Folklore is the 1

Taylor Swifts eighth album Folklore was released July 24 and sold over one million copies in just twenty four hours.

photo by Taylor Nation LLC

Taylor Swift’s eighth album Folklore was released July 24 and sold over one million copies in just twenty four hours.

Taylor Swift has turned this “Cruel Summer” into one that has fans ready to “Begin Again.”  On July 23 she announced her surprise eighth album “Folklore,” and it is one of her best works yet. Its relatable narrative and somber tone make it the perfect quarantine album that listeners can take comfort in. 

With over 1 million  copies sold and 80 million streams in just 24 hours, “Folklore’s” success is undeniable. By dropping a surprise album, Swift’s followers can listen to the album without any preconceived notions that plagued her previous albums, “Lover” and “Reputation.” This let the music shine for what it is:  a fresh take on popular music.

“Folklore” represents yet another genre shift for Swift, transitioning from pop to alternative, which provides a refreshing break from Swift’s typical upbeat snare drums and synthesizers. Instead, Folklore concentrates on music to match the thoughtful verses. Alternative music has a heavy focus on lyrics, which makes the category perfect for Swift’s written talent, and “Folklore” exemplifies that.  

The album portrays the story of Rebekah Harkness, a troubled socialite that previously owned Swift’s Rhode Island mansion. Harkness lived a lavish lifestyle that not everyone approved of. Swift details this in the song “The Last Great American Dynasty” where she writes of the public’s opinion of Harkness and compares herself to the criticized woman. The song is the most upbeat piece out of the whole album, but still gives off the feeling of a written down daydream.

Like any good Taylor Swift album, there is a considerable amount of speculation as to what each song is about. A popular theory suggests that the songs “August,”  “Cardigan” and “Betty” detail a teenage love triangle from three different perspectives. Who the triangle includes is unclear and is theorized to be anyone from Swift’s grandfather to her new cat. “Betty” weaves in Swift’s country roots with harmonica throughout and soft acoustic guitar, while “Cardigan” and “August” sounds similar to her former “Red” album mixing piano and various wind instruments.  

The songs themselves are intricate narrations that give off the feeling of reading a dramatic Jane Austin novel on a stormy day. That is what makes this album so spectacular; you get lost listening to it. 

You could play the same song 13 times and still hear something new that adds to the story. 

The best song on the album is without a doubt “the 1.” The song epitomizes how everyone wants to feel coming out of quarantine: confident and ready to take on the world, despite what it has looked like the past few months. 

Even those who do not consider themselves Taylor Swift fans need to give this album a try. It is no longer about breakups and revenge for Swift, it is about telling a story that deserves to be told in a captivating way.