Taylor Swift, I think I’m indie

Taylor Swift

Folklore relapses in the practices of the American pop star of selling everything, this time a songbook produced under lockdown that sweeps rankings, criticism, and cause of controversy. A melancholic album reflecting these days that despite its beauty still has doubts about her musical identity.

In April and May, she was seen on Instagram for 137 million followers of her drinking wine in bed and taking pornographic close-ups of some buns she backed by herself, with enough calories for a week. In appearances, Taylor Swift was bored like any mortal in the quarantine coping with the daily loop with alcohol and food, but in parallel, she was working on an album under confinement published on July 24 without a major promotional campaign.

Baptized Folklore, it has performed extraordinarily. It sold 1.3 million copies on the first day worldwide, last Friday it reached two million units and another 500 million reproductions on platforms. It is number one in 85 countries, scores three songs in the top ten of Spotify’s global ranking, and is in great demand in the Chinese market where within six hours of the launch it had shipped more than 200 thousand copies,

All paid to the NetEase Cloud Music platform, one of the three largest in the country, including an exclusive greeting from the singer. The figures make Folklore the best-selling album of the year.

Commercial success:

To the commercial success is added the criticism at her feet, astonished and surrendered because the pop princess crossed to her fiefdom with the best indie title of the season, the genre that most specialists embrace as a sign of refinement and good taste, although for some, praise is never enough to ask Taylor swift height. A radicalized faction of fans is so convinced of the greatness of the work that they threatened to kill and published the personal data of the editor Jillian Mapes of the specialized site Pitchfork, for not giving it a 10, but an 8. If they read Pitchfork, they should be grateful.

Taylor Swift’s Talent:

At 30, Taylor Swift seems to have it all – talent, voice, creativity, beauty – and reclaim widely unread comments since the 1989 album, her graduation as a superstar six years ago, and one of the best pop bites of music. Past decade. The image does not reach full sharpness for a figure who seems obsessed with perfection. She has been branded an opportunist on various occasions and criticized for being silent on contingent issues. In the past, no one was interested in the political views of Britney Spears or Rihanna, but today pop stars are bound to scrutinize those areas.

Swift was sorry for having declared in 2012 that she was not a feminist, and the silence adopted during the last presidential campaign that ended with Donald Trump in the White House. The lack of signals was interpreted as tacit support – “she is an undercover Nazi” declared the supremacist blog The Daily Stormier – and only as of 2018 did she reveal which side she was on when she publicly opposed the Republican Senate campaign for Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn, supporting the Democratic nomination. She confirmed that she does not like Donald Trump after George Floyd’s death. “We’ll kick you out in November,” she furiously tweeted on May 29.

The timing was not optimal either to express support for the LGBTQ community. He did it just last year explicitly in the sticky single “You need to calm down”, whose video summoned a series of ad hoc personalities such as RuPaul, Laverne Cox, and Ellen Degeneres, today has fallen from grace due to questions about the work environment of his famous show.

Folklore’s success:

Folklore’s impressive success has been slightly marred by accusations of plagiarism in the title typeface. Amira Rasool, the founder of the clothing brand The Folklore, noted on Instagram and Twitter the striking similarities between the graphic of her line and the one that is printed on the merchandising associated with the new album, including clothing on the Swift website. “I’m not going to let this blatant theft go unchecked,” Rasool wrote the same day the album was released.

The reaction from the star’s team was feline. Four days later Amira changed the tone, publicly acknowledging the artist’s role as “a great defender of women who protect their creative rights.” On Thursday 30 they had already made up. Via Twitter Taylor swift promised a monetary contribution to The Folklore along with expressing admiration for the brand’s work that brings together young African designers. Amira retweeted with comments thanking and best wishes.

Double edge:

Pop revolutionaries like Michael Jackson and Prince anticipated shaping new sounds and rhythms as Madonna brought underground phenomena to the surface. Taylor Swift doesn’t pretend to step forward to point the way. She is also not the first to get close to indie. Miley Cyrus won that game with her disparate adventures and narcomics alongside The Flaming Lips. In return, 

The Pennsylvania country singer is a specialist in legitimizing herself in each genre that she tackles with the same ease as Bobby Darin, a multifaceted 60s pop star turned protest singer after debuting as a rocker and continuing as a crooner. Swift seeks unappeasable collaborators such as the guitarist and main songwriter of The National, Aaron Dessner, and repeats Jack Anton off, her partner since 1989, also the favorite producer of the most exclusive cut of female pop, including Lorde and Lana Del Rey.

Taylor Swift’s Spirit:

With a reserved and melancholic feeling, the beauty of the album pairs absolutely with an extra hit from the confinement of professional taste and charm for millennials, the wild series “Normal people”, however, it is also a dual work. Unquestionable the quality of simple compositions with beautiful melodies wrapped in subtle unorthodox instrumental layers with an evocative and deeply feminine character, 

Which read very well and convey the ambient feeling in these days of confinement. Songs like August and Mirror ball are sure to be part of future playlists featuring the best of Taylor Swift’s work while other titles are even better. The Title of “This is me trying” is a sense of rousing, 

The sincerity of her words in a relationship that is going through problems on a funeral musical scene, where the confessional and vulnerable tone captures the attention, one of the gems of the album. “Illicit affairs” exemplifies her narrative ability with daily stories with a powerful emotional background- “and you know very well, for you I would ruin myself, a million little times” -, the ins and outs of an infidelity that becomes painful due to the intensity of the feelings. 

As a composer she has matured and perfected her craft creating characters and situations beyond the personal record of romances inscribed on her records.

At the same time, Folklore does not solve a permanent and paradoxical doubt in Taylor Swift’s discography. Being a phenomenal songwriter, she still struggles to decipher a fingerprint, an unmatched hallmark in her production. Raised in country, she shifted to pop rock and continued synth pop topping every box with astonishing chameleon prowess, dominating popular genres as if it were tests of a talent competition. 

But there is still no song under her signature that just by listening for a few seconds is immediately recognized. Taylor Swift is still pending in that test that only the legends surpass.

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