I brought a knife to a gunfight They took the crown, but it’s alright [Snakegate] All the liars are calling me one [KimYe] Nobody’s heard from me for months [Reputation black-out] I’m doing better than I ever was, ’cause My baby’s fit like a daydream [Victoria’s Secret Angel, Karlie] High above the whole scene [tall, and also out of the KimYe drama] Windows boarded up after the storm [during reputation black-out, Kaylor went underground together] He built a fire [Karlie] just to keep me warm All the drama queens taking swings [Karda$hians] All the jokers dressin’ up as kings [Kanye] They fade to nothing when I look at him I’m laughing with my lover, making forts under covers

Taylor is in love with Karlie. She says they don’t have to label it if that doesn’t work for Karlie:

(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it) So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to Call it what you want, yeah Call it what you want To [said fast it even sounds like Karlie’s name in here]

Taylor writes a lot about the sexual chemistry of Kaylor:

Don’t Blame Me

I’ve been breakin’ hearts a long time, and [Taylor’s serial-dater reputation] Toyin’ with them older guys [Jake G, John M, Tom H…] Just to play things for me to use [beards]

Something happened for the first time, in The darkest little paradise Shakin, pacin’, I just need you I get so high, oh Every time, yeah every time you’re lovin’ me You’re lovin’ me Oh, Lord, save me, my drug is my baby I’d be usin’ for the rest of my life [Lesbian sex.]

My name is whatever you decide [Karlie misspells Taylor’s name in the sand during the Big Sur trip] And I’m just gonna call you mine Halo, hiding my obsession [VS Angel and also Taylor Swift the wholesome/straight brand] I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy [a daisy on the dashboard identical to the pic on the liner notes; also Ivy from Evermore calls back to this]

I rearranged the lyrics of So It Goes:

Met you in a bar [Delicate? or the 2014 Met Gala?] All eyes on me, your illusionist [Taylor is not what she seems] All eyes on us [Guests, media, the public?] See you in the dark All eyes on you, my magician [magical but twists the truth does tricks to obscure] All eyes on us You make everyone disappear, and [Taylor only has eyes for Karlie]

Cut me into pieces Gold cage, hostage to my feelings

[Taylor is in love, yet still in her metaphorical cage. She has to hide this love from the public for the sake of her career. She’s also in the cage because her love, Karlie, is committed to someone else (Jo$h).]

Back against the wall [no options] Trippin’, trip-trippin’ when you’re gone [Karlie goes back to Jo$h] ‘Cause we breakdown a little I’m so chill, but you make me jealous [Taylor doesn’t want to share Karlie] But I got your heart Skippin’, skip-skippin’ when I’m gone [Both of them feel love, not just Taylor]

[There’s a lot of outside factors standing between Taylor and Karlie, and making their relationship complicated and messy.]

But when you get me alone, it’s so simple ‘Cause baby, I know what you know We can feel it And all the pieces fall Right into place Getting caught up in a moment Lipstick on your face So it goes I make all your gray days clear and Wear you like a necklace [lesbian sex graphic reference] But when I get you alone, it’s so simple ‘Cause baby, I know what you know We can feel it You know I’m not a bad girl [Commenting on public stigma of gays] But I do bad things with you [Sexually-speaking] So it goes Come here, dressed in black now So, so, so it goes Scratches down your back now So, so, so it goes

[sex, sex, sex is so passionate and great and makes all the public image and commitments to others momentarily disappear]

I’m yours to keep [Karlie could choose Taylor] And I’m yours to lose [will Karlie choose Jo$h?] You did a number on me [Staying committed to Jo$h while seeing Taylor] But honestly, baby, who’s counting? I did a number on you [bearding, anxious about their relationship] But honestly, baby, who’s counting? [Proceeds to count. Maybe saying resentments are building up on both sides]

End game through this 3rd lens seems less like couple goals as I had previously interpreted it, and more like begging Karlie to choose her (over Jo$h):

Big reputation, big reputation Ooh you and me we got big reputations [obv Taylor and Karlie individually and together]

