After Listening To Taylor Swift's 'folklore' For A Few Weeks, Here's An OFFICIAL Ranking Of The Album
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After Listening To Taylor Swift's 'folklore' For A Few Weeks, Here's An OFFICIAL Ranking Of The Album

Looks like she's not "out of the woods yet."

After Listening To Taylor Swift's 'folklore' For A Few Weeks, Here's An OFFICIAL Ranking Of The Album

In case you've been quarantined under a rock, or a place without the Internet, Taylor Swift did something. And no, she did not do something bad. She did probably the best thing she's ever done. She "pulled a Beyonce" and dropped a surprise album. And it might be the best album of her career. Like it's seriously good.

The album is called "folklore," and it's incredible. It also makes me feel so useless for not doing more things in the past few months. Every song on the album is so beautifully written. Taylor also proves that she doesn't have to write about her own life to write amazing, relatable songs.

Side note: all these songs are great, it was so hard to come up with an official ranking, this is just my opinion. Also, I have decided to include "the lakes," in honor of its release.

1. "the last great american dynasty"

Only Taylor could write a song about a mansion she bought in Rhode Island, which she only used for the 4th of July, secret sessions, and when she tried to be a Kennedy in 2012, and have it be amazing and relatable.

It seems like I am continuing my pattern of my favorite Taylor song on each album being slept on at first because I haven't seen this song get a ton of attention. Unless it's about the backstory.

Like I mentioned earlier, this song is about the history of Taylor's house in Rhode Island, particularly Rebekah Harkness, the woman who used to own it. Rebekah was a composer, who bought the house with her late husband, the heir to an oil dynasty. She continued to live in it, even after he died.

The song talks about how Rebekah used to throw loud, lavish parties and ruined the vibe of the neighborhood, "She had a marvelous time ruining everything." Taylor clearly honored Rebekah's legacy, when she bought the house. It also has some feminist undertones, with the first verse containing the line "It must have been her fault his heart gave out." I think the best part of this song is the chorus, it's both clever and catchy. My favorite lines are, "There goes the maddest/most shameless/loudest woman this town has ever seen," (the adjective changes with each chorus). I will be using these as Instagram captions.

2. "mad woman"

Taylor isn't just a snake queen anymore, she's also a scorpion queen and a bear queen. And she's given us another feminist anthem. And she said "fuck," so there's that.

This song is a perfect depiction of how women are viewed when they get angry, even when they have a reason to be angry, and even when someone is egging them on. "Every time you call me crazy, I get more crazy, what about that?" And those same people are usually the ones who tell her to move on and get over it, when she can't. Taylor knows exactly what that feels like, as she's been painted as a villain and a crazy girl by people and by the media for so long.

I feel like this is a prequel to one of my favorite Taylor songs, "I Did Something Bad." This might have how Taylor felt before she decided to relish her snake-like image and evilness. As if she's saying, "You think I'm crazy, I'll show you crazy!"

The lines most Swifties are about, and also give clues to who it's about, are "It's obvious wanting me dead has brought you together," and "The master of spin has a couple side flings, good wives always know, she should be mad, she should be scathing like me." I'm thinking it might be about the Kimye situation since the whole truth about that came out in March, and Kimye might not be doing all that well right now. Although, it could be about the Scooter Braun situation since his wife attacked Taylor on Instagram. But, I feel like Swifties just want to joke about Scooter cheating on his wife.

3. "invisible string"

This album isn't super sad, but most of these songs made me cry, including this one. It's so beautiful and romantic, that you can't help but not tear up. It also eased my fears that Taylor and Joe broke up. I feel like I could hear this in a romantic scene in a rom-com or a teen TV series.

The song is about the years before Taylor and Joe got together, how she realized all her past mistakes and heartbreak lead to her current relationship and happiness, and how she believes she and Joe were always connected. Particularly, that he listened to "Bad Blood" during his first trip to Los Angeles, "Bad was the blood of the song in the cab on your first trip to LA." This is a perfect example of Taylor referencing specific experiences she has had, which she does so well.

Taylor also learned that she can mention other colors than red and blue in her songs, she mentions green, teal, gold, purple, and pink.

I also have to shout out Aaron Dessner, who co-wrote this, and a lot of the other songs on the album. I had no idea who he was before, but now I want more collabs with him and Taylor. I would have shouted him out in the first two entries, but I felt like it would ruin the feminist vibes of my two favorite songs.

4. "this is me trying"

This is the theme song to my, and I'm sure other people's, lives. I even took one of those "which folklore song are you" quizzes, and I got this one.

I feel like people are sleeping on this track. It's so relatable to anyone who feels like they can't seem to accomplish anything and feel like they're useless. AKA most people. "I got wasted like all my potential" is the most relatable lyric on the album, and will probably make appearances as an artistic Tumblr post or an Instagram caption.

