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“Lover”: music with a message

Taylor Swift produces songs with statements of equality. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.org).

Sydney Clark

Staff Writer

            Taylor Swift’s seventh and most recent album, “Lover”, was released on August 23rd after being highly anticipated for months. The new album features popular singles like “Me!” featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, “You Need to Calm Down,” and “The Archer.” 

            Unlike many other artists, Taylor Swift writes or co-writes every one of her songs. Her music is a direct look into her life and her past experiences. “Lover”is no exception to this tradition, while also touching on themes that listeners can relate to such as judgmental remarks, sexism, and family illness. 

            “Lover’s”second single, “You Need to Calm Down” made a tremendous statement as Swift calls out hateful comments directed towards members of the LGBT+ community. She sings, “You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate/’Cause shade never made anybody less gay.” These inclusive lyrics are a look into Swift’s pro-equality view while also criticizing people leaving hateful comments on the internet. This song is not only upbeat, but also has a positive message. 

            The music video for “You Need to Calm Down” features a wide variety of cast members, many being a part of the LGBT+ community. The most notable being Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, the “Queer Eye” cast, RuPaul, Hannah Hart, Todrick Hall, and Hayley Kiyoko. At the 2019 VMAs, this colorful music video won Video of the Year as well as Video for Good, this category being the first of its kind to be awarded for having a positive message. 

            Taylor Swift’s newest album has another bold message on track four: sexism. One attribute that is often negatively associated with Swift is her willingness to write songs about her past relationships. In “The Man,” Swift brings up how if she was a different gender, she wouldn’t be getting questioned the same way that she does now. She wouldn’t be judged based off of who she is dating, what she is wearing, or if what she is doing is just for attention. 

In addition to this double-standard, she also comments on the fact that no matter how hard she works, she is left feeling that she could have accomplished more if she was a man. She sings, “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.” This isn’t a song that only pertains to rich celebrities. Anyone can relate to “The Man” who feels that they are being treated unfairly because of something that is out of their control. 

            Taylor Swift’s music is always a way to get a view of what she is experiencing. “Soon You’ll Get Better”, track 12 on “Lover,” is about her mom’s fight against cancer. This ballad is not just the most heartbreaking song on this album, but on any of her previous albums as well. The music in “Soon You’ll Get Better” has a haunting sound that accompanies the deeply personal lyrics that talk about the Swift family’s struggle dealing with her mom’s illness. Swift talks about praying to “holy orange bottles” and trying to find faith because she’s desperate. 

In one verse Swift asks the question, “What am I supposed to do? If there’s no you.” Swift manages to put her pain, fears, and struggles into a captivating song that can’t be listened to just once. Taylor Swift’s “Lover”isn’t an album that only fans can listen to. It’s an album that has relatable themes that can reach a wide audience. “Lover”is an album that goes beyond having a few catchy songs. She has important messages to share that are worth hearing. 

Taylor Swift was born in the relatively unknown town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania before moving to Tennessee to pursue her music career. She went from being a small town singer to one of the most influential musicians of today. Although her name has substantial weight to it, that hasn’t changed her from being that same thought-provoking artist from Pennsylvania.