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2022 Albums of the Year Countdown: Seriously Saying Something [Songs Ranked 9-1]

7 Dec

The Logistics (skip if you don’t care about math or the quantitative stuff):

I only judged good and up ranked songs this year.  I threw out OK, meh, and skip bc with streaming those will no longer get listened to.  Also, I did a percent of good and up songs per number on the album.  Because just stacking an album with garbage songs shouldn’t rank higher either.  You have to have good, great awesome songs, no matter the number of tracks.  I added the % of tracks that were good and above on the album to the score of the level (elite, A, Gr, G) for the final scores.  Highest is best.

Elite 6; 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

For the two bands that put their albums out in installments (Weezer and Young the Giant, Imagine Dragon doesn’t count because I already ranked their entire 1st installment last year) I am going to judge them separately, but also as one unit.  So I’ll place each installment in their ranked position, but then I’ll also do a fifth entry for each band judging it as one album.

One last note: I went back and fourth on Brandi. She released some obvious Grammy reminder music this year. They are different versions of her 2021 album, but it’s still the same album pretty much. Other artists like the Indigo Girls have released a double album with rock on one disc and acoustic on the other. And the price point might have been a bit more expensive than just a single disc. But Brandi released her separately–to get more albums sold, acquire more streams, and remind everybody that last year’s album is Grammy nominated. But I think the acoustic version was even more expensive than my signed copy of the original album, and that plus the cheatee numbers game left a bad taste in my mouth. If it had not been one of my top-tier favorite artists of all time, I would have thrown the copycat album away and not bothered ranking it. But it’s Brandi, so I included it. And she’s amazing so of course it ranked high. But I counted it as a half number so as not to throw off the totally legit albums in the ranking. So there’s that, Brandi is making me messy. Again.
Ok, Weezer is really messing up my ranking because they aren’t releasing their fourth installment of this concept album until December 21.  I told me I would only rank my A+ favorites after October 21st.  I had to finish the countdown by the time Midnights dropped so I could focus on that.  And I like to post this prior to Christmas on the first week of December, while anybody is still paying attention to things aside from the holiday.  BUT I have ranked ¾ of Weezer’s material.  I might stop if it had been mediocre and toward the bottom since it wouldn’t make that much of a difference if they were 35th place rather than 39th, for example.  But they are nudging the top spot without 7 more songs!  So what I’m going to do is post this with them in their mathematical position, but then edit to include Winter in late December, which may change up the whole top of the list…

From Lowest to Highest:

9.

Lissie: 83.33% + 32.5 = 115.83 Final

10 of 12 total songs = 83.33%

2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 7 Good 3

8+3.5+21 = 32.5

Sad- angsty. Bitter song! Catchy. Gr

Lonesome Wine- personal. G 

Night Moves- catchy. Sounds like Stevie Nicks. G

Flowers- self permission for emotion after a breakup. G.

Carving Canyons- deep! Descriptive. G.

I Hate This- autopsy of relationship. Regret. Breakup feels. Feeling. G 

Unlock the Chains- Inspired by Fleetwood Mac but original and not a copycat. Lyrics. Catchy. Gr.

Heart’s on Fire- Adult contemporary soft rock sound.  G.

Yellow Rose- backing sounds like Lord Huron, a little cowboy. G.

Midnight- good ending song for emotion after a breakup and for the album. Cohesive album. Tells full story. Notes. Brass. G-Gr

8.

Avril Lavigne: 75% + 41 = 116 Final

9 of 12 total songs = 75%

1 Elite awesome 6; 3 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 2 Great 4; 1 Good 3

6+15+9+8+3 = 41

This was such an exciting album!  I really, really thought it would take album of the year, because I liked it so much, all throughout 2022.  It dropped very early, and I listened so many times and never tired of it. For treadmilling, it’s perfect. It reminds me of her first album, still edgy, but an adult. Nothing seemed forced or disengenuine and it’s so great to hear pop-punk rock again! I hope Avril stays right in this very genre and does more of this. I LOVED this album. But also, numbers don’t lie, it’s fair and square eigth.

Cannonball- Such a high energy opener! Always gets stuck in my head. Good beat. Great example of pop-punk. Elite-A.

Bite Me- Tough girl. Talking shit to ex-loser. Catchy. Gr-A.

Love Sux- bitter song. I love that she holds HIM accountable but still acknowledges her hurt. More edgy version of Avril is back and I’m happy to hear it. A.

Avalanche- more of a vulnerable song. Touches on mental illness. Always stuck in my head. A.

Deja vu- Relatable song about someone doing the same garbage over and over and the girlfriend getting tired of it. Bitter song! A.

FU- Frustration of talking to someone you can’t get through to no matter what. Realizing you can’t change someone. Gr.

All I Wanted – They sound perfect together. Just a touch of that late 90s CA pop-punk. Gr-A

Dare to Love Me- Quiet song. Strong singing. G.

Break of a Heartache- ends album on an upbeat note. Says she’s tired of hurting.  Gr.

7.

Michelle Branch: 90%+30.5 = 120.5 Final

9 of 10 total songs = 90%

1 Elite awesome 6; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 7 Good 3

6+3.5+21 = 30.5

Who knew?! I liked her (overplayed) stuff in my younger years, and really, really liked her side project the Wreckers. I didn’t know where she went, but Michelle is back. And she’s speaking up. I love how she addresses real issues, yet keeps the songs themselves light and catchy.

Beating on the Outside- jarring opening line. Sex and marriage. Snippets of guitar sound good. G.

Closest thing to heaven- swirling guitar. G.

You got me where you want me- cello. Beautiful. Descriptive. G-Gr.

I’m a Man- I like how straightforward and blatant. Abortion rights. Why men are problematic. First notes get me pumped up! Elite awesome.

I’m sorry- the backing music increases intensity. Instrumental bridge. G.

Not My Lover- sounds like band Garbage. G.

When that somebody is you- quiet. Introspective. G.

You get me- adult contemporary. G

Zut! Alors- G.

6.5

Brandi Carlile:  90.91%+36 = 126.91 Final

10 of 11 total songs = 90.91%

1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 3 Good 3

4.5+12+10.5+9 = 36

Doesn’t count?

You already saw my disclaimer at the start of every ranking. I am not here for the money grab. Same songs but acoustic. IG just gave both same time same price. Don’t like $18 for the same stuff. I need to have a talk to the Grammys about album sales. She’s not the only one, but it $ucks all the same. But yet.. that VOICE. Brandi has the chops and knows how to use them. And I appreciate that the twins are featured more prominently in the acoustics. Brandi should know that the band can rock and harmonize since she was basically the third Indigo Girl for years. But alas, this is good, just not fair to fans.

