Taylor Swift's highly anticipated seventh studio album was released today on Friday, August 23. The album is Swift's first release under Republic Records and Taylor Swift Productions. This is also the first album that she owns all of her own masters.
The album has 18 songs, yes EIGHTEEN. This is her longest album, by far. Since it only came out today and I only had one listen all the way through, I'm sure my top 5 songs will change over time.
#5 - Soon You'll Get Better (feat. Dixie Chicks)
This may be Swift's most emotional and raw song to date. The lyrics are about her mother's battle with cancer. Swift announced in March that her mother's cancer had returned. Soon You'll Get Better has all of the classic Swift sounds - acoustic guitar and soft banjo. Plus, it features the Dixie Chicks!
Favorite lyric: "Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you / Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too."
#4 - The Man
Taylor Swift released a feminist pop anthem, that's why. In this serious-message-but-actually-a-bop song, Taylor Swift explains how she has had to work even harder to get where she is because she is a woman. It's like the adult version of Shake it Off (from Red) and Blank Space (from 1989) and the natural continuation of reputation, where she is challenging the media's perception of her. What's not to love about it?
Favorite lyric: If I was a man, then I'd be the man"
#3 - Death By A Thousand Cuts
This song is a standout song on the album. Death By A Thousand Cuts is about saying goodbye and moving on from your past. According to a fan who attended Taylor's top-secret Lover listening party, the song was allegedly inspired by the Netflix movie Someone Great. Even though it's extremely catchy and is technically more of an upbeat pop song, I think it's one of the most beautiful ones on the album. It's also super quotable. Sidenote, it sounds like an adult version of something you could have heard on Speak Now (and that makes young me very happy).
Favorite lyric: "You said it was a great love / One for the ages / But if the story's over, why am I still writing pages?"
#2 - Lover
If this wasn't released a week early, it probably would have been my top song on the album. Everything about it is beautiful. Swift wrote this entirely by herself, with production from Jack Antonoff and Swift. It is a classic lovestruck Taylor Swift song. On Spotify's Storyline feature, Swift explains that she wanted the feel of a song you would hear at a 1970's wedding reception. As a lover of 1970's acoustic music, I totally heard this on my first listen. (I also personally feel like it's a continuation from reputation's New Year's Day.)
Favorite lyric: "My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue / All's well that ends well to end up with you"
#1 - Cornelia Street
Cornelia Street is everything I had hoped for and more. Another song that Swift wrote entirely by herself, she tells us a story of love that is somehow so specific yet relatable. When the chorus hits, I can picture dancing in the rain in the West Village (where Cornelia Street is, by the way). Swift wrote the song like a story, from meeting the first time, falling in love, and never wanting her lover to leave. Swift has obviously proven that she is an incredible songwriter, and Cornelia Street showcases her talent and ability to create a vivid picture with her lyrics. Also, shoutout to Antonoff and Swift for the amazing production.
Favorite lyric: "I get mystified by how this city screams your name"
Update: After listening to this album over and over again, I don't know why Cruel Summer wasn't on my top 5 list, but I'm just making an extra emphasis that the song is awesome. All you NYC friends, walk around the Village to Cruel Summer and you'll agree.