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Old 12-13-2020, 08:06 PM   #61
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Taylor Swift IS the new Arya Stark!

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Originally Posted by bono_212 View Post
A single bad thing I can say so far: Matt is mixed WAY too loud in "Coney Island."

On the other hand, the song is also amazing?

Send help, I don't know what to do. I REALLY love this album. It's been so long. I swore Taylor off. I said I was done. She pulled me back in.


Coney Island would have fit right next to the Lana song on my DI playlist. Damn. And it could have been followed by Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:45 AM   #62
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I've not listened to the record, or folklore, because it's just too much new music for me to process, but yeah, that song is great.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:46 AM   #63
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I'm getting sick of this trend of lowercase album and song titles though.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:31 AM   #64
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Bryan Devendorf’s propulsive drumming certainly stands out on the songs he’s on. That drum beat on Long Story Short, for example, sounds just like a National song.

And it’s great.
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Old 12-14-2020, 12:22 PM   #65
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I'm getting sick of this trend of lowercase album and song titles though.
I suspect it's to tie these two albums together. I would be shocked if it's still there on her next album.


Also, this is my favorite song on the album:


In general I feel like she gave us an entire album of songs as good as "Enchanted" but this one especially reminds me of how much I love that song.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:04 AM   #66
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GAF will be happy to learn that I listened to both of these 2020 TS albums, and really liked them a lot. I didn't expect the lyrics to be that good, in all honesty, not to mention the sophistication of many of the arrangements.

To my ears, both albums are considerably more impressive than this year's Haim album, which I already mentioned sounded pretty generic to me.

Both albums could probably stand to lose a track or two, but they're incredibly consistent. The only thing off Evermore that seemed redundant is probably Closure? But that could be a fatigue thing coming right before the memorable finale. Long Story Short is really catchy but maybe sonically doesn't belong. Wasn't a big fan of the opening track Willow, which is an odd choice for a lead single IMO.

Don't mind me, I'm new here.

My early favorites would be Happiness, Coney Island, Evermore, Dorothea, Ivy.

I need to hear Folklore again to evaluate because it's been a couple days and the other one is fresher in my mind.

There is one question I have, after consulting the Wiki pages: if Taylor is a multi-instrumentalist, how come she's only singing on both of these albums? I was under the impression she at least played guitar often? It seems odd for Aaron Dessner to have played nearly everything for her, even if he's the better musician. Does she play on her earlier albums? What happened, did she break her hand like Bono? Is Bono ok??
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Old 12-18-2020, 03:32 AM   #67
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GAF could speak to this better than me, but she's definitely always had a backing band. I can't actually recall having ever seen her play an instrument, I would almost think the multi-instrumentalist tag is publicity fodder from her agent, and not an actual skill. But I might be very wrong.
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Old 12-18-2020, 04:00 AM   #68
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Well it appears she's written a lot of songs by herself, without producers, over the course of her career. The whole Speak Now album was written by just her, and it looks like it was really on Red that she started writing more with an assortment of producers.

Therefore, she has to be able to legitimately play something, because those songs would be written either with a guitar or piano.

And she is listed as playing guitar on all her albums until Reputation, and she hasn't played an instrument on any of the albums from that one onward.

It's rather strange.
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Old 12-18-2020, 10:54 AM   #69
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Oh, she can play. This is from earlier this year, when she performed Betty on an award show.


I guess it might be easier with everyone being separated in these times. If Aaron Dessner is already doing most of the instrumentation for a song then it's easier to add the guitar as well to it then for Taylor to record it from the other side of the USA.
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:10 PM   #70
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Well it appears she's written a lot of songs by herself, without producers, over the course of her career. The whole Speak Now album was written by just her, and it looks like it was really on Red that she started writing more with an assortment of producers.

Therefore, she has to be able to legitimately play something, because those songs would be written either with a guitar or piano.

And she is listed as playing guitar on all her albums until Reputation, and she hasn't played an instrument on any of the albums from that one onward.

It's rather strange.
I see what you're saying now. She is definitely a songwriter (and a great one).

I was certainly not trying to suggest she doesn't play, more, I don't think she plays to the level of doing both live.