Right on Time- stripped down. Focus on harmonies. More twin involvement is good. They took out everything that made the song excellent. Touch of western on the instrumental brought it up a notch. G-Gr.

You and me on the Rock- pretty harmonies. Quiet. Nobody can compare to Brandi’s singing I would just have had Catherine sing with her bc her voice is thin by itself. G.

This time tomorrow- I don’t like when they change key or whatever for a song I’m familiar with. It always sounds off to me. Nice piano and harmony though. Instruments bring a fullness that wasn’t in the original. G-Gr.

Broken Horses- not as punchy. Not as impactful. Not THE scream-note. Doesn’t make the cut.

Letter to the Past- nice harmonies. Good that the twins are heavily featured. Like the different instruments on short interlude. More western. G-Gr 

Mama Werewolf- love the bridge – angelic. Harmony sounds good. Piano brings a seriousness to it.  She took out high notes unnecessarily, making the vocals a little worse. G

When you’re wrong- wish that the rocking versions also featured more twin harmonies. Piano is nice. Cello is star. Singing is haunting. Gr-A.

Stay gentle- swelling strings. Should have been in the original version. Gr.

Sinners Saints and Fools- dropped from elite awesome to excellent. Still great, but the other version is whoa. Lyrics more easily heard here. Gr.

Throwing good after Bad- nice harmonies. G.

Space Oddity- God. She has such a voice. She can make anything sound good. Gr.

6.

Miranda Lambert: 80% + 47.5 = 127.5 Final

12 of 15 total songs = 80%

1 Elite awesome 6; 2 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

6+10+9+10.5+12 = 47.5

I thought this album might win. I love how cheeky and feisty Miranda always is in her songs. She really brought in with this album and it was a fun, yet sincere set of cohesive songs. The cowgirl vibe and outlaw mentality add a lot and seem totally apt for the singer. Miranda always does her best to shake up the boys’ club that is the country music industry, and I appreciate her always putting herself out there. More. Like. This. Please!

Actin Up- I like a cheeky song. Also liked the state call-outs . G

Scenes- catchy. Gritty sound puts you in the gritty travel that is living on the road. G-Gr.

Carousel- emotional. G.

I’ll be lovn you – catchy. Piano. Gr-A 

If I was a cowboy- gender bender. Feisty. G-Gr 

Country money- fun. Sassy. Is that Gwen Stefani’s voice at the end? G.

Geraldine – Lambert’s take on Jolene is one of my favorite songs of the year! Elite awesome

Music City Queen- probably the best featured artist of the year. The B52s fit the vibe of the song and make their presence known without overwhelming the song. Catchy. A.

Pursuit of happiness- empowering. Hopeful. G-Gr.

Strange- catchy . She is not specific about the problems that cause these strange feelings , but in this year 2022 we can guess the COVID/quarantine &/ politics. I like how she gives suggestions for letting loose and being easy on yourself during these odd times. A.

Wandering spirit -. The begging is low- and quiet then the backing instruments and choir come in on the wandering spirit part. Sounds full and conveys cowgirl to match the cover art. Gr-A.

Waxahatchee- G.

5.

Weezer-Summer: 100% + 28.5 = 128.5 Final

7 out of 7 total tracks = 100%

1 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 2 Great 4; 1 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 1 Good 3

5+9+8+3.5+3 = 28.5

Lawn Chair- strings sound orchestral and lovely. Adds a beat. Lyrics are jarring compared to instruments. Gr.

Records- electric guitar is great. Like the beat. G-Gr.

Blue like jazz- I like the harder rock. Instruments are edgy. Swirling backing. Rounds/harmony. Gr-A

Opposite of me- piano swirling! Do do do are catchy. Gr-A 

What’s the good of being good- a march. Best friend stole his gal and talked $hit so he’s contemplating why not to go low. G.

Cuomoville- rock is nice to hear. Hopeful, positive lyrics. Feed em to the lions sounds really cool. Love the beat. Gr.

Thank you and good night- perfect to end the show. Electric guitar is awesome. Hard rock howl is cool. End is awesome! A.

4.

Taylor Swift:  75%+57.5 = 132.5 Final

15 out of 20 (I didn’t buy the Target album, so there’s one song I don’t have) = 75%

2 awesome 5; 2 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 4 Great 4; 3 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3; 1 Awesome-skip cusp -0.5; G-N cusp 1; 1 Neutral -1; 1 elite-meh cusp 2; N-M cusp -2; 2 Meh -3; M-S cusp -4.5; Skip -6

10+9+16+10.5+12 = 57.5

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t love it. The rollout for the era was very retro 1970s so I think my expectations ruined my perception. I have no idea why there was a random 70s theme, because the songs do not convey that to me–it’s a very Man of the Woods moment. If Taylor had not had some rando promo, I think I would have enjoyed the album more. Also, the tricky, cheatee way of dropping a 100 different colored albums, different pictures, having 4 make a clock, recording a million versions of one song to amp up streams doesn’t set well with me. I wish the charts and the Grammys would modify the rules and records so that fans were not exploited. Buying the green album only to find out the purple album with an extra song was rolled out a week later is $hitty. I don’t like it, but it shows the power of curating a loyal fan base. Taylor’s sales and records may be inflated, but the number and buying power of her fans is not–she has a legitimate, obsessed following.

I will say the songs grew on me over many listens. What the album did do was inspire me to research and analyze and think. So I love that! Engaging with the work is my favorite part of being a music fan, and Taylor gave me a lot of fodder this year.

That said, if I was ranking Midnights against Taylor’s own catalog, it would not fare well. Every song had some element that I didn’t like: A beat, a phrase, the lyrics, etc… I think the entire thing would have benefitted from another draft and another edit. It shows that some of these lyrics, some of the songs were drafts, or vault, or half-worked. I think Taylor hustled to finish them up to feed the audience while the legalities of the Re-records get worked out. Taylor had to keep attention and her Eras tour substantiates that this album is to keep people listening and waiting for each old album to drop. She needs the “Taylor’s Versions” to be successful to complete her plan.

At any rate, I wish I liked the songs better, but I do like trying to decode the subtext.

Sidenote, I did not calculate anything below Good in my ranking to stay consistent with the whole list. I did include my opinions on those lower songs just for funsies. They are marked XXX to show I didn’t count them.

Lavender haze- Catchy. Good message. Calling out heteronormative milestones and pressure to hit them quickly/at all. Didn’t like the little ah ah stuff at first but it really grew on me. Like the faster go viral. One note. Good heartbeat noise in parts. Gr

Maroon- The song itself is just good. But the fact Taylor inspires me to research and analyze the meaning brings it up to great. So G-Gr 

Question…- Catchy. Tells a story. I like the sexy noises. Pronoun game is on pointe. Kissgate and it’s aftermath. Brave of Taylor to be so direct. The slowed down mean-girl /tone statement. Gr.