I don’t wanna touch you (I don’t wanna be) Just anther ex-love (you don’t wanna see) I don’t wanna miss you (I don’t wanna miss you) [When Karlie goes back to Jo$h] Like the other girls do I don’t wanna hurt you (I just wanna be) Drinkin’ on a beach with (you all over me And I can’t let you go, your hand print’s on my soul [Taylor is deeply in love with Karlie] It’s like your eyes are liquor, it’s like your body is gold [Karlie] You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks So here’s the truth from my red lips I wanna be your end game I wanna be your first string I wanna be your A Team I wanna be your endgame, endgame

[This screams, please pick me overJo$h]

Delicate under the 3rd lens seems less like a nervous 1st date and more like anxiety that Karlie is a flight risk.

We can’t make any promises Now can we, babe Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head? ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate (Delicate) Is it cool that I said all that? Is it too soon to do this yet? ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate

[Taylor is full of anxiety, not wanting to scare Karlie away, not wanting to push boundaries.]

Third floor on the West Side, me and you [Kaylor sex] Handsome, you’re a mansion with a view [Karlie] Do the girls back home touch you like I do? Long night with your hands up in my hair Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs Stay here, honey, I don't want to share [with Jo$h] 'Cause I like you Sometimes I wonder; when you sleep Are you ever dreaming of me? [vs. Jo$h] Sometimes when I look into your eyes I pretend you're mine, all the damn time 'Cause I like you

Dress is the Met Gala (2014 or 2016?). Things were sexy, there was attraction, they had undeniable chemistry.

Wildest Dreams is looking backward at the Big Sur trip Kaylor took after they met. So looking about here in the timeline. They were in love.

I believe Taylor was writing songs that went on the Lover album and was interrupted by KimYe/Snakegate. That's why some of the Lover tracks fit chronologically between Reputation tracks.

A stressor to Kaylor is election season ramping up. Miss Americana and the Heartbreak King [Taylor doesn't want her brand associated with Ku$hners/Trump. Thus she could not be open that her and Karlie are in a romantic/sexual relationship (even though she feels so much for Karlie).]

Getaway car

1st lens: Leaving Calvin (Tom?!) for Joe. Makes no sense. Too many people and an inconsistent timeline.
2nd lens: leaving beards for true love Karlie. Occasional lines don't make sense- did Taylor switch perspectives within the lyrics?
3rd lens: ditching Jo$h to have Kaylor sex. And lines like:

No, nothing good starts in a getaway car [Kaylor is doomed]
He [not Calvin, not beards. Jo$h] poisoned the well, [Jo$h was working against Kaylor, he was doing his best to thwart Taylor and persuade Karlie to stay with him] I was lying to myself [That she was hetero/bi (she's not), that she could handle a casual relationship, and that Karlie would leave Jo$h forever to be with her]. I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed
We were flyin', but we'd never get far
There were sirens in the beat of your heart [this trist is exciting but problematic. Both for the public finding out about WLW. But also bc TS is seriously in love and that will cause problems.]

*This stanza:

It was the great escape, the prison break

Both from the Met gala (a bit confusing bc Kaylor went at least twice-2014 and 2016 I think) but also Taylor from comp-het. Now she realizes she's lesbian. I say that because Taylor already knew she liked women. She dated Diana. And I'm assuming it wasn't just a Kaylor sex, 'I am sexually attracted to women' epiphany, because Swiftgron lasted awhile and I'm assuming they were sexual. But there is some sort of revelation Taylor has in this part of the song. A change has taken place, and something is different about Taylor compared to before.

The light of freedom on my face

A change has taken place within Taylor, and it's evident to observers. Even though Taylor previously dated Diana, she has this "prison break" moment where she realizes she wasn't bisexual after all. I wonder if Taylor had previously felt like her dalliances with women were just about sex. She may not have taken them as seriously, and still thought she would end up with a guy (compulsory heterosexuality). But in this Getaway Car prison break, she sees in her negative reaction to Karlie's commitment to Jo$h (and perceived indifference to Kaylor) that her (Taylor's) love is different. She realizes she is serious about wanting a relationship, not just having funsy sex.

