Taylor Swift's brand new album Folklore hits the right notes with rave reviews

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Taylor Swift. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

RECORD-BREAKER

Taylor kept the release of her eighth studio album – the follow-up to 2019’s mega successful Lover – a secret up until a day before its release when she wrote on social media, “Most of the things I’d planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there’s something I hadn’t planned on that did happen.”

On its release Folklore shattered the global record for first-day album streams on Spotify by a female artist with 80,6 million streams, and became the most streamed pop album on Apple Music, with 35,47 million streams in 24 hours.

WHIMSICAL INSPIRATION

The 30-year-old wrote and recorded the entire album during lockdown. “I poured all of my whims, dreams, fears and musings into it but also got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine,” she says.

On its release the 10-time Grammy winner penned an elegant essay to her fans, saying her inspiration “started with imagery”.

“Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity. Stars drawn around scars. A cardigan that still bears the scent of loss 20 years later. The tree swing in the woods of my childhood . . . A tale that becomes folklore is one that’s passed down and whispered around. Sometimes even sung about. Now it’s up to you to pass them down.”

SONG COLLECTION

The album boasts 16 tracks, including the first single, Cardigan, as well as songs with titles such as August, My Tears Ricochet and Exile featuring vocalist Justin Vernon from indie folk band Bon Iver.

Taylor also directed the music video for Cardigan. “The entire shoot was overseen by a medical inspector, everyone wore masks and stayed away from one another, and I even did my own hair, makeup and styling,” she wrote.

The You Need To Calm Down hitmaker roped in the help of fellow US singer/songwriter Aaron Dessner and her long-time music producer Jack Antonoff.

“She’s really just one of the most hardworking, sharp, focused, talented people I’ve ever encountered,” Aaron says.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Legends Never Die

By Juice World

Rating: 4/5

Juice World album art for Legends Never Die
Juice World album art for Legends Never Die

The late rapper’s third album explores his battles with anxiety, drug addiction and hints at his imminent death (he died in December 2019 aged 21 from an accidental drug overdose).

Standout offerings are Life’s a Mess with Halsey and Tell Me U Luv Me with Trippie Redd. The tracks are interspersed with audio clips from Juice, which sounds eerily like a message from beyond.

Life On Earth

By Summer Walker

Rating: 4/5

Summer Walker album cover
Summer Walker album art for Life on Earth

Just 10 months after her debut album, Over It, Walker has released a five-track EP that reflects her views on self-love, breakups and finding yourself.

The songbird gives off a classic R&B vibe with her smooth, sexy vocals. An enjoyable listen for any contemporary R&B fan.

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