Anti-hero- This might be the most Catchy on Midnights. Self aware. Really putting herself out there more than usual. HATE sexy baby. It just makes my brain go to pedophile. DIL is confusing. The video didn’t count toward this ranking, but it was cheeky-Taylor (my favorite Taylor) I liked the quirky humor and wink wink aspects. Adorable! Gr-A

XXX Snow on the beach- Boring. Not really a duet. Not that catchy. Janet reference is jarring. M.

You’re on Your Own Now Kid- Explains why Taylor feels so lonely and isolated. G

XXX Midnight rain- I absolutely hate the distorted voice. Tells a story. Nothing really going on with backing. No notes. OK

Vigilante Shit- A bitter song! Calling people out. Superhero imagry- consistent throughout. Moag! The production is perfect – understated Reputation. A

Bejeweled- Kind of a throway song. Lyrics kind of superficial. I like the nice! Who is she talking to? The bridge brings something interesting to the song. G.

XXX Labyrinth- The backing has some nice touches but it’s not enough to redeem the blah. It’s too dreamy and half asleep. Lyrics repeat too much. M.

Karma- To everyone who closeted her, started her bearding, and foiled her coming out. With the masters heist. Subtle moag. Very detailed. Visual.  Gr.

Sweet nothings- Sweet song. I listen to it through the lens that it’s about her mom. The only person who loves Taylor unconditionally. Very subdued but it fits well the story perfectly. Tranquility and calm. G-Gr.

XXX Mastermind- This song makes her seem sociopathic. I think it addressed how she is an active participant in bearding and furthering her career with meticulous planning. I think she meant it cheeky but to me it comes across as creepy. That said this might be my favorite production on Midnights. Love moag and videogame noises. It would be looking at awesome territory if not for the psychopathic words.S-A

The great war- The story of Kaylor! Catchy. I like the snare to go along with war. Lyrics invoke war symbolism. Gr.

Bigger than the whole sky- Jarring transition between songs. This song so beautifully encapsulates grief.  This is where dream pop really shines. Conveys agony. I think a lot of people will find solace in this song after any ending  A 

Paris- Snarky. Someone gossiping about kissgate and the 1975 guy being a hookup. Pictures = kissgate. The fictional Paris is when Kaylor boarded up the windos and went private.  Cleaver change of characters. Her fantasy world. Not the kind that’s thrown is clunky. Meant to say it’s Tree, her publicist doing PR damage control. Brainwash Karly to pick her over josh. Go to the lakes or tower in actual paris. But it’s all imaginary  The song is flat and one dimensional in my opinion (which all of this is). G.

XXX High infidelity- Compelling. Makes me want to dig into the analysis. Multiple story threads weaved together masterfully. The oooo ooos are reminiscent of the train so many songs talk about. Lots of callback. Sort of boring musically but lyrics are elite. M-elite

Glitch- Catchy. Is this about Kaylor being a deviation from bearding. Or her dalliance with Kelsea? G.

Could’ve would’ve should’ve- Finally not boring at all. Good backing. Telling a few stories covertly. Extra points for motivating me to untangle who and why. Finally some actual skillful singing in the bridge. I wish the album had more of this. I like the different sounds of the song throughout. The fast part at the end makes me FEEL. Gr-A

Dear reader- I didn’t like it at first. Found the title like the start of a 3rd graders essay. But after a couple of listens I realized Taylor wrote a letter directly to the Gaylors- which is very special. I like the echoing sound. The vulnerability is really likeable. G-Gr 

3.

Kelsea Ballerini:  86.67% + 49 = 135.67 Final

13 of 15 total songs = 86.67%

1 Elite awesome 6; 2 awesome 5; 1 Great 4; 4 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 5 Good 3

6+10+4+14+ 15 = 49

Oh my goodness! This album inspired me to analyze so much. I love the multiple layers and hidden meanings throughout every song. I think Kelsea is one to watch, and I also hope she will fully come out one day. This album is just brimming with Sapphic feelings and I would love for a successful country singer to be open AND remain famous.

I can’t help myself- fun! Inspired by Shania. The repeated words make it cute. Gr.

If you go down I’m going down to- very much could be a (Dixie) chicks song. Strings sound good with it. A.

Love is a Cowboy- good imagry- being with you is like ropin the wind. Hints of fiddle. G.

Muscle Memory- catchy. G.

I guess they call it Fallin- love the faster lyrics. G-Gr 

Weather- upbeat. Catchy though lyrics are kinda sad. G-Gr.

Universe- slow. Pretty. Love song. G. 

Walk in the park- love despite being difficult sometimes. G-Gr.

Heartfirst- following your heart. G 

You’re drunk go home- fun! Love talking shit. Love the features. Notes! Like Shania, chicks, any country that’s cheeky. Elite awesome.

Doin my best- relatable. Talks about insider info. Snaps/claps. G.

Marilyn- thoughtful sounds. Double subject. G-Gr.

What I have- appreciate what you have. Introspective. A.

2.

Weezer:

16/21= 76.19% ¾ year + 60.5 yr = 136.69 Semi-Final

16.5 + 28.5 + 15.5 = 60.5

1.

Amy Ray: 100%+37.5 = 137.5 Final

10 out of 10 total songs = 100%

2 awesome 5; 1 A-Gr cusp 4.5; 1 Great 4; 2 Gr-G cusp 3.5; 4 Good 3

10+4.5+4+7+12 = 37.5

Amy Ray has always been political. She continuously makes her work mean something, it’s not just words on a page to her. She also puts her beliefs into action with her advocacy. I have always loved the Indigo Girls duo (They are my top of the top all-time favorite music/artists/band) and have grown to love Amy’s solo efforts as well. The transition between the two musical entities is sometimes jarring, but still on-brand.

I like how this album tells a story rarely (never?) heard. Amy Ray is Southern and loves her rural roots. She is also part of the LGBTQQAA community and I think based on interviews I’ve heard, that her identity has shifted over time, and with society’s level of acceptance. Amy Ray started out just being herself, and not really acknowledging her queerness, or taking an identity, let alone projecting it out to the masses. She pinged anyway and her band became pegged “lesbian music” by the mainstream. As part of the Indigo Girls, Amy was portrayed in a stereotypical, non-flattering light on sketch shows, sometimes derided, always in the center of her close-knit fan’s hearts. She learned to embrace her differences and used that to help others. I think now she leans NB or even trans, but in the podcast I heard Amy Ray indicated that it wasn’t a visible option for her when she was younger. Now she may feel too old (her sentiment, not mine) to totally change her trajectory.

All that is to say that this album of a southern queer is an important contribution to the landscape, and as with the Indigo Girls, I hope it opens doors for other artists to embrace their queer/rural roots simultaneously.

