To be completely honest, I didn’t think I should post this, but after looking at future planned posts, I thought I should probably talk about why I don’t want to buy Taylor Swift’s newest album, Folklore.
Let me start by saying I was never a huge Taylor Swift fan. Growing up, country music was everywhere so when Taylor’s first album was released in 2006, my fellow classmates and I in highs school knew about her. Even though she is a year younger than me, I had my favorite artists that I liked to listen to, but I didn’t like Taylor as much as other country music artists. I eventually lost interest in her music in 2015, the year after she released her 1989 album. I did buy her albums Reputation and Lover, but I didn’t care for either of them. There were songs and parts of songs I enjoyed, but overall if I wanted to listen to her music I’d listen to any album before Reputation.
When Taylor released Folklore in July, I saw the announcements about it but it didn’t interest me. After all, I didn’t care for her previous two albums. I had a rule that if a singer releases two albums in a row I don’t like, I don’t buy the next album. I’ve broken that rule with other artists, but I’m sticking to it with Taylor. It’s not a statement about Taylor’s abilities as a singer/songwriter. It’s just her artistic creativity has drifted into a direction that I don’t care to listen to.
A week after Taylor’s surprise release of Folklore, I received an email from Target announcing a Target exclusive album. That’s when I began to wonder if I should give Folklore a chance. Taylor’s Target exclusive albums were always my favorite Target exclusive albums to buy, so I wondered, when I go on my Target for my shopping trip for the week, if I should look at the album and consider buying it.
When I looked at the listings on Target’s website, everything looked ok until I saw something on the album that put me off: A Parental Advisory warning is on her album.
I don’t listen of Parental Advisory albums. Even though I can take a few curse words in songs, I always listen to the clean version of the songs and albums. When I was a teenager, classmates used to tease, then bullied, me because I don’t curse or listen to music with curse words. They would tell me I needed to toughen up and start cursing because that’s a normal part of life. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I still don’t curse and I still listen to the clean versions of music. I love listening to Eminem, but only the clean versions of his songs and albums. So, for cursing to be a normal part of cursing is a full blown lie. It was a choice I made for religious reasons and, after multiple arguments with those same classmates, I found cursing doesn’t have the same affect as a well worded explanation about how their idea was a dumb idea.
Even though I chose not to curse or listen to music with curse words in it, not everyone is the same as me. Growing up, I was taught that my classmates came from different families that had different morals, religions, and appropriate amounts of cursing. Just because they’re different than me doesn’t mean I should be just like them and vice versa. That was the reason why I was so offended as a teenager to be bullied for not cursing and being a goodie two shoes.
So, what does this have to do with Taylor Swift’s album? Well, there isn’t a clean version of Folklore currently available on Target’s website. And that’s what put me off the album.
Taylor is known for her teenager through early to mid twenties family friendly wholesome image. She didn’t curse. She dressed like a lady. She said and did the right thing. She was kind, modest, and humble. Although she seemed too good to be true, as many people commented back then, she was an example for other girls and women similar to her. And her music, despite talking and addressing personal problems in her albums, was a huge success. But over the years, she became more and more mature in her music and her song lyrics reflected this.
Artist grow and change over time. It’s normal for someone to do this. The problem I have with listening to Taylor’s last two albums before Folklore is I feel like I’m reading too much into her life. Many artist write, sing, or are inspired to create art because of their lives, and some more candid about what inspired their art than others. Yet, there is something that bothers me about listening to Taylor’s music anymore, especially her most recent albums. I feel like I’m reading her diary, and it bothers me. I also feel like I’m invading her privacy by listening to her music, even though she feels comfortable releasing the albums with songs about such personal subject matter. None the less, it bothers me that I’m getting to “know” her more than I ever intended on simply because I bought her album just to listen to some new music that I hope I will like.
If had enough problems listening to her previous albums because it was too personal for my comfort, then this album will be way too personal for my liking. Also, there is most likely curse words in the album. The combination of the two make me take a second look at the album and decide not to purchase it.
Although I will not be buying this album, I don’t look down at anyone who wants to. If they want to listen to it and don’t feel the same way as I do about the topics and subject matter, then go ahead, buy it, and listen to it. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. As for me, I’ll stick to the music I normally listen to. And if for any reason I want to listen to her music, I listen to her older albums.