But you weren't thinking [Karlie wasn't thinking of more then sex, and especially not considering the long term implications of a lesbian relationship] And I was just drinking Well, he [Not any beard, Jo$h] was running after us, I was screaming, "Go, go, go!" But with three of us, honey, it's a sideshow And a circus ain't a love story [There are Jo$h, Karlie, and Taylor involved.]

I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we [Kaylor] were cursed It hit you [Karlie]  like a shotgun [not romantic, deadly]  shot to the heart We were jet-set, Bonnie and Clyde (oh, oh) [the sneaking and sexing was fun and exciting]

Until I switched to the other side, [Taylor tells again of a revelation. She has the realization that she is not bisexual just wanting a friends w/benefits, or casually playing, but that she's actually full-lesbian with serious feelings] to the other si-i-i-i-ide [She emphasizes there is a change.]

There were sirens in the beat of your [Karlie- it's all fun and games until Taylor falls in love]  heart (should've known) [that Karlie didn't want that lesbian life] Should've known I'd be the first to leave

Taylor tells us that she broke up with Karlie. She thought Karlie wasn't taking Kaylor seriously because she remained committed to Jo$h. Taylor tells us she was angry that her conveying a true love was received with anxiety by Karlie. And also, Taylor couldn't be outed by the relationship for her public image. And thirdly, she didn't want to be associated with Ku$hners and Trump.


Cruel Summer cements this.
Shape of your body is new. [Taylor with a woman. Taylor's lesbian status is new to her.] Blue. [Taylor is depressed about the implications of being gay. But also...] It's cool, that's what I tell 'em No rules in breakable heaven [She's also depressed that it's a casual sex thing with Karlie despite agreeing to those terms .] I'm drunk in the back of the car [getaway car?] And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (oh) Said I'm fine, but it wasn't true [what this song is about] I don't wanna keep secrets just to keep you And I snuck in through the garden gate [but Taylor can't get enough of Karlie] Every night that summer just to seal my fate (oh) [sex] And I screamed for whatever it's worth "I love you, " ain't that the worst thing you ever heard? [Because this isn't what Karlie wants (remember the shotgun to the heart)] He looks up grinning like a devil [kissgate, or Jo$h wins bc if they're outed Kaylor falls apart]

After this realization of being a lesbian, Taylor shuts Kaylor down bc of internalized homophobia, fear, and all the outside factors making Kaylor overly complicated.

Tolerate It [(song on folklore that could be looking back) parent and industry homophobia]

The Archer [worried about losing fans and career if she comes out]

Even though Daylight is the last track of the next album (Lover) I think it belongs here in the sequence of events. In the song, Taylor comes to terms with her sexuality.  I'm about to trade Daylight lyrics in what I believe to be a Chronological way:

Clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke [kissgate] I've been sleeping so long in a 20-year dark night [realization she knew she liked girls since she was 7, but was in the closet and also comp-het and bearding. Now she knows she's a lesbian.] My love was as cruel as the cities I lived in [internalized homophobia]

[Taylor comes to accept her sexuality] Like daylight It's golden like daylight You gotta step into the daylight and let it go Just let it go, let it go [Let fear and homophobia go] Maybe you ran with the wolves [Ku$hners] and refused to settle down [with Taylor under the condition that they could never have a public family bc of Taylor's image] Maybe I've stormed out of every single room in this town [Taylor is upset her and Karlie can't have real Love]

[Despite all the outside factors, Taylor cannot just leave Karlie]
I don't wanna look at anything else now that I saw you (I can never look away) I don't wanna think of anything else now that I thought of you And now I see daylight, I only see daylight And I can still see it all (In my mind) All of you, all of me (Intertwined) I once believed love would be (Black and white) [Male female love] But it's golden (Golden) And I can still see it all (In my head) Back and forth from New York (Singing in your bed) I once believed love would be (Burning red) [Passionate, sex/fighting, bisexual?] But it's golden Like daylight, like daylight

This Love Happened around this point but looking back to the Wildest Dreams times. Folkmore has call-backs to this song.