Joy Train- Reminds me of Bonnie Raitt. Great banjo!  Vocals are intentionally discordant but it’s not that pleasing to the ear. G.

Chuck will’s widow- Strings are the star. Very folksy. G-Gr.

They won’t have me- Recycled song. String interlude great. More powerful, emotive singing. Heavier bass gives it more urgency. Gr-A

From the room- slow. Harmony. G.

Tear it down- slow. Harmony. G

A mighty thing- after slow/bleak a welcome faster, brighter instrumentation. About homophobia. A.

Subway- could be an IG song. Love string interlude. Singing is powerful & longing. Gay rights. A 

Cowboys and pirates- catchy.  tells a story. Folksy/Americana. String! Gr.

Muscadine- slow. G.

North Star- a bit more triumphant sounding. Hint of choral/gospel. Hymn-like. G-Gr.

Question… Can the Ultra-Famous have Reeaal Friends? [Part 5]

27 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even the song’s subject(s). Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted.  

Miss Americana showed me that Taylor is pretty isolated, and lonely much of the time. In the documentary I came away with the impression that the people around Taylor are mostly superficial. Brendan was distracted, for instance. Abigale is still Taylor’s friend, but things were stilted. They are in different places in life. Abigale has a family and Taylor’s super-fame is not relatable. They had little to talk about. Tree, Taylor’s publicist seemed like the most genuine, interested person, but she’s on the pay-role. The other people on Taylor’s team seemed harsh and judgmental. Their focus was the brand making money, not Taylor the person who has actual thoughts and feelings. Taylor’s love interest was seldom shown. It was weirdly secret, and when Taylor won her Grammy’s she had nobody to share her happy moment with. Taylor’s mom was the only person that was there for Taylor, the person. And I think Taylor’s super-celebrity status makes her alone in the world. Her idea of friends conveys this:

And every single one of your friends was making fun of you

Friends:

Dorothea

blank space

You need to calm down

paper rings

london boy

Lover

champagne problems

tis the damn season

the last great American dynasty

Archer

This is why we can’t have nice things

Closure

Taylor talks about 5 categories of friends, with many people overlapping in the categories over time.  There are famous friends, other queers, peripheral friends, betrayers, and a friend who became her lover.

There are strategic friends.  “You got shiny friends since you left town.” The friends are new, dazzling, and elevate status.  What Dorthea does not say is that the friends have a lot in common, are good listeners, or loyal.  I get the impression from the passing remarks that these relationships could be superficial or to be in a certain scene.   The friendships are for publicity, to get in a door, or just thrust together because they are in the same business.  In the highly satirical song, Blank Space, she casually says “let’s be friends.”  There is nothing real or authentic about it.  It’s not a friendship based on trust or mutual interests, it’s mutually beneficial.  Taylor is describing entering into a contract for the benefit of the media and general public, not a genuine connection.  

Then there are other queers.  Taylor feels their commonalities.  They are physically around where she lives, and in the industry.  They share similar experiences and struggles.  Though Welcome to New York doesn’t specifically say “friends” it has a similar tone to the rest of these songs.  

Welcome to New York

These people escaped their small towns and the homophobia so rife in them.  Many of them were estranged from family and had no one when they came to New York looking for a better life.  They put that angst, and the pain of being bullied for being gay, away and lived more authentically.  These people came together, and are coexisting in the same space, but Taylor doesn’t mention being especially close to any of them.  She is doing her own thing, and they are going about their business too.  They nervously and excitedly walk through the village realizing there are people like them.  They search for love–a unique experience given their childhood isolation and trauma.  And Taylor is right there with them, feeling the difference in acceptance between Nashville and New York.  In You Need to Calm Down, these friends are explicitly named as part of the queer community.  The homophobes are comin’ at them like a missile.  And Taylor is on the inside of the gay trailor-park, the same as the queer friends.  Though she isn’t close to any one person in this community, she gets it.  Taylor is one of the queers.

There are other people that are around during the important relationship.  In a lot of the songs, friends are relegated to the background, while Taylor and her Lover are centered in the lyrics.  In Paper Rings the friends were high the first night they met.  It’s like Taylor barely notices the friends because her love “blurs her periphery”-they are just inebriated people that can crash in the living room.  The friends are just there in songs like London Boy.  Champagne problems reiterate that the friends are fickle, not evergreen.  If something goes wrong, the friends aren’t there cheering.  Much like this song, Question…

The fourth category are betrayers.  I get major frenemies vibes from most of these songs, actually.  In Tis the Damn Season Taylor talks about so-called friends just there to gossip.  Last Great American Dynasty uses bitch-pack, a moniker that may be a bit sarcastic, but isn’t a super-nice way to describe actual friends.  The Archer says all her enemies started out as friends.  In This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things, Taylor reminds the audience that she isn’t that great at picking out authentic friends.  She aligned with people who later turned on her, and threw her under the bus.  She makes a point to toast her real friends, but in the same breath mentions the people she can actually depend on-her mama and her baby(lover).  

Finally, there is Karlie.  Her lover and her went from friends to this.  She keeps writing pages about their epic love story.  And after the final break-up being friends again would iron it out so nice.  But Taylor doesn’t want that.

Question… Cognizants Illuminated [Part 3]

25 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

We had one thing going on

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Paint:

Again, there’s so, so many so I picked ones I thought were more pertinent.  Here’s the others:  the best day, I’m only me when I’m with you.

dear john

John Mayer was an abusive mind-fuck that left Taylor feeling destabilized.  He brings her up only to shove her down.  She uses “paint” as a way to describe him controlling the situation.

everything has changed

Dancing with our Hands Tied

paper rings

the 1

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince

coney island

Peace

Taylor seems to regard the word “paint” as something that washes over her, changing emotions entirely. Creating a vibe. An emotional washing over of an entire situation. She is painted sad, she is painted happy. When she paints artistically, the same emotional change colors her creative works. Walls and murals represent overall emotional states (depression/love). Her songwriting conveys deep feelings.

The songs that have “paint” show that Taylor’s world lit up when she really felt love (instead of comp-het).  Someone opened her eyes in Everything has Changed and she felt passionate/invigorated, less depressed, more open than she had prior to that moment.  Taylor confirms this sentiment in Dancing with our Hands Tied when she describes being deeply depressed until this new, real love paints her golden. 

