Taylor Swift – Folklore (2020) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Taylor Swift – Folklore (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:03:27 minutes | 740 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Taylor Swift

That’s essentially what Taylor Swift has done on “Folklore,” her most introspective and emotionally raw album yet. The 10-time Grammy winner, who is known for her meticulously orchestrated album rollouts, broke from tradition and surprise-announced “Folklore” on Thursday, less than 24 hours before its Friday release.

After embracing her pop side on her past three albums, including last year’s “Lover,” the former country star is switching up her sound once again. This time, she’s taking a page from some of her songwriting heroes including Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King. While plenty of pop luminaries such as Justin Timberlake (“Man of the Woods”) and Lady Gaga (“Joanne”) have taken detours into stripped-down folk/soft rock, none have made the transition as seamlessly as Swift, who reminds us once again that she’s the most gifted songwriter in music today.

It’s important to remember that before becoming a gold-standard pop star, Taylor Swift grew up on Nashville country music. Music City’s folklore now seems a long way off for the thirty-year-old singer. However, Taylor Swift has never stopped dipping her pen into the same ink as her cowgirl elders, perfectly handling romance, heartbreak, introspection, sociopolitical commentary and personal experiences, such as when she sang of her mother’s cancer on Soon You’ll Get Better… It was in lockdown, with restricted means and limited casting, that she put together Folklore, released in the heart of summer 2020. The first surprise here is Aaron Dessner on production. By choosing The National’s guitarist, whom she considers one of her idols, Swift has opted for a musician with sure-footed tastes and boosted her credibility among indie music fans. She hammers this home on Exile with Justin ‘Bon Iver’ Vernon (the album’s only duet), a close friend of Dessner’s with whom he formed Big Red Machine.

This surprising, even unusual album for Swift is by no means a calculated attempt to flirt with the hipsters. And it really is unusual for her! No pop bangers, nor the usual dig aimed at Kanye West; the album is free of supercharged beats and has delicate instrumentation (piano, acoustic guitar, Mellotron, mandolin, slides…). Folklore toes a perfect line between silky neo-folk and dreamy rock. It’s as if the star had tucked herself away in a cabin in the forest to dream up new ideas, much like Bon Iver did in his early days… By laying her music bare and relieving it of its usual chart music elements, Taylor Swift has added more substance to her discography. This is clear on August, which would never have resonated as well if it had been produced by a Max Martin type… Upon announcing the album, Swift wrote online: “Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world.” A wise decision for a beautiful and mature record. – Marc Zisman


1. The 1
2. Cardigan
3. The Last Great American Dynasty
4. Exile (featuring Bon Iver)
5. My Tears Ricochet
6. Mirrorball
7. Seven
8. August
9. This Is Me Trying
10. Illicit Affairs
11. Invisible String
12. Mad Woman
13. Epiphany
14. Betty
15. Peace
16. Hoax