Obviously she does sometimes though, I have now learned .
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:06 PM   #71
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Glad you liked the albums, Laz. If I had to choose between the two I think Folklore is the better album and more cohesive, memorable statement. But Evermore is a bit more sonically diverse and it's also damn good. We disagree on Willow, I love that track. Think the chorus is absolutely brilliant.

And haha yeah she plays guitar and piano. She almost exclusively rocked a 12-string guitar on her first couple albums and tours which I always thought was cool (and inspired me to buy a 12-string myself).

Just a few weeks ago they released an excellent film of Taylor, Dessner, and Antonoff performing every track from Folklore live at the National's studio. Taylor plays guitar on nearly every song. It's on Disney+, it's def worth watching.
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:14 PM   #72
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Ultimately, these are the quietest and most mature albums of her career. In many ways she just keeps getting better and this was a killer curveball to throw to her audience.

My two favorite albums of hers are (and probably always will be) Speak Now and Red.

It's funny, they mean so much to me so I could never really go back and listen to them with fresh ears. But I have a feeling if someone listened to Folklore/Evermore first and then went back and listened to some of the older stuff, the older stuff might seem a bit unsophisticated in comparison.

But I think everyone should listen to Speak Now and Red (Fearless is fucking great too). And 1989 is her most popular album so it's worth checking out, too. I personally don't love 1989 as much as the three albums that preceded it or the 2020 material, though.
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Old 12-18-2020, 03:02 PM   #73
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Taylor Swift IS the new Arya Stark!

So I jumped in with Taylor at 1989, and that has been and probably will be my favorite. Folklore is definitely my second favorite. I haven’t spent enough time with evermore yet to know where it’ll land, but I’m probably in the super minority that my least favorite (of the albums I’ve heard) is Red (which is her earliest album of hers I’ve heard).
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:15 PM   #74
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I’d love to see Taylor, at some point, do a complete 180 and make a guitar driven record, kind of in the vein of State Of Grace, which is one of my favorite songs of hers.
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:35 PM   #75
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I'm still partial to her early work. The debut isn't especially great but it has some iconic singles and a big heart. Fearless and Speak Now built on its formula impressively, giving us some classic tracks both for radio and for the fans. If you came of age in the late 2000s, Fearless seemed massive. And Speak Now is even better. Fucking hell Enchanted is good.

Red is a mixed bag for me and the production isn't aging well on some of the singles, but the sheer audaciousness and creativity of that record is hard to deny. It's got a little of everything. If I believed in the concept of guilty pleasures, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together would be one of them, but instead it's just a pleasure. Very fun album.

1989 has never clicked me with the way it has for others, but I've been listening to her since Fearless, so songs like Welcome to New York and Bad Blood hold very little interest for me. It's just not what I want from her. Quite a bit of that album sounds like music any pop star could have recorded, with some moments of clarity like Blank Space. Style fucking rules. It's a solid album for what it is.

Reputation is bad. There are maybe 2-3 songs I like and the rest is totally misguided. The only real flop of her career so far.

Lover is cool. I'd trim it down to 11 songs, but it was a big step in the right direction and had some of her best tunes in a while, like Cruel Summer, the title track and The Archer.

Folklore and Evermore are impressive pivots this late into her career and very well timed with everything going on in society and the music industry right now. I like that she's trying to reestablish herself as a great songwriter after Reputation sullied hers, and I think she's choosing really good collaborators. Of the two, I prefer Evermore, but there are really good songs on both (Mirrorball, August, Betty, Gold Rush, Dorothea, Evermore).
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Old 12-18-2020, 10:20 PM   #76
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Just a few weeks ago they released an excellent film of Taylor, Dessner, and Antonoff performing every track from Folklore live at the National's studio. Taylor plays guitar on nearly every song. It's on Disney+, it's def worth watching.
Thanks for the tip. I don't subscribe to Disney+ because fuck them, but I was able to acquire this.
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Old 12-18-2020, 10:28 PM   #77
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Oh yeah, I took another listen to Folklore today and I'm definitely going to be going back and forth on which of these albums I like more. My favs on this one are The 1 (might be the best of both albums), Mirrorball, August, Invisible String, Betty, Epiphany.