Though in The 1, Taylor offhandedly mentions her and her love never painted by the numbers.  She’s framing their relationship as “different” “weird” which shows society’s sentiment about homosexual love, as well as her own internal homophobia and fear of being outed.  BUT something awoke in Taylor, even if she’s afraid of it.  In Paper rings, painting is mentioned, but immediately prior to that Taylor says they went from friends to this and she has dirty dreams about this former friend, turned lover. The painted wall is showing the feelings that arose from this new love. Taylor says she jumped into the relationship even though it made her blue.  She’s sad because the couple represents a stigmatized form of love and they had to hide it from society.  Also because Karlie had a commitment to a guy (beard/arrangement) so Taylor had to share.  “I’m with you even if it makes me blue” has the double meaning that Taylor is still going to beard with Joe in order to obscure this secret love–and that makes her depressed. 

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince tells how and says how Taylor sort of came full circle (and obviously with far less toxicity than JM) going from recipient to perpetrator of turning the sky from blue to gray. Now it’s her girlfriend that she makes sad by hiding.  She hurts her lovers ultimately because of her fear of being an out WLW.  Even so, in Peace, Karlie doubles down on her love and level of commitment.  Karlie says she will warm Taylor’s heart to cast off Taylor’s waves of depression.  Karlie brings up Taylor’s authentic love for her too–shown by the butterfly mural that was commissioned during Lover promo.  The love Karlie feels is not for show, even though Kaylor has many, many complications Karlie would sit in the trenches with Taylor, give her a child and she would even die for Taylor.

Color:

I’d lie

out of the woods

Me!

Delicate

paper rings

tolerate it

In the song, I’d lie, Taylor is indifferent to the boy.  When he talks she is daydreaming, counting the colors in his eyes, which she notices looks like his father’s eyes.  She also notices his sister is beautiful.  And what would Taylor lie about?  “If you asked me if I loved him…  I’d lie”  She would say yes, she loved HIM, even though she has eyes for his sister. 

Taylor overtly recognized real love (vs. comp-het) in Out of the Woods when she says “the rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color.”  It speaks again, to her having an awakening because of this novel love she felt for this new type of person (a woman).  Taylor further conveys this new knowledge that she’s queer in Me! When she describes herself as not like the others and mentions the rainbow of colors (pride flag, LGBTQQAA all represented).  After her gay-awakening, Taylor sees the world with new eyes.  The blue is brighter and more unique in Delicate. 

Paper Rings, despite it’s high-pop cheery tone, is Taylor coming back down to Earth.  Jumping into this same sex relationship brings complications.  There is hiding, which causes fights.  There are beards for each and the necessary closeting makes both partners depressed.  The wall is blue, like their moods.  More so, parents and the industry don’t like it.  For these authority figures it’s reduced sales, a less palatable persona– a problem.  Taylor says her love should be celebrated–she is seeing the world in screaming color, but these people with power over her just tolerate it.

Everything I just wrote about paint and color was summed up neatly in Taylor’s two lines:

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Finally enlightened about the gay part of herself the world became more vivid to her.

Question… Good Girl or Wrong Choices? [Part 2]

24 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted.  

Good girl, sad boy, big city, wrong choices

We will look at good girl, city, wrong, and choices in other songs.

Good girl:

Style

Sad, Beautiful, Tragic

Good girl speaks of innocence and socially acceptable passive femininity.

Big city:

There’s a long, long list of songs that mention “city” so I chose ones that I thought went with the vibe of Question…  Here’s the others just for consistency:  The Lucky One, Never Grow Up, The Last Great American Dynasty, Holy Ground, I almost do, Mine, mean.

Cornelia st

false god

King of my Heart

In these songs “city” is NYC.  Screaming your name is many ads and campaigns that feature the subject of Cornelia Street (Karlie).  Taylor says, “I’m New York City” the place Karlie calls home.  Taylor is saying she is Karlie’s home.  Finally, in King of my Heart Taylor reveals that her and Karlie have a private relationship inside her room, because the boys never took her where Karlie does (same, girl).  Taylor’s priorities changes from men/money to sexing Karlie in private.

Wrong (Choices):

Here’s a couple that I thought were more loosely related:  long story short, only the young.  End Game for Choices (but I think it’s the Ed Shereen part).

Wonderland

state of grace

tolerate it

new years day

Evermore

Betty

The trend in all these “wrongs” is a stigmatized type of love.  Loving in shades of wrong.  Took a wrong turn.  Staying when it’s wrong.  Something went awry in Taylor’s world.  And Taylor is a wealthy, white, cis(I’m guessing), female in America.  Loving some dude, any dude is not socially unacceptable.  I would say it’s welcome and expected.  The love that is “tolerated” the love that ruins relationships (Betty) because it has to be hidden, is WLW love.  The hiding brings complications. They must both beard. But Taylor gets a sense she’s been betrayed when she sees Karlie “dance” with him. As told in Betty. And to try to salvage Kaylor, Taylor keeps writing letters to come out, but fear wins out and she throws them into the fire.

Good girl, sad boy, big city, wrong choices

Taylor wants to remain appropriately feminine to the public. Hiding her authentic self makes her depressed, makes her lover sad, and is destructive to the relationship = sad boy. Big city is the setting and personification of the Kaylor love story. Wrong choices indicates a desire to love and really feel it rather than be palatable, but also the stigma of gay love. It is “wrong” to the majority and Taylor fears that more than she fears losing her true loves. She can’t bring herself to come out.

Kelsea Ballerini just might have had TWO subjects in mind: Marilyn Monroe (and Taylor Swift)

20 Oct

See my other disclaimers.

MARILYN

Yes, yes this song is most definitely about Marilyn Monroe.  Obviously.  But also I noticed some things and think the song’s subtext could be slyly talking about Taylor Swift in addition to the main muse of the song.

There’s a lot of foundational knowledge required to see the connection that I’m talking about. So I am going to attempt to run you through the abridged version of Gaylor/Kaylor 101. There will be multiple songs discussed within this song, but I promise it’s all necessary information so you can hear what I hear.

As a side note:  Marilyn and Taylor are actually related:

I’m putting Kelsea’s Marilyn lyrics in pink highlight

[Verse 1]

Must be nice to be so nice and beautiful

The internet is sprinkled with stories of Taylor Swift’s kindness to both friends and fans:

[I’m putting articles in green, so you know it’s not me writing]

Proving once again that a Taylor Swift best-friendship is the best thing a person can have, Taylor Swift did another TRULY lovely thing for one of her mates, planning a very special surprise for her best friend Abigail. 

If you aren’t totally read up on the history of Taylor Swift’s friendships, here’s what you need to know about Abigail. She’s one of Taylor’s closest friends, that she’s known since high school. She’s referenced in ‘Fifteen’. Taylor even took her to the Grammys. These two are true BFFs. 

So, on Abigail’s 25th birthday, Taylor obviously had to do something pretty special. Which she did. Another important fact about Abigail, apparently, is that she her favourite band is Dashboard Confessional. 

Can you guess where this is going? Taylor then casually asked if there was anyone named Chris Carrabba at the party (that’s the lead singer of Dashboard Confessional, FYI). 

