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Lover (Taylor Swift song)

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"Lover"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Lover
ReleasedAugust 16, 2019 (2019-08-16)
Format
StudioElectric Lady, New York City
Genre
Length3:41
Label
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Producer(s)
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"You Need to Calm Down"
(2019)
"Lover"
(2019)
Lyric video
"Lover" on YouTube

"Lover" is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her upcoming seventh studio album of the same name (2019). Swift wrote and co-produced the song with Jack Antonoff. Republic Records in partnership with Taylor Swift Productions released it as the third single from the album on August 16, 2019. Musically, "Lover" is a country ballad that features a booming snare, slow tempo and guitar-centric sound. Over a retro-styled musical motif, Swift sings lyrics about devotion on the song. It received acclaim from critics, who praised its nostalgic quality and Swift's songwriting.

Background

Describing her upcoming seventh studio album Lover as a "love letter to love",[1] Taylor Swift attempted to convey an emotional spectrum and vulnerability for it by looking at feelings like sadness and loneliness "through a romantic gaze".[2] The recording process for the album took under three months, and concluded in February 2019.[3] Jack Antonoff was revealed as one of the producers for the album with the release of "The Archer" in July. He had also previously collaborated with Swift on "Sweeter than Fiction" (2013), 1989 (2014), "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" (2016) and Reputation (2017).[4]

Swift wrote "Lover" a night before meeting Antonoff and recording engineer Laura Sisk at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. She played a version of the song she had composed on the piano for them; Swift and Antonoff produced the final version of the song over a six hour session, making use of reverb, piano and a mellotron.[5] Sisk and John Rooney recorded the song, while Serban Ghenea mixed it with additional engineering from John Hanes.[6]

The song title was revealed along with the lyrics "My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue / All's well that ends well to end up with you" in a Vogue interview published on August 8, 2019. Three days later, Swift announced its release date at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards.[7] "Lover" was released as the third single from the album on August 16.[8][9][10] A lyric video was also uploaded to YouTube, showing home videos of Swift projected onto a white sheet with the song's lyrics overlaid on top.[11]

Composition

Portrait of English actor Joe Alwyn
Several publications interpreted "Lover" as being about Swift's partner Joe Alwyn.

"Lover" runs for three minutes and forty-one seconds,[12][13] and is written in the key of G major and set in 12
8
with a tempo of 74 beats per minute, with Swift's vocals ranging between E3 to D5.[14] Alice Vincent of The Daily Telegraph and Louise Bruton of The Irish Times characterized "Lover" as a country song,[15][16] while Billboard's Jason Lipshutz disagreed with this assessment, stating "'Lover' is not a country song, but it certainly nods to the bare songwriting that marked much of Swift's early career".[17] Nate Jones of Vulture described the track as alternative country.[18]

Rolling Stone described the song as "tender lyrics about devotion over a retro-styled musical motif".[19] Billboard described it as "an old-school ballad with a booming snare, keys and a '60s vibe."[20] NME's Karen Gwee considered the "guitar-centric" song a throwback to Swift's "country days".[21] Abby Aguirre of Vogue described it as a "romantic, haunting, waltzy, singer-songwritery nugget".[1] Hindustan Times wrote that the song "is rather slow and more of a romantic melody", adding that the lyrics "make it seem like the song is an ode to someone".[22]

Several publications interpreted "Lover" as being about Swift's partner Joe Alwyn, with some drawing comparisons between the track's lyrics and the rhyme "Something old". Alyssa Bailey of Elle suggested that the opening lyrics might be about the two having lived together.[23] Paper's Katherine Gillespie had a similar opinion, writing that "it's a slow, sugary sweet guitar ballad presumably written for her longtime beau Joe Alwyn."[24] Writing for Seventeen, Tamara Fuentes opined that the lyrics in the bridge "feel like wedding vows, likely hinting at the fact that they are open to taking the next step in their relationship".[25] Mary Elizabeth Andriotis of Teen Vogue noted the lyric "All's well that ends well to end up with you" as a potential reference to "All Too Well" (2012).[26]

Critical reception

"Lover" received universal acclaim from music critics. Billboard's Jason Lipshutz called it the "song you should slow-dance to with your partner this weekend", and further stated that it "effectively transmits its romantic signals by putting the songwriting of Swift -- a masterful writer who gets the solo credit here -- front and center".[17] Louise Bruton of The Irish Times opined that the song "is the grand gesture that proves that all the heartache she's sung about" in the past "was worth it", and that it "has autumnal vibes stamped all over it".[16] Writing for Vox, Constance Grady called the song "a welcome reminder of what made Swift such an unstoppable force when she first emerged onto the music scene".[27] BuzzFeed News' Ellie Bate wrote that the song is "a love letter to a person you want to be with forever", describing the bridge as "wedding vows".[28]

