Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review Roundup: What to Critics Think of Taylor Swift's New Album FOLKLORE

Swift Released Her 8th Studio Album on July 24

Review Roundup: What to Critics Think of Taylor Swift's New Album FOLKLORE

OnThursday, July 23, Taylor Swift surprised fans by announcing that she would be dropping her eighth studio album 'folklore' at midnight EST on July 24.

The album, which Swift said she developed during lockdown, has 16 tracks and features collaborations with Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner of The National and Bon Iver, who is the only featured artist on the album.

Swift also shared the music video for the second track on the album, 'cardigan.'

Find out what critics thought of the album below!


Jason Lipshutz, Billboard

Instead of simply stripping down her music, Swift builds up these songs with a totally different approach than we're used to, using the instrumental equilibrium as a springboard to intermingle a wider range of themes in her storytelling. Do not mistake Folklore as a companion piece to Lover or a collection of outtakes, given its quick turnaround; there are bold, lofty ideas all over these songs, and Swift is ready to scale them.

Hannah Mylrea, NME:

'Folklore' feels fresh, forward-thinking and, most of all, honest. The glossy production she's lent on for the past half-decade is cast aside for simpler, softer melodies and wistful instrumentation. It's the sound of an artist who's bored of calculated releases and wanted to try something different. Swift disappeared into the metaphorical woods while writing 'Folklore', and she's emerged stronger than ever.

Laura Snapes, Guardian

The self-awareness that Swift displayed on Lover deepens in Folklore, where she subtly considers the murky line between corruption and complicity, between being a victim and a catalyst. The recriminations are fewer, the fights fairer, and her sense of responsibility in them greater. The seismic shocks of her Reputation-era rude awakening about her public image are still felt: "I can change everything about me to fit in," she sings on Mirrorball, a gorgeous pedal steel wooze made with Jack Antonoff. Yet she tentatively asserts what's at her core: the deep dedication she sings about on the resonant, minimalist Peace, and the abiding romanticism of Invisible String.

Patrick Ryan, USA Today

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.

Chris Willman, Variety

That promise of privacy to her intended is a reminder that Swift is actually quite good at keeping things close to the vest, when she's not spilling all - qualities that she seems to value and uphold in about ironically equal measure. Perhaps it's in deference to the sanctity of whatever she's holding dear right now that there are more outside narratives than before in this album - including a song referring to her grandfather storming the beaches in World War II - even as she goes outside for fresh collaborators and sounds, too. But what keeps you locked in, as always, is the notion of Swift as truth-teller, barred or unbarred, in a world of Pop spin. She's celebrating the masked era by taking hers off again.

P. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue

Altogether, Folklore comprises mini-narratives that shape themselves around the after effects of emotional blasts, those feelings that ricochet after the initial hit and the subsequent euphoric shock. It's the album embodiment of sitting with uncomfortable feelings or with months of isolated self-reflection. It deals in sads big and small, but the big ones are treated so close and careful they feel fragile. Some are open wounds, and some are scars, and maybe neither are getting smaller, we're just getting used to carrying them. It all can hurt the same, Taylor seems to shrug, this is me trying.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Related Articles View More Music Stories

From This Author TV News Desk