And, because T-Swifty is the greatest, she had indeed arranged for Chris Carrabba to be there. Abigail got to sing along with one of her favourite artists of all time. Plus, Hayley Williams was there, which everyone knows makes even the coolest party 20 times cooler. 

And as for the second part of the line, it’s obvious Taylor Swift checks all the boxes for [patriarchal] beauty standards (even science says so):

Hang the stars in the eyes of everybody

Oh my God, if Taylor mentions stars, stars in eyes, the moon, or anything like that I am going to flip!  This post was nowhere ready to post, but I struggled to get it done before Midnights is officially released just for this theory: I think we’ve moved from the sun (and head up in the clouds during Kaylor/Lover) to other sky imagery.  If these key words are in Midnights I will be insufferable!

Got your name up in lights and in every home

It’s a common phrase, but also Taylor Swift wrote a song using just. those. words.  And it was similar to this song of Kelsea’s–that I thought to be about Briteny Spears (Lucky) and her super-fame, and how she didn’t feel “lucky” all the time.  

As you can imagine, Taylor was at a very different stage in her life and career when first writing “Red.” She was dating men in Hollywood. She was climbing the charts. And while she was most definitely a household name, is it possible that this wasn’t the life she always dreamed of?  “The Lucky One” appears on “Red (Taylor’s Version),” and there are a lot of questions on who it was written about. Was “The Lucky One” meant to portray Taylor’s life? 

In “The Lucky One,” Taylor tells the story of a young starlet who moves to LA to make her dreams come true. However, upon becoming accustomed to the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, she realizes that it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. While so many people yearn to be famous, this star does not feel like she is “the lucky one.” The first verse of the tune introduces the young starlet who is “chasing fame and fortune.” The lyrics state: “And the camera flashes, make it look like a dream / You had it figured out since you were in school / Everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool / So overnight you look like a sixties queen.”

Then, the chorus follows: “And they’ll tell you now, you’re the lucky one / Yeah, they’ll tell you now, you’re the lucky one / But can you tell me now, you’re the lucky one,” Taylor asks.

In the second verse, Taylor unpacks the downsides of this star’s life. “Now it’s big black cars, and Riviera views / And your lover in the foyer doesn’t even know you / And your secrets end up splashed on the news front page.” The verse continues to note how unhappy she is with her life. Later lines read: “Another name goes up in lights / You wonder if you’ll make it out alive.”

By the third verse, we learn that the star vanished from the public eye. “It was a few years later, I showed up here,” Taylor sings, followed by “and they still tell the legend of how you disappeared.” Taylor croons that she didn’t originally understand why the star would give up her life of fame. “But I understand it now,” she says at the end of the song, hinting at the fact that she personally can relate. [The Lakes]

The star Taylor is referring to in “The Lucky One” is rumored to be former pop singer Kim Wilde, according to the Swiftipedia Fandom page. Fans speculated that Kim was the subject after noticing that the main hook melody in “The Lucky One” is sampled from Kim’s song “Four Letter Word.” Furthermore, Taylor wrote the lyric “Chose the rose garden over Madison Square” in the song. This may possibly reference how Kim abandoned her career to become a landscape gardener. Regardless of who the song is about, Taylor’s message is clear: Constantly being in the limelight isn’t always what dreams are made of. Taylor understands why this star left Hollywood for a more reclusive life. Previously, the “Cardigan” crooner has been targeted for the way she looks, the men she was dating, how many men she was dating, and more. She shares some of her story and the criticisms she’s received in the Netflix original documentary Miss Americana.

Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears, and Taylor Swift all knew fame on an astronomical level.  Yet all 3 had their struggles, and struggles with fame, and secrets.  

Taken more like the sentiment of the phrase, name up in lights, here are some statistics showing how popular Taylor Swift is.  She is the fourth highest of all time for music sales (Madonna was, I think, 100 million above the rest, in her own category, which is why Taylor appears 3rd in this picture):

And for a more modern measure of success and popularity, here are the streaming numbers.  Taylor is the 6th most streamed artist of all time whenever this page was posted:

Looking at social media followers, Taylor has hundreds of millions of those too: 

So I think we can agree both Marilyn and Taylor are in every home and have their names up in lights.

But were you still alone at the party?

There is a song about how Taylor was alone at her own birthday party, The Moment I Knew, that contains lyrics like:

Plus, I don’t have every awards ceremony, every after-party in a list or anything like that, but there’s been a lot of times Taylor shows up with just her entourage, not a plus one.  Her recent folklore Grammy, for example, she had her co-workers there, but not a significant other.  It was a momentous occasion and she was alone.

[Pre-Chorus]

Everybody wanted to see you

Everyone wanted to see Marilyn, we know this.  She is still an icon.  But check out Taylor’s ticket sales–everyone wants to see her too:

Lips red, eyes blue

This one is an obvious commonality between Marilyn and Taylor.

And everybody wanted to be you, yeah

Obviously Marilyn.  But also:  People in the industry want to know success like Taylor.  Singers and models like her style.  Fans emulate her every move.

[Chorus]

Was it worth it to seem so perfect?

A big reason I think this song is also alluding to Taylor Swift, is her very calculated brand image.  Taylor has orchestrated her down to Earth vibes, friendliness, who she is seen with in the media, how she speaks, what she wears, how fans and parents and capitalists perceive her–she is in total control of her brand.  Things have gone off the rails a couple times (snakegate) but not for Taylor’s lack of trying to keep up the perfect persona.

I think Kelsea, being in the business herself, can empathize with the Marilyn’s and Taylors of the world–whose identity and brand get braided together until nobody including the artist herself, knows which strand is which.

Here’s a very recent quote from Taylor about being more brand than individual:

Blonde and curves didn’t keep you from your skeletons

We don’t really think of Taylor Swift as “curvy” in modern times.  Compared to Marilyn’s era, there is slightly more diversity in celebrities, and many of them have curvy figures.  But according to both of their measurements (I do not know where these come from, or how accurate they are) both gals are an hourglass shape.  

This line talks about how the subject is beautiful and portrays her life/image/brand as perfect.  Yet, the artist’s real life is not like that.  And the difference between the brand and the reality leaves an empty lonely feeling.  Both Taylor and Marilyn are the standard of beauty, yet there is a sadness about both of them.  

The skeletons part of this line is particularly geared toward Taylor.  She has secrets and uses her lyrics to tell her truth–but with plausible deniability.  On the surface the lyrics talk of boyfriends, but the subtext tells how Taylor dates women.  It’s like she writes personal experiences, but codes them and explains it away in promotional interviews.

