She’s been the biggest pop star in the world for the past five or so years, and it is for good reason. Simply put, she is very much the representation of the current generation. Controversial or not, Taylor Swift has made a reputation of taking the battles and challenges she endures while finding ways to tell the world about them from her perspective. In some instances, this means that she may resort to the art of petty, as evident with her 2017 #1 single, “Look What You Made Me Do”. However, it seems as if in 2019, Swift is perhaps more concerned with evolving her sound to a thematic sense: love. ‘Lover’ is a welcome addition to a catalog that isn’t drastic in sound from her earlier work, but isn’t a clone either of her earlier successes. The album is on the verge to be another massive hit for Swift. With that being said, below is a ranking of the 18 tracks that make up her seventh studio album, from biggest snooze, to smoothest gem.
18. “The Man”
One of the few moments on Taylor’s album that feel all-too formula based and dated, this poppy track sounds like a leftover song from the sessions of her mega hit, ‘1989’.
17. “London Boy”
Swift’s curiosity for exploring international love leads to a semi-cheesy song written that’s far less impressive than Estele’s “American Boy” a decade prior.
No offense to the lead single from the album, but it was clearly not the right choice to begin the campaign for an album that will likely not become a huge success. With an empowering message based on self love and appreciation, the song is an attempt at inspiration, but never quite reaches the heights.
15. “You Need to Calm Down”
Similarly, this was a poor choice as a single on an album with plenty more highlights. Of course, the LGBT-Q references will make this an anthem for next year’s pride, but overall, the track lacks edge and soul.
14. “I Forgot That You Existed”
A fire starter, the kickoff is a suitable tribute to the effects of overcoming a breakup in later life. With a beat mimicking popular trends, the petty-friendly hook is almost too catchy. It sounds like a perfect radio single for early summer.
13. “I Think He Knows”
At a certain point, some of the same references on an album get kind of stale. While this track continues to suffer from “does he know/I can be a bad girl” type vibes, it is among a suitable filler and transitional track on the opus to this point.
12. “Cornelia Street”
Cute pop gem, but nothing spectacular enough to stand out.
11. “Cruel Summer”
One of the first examples on the album that though highly overlooked at times, Taylor’s ability at a songwriter is far more impressive than she gets credit for, especially when speaking on faulty love.
10. “Miss Americana & The Heartthrob”
One of the Taylor-esque standards that doesn’t offer anything new, yet, doesn’t feel like it is lost in yesteryear.
9. “Paper Rings”
Every album needs a love song built on surpassing superficial things. This is Swift’s 2019 version.
8. “The Archer”
Sounding like a page out of Taylor’s personal diary as a teenager, this song allows for a reflective moment that is all too empathetic.
A fitting closer with an even fitting title to close out an album telling Swift’s newest spin on love in 2019.
6. “Soon You’ll Get Better”
The Dixie Chicks collaboration that multiple generations were looking forward to will likely go underappreciated until Swift goes on tour, but its lyrics and acoustic structure hit close to home.
One of the better written songs on the entire album.
The album’s title track is one of Swift’s strongest writings to date. The tit-for-tat questioning of new love is met with a vintage instrumentation that will be lauded by critics.
3. “Death by a Thousand Cuts”
Arguably one of the most carefully crafted lyrical, melodic, and produced tracks of her career heavily enhanced by vivid imagery and metaphors.
2. “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”
If only Drake had heard this before he finished producing the ‘Euphoria’ television show….
Masterful songwriting, vintage vocals, sleek production, careful jazz interpolation. There’s no denying the hit that is on Swift’s hands here.