Taylor Swift - folklore
Critic Score
Based on 37 reviews
2020 Ratings: #11 / 809
Year End Rank: #4
User Score
2020 Ratings: #36
Liked by 342 people
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The Guardian

Released with little fanfare this move to more muted songwriting is proof Swift’s music can thrive without the celebrity drama.

The Telegraph

The lockdown may have been a terrible moment for music and musicians, but it has resulted in Taylor’s Swift’s most powerful and mature album to date.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Swift’s currency has always been emotional honesty, but now it feels less like showmanship and more like a personal reckoning. Folklore is a clear-eyed, subdued affair that reveals a little more magic with each listen.


Folklore is sad, beautiful, somewhat tragic, a little bit off the wall, but most of all it feels free.


In this record - in large part a remote collaboration between Taylor and The National’s Aaron Dessner - Taylor is contemplative, authorial, clear and simply exceptional.

Entertainment Weekly
Swift explodes the expectations of anyone preparing to call her music "diaristic," writing songs from different perspectives while putting her already-detailed work under a microscope.
The Arts Desk

folklore is an unexpected treat in the middle of a disrupted summer, one whose sepia-toned colour palette and muted production only adds to its magic.


As a complete body of work, folklore is Swift’s most compelling and challenging record since Reputation. No longer a former “country starlet gone pop,” Swift is a woman with a singular vision moving forward to blaze new paths and create art that will resonate for years to come.

Consequence of Sound

The singer-songwriter's eighth album cuts away the pop scaffolding for dark, dreamy contemplation.

The Line of Best Fit

This is an album of Swift at her most knowing, pushing away the tabloid fodder that has often surrounded her artistry and magnifying the talent she's been honing her entire life.

Rolling Stone

Her eighth album is a radical detour into the deepest collection of songs she’s ever come up with.

Northern Transmissions

As surprising as the release of the record is, possibly more surprising will be seeing folklore become the record that turns a whole generation of dismissers into actual fans.

Slant Magazine

It isn’t the weight of the subject matter alone that makes the album feel so vital—it’s the exemplary caliber of her writing. She may sing of wasted potential, but Folklore finds Swift living up to all of the praise she earned for her songwriting earlier in career.


Simply put, folklore is a speed bump. It is a small sliver of familiarity and nostalgia that broadcasts openness without resentment, mockery or one-sided representations, and finds Swift finally committing to shedding the brash, poppy sound in favor of the soft, tonal glow of reverb and contemplation.

A modern-folk masterpiece which finds her moving from her previous pop bangers into stunningly simple yet sharp melodies, 'folklore' will be going down in Swiftie history as one of her most unexpected, and undoubtedly one of her best.
It's a sharp turn to the left for Swift, and a fine reminder that she is more than just a gleaming pop phenomenon, but a remarkable songwriter too.

Swift’s big 2020 plans for a long Lover tour were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. But that empty window of time is what forced her to think outside the box, beyond what anyone expected of her, and to create one of her best, most perfectly-produced projects ever. In folklore, she wrote a quieter, more thought-provoking chapter in her constantly shapeshifting story.

A.V. Club
As a songwriter, Swift is unflappable, her observational faculties razor-sharp and keen, even when dealing with serious stuff: harsh critics, traumatic breakups, personal anguish, family stress, and now a pandemic.

This rich isolation album boasts collaborations with Bon Iver and The National's Aaron Dessner, and might just feature Taylor's best song ever.

The Independent

This is an unconventional record – at least for the world’s biggest pop star. It’s also brilliant.

Made from afar, primarily with the National’s Aaron Dessner, Swift’s eighth album is a sweater-weather record filled with cinematic love songs and rich fictional details.
Under The Radar

Whether as a quarantine-induced folk detour along Swift’s pop trajectory or as a hint at a new direction for her music, Folklore is an unexpected work of genuine emotion.


On Taylor Swift's surprise Lock Down album, Folklore, the omnipresent, world-conquering princess of self-mythology embraces a brooding post-pop texture that strikes a balance between lusty exuberance and indie-folky introspection.