The word, “skeletons” is in Cowboy Like Me, which we already talked about as a song possibly about bearding:

We didn’t talk about the line:

[because this could get confusing referencing Taylor’s lyrics in the middle of Kelsea’s song, I have highlighted TS lyrics in purple]

But that was all before I locked it down

It’s an interesting line that could be alluding to Pont des Arts in Paris, better known as the love lock bridge.

4/6/15:

Taylor’s song, I Think He Knows also talks about locking it down:

I think he knows his footprints

On the sidewalk

The sidewalk reminded me of stuff I saw on Tumblr about some pavement etchings.  I grabbed some images and explanations from 

So thanks to 9x1ft, and visit the Tumblr for a trove of Kaylor information!

Lead to where I can’t stop

Go there every night

This is Karlie’s NY place, and that garden gate:

I think he knows his hands around

A cold glass

Make me wanna know that body

Like it’s mine

I don’t have any hardcore evidence for these lines, but applying them to Karlie here’s my thoughts:  A glass could have curves.  She might be comparing a glass (possibly from that dive bar) to her partner’s body.  Curves = female.  And “know that body like it’s mine” could mean they have similar bodies because they’re both women–rather than ownership.

He got that boyish look that I like in a man

Taylor, in curating her public relationships with boyish looking guys may have a two-prong approach:  She is trying to find a boy that is marketable to as wide of an audience as possible.  He has to be safe, have a pretty, photographable face, and fit with her clean-cut image.  The second factor could be covering up her actual private relationship with women.  Finding a dude who closely resembles her girlfriend gives her plausible deniability for her lyrics.  

A lot of the teen idols (Elvis Presley, James Dean, David Cassidy, Davy Jones, Donnie Osmond, Leif Garrett, Justin Timberlake, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Leonardo Dicaprio, Hansen, Justin Beiber, Zac Effron…) have boyish, baby faces.  They are white pre-teen to early twenties and are perceived as all-American, and wholesome and safe.  These boys can be marketed to pre-teen girls, a market with a lot of disposable income–they don’t yet have bills, but their parents are still buying them things.  In marketing to pre-teen girls, you also have to market to parents that can afford to buy their children a lot of extraneous things (vs necessities) suburban parents.

And doesn’t it just make sense that pre-teen girls who are WLW (or will soon discover that they are) would be attracted to boys with baby faces?  Those boys are feminized.  So these crushes still fit heteronormative expectations, but are actually attractive to young lesbians and bi-girls specifically because of their feminine features

.  

I am an architect, I’m drawing up the plans

This line speaks to the above.  Taylor is curating a perfect relationship to cover for her actual relationship.  This is Cowboy Like Me in motion. This is not a statement of spontaneously feeling sparks or falling in love.  Taylor says she’s methodically putting together plans for this relationship in the song.

It’s like I’m seventeen, nobody understands

No one understands

Homophobic response to a child coming out:

Yuck.  and Gross.  

This is from Focus on the Family.  It’s coded as supportive, but it’s really gaslighting a gay person and trying to convince them they’re wrong about their sexuality.  Here’s an article about how Focus on the Family is a homophobic group:

I think Taylor is alluding to this homophobic type of response with that line.  Maybe she came out and people told her she’s too young to know.

…I think he knows

He better lock it down

Or I won’t stick around

‘Cause good ones never wait

He got that boyish look that I like in a man

I am an architect, I’m drawing up the plans

… Lyrical smile, indigo eyes, hand on my thigh

We can follow the sparks, I’ll drive

Lyrical smile, indigo eyes, hand on my thigh

We can follow the sparks, I’ll drive

So where we gonna go?

They went to Big Sur-just the two of them (and whoever took the photos).

And in her Vogue 73 questions Taylor says:

I whisper in the dark

Where we gonna go?

I think he knows

He got my heartbeat

Skipping down 16th Avenue

Got that, oh! I mean

Wanna see what’s under that attitude

Like, I want you, bless my soul

“Bless your soul” is a phrase that can be literal and meaningful or sarcastic.

Literal :  John gives $20 to a homeless man. The man says “Bless your soul.” (Genuine, gratitude)

 SARCASTIC:  Kim hates Kylie. Kylie tries to look pretty but Kim knows she’s prettier. Kim says “Aw, bless your soul for trying!”

(Sarcasm and an insult. Kim is proclaiming she is prettier.)

And I ain’t gotta tell him/I think he knows/I think he knows/I want you, bless my/I want you, bless my/I want you, bless my/I want you, bless my soul/I want you, bless my/I want you, bless my/I want you, bless my soul/I ain’t gotta tell him

I think he knows

See what I mean about plausible deniability? This could be Taylor sincerely saying she wants HIM. But also it could be the sarcastic usage of the phrase–like obviously I don’t want HIM like that.

This is Karlie’s arm putting her lock under THE NUMBER 13:

Hers is the one with the K heart. But tilt your head left and read it–there’s a T there. Koincidence?

And in Taylor’s lover promo, there is a heart it says Paris, City of love, there is a lock and key with “lover” there’s a rose, the butterfly like the wings and mural, and daisies. Which I just learned got their name from the center looking like… The sun. Like sunshiny Karlie.

Ok, after that quick, dirty lesson of how Taylor is likely WLW and Kaylor definitely was romantic and sexual, back to Kelsea’s Marilyn song:

Was it lonely, show pony?

I thought this was going to a western rodeo term, but urban dictionary gave these explanations:

This one easily matches Kelsea’s song about 2 performers.  But I thought this one was something:

Now, I’m sure if this is some homophobic response implying that gay people that are deemed “too flamboyant” are obnoxious show offs just for being themselves.  OR if this is a common term taken at face value. Does Kelsea know about the term relating to queerness? IDK. But it’s sus in this particular song for all the reasons I outlined.

I found this one appropriate for the subjects of this song because both are known for who they dated:  Movie stars, The Kennedys, Taylor’s “ex boyfriends.”  This could speak to superficial arm candy, PR arrangements, bearding…

Did you miss Norma Jeane?

Or did you always wanna be Marilyn?

Marilyn

Kelsea asks if Marilyn misses the real, authentic, non-famous, version of herself.  She also asks if she liked that person either, if she was always dissatisfied with who she was–plain or glam.

It pertains to Taylor because as she said in her song explanation, she doesn’t feel human anymore.  Taylor is more of a brand than a person.

[Verse 2]

Once you got through the doors, was it glamorous?

Or did you think you’d feel morе fulfilled? (Mm)

‘Cause I can see how it seemed

Through an L.A. silvеr screen

But I can also see how it’d drive me to pills

This is self explanatory, and hopefully the pills pertain only to Marilyn and not Taylor, but IDK.

[Chorus]

So was it worth it to seem so perfect?

Blonde and curves didn’t keep you from your skeletons

And everybody wanted to know you/In every room

Was the way that everyone loved you/A feeling you outgrew?