Death by a Thousand Cuts is the next part of the Kaylor story.

Trying to find a part of me that you didn't touch [so much sex, but also touched heart] Gave up on me like I was a bad drug [Karlie wants a public family and didn't want some covert hidden closeted one] Now I'm searching for signs in a haunted club Our songs, our films, united we stand Our country, guess it was a lawless land [call back to Miss Americana and the Heartbreak King where she describes GOP winning the 2016 election. This also explains 1 reason why in the Getaway Car Taylor was unwilling to publicly be out with Karlie. Taylor didn't want to be associated with Ku$hners/Trump.] Quiet my fears with the touch of your hand [Fears of a public family with Karlie are gone.]

Taylor is regretful and heartbroken she left Karlie:

get drunk but it's not enough 'Cause you're not my baby I look through the windows of this love Even though we boarded them up [Kaylor broke up] Chandelier's still flickering here [Taylor still loves Karlie] 'Cause I can't pretend it's ok when it's not [being without Karlie] No, it's not It's death by a thousand cuts Trying to find a part of me that you didn't touch My body, my love My trust But it [The sex. Taylor's trust.] wasn't enough, it wasn't enough, no,

Taylor is very depressed without Karlie. And she's re-thinking her reasons for breaking up with her.

Then is Cornelia Street:
Back when we were card sharks, playing games I thought you were leading me on [Taylor broke-up with Karlie after Getaway car because she thought Karlie wasn't taking their WLW thing more seriously. Karlie kept going back to Jo$h] I packed my bags, left Cornelia Street Before you even knew I was gone [getaway car]

But then you [Karlie] called, showed your hand [told Taylor Jo$h and her weren't real. Just a cover and means to have a public family] I turned around before I hit the tunnel Sat on the roof, you and I [Kaylor]

[Kaylor is back on]

I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends [but Taylor's afraid it's tenuous] I'd never walk Cornelia Street again That's the kind of heartbreak time could never mend [folkmore confirms this] I'd never walk Cornelia Street again


In paper Rings (through the 3rd lens)
The wine is cold Like the shoulder that I gave you in the street Cat and mouse for a month or two or three [after the 1st break-up there was still an attraction between Kaylor] Now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe [Cornelia Street told us Kaylor got back together after Karlie told Taylor Jo$h is not a real relationship. Then they sat on the roof together. Taylor looks back to Getaway car where she couldn't give Karlie that family life. But 2-3 months later here Taylor is watching Karlie sleep.] I want to drive away with you [Big Sur and also living happily ever after] I want your complications too [Jo$h situation. So Taylor says she'll accept Kaylor as it is. Karlie will still be entangled with the Ku$hners, but Taylor would rather accept that then not have Karlie at all.]

And Taylor suggests a solution that would work for Kaylor. She suggests:

I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper [Kaylor marriage is not socially legitimate but paper rings is Karlie's "marriage" to Jo$h (you showed your hand)] rings Uh huh, that's right Darling, [Karlie] you're the one I want, and I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this Uh huh, that's right Darling, you're the one I want In paper rings, in picture frames [Polaroid], in dirty dreams You're the one I want


Lover song:

Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? With every guitar string scar on my hand I take this magnetic force of a man [Karlie] to be my lover [committed lesbian partner, but socially illegitimate] My heart's been borrowed [beards] and yours has been blue [Taylor hurt her with the 1st break-up] All's well that ends well to end up with you Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover And you'll save all your dirtiest jokes for me And at every table, I'll save you a seat, lover

Yet there's still some uncertainty and instability:

Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years? [Mercurial soulmate] Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close forever and ever? [Taylor is still not sure that Karlie won't up and leave her permanently for Jo$h (and it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy given what we learn in folkmore). And ah, take me out, and take me home

In Afterglow Taylor says:
This ultraviolet morning light below [Karlie marrying Jo$h while Taylor was in Australia. When Karlie got "married"  Taylor flips out  But it's not real.  She got jealous and forgot paper rings. Jo$h and Karlie have some sort of agreement on paper, a fake marriage. And in Paper Rings Taylor said she accepted that.]