Combined, the moodier, contemplative tone and the emphasis on songs that can't be parsed as autobiography make folklore feel not like a momentary diversion inspired by isolation but rather the first chapter of Swift's mature second act.

Spectrum Culture
Swift’s first “alternative” record doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a gentle, spontaneous collection of lyric poetry.
The Young Folks

folklore reveals an earnestness and eloquence that Swift has never before expressed to such an extent. Like the towering trees on its cover, it’s a testament to both steadfastness and growth.

Evening Standard

She still can’t write a song that isn’t immediately catchy, but the delicate textures in the music are something new and highly attractive. Folklore is definitely one for that snobby ex to add to his collection.

Beats Per Minute

It’s easy to attack folklore: Too calm, too snoozy, the outcome of a multi-millionaire hiring indie songwriters to help her deliver “real” music. And at 63 minutes and 16 tracks, it continues the recent trends of fairly good pop albums that overstay their welcome.

Loud and Quiet

In Swift’s ever-morphing musical output from acoustic country to glittering arena-ready pop, folklore’s sad-but-polished indie is a welcome break from expectation. Sure, it’s about seven tracks too long, overly-saccharine and with a penchant for over-dramatics, but it’s pretty good.


Where it ultimately stands within her catalogue will take more time to decipher, but folklore nonetheless feels like a watershed moment for Swift. It's proof positive that she's one of our better pop chameleons, and a palette cleanser after several intriguing, if sometimes questionable, sonic detours.

The Needle Drop

Taylor Swift continues her upward artistic trajectory on Folklore.


Once again, listeners must dig through a veritable mountain of songs to find the gold nuggets that are always present on her albums. But they are becoming fewer and farther between.

God Is in the TV

If you’re after sincere, sensitive twee folk with plenty of heart then Folklore is a pleasing LP.  This is an oversubscribed genre though, and one that is being done in more engaging ways elsewhere.

The Observer
Swift’s powerful songs reach their climaxes with bittersweet orchestrations, rather than blows to the solar plexus or a ringing in the ears. Everything hovers; little truly lands.
I'm not a Taylor Swift fan.
Or at least... I wouldn't have called myself one until now.

I listened to last year's "Lover" with mediocre results. I found some cuts quite nice and refreshing, others just plain boring and bland. I didn't expect anything from that record either. With songs such as "You Need to Calm Down" and "ME!" that I had to endure in every Justice! store with my sister, I saw a steady but meaningful progression in her sound over the course of a ... read more
In full isolation like the rest of the world, Folklore shows the new musical turning point that Swift decided to sincerely grasp and relate to, focusing mainly on introspection. A deeply human album that could convince a listener unfamiliar with her music to let herself be immersed in it

Whether you are a fan or not, Taylor Swift has not only established herself as a simple superstar, she has always finally, throughout her career, been able to improve in all her different periods, evolving ... read more
this is it; this is what swifties have been waiting for: it’s lowercase folk.

phoebe bridgers + lana del rey type music. it’s a numbness with a chill calm for percussion

the album is too long, the songs are too long, and the writing is clever
Sometimes as a listener you simply need to get over yourself. Taylor Swift has come with fifteen years of hate for the music she's released in her young age, shifting from up-and-coming country artist to pop megastar before the age of 25. Even as her sound took on some minor variations on Lover, where she showed glimpses of maturity in her songwriting but equal flashes of the sugary pop that soured her on critical listeners, she didn't receive an exceptional amount of praise for the growth she ... read more

Taylor really does a good job giving off that winter atmosphere, it would be really cool listening to this album walking in a winter forest. the songs are very "indie", not something that I would see her doing but she did a great job of it. exile is my fav track, she's always been good with songs with features (even ME!) and this just further proves it. Bon Iver in this track is fantastic, and their voices together is very beautiful. the songwriting in this album is very nice ... read more
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Track List

  1. The 1
  2. Cardigan
  3. The Last Great American Dynasty
  4. Exile (feat. 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
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Added on: July 23, 2020