‘Cause everybody wanted to be you/But did you? (Mm-mm, hmm)

[Chorus]

Did you miss Norma Jeane? The woman underneath/Or did you always wanna be Marilyn?/Oh, ooh-ooh, Marilyn

[Outro: Marilyn Monroe]

Uhm, do I feel happy in life? Uhm

Uh, let’s see

Present tense could be for Kelsea and Taylor.

Don’t Jump Ship

14 Nov

Kaylor was real. And I think they’re still together.

I have no insider information. I’m not in PR, and I’m not super-engaged in any fandom. I only hear current info after the fact, and I’m not up on the latest liked tweets, gossip columns, or sightings.

But I am a gay gal who just celebrated her 11 year anniversary with her soulmate (yesterday, 11/13 actually). And I also listen and analyze song lyrics. And between those two sources of knowledge, I think Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss are still together.

Karlie preceded Taylor’s secret album drop with a cardigan, and the exact album imagery–13 days (Taylor’s favorite number?!) prior. Let’s unpack that:

1) How would Karlie even know? No one knew. Even the magazines and people that usually get albums early, in order to write their reviews, were surprised with the album drop like everyone else. Would an ex know?

2) Covid is on the scene. It’s harder, or disallowed, to gather. Getting inside information when you’re not an insider is even more difficult than usual. And Taylor said she wrote folklore in quarantine. So even if she started a bit earlier, how did Karlie know specific details if they weren’t together?

3) Have you heard Taylor’s catalogue? She has never been exactly friendly with past exes. These boys that upset her, even when it was a mutual show-mance, got some bitter lyrics sent their way. Taylor has been known to hold a grudge, and to put shit-heads right in thier place. Even Diana Agron. Everything I know about Diana is through the lens of Taylor’s music, and it’s not exactly positive. So why would Taylor just sit back and let Karlie walk all over her? We’re majorly underestimating Taylor’s self-worth and grit. She is not a doormat! Taylor has the people in her life that she wants to be there.

4) If Karlie spoiled a secret album drop bc of ill-intent, baiting, or hate–don’t you think Taylor’s team would take legal action? Taylor is the queen of NDAs, and has all the money–she’s not afraid to sue. Her team has litigated the smallest copyright infractions. Do you really think Taylor would let an ex spoil the surprise with no consequence?

Everyone is turning Kaylor off primarily because of a People article. We know People is not a reliable source. How many times have they reported that Ellen Degeneres and Portia deRossi are broken up? How many times has Jennifer Aniston been pregnant in that magazine? And we know they’ve reported Taylor Swift’s various engagement and pregnancies–that never came to fruition.

Even if the teams feed them the articles–what evidence is there that Karlie is actually pregnant? She might be, IDK, but let’s not jump to conclusions based on one or two sketchily sourced headlines. Couldn’t it be that the Ku$hners currently have bad publicity, and the team is trying to add a sympathy card? Divert attention? People are less likely to be haters when a baby is involved. Babies would change the narrative, and provide good, sympathetic distraction from an election loss and criminal accusations. I really have no idea about these things. What I do know, is people shouldn’t just jump to conclusions over one magazine announcement. Wait until more facts are garnered. My guess? There’s no baby. But we’ll see what comes to light.

OK, we talked about how the source is incomplete at best, fabricated at worst. Now, let’s discuss the logistics of a pregnancy. I hope you know, gay people don’t just fuck the opposite sex. That’s not a thing, and it’s disgusting for people to admit the Ku$hner has a long-term husband, and that Karlie is bi (more likely lesbian) but still assert they had sex with each other. I’m a gay, and would NEVER mess around with a penis–it’s like the #1 rule of lesbianism. Desire for children or no. And to think a gay man would have intercouse with a woman–Just. No. And why would he do that–it would make his husband, Mike crazy and hurt their relationship (the real relationship).

Yes, I know there are alternate ways to make a baby. But let’s talk careers also. Don’t you think the Ku$hners have been a little busy with the election and all? And Karlie is constantly working, and in the public eye. Are they going to so abruptly change their M.O. and career trajectories to start a family? I mean, it’s possible, but let’s use some critical thinking skills also. I thought they were in a lavender marriage precisely to further their respective careers?

Aside, from not buying into incomplete, sketchy-sourced evidence, and logistic implausibility of a pregnancy, I have personal experience with relationships. Mine is solid. I’m happy, and so is my mate. But I broke up with my mate before and kicked her out of our apartment after 6.5 years together.

Some mean girls we worked with were jealous of my schedule and took it upon themselves to punish me by sabotaging my and my mate’s relationship. And my trusting, somewhat naive mate, fell right under their manipulations. My mate mean-girrled me after 6.5 years together! And we broke up. I was upset–still am. The situation sucked very bad. But you don’t choose your soulmate, Invisible String is absolutely correct. So despite misgivings, I let my mate back into my life. I wouldn’t do that for anybody else. I’m happy to cut off toxic relationships, usually–I’m no doormat. But your soulmate is special. She is my heart, and even though what she did is unforgivable really, I am more happy with her in my life then without. I am not whole without her. So we’re together and she’s sorry that ever happened, and changed her behavior. People grow, and I chose to let us grow together.

Sometimes long term relationships have blips. And having experienced it firsthand, I think many times they can be overcome. And I think Taylor feels the same. I think she considers Karlie her soulmate. And after all the yearning, dreaming, and wanting a fairytale ending–I don’t think Taylor is going to let that slip away easily. She wrote The Lakes to follow Hoax, to show the listener that yeah, all the content of Hoax sucks, and is depressing and toxic–but there’s still that rose that grew out of frozen ground (mentioned in Hoax), and Taylor still wants to take her muse with her. And if you think that muse is some boy–you have ZERO gay-dar!

I think Taylor feels topsy-turnvy more because of internal homophobia than anything shitty Karlie is doing (which let’s not forget Taylor does this hurtful bearding stuff also). Internal homophobia is what drives being closeted, and it leads to depression. Living a secret, closeted life is both high-maintenance and mentally/emotionally taxing. I was closeted (still am in some circles), and it feels BAD. Of course Taylor is sad. Bearding is stressful and phony and horrible to put an S.O. through.

When my mate and I visit my rural hometown, I never touch her, and want us to appear to outsiders (who are bigots) as just friends. And when I say “friend” or “roommate when those small-town people press, I feel ugly and disgusting inside. I feel ashamed with myself for not being stronger. Even so, the fear outweighs all those feelings. Now amplify that by a million for Taylor and Karlie. And they’re both participating in that game of secrecy. it’s a lot of stress.

What I’m saying is–don’t be a weak Kaylor and give up so soon. Taylor and Karlie may have broken up, but the evidence we have is not very great. At least wait for more substantial proof.