Taylor Swift’s most recent album—Lover—was released Aug. 23, 2019. This is her 7th studio album and is the next iteration in her progression as a musician.
Most of the songs on this album are exactly what we expect out of Swift. “The Archer” and “Soon You’ll Get Better” have teenage girls teary-eyed. “You Need to Calm Down” and “ME!” are the radio pop anthems that just scream ‘drunk party girl.’
The music on this album is what I assumed it would be at this point in Swift’s career. Her transition from country to pop was gradual, but now she is essentially the pop vocalist of our generation.
“You Need to Calm Down” became the white girl anthem for Pride 2019. While we love this kind of representation for marginalized communities, the source being Taylor Swift makes the conversation a little more complicated.
Swift has been criticized for preaching a non-inclusive type of feminism that excludes members of the LGBTQ community. This kind of accused feminism has been known on the internet as ‘white feminism’ for its exclusion of people who are marginalized for race, gender or sexuality.
There are a ton of easter eggs hidden throughout this album, and many die-hard Swifties have claimed that Swift is trying to tell listeners more about her sexuality. As soon as this became a popular idea, people immediately came in to criticize her for taking advantage of the LGBTQ community.
Some people think that she is using this album to try and take back the mistakes she has made over her career. She is trying to reach a bigger audience by focusing her songs around more diverse topics, but it reads to a listener as, “here are songs about the same things, but we’re gay now!”
This is not me saying that I hated this album. Sometimes I can bop to some Taylor Swift when I’m getting ready in the morning; sometimes a bubblegum pop song puts the pep in my step before my 9:40 class.
As a society, we just need to remain critical of the media we consume. Is it authentic, or is it major pop stars pandering to the new trend? It seems like Swift and her writers think being gay is the new trend.
Social context aside, “Lover” is a decent pop top100 album. It hits all of the basic pop requirements, but I think it might be time for us to expect more out of Swift.