Evermore starts off weaker but finishes stronger, maybe.

Also, back to The 1, on paper these album-opening lyrics don't really seem like that big of a deal:

I'm doing good, I'm on some new shit
Been saying "yes" instead of "no"
I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn't though

I hit the ground running each night
I hit the Sunday matinée
You know the greatest films of all time were never made


But her delivery is just so perfect, so lived-in, so cool, it sucks you into the album. That last part about the greatest films is so fucking great if you told me Malkmus or Dylan or whoever wrote it, I'd believe you.

I wouldn't visit Chicago right now if you gave me $1000 plus hotel and air fare, but I definitely feel like pounding some beers with GAF and geeking out over this shit right now.

Someone call the doctor, I don't know who I am anymore and I need HELP.
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:10 AM   #78
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Oh yeah, I took another listen to Folklore today and I'm definitely going to be going back and forth on which of these albums I like more. My favs on this one are The 1 (might be the best of both albums), Mirrorball, August, Invisible String, Betty, Epiphany.

Evermore starts off weaker but finishes stronger, maybe.

Also, back to The 1, on paper these album-opening lyrics don't really seem like that big of a deal:

I'm doing good, I'm on some new shit
Been saying "yes" instead of "no"
I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn't though

I hit the ground running each night
I hit the Sunday matinée
You know the greatest films of all time were never made


But her delivery is just so perfect, so lived-in, so cool, it sucks you into the album. That last part about the greatest films is so fucking great if you told me Malkmus or Dylan or whoever wrote it, I'd believe you.

I wouldn't visit Chicago right now if you gave me $1000 plus hotel and air fare, but I definitely feel like pounding some beers with GAF and geeking out over this shit right now.

Someone call the doctor, I don't know who I am anymore and I need HELP.
Ha yeah I completely agree on "You know the greatest films of all time were never made." It's one of my favorite lyrics of hers, ever.

You know one of the things I really love about that line? It's a high thought. A stoned thought. As a weed smoker, I can say with a good amount of confidence that "You know the greatest films of all time were never made" is something that would pop into the head of a person who just got freshly baked.

Moral of the story: Taylor Swift smokes weed confirmed
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:50 PM   #79
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I really do think her lyrics were still just as good on the first few albums. They just weren't about the same levels of topics, so maybe that would make them less sophisticated?

When we're talking about country music story-telling, I think it doesn't get much better than the singles from the first album. She started so fucking strong. You switch the music out to "Should've Said No" and replace it with slightly harder music, and I think that one could've been a part of the break-up song, karaoke bar canon. That's not a bad thing.

Just looking at the lyrics to Tim McGraw, for example, like, is it "just" a love song? Sure, but I think if you compare it to not only her country music contemporaries from the time, but for her age, these just feel like some extremely poetic lyrics to me:

September saw a month of tears
And thankin' God that you weren't here
To see me like that
But in a box beneath my bed
Is a letter that you never read
From three summers back
It's hard not to find it all a little bittersweet
And lookin' back on all of that, it's nice to believe


It's what endeared me to her from the start, despite not being a fan of the genre at all at the time. I could keep going about the first album, but then, oh my God, It gets even better with Fearless and Speak Now.
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Old 12-19-2020, 02:13 PM   #80
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Another song from the early years that I don't think gets enough appreciate is "Mean". She really does a great wall-of-words, and I think if the song had come out 5 years later than it did, it would've been a much bigger deal:



You, with your switching sides
And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again
As if I don't already see them
I walk with my head down, trying to block you out
'Cause I'll never impress you
I just wanna feel okay again


And then it got a little overshadowed that night by the premiere of "Runaway", but Taylor's Kanye West song is also pretty great, lyrically and musically:

It's alright, just wait and see
Your string of lights is still bright to me
Oh, who you are is not where you've been
You're still an innocent
It's okay, life is a tough crowd
32, and still growing up now
Who you are is not what you did
You're still an innocent

Time turns flames to embers
You'll have new Septembers
Every one of us has messed up too
Lives change like the weather
I hope you remember
Today is never too late to be brand new, oh
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