Taylor broke up with Karlie a second time.

But in this song she takes responsibility for their demise, and is regretful for her blow-up. Taylor wants Karlie back.

Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves [Bad Blood] Chemistry 'til it blows up, 'til there's no us Why'd I have to break what I love so much? It's on your [Karlie's] face, and I'm [Taylor for thinking the marriage was real] to blame, I need to say Hey It's all me in my head [jealousy for the Jo$h situation] I'm the one who burned us down But it's not what I meant I'm [Taylor] sorry that I hurt you [Karlie] I don't wanna do, I don't wanna do this to you I don't wanna lose, I don't wanna lose this with you I need to say, hey It's all me, just don't go Meet me in the afterglow Tell me that you're still mine Tell me that we'll be just fine Even when I lose my mind I need to say Tell me that it's not my fault Tell me that I'm all you want Even when I break your heart

So that is what I think Taylor is telling us through her music. I've just rearranged it in a way I think is more linear to the actual Kaylor timeline. Also, this is not supposed to be all-inclusive. It does not include every song, nor every bit of the Kaylor relationship (I mean, this is already too long). I largely omitted a lot of their happy times, and other things. But this chunk includes some Kaylor happy times, sexy times, strife, and 2 break ups.

After this part I do think Karlie gave Taylor another chance after the paper rings break-up. The first part of the Lover era was all rainbows and butterflies and a possible coming out. But the latter half was dark and depressing. So they might have broken up in the middle of the era? I think the masters heist caused Taylor to delay a coming out publicly another time. It was just another blow and let down to Karlie in a series of promises (Coney Island) and probably Karlie thought time was running out for her to have a child. She couldn't delay a family life much longer.

After that even Kaylor had to be 'on' for a bit because prior to the surprise drop folklore, Karlie was in a cardigan and amongst trees. Karlie HAD to know. And nobody else did, and there was a bit of hope in folklore. So I don't know what occurred between sad-Lover era and folklore, but something gave Taylor hope. I think it ended for good (4th? break-up was final) because Evermore was all super-sad.

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.

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.

Evermore (December 2020) by Taylor Swift Song Ranking

23 Feb

35.3% Awesome; 35.3% Good; 17.6% OK; 11.8% Meh; Skip out of 17

6 Awesome

No Body No Crime

Ivy

Long Story Short

Marjorie

Closure

Evermore

I like this album because TS is showing a lot of gay here. The writing is better than the music for the most part, but it does encourage multiple listens to dig in to the content. Double-meanings are becoming Taylor’s specialty, and I love trying to decode the songs.

6 Good

Willow (ambiguous)

Champagne Problems

Gold Rush

Tis the Damn Season

Tolerate It

Cowboy Like Me

3 OK

Happiness

Dorthea

It’s Time to Go

2 Meh

Coney Island (The National Ruins It)

Right Where You Left Me

Skip

folklore (July 2020) by Taylor Swift Song Ranking

22 Feb

29.4% Awesome; 29.4% Good; 29.4% OK; 5.9% Meh; 5.9% Skip out of 17

5 Awesome

The 1

Exile

Tears Riccochet

Invisible String

Madwoman

Full disclosure–Dream Pop is not the genre for me. And don’t you dare call this “alternative” as it is absolutely not that. Alternative is my favorite genre, and this does not match the characteristics. Nor is it Indie, as the music still has a lot of production. Also, I don’t care for the era with the snaggle-hair, and weird un-matching clothes. I get that it’s quarentine–but even in lock-down is it asking to much to match?! What I can appreciate is the lyrical content. I like the coding, the complexity, the “plausible deniability” that makes up each twisted track. Even though I DO NOT like the vibe, the music does inspire me to analyze and write, which I find really cool.