Taylor just wants whoever, most likely Joe, to know that she might not be doing everything correct right now, she's trying, and she'll keep trying until she gets it right.

This song seems to correspond to "Afterglow," mainly the line "I'm here in your doorway," which might be why I love it so much and it seems to be slept on. It also has some great lyrics. "I had the shiniest wheels, now they're rusting," gives me Bad Blood flashbacks. "They told me all of my cages were mental," is also relatable, and is something we've all probably heard from our superiors, but we all know is bullshit. "I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere," will also be making an Insta caption.

5. "my tears ricochet"

At number 5, it's track 5! How fitting! Just like track 7 continues the pattern of being slept on, track 5 continues its pattern of being a tearjerker. This one rivals "All Too Well," "The Archer," and "Dear John" with the amount of emotions it made me feel. It also reminded me of "Delicate," with the way it is mixed and I think Taylor might have gone back to the vocoder.

Taylor imagines a funeral, but I'm not exactly sure who or what it's for. The most common guess I have is that it has to do with Scott Borchetta selling her masters. Mainly the line "stolen lullabies." The song is also about how people will continue to kick someone when they're down, "If I'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?" And Scott and Scooter continued to play victim publicly, tried to block Taylor from performing and using her old music, and even tried to release remixes of her old music. However, Taylor is not going down without a fight, "If I'm on fire, you'll be made of ashes too."

6. "exile"

Taylor remembered that she can do a duet! Yay! Taylor's duets are often hit or miss. That "Lover" remix with Shawn Mendes says hello. But this one is definitely one of her best. Taylor and Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Bon Iver, sound so beautiful together. This song also made me, and probably almost everyone realize that Bon Iver is actually a band, and not one person. Who knew?

I wrote all my first impressions of folklore on my Instagram stories, you can still find them in my highlights. And I called this both a "social distancing anthem" and the "girl from the Wildest Dreams MV's anthem." That last one is because of the line "I think I've seen this film before, and I didn't like the ending." This is one of the more tearjerking songs on the album. My heart nearly ripped out when I heard this the first time, and I just realized I put the two most heartbreaking songs back to back, lol. This is looking like it'll be the second single, which is a great decision on Taylor's part.

7. "betty"

Swifties have had a lot of wrong theories, but "betty" being about Joe Alwyn's mom, who is also named Betty, might take the No. 1 spot.

Listening to this song was an experience. First, I thought Taylor finally revealed that she had a lesbian relationship until she calls herself "James" on the bridge. That made me realize it's a reference to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughters, after hearing that the girl spreading rumors was named "Ines," and that their third daughter is named Betty. Don't ask me how I know Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' kids names. I just do. Also, the James Taylor is alluding to is a girl, and there's no specific pronouns, so this could still be a lesbian relationship.

Taylor also returns to her country roots, particularly her "Speak Now" slash the few country songs on "Red" time period, which I appreciate greatly.

Fun fact, this song is a part of a trilogy with two other tracks on this album, "cardigan," and "august." This also explains the line about a cardigan at the end. The trilogy is about a teenage relationship, that falls apart when a summer fling is revealed. Each song is from a different person's perspective, and this is from James', the person who cheated, perspective.

8. "cardigan"

Taylor releases a legitimately strong song as her first single, since maybe "Love Story." She's learned. She's evolved. She's taking notes from Dua Lipa.

Not only is the video so gorgeous and creative, but the it's also so strong. The lyrics are even stronger and make even more sense once we found out that this is a part of the trilogy, this is from the girlfriend's, or Betty's, perspective. Particularly the lines, "Leaving like a father," "A friend to all is a friend to none, chase two girls, lose the one," or "the 1" lol.

What I love is that Taylor keeps it ambiguous whether or not Betty and James reconcile. She's clearly still mad about James, but still has love for him, who made her feel great when she felt like "an old cardigan under someone's bed."

My favorite line is "When you are young you assume you know nothing." I also love the music and the melody and think Taylor sounds amazing on this.

9. "seven"

No, this song is not number seven on my rankings, lol. But it is two below it, so there's that.

This is another song that on first listen, I thought was about another one of Taylor's secret lesbian relationships. Mainly, about someone getting a crush on their friend, and maybe not realizing it at first. It also has the line "hide in the closet," so yeah.

However, on second listen, and after reading Tumblr and Twitter, I began thinking it was about someone wanting to save their friend from a toxic place, most likely an abusive father.

No matter who it's about, it's gorgeous. Taylor also sounds amazing on this song, and her Lana Del Rey influence is strong here. There's a sense of childhood nostalgia and innocence about this song. You might actually feel like you're seven years old again.

This track seems to continue the pattern of Taylor's track 7s being slept on by the fanbase, since I haven't seen a lot of hype for this song. Also, there's an India, PA. Who knew?