Craig Jenkins of Vulture opined that it is reminiscent to songs such as Mazzy Star's "Fade into You" (1993) and Cowboy Junkies' 1988 cover of "Sweet Jane".[29] Vulture's Nate Jones ranked it thirty-second place in his list "All 128 Taylor Swift Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best".[18] Writing for Forbes, Hugh McIntyre said that the song has "a lovely nostalgic quality to it" and is "undeniably pretty, sweet, and a fair final play to get people excited for the album", but added that it is hard to imagine it becoming "a true smash" or "a long-lasting hit".[9] Teen Vogue's Mary Elizabeth Andriotis wrote that the song is "just as romantic as pretty much everyone expected", and a likely "wedding song for Swifties everywhere".[26] Alyssa Bailey of Elle interpreted it as one of Swift's "most personal" songs so far, adding that it conveys her commitment to Alwyn.[23] Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Alice Vincent gave the song four stars, and said it was an "endearing return to Country".[15]

Music video

On August 15, 2019, Swift announced on her social media that the music video for "Lover" will premiere during a live Q&A session on YouTube the day before the album release, on August 22, 2019.[30]

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from Tidal.[6]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriter, producer
  • Jack Antonoff – producer, programmer, recording engineer, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboard, drums, percussion, studio personnel
  • Laura Sisk – recording engineer, studio personnel
  • John Rooney – assistant recording engineer, studio personnel
  • Serban Ghenea – mixer, studio personnel
  • John Hanes – mix engineer, studio personnel

Release history

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Various August 16, 2019 Taylor Swift Productions [12]

References

  1. ^ a b Aguirre, Abby (August 8, 2019). "Taylor Swift on Sexism, Scrutiny, and Standing Up for Herself". Vogue. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Bruner, Raisa (June 13, 2019). "Taylor Swift Just Announced the Summer Release Date for Her New Album Lover". Time. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Suskind, Alex (May 9, 2019). "New Reputation: Taylor Swift shares intel on TS7, fan theories, and her next era". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  4. ^ Spruch, Kirsten (July 24, 2019). "Jack Antonoff Reveals Taylor Swift's 'The Archer' Took 'About 2 Hours' to Create". Billboard. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Iasimone, Ashley (August 17, 2019). "Jack Antonoff Says Taylor Swift 'Wrote Every Stitch' of New Song 'Lover' Before He Joined Her in the Studio". Billboard. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Lover by Taylor Swift – Tidal". Tidal. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Yang, Rachel (August 11, 2019). "Taylor Swift makes surprise announcement about new song at Teen Choice Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  8. ^ D'Souza, Shaad (August 12, 2019). "Taylor Swift announces new single 'Lover,' receives Teen Choice Icon Award". The Fader. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  9. ^ a b McIntyre, Hugh (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift's New Single 'Lover' Is Pretty And Sweet, But Ultimately Not The Smash She Needs Right Now". Forbes. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Bruner, Raisa (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift's New Romantic Song 'Lover' Has Arrived". Time. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  11. ^ Arcand, Rob (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift – 'Lover'". Spin. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Lover". Spotify. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "Taylor Swift: Lover - Music on Google Play". Google Play. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Taylor Swift 'Lover'". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved August 18, 2019 – via Musicnotes.com.
  15. ^ a b Vincent, Alice (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift's new single Lover, review: An endearing return to Country – with wedding bells". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Bruton, Louise (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift's Lover review: It's personal, schmaltzy and country". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  17. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (August 16, 2019). "First Stream: New Music From Normani, Taylor Swift, Young Thug, Miley Cyrus & More". Billboard. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Jones, Nate (August 16, 2019). "All 128 Taylor Swift Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best". Vulture. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Spanos, Brittany; Legaspi, Althea (August 16, 2019). "Hear Taylor Swift's Tender New Song 'Lover'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  20. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift Releases 'Lover': Stream It Now". Billboard. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  21. ^ Gwee, Karen (August 16, 2019). "Slow dance to Taylor Swift's swooning new song, 'Lover'". NME. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  22. ^ "Taylor Swift drops new single Lover from upcoming album". Hindustan Times. August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Bailey, Alyssa (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift's 'Lover' Lyrics Offer a Glimpse Inside Her and Joe Alwyn's Relationship". Elle. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  24. ^ Gillespie, Katherine (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift Stans React to 'Lover'". Paper. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  25. ^ Fuentes, Tamara (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift Proves That She's Totally in Love with Her BF Joe Alwyn in New Song 'Lover'". Seventeen. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Andriotis, Mary Elizabeth (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift Released New Song 'Lover' With Wedding Vow Lyrics Fans Think Are About Joe Alwyn". Teen Vogue. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  27. ^ Grady, Constance (August 16, 2019). "With 'Lover,' Taylor Swift shows she can still write a perfect love song". Vox. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  28. ^ Bate, Ellie (August 16, 2019). "Taylor Swift Just Dropped Her New Song, 'Lover' — Here Are All The Clues We Missed". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  29. ^ Jenkins, Craig (August 16, 2019). "Taylor and Miley Tell Two Tales of Love and Loss on 'Lover' and 'Slide Away'". Vulture. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  30. ^ Nissen, Dano (August 15, 2019). "Taylor Swift to Debut New Song, Take Part in Q&A on YouTube". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2019.

External links