Following the abrupt release of her surprise album, folklore, nobody suspected Taylor Swift to pull a similar stunt just six months later with the release of folklore’s sister album evermore.
I certainly wasn’t, but it was not an unwelcome surprise. In fact, I personally enjoyed evermore more than I enjoyed its predecessor, because evermore presents to us a fully comfortable Swift, one who has already dipped her toes into a new genre and is now confident in her ability to garner enthusiastic listeners despite the sudden change in style. The album is more sonically cohesive and a little more upbeat at times, with songs like “champagne problems,” “closure,” and “gold rush,” as opposed to the consistently soft, winding sound of folklore. If the first album was an experiment Swift used to explore herself and her musical direction, the second is Swift finding a niche within the already expansive singer-songwriter genre, a sound and lyrical style.
Swift, as an artist, has the unique capacity to inject her own nuances into every aspect of her trade. Although over the years her specific genre and aesthetic has ebbed and flowed quite dramatically, many of her trademarks have remained constant. Her voice, oft criticized for supposedly being weaker than other artists with her same popularity, has its own unique timbre and warmth to it, having vastly improved but maintained the same sweetness over the scope of her career. Her lyrical choices, while again, improving in quality, remain confessional and coy in true Swift style. And, of course, Swift’s songwriting skills in terms of the instrumental facet have repeatedly presented to us catchy, memorable tunes. None of this has changed with this new era of genre. In fact, I would go so far as to say that with Swift’s decision to embrace a more creative medium comes the ability to develop the traits that brought her such unparalleled success into more than radio has allowed them to be thus far.
Related Post: Taylor Swift Shifts Genres, Again – Part 1