5 Good

cardigan

The Last Great American Dynasty

Mirrorball

This is Me Trying

Betty

5 OK

August

Seven

Illicit Affairs (depressing)

Peace

Hoax

1 Meh

The Lakes (too pretentious)

1 Skip

Epiphany

1989 (2014) by Taylor Swift Song Ranking

19 Feb

50% Awesome; 31.3% Good; 18.8% OK; Meh; Skip out of 16

8 Awesome

Blank Space

Style

Out of the Woods

Shake It Off

I Know Places

Stay

Bad Blood

Wonderland

These songs are amped up and theatrical. You can ‘picture’ each one as a movie, and the music videos are practically block-buster films. Also, I hear a lot of Kaylor vibes, and it’s fun to translate the obscure lyrics and figure out signs and hints. I wish I had been engaged during this era!

5 Good

Wildest Dreams

Welcome to New York

How You Get the Girl

Clean

You are in Love

3 OK

I Wish You Would

New Romantics

This Love

Meh

Skip

…Ready for it? Lyrical Analysis & Bearding Plan

11 Jan

Sidenote:  I apologize for the shitty formatting.  I don’t know who WordPress cators to, but their platform is not user-friendly, not intuitive, and I HATE IT.  But I wouldn’t know how to get these million blog posts moved to a different platform quickly, so I remain…

Reputation was released 2017

I think this is Taylor’s song spelling out her bearding plan, code-phrase:  That’s My Man.

Knew he was a killer first time that I saw him

la·dy·kill·er/ˈlādēˌkilər a charming man who is very attractive to women.

Attractive to women. Doesn’t say this man likes women, or has many affairs with women. The definition specifically says this man is the recipiant of women’s attraction. And he’s charming/polite.


Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted

Taylor Swift explained the meaning… “‘Haunted’ is about the moment that you realize the person you’re in love with is drifting and fading fast…captured the intense, chaotic feeling of confusion I was looking for.”


But if he’s a ghost, then I can be a phantom

  1. phan·tom/ˈfan(t)əm a ghost
    • a figment of the imagination.
    • denoting a financial arrangement or transaction that has been invented for fraudulent purposes but that does not really exist.
      • “he diverted an estimated $1,500,000 into “phantom” bank accounts”

Interesting. Especially that last definition. If Joe is a ghost (he confused many girls), then it allows Taylor to have a financial arrangement for something that does not actually exist (love). Hmmm.

Holdin’ him for ransom

ransom ran-suhm ] noun

the redemption of a prisoner or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price.

the sum or price paid or demanded.

a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, especially the payment of a redemptive fine.

Taylor takes Joe and keeps him for a price. Alternate definition is Taylor rescues Joe from sin for a redemptive fee.

Some, some boys are tryin’ too hard
He don’t try at all, though

Taylor reminds us some of her beards were not believable bc it was too much (Tom Hiddleston in that shirt). But this man doesn’t do anything to arouse suspicion. He’s more lowkey, and all the “privacy” he/they require means he’s a blank slate for the media and public.


Younger than my exes but he act like such a man, so
I see nothing better, I keep him forever
Like a vendetta-taI-I-I see how this is gon’ go

Taylor, who has been criticized for being a man-eater, but who also doesn’t want to ruin her career coming out as LGBT doesn’t see an alternative to keeping this beard around forever. If she has a long-term beard, she can keep her secret, but the media and public might lay off about her dating life.

A vendetta begins when one family correctly or incorrectly believes itself to have been attacked, insulted or wronged by another. Intense feelings of resentment result in the initial retaliation, which leads to the other family feeling equally resentful, angry and vengeful . Ultimately there is a long-running cycle of retaliatory violence. This continual cycle of provocation and retaliation makes it almost impossible to end the vendetta peacefully. Vendettas frequently involve the entire family members, all the relatives and associates, and can last for generations.

NDAS, anyone?

