A Swift Surprise

By Julia Esposito and Rachel Priest

On July 24th, 2020, Taylor Swift stunned her fans with the release of her new studio album, "Folklore." Unlike her past albums which have been publicized and anticipated, she announced "Folklore" one day in advance. The photos and song titles that were posted on Instagram gave an indie aesthetic to the album, which juxtaposed her previous work. Even though it gave some insight into the album, fans did not know what was in store.

"Folklore" consisted of 16 unique songs and a bonus track all written during the quarantine. The title caught some people off guard.

“I wasn’t familiar with the term “folklore” before the album was released,” said sophomore Julia Fulgieri.

In the context of the album, it means "storytelling through experiences." Taylor Swift stated that she let her imagination run wild. Being inside for about five months gave her the opportunity to go back in history, relive her memories, and dive into her fantasy. The songs included detailed stories that were portrayed in a mature yet youthful tone.

Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

Swift's new album was streamed 79.4 million times during its first 24 hours of availability.

Taylor Swift is known for writing about her personal experiences concerning her relationships and family. Although this one reiterates some of the themes from her previous work, it also branches out and brings new material in an alternative manner. In the song “Last Great American Dynasty,” Swift touches upon the history of her previous house owner and gives insight into how certain women were frowned upon back then. In the song “Invisible String,” her lyrics let listeners visualize the path into meeting her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn by explaining her fondest memories.

Additionally, three songs in the album tell the tale of a teenage love triangle. Fans speculate that these are all connected, and Swift confirmed that these songs were a way for her to express her passion for creative writing.

“I’m not the biggest fan of Taylor Swift, but I have to commend her for always having a deeper meaning in her songs,” said sophomore Gabby Bonetti.

Although her fans are obsessed with the new album, she still received criticism. For instance, the band Smash Mouth tweeted that the album should have been called “Borelore.” In addition, the writer of “Phineas and Ferb,” Dan Povenmire, said the album is filled with too many ballads and no upbeat songs.

Despite the negative feedback, she dominated in terms of the charts. All 16 songs were on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts, and "Folklore" held the biggest female debut of all time on Global Spotify. Even critics praised Swift for her success due to the fact that she wasn’t trying to sell her album beforehand. Ultimately, Taylor Swift's surprise album was a shock to many. For some, it made them fall asleep, while it was a peaceful album to listen to for others.