10. "the lakes"

Bonus track! And this one was well worth the wait!

I feel like this song could also allude to Taylor losing her masters, and how she felt after finding out. She feels like she's pretty much dead, and wants to go to "the lakes where all the poets went to die," however, she feels like she doesn't belong "without my muse."

She just wants to disappear somewhere with people she loves, and just forget about everything. I feel like this is the best example of the feeling of the album, kind of ironic that it's a bonus track. It just makes you want to disconnect from society, and surround yourself with nature, until the bugs bother you, or you get cold, or your phone starts to die.

11. "the 1"

This is a great opener. But it also gives me the impression that this album will be a bit more like "Lover," which, spoiler alert, it ain't.

It reminds me a bit of "I Forgot That You Existed." A mid-tempo, fun opener, about one of Taylor's past relationships. However, this one has a bit more longing. Taylor imagines if one of her exes, which the common consensus seems to be Harry Styles, was the one for her, and how that might not have been the worst thing in the world.

This song contains some of Taylor's unexpectedly relatable lyrics, particularly "the greatest films of all time were never made," and "in my defense, I have none."

12. "hoax"

I feel like this song is slept on. It's a bit of a weird track to close the album off on, Taylor usually ends on an optimistic song. Yes, I know I'm excluding "the lakes."

But I think it's a good summary of the album. A tearjerker, low-key, song, about the struggles of love, whether they be real or made up in Taylor's head. I love the line, "Don't want no other shade of blue, but you," and the first verse, particularly "My twisted knife, my sleepless night, my winless fight." It's a really dark song, and it flows really well.

13. "mirrorball"

This song has really grown on me. Taylor and Jack Antonoff have proved once again that they are a power duo in music. I began liking it even more, when I saw social media posts comparing the song to quotes from "Miss Americana", hence the gif. In this song, a mirrorball isn't another name for a disco ball or the trophy on "Dancing With The Stars." It's a form of self-refection. It will "show you every version of yourself tonight."

This song could be about how Taylor presents herself in the public eye, and how she feels pressure to keep changing and to be perfect in people's eyes. It also could be about how we as Swifties see Taylor and her music.

For me, Taylor's songs can make me feel different emotions, depending on what I'm going through in my life at the moment. There's a Taylor song for every emotion and experience.

14. "august"

The final part of the trilogy! I used to like this song a lot more, but this has made the biggest drop for me. However, it's still great. It's kind of heartbreaking when the girl, who Swifties are calling "August" for obvious reasons, has to accept that James was never hers, might not ever be hers again, and that she meant nothing to him/her/them. She would "cancel her plans" in case James would want to meet up with her, usually "behind the mall."

It feels like a summery song, specifically an August song. The guitar immediately makes me picture a couple riding bikes in a beach town during vacation. The chorus is great, I especially love the line "august slipped away into a moment in time." Mainly because I feel like August always goes by quickly. I also love how the bridge calls back to lines from the second verse, quietly echoes in the background, before repeating again. I've never heard Taylor write songs like this before, and I love that she's playing around with structure and melody.

15. "illicit affairs"

This is alternate universe "Girl At Home", if Taylor had started an affair with that guy who had a girlfriend. It's fabulous. This is another song people are sleeping on. Taylor's ability to tell a story that she might not have experienced is impeccable.

"illicit affairs" is a perfect example of what this album is about. A fake story that Taylor manages to make us believe happened to her. I feel like this is an honorary member of the trilogy. It's "august" from an outsider's perspective or a third-person narrator.

I also feel like this could be describing how she and Joe first got together. They might not have cheated on one of their partners with each other, but they did have to sneak around at first. This song is also crazy wordy, mainly the bridge. But it works, even if you have to use a dictionary to understand it.

16. "peace"

In the notes of my first impressions, I called this the precursor to "Afterglow." Basically, the fight Taylor and Joe had before they made up and had makeup sex. It's very personal and well written, with Taylor wondering if Joe would still accept her if she could "never give him peace."

However, she's reassuring him that she'll always be there for him, and she'll always try to make it work. Dating Taylor Swift is a lot, y'all. I love the song, it just doesn't resonate with me as much as the other songs do. I will say, this song has my, and I'm sure many others', favorite lyric on the entire album, with "clowns to the West." Lol at Taylor not even trying to be subtle anymore.

17. "epiphany"

This song is only last because it's the song I listen to the least, and it's the hardest for me to understand. I wasn't 100% sure who Taylor is talking about. At first, I thought it might have been about the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Then, after reading a few reviews, I thought it might be about the pandemic. In the notes of my first impressions, I called this track "political Taylor." Then, I thought she wrote it about one of Joe Alwyn's war movies or someone she knows who was in the military. It's still gorgeous and topical, it's just the hardest song for me to really love.

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