Touch me and you’ll never be alone
I-Island breeze and lights down low

No one has to know In the middle of the night, in my dreams
You should see the things we do, baby
In the middle of the night, in my dreams
I know I’m gonna be with you
So I take my time

The music changes in this part of the song, as does Taylor’s mood. Here, she’s softer, and sings, no one has to know (b/c this is a secret) in her [sexy, apparently, based on the noises] dreams she thinks of “you” someone different than the person in the rest of the song.

Are you ready for it? Me, I was a robber first time that he saw me
Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry

This is getting at what I was saying earlier about the man-eater stuff. Robber talks about her stealing something (hearts of boys) that aren’t hers to take. The love of a man is not Taylor’s b/c it’s not real and she’s not actually into these guys she “dated.” Running off and never saying sorry implies that after the “relationships” Taylor left and felt no remorse (bc it’s a business transaction). Short-term bearding contracts were hiding her LGBT truth but also making Taylor look too man-hungry.
But if I’m a thief, then he can join the heist

Cowbody Like Me. Taylor does the bearding contracts, but now she’s saying she found a like-minded beard, who also has the same goals as she does.
And we’ll move to an island-and
And he can be my jailer,

Taylor is trying to put out her own cutesy ship name. But she already “dated” a J, so instead of Joe-Taylor fans went Taylor-Joe, and the result is a very un-cute (in my opinion) Toe.

Burton to this Taylor

I looked Burton up in the most basic of searches and read that there were, indeed, rumors of homosexuality linked to him. He even talked about it himself in an interview:

In a February 1975 interview with his friend David Lewin he said he “tried” homosexuality. He also suggested that perhaps all actors were latent homosexuals, and “we cover it up with drink“.[24] In 2000, Ellis Amburn’s biography of Elizabeth Taylor suggested that Burton had an affair with Laurence Olivier and tried to seduce Eddie Fisher[page needed], although this was strongly denied by Burton’s younger brother Graham Jenkins.[25]

It’s no secret that Liz Taylor had more than a few gay fans, or that she had more than a few gay friends…and possibly husbands.

http://ryan-field.blogspot.com/2012/11/was-richard-burton-gay.html 

Given this information, what an interesting comparison for Taylor to make! She says Joe is like Burton (gay?) to this Taylor (in a lavender marriage?) but the public will see it as a great romance.

Every lover known in comparison is a failure

I forget their names now, I’m so very tame now

All the short-term beards could be easily debunked as fake by the media, general public, and fans. It was a failure b/c these boyfriends did not help Taylor’s public image. But a “private” long-term beard, would make Taylor look more stable (tame), and as a bonus, straight.

Never be the same now, nowI-I-I see how this is gon’ go
Touch me and you’ll never be alone

I-Island breeze and lights down low
No one has to know
(No one has to know) In the middle of the night, in my dreams

It’s important that the “no one has to know” is on the same line as the description of Taylor’s dirty dreams. She is saying no one has to know who she actually dreams about (a female?). These dreams are about someone else/not the subject of the song/not Joe.
You should see the things we do, baby
In the middle of the night in my dreams
I know I’m gonna be with you
So I take my time

This person in Taylor’s dreams, who no one has to know about, b/c it’s not the subject of this song, Joe, is the one she wants to be with. And she takes her time (in both this sex-dream, and also with this long-term bearding plan).
Are you ready for it?
Ooh, are you ready for it? Baby, let the games begin
Let the games begin
Let the games begin
Baby, let the games begin
Let the games begin
Let the games begin

If Toe is real and true love, why does Taylor refer to games many times at the end of this song? True love should not have games. Taylor just set out her long-term bearding plan in this song, so she can obscure LGBT rumors, not look like a man-eater with all the shorter boyfriend relationships, but eventually be happy with this 2nd song subject.

I-I-I see how this is gon’ go
Touch me and you’ll never be alone
I-Island breeze and lights down low
No one has to know In the middle of the night, in my dreams
You should see the things we do, baby
In the middle of the night, in my dreams
I know I’m gonna be with you
So I take my time In the middle of the night
Baby, let the games begin
Let the games begin
Let the games begin
Are you ready for it? Baby, let the games begin
Let the games begin
Let the games begin
Are you ready for it?