Folklore by Taylor Swift [7/10]

A Covid-19 iso album with a sharp twist in style has brought megastar Taylor Swift to my attention for the first time. With simple arrangements pegged on piano and gentle guitar, souped up a bit by The National’s Aaron Dresser, “Folklore” is an unexpectedly sweet album worlds away from saccharine pop and C&W. Swift’s breathy, winsome voice suits the measured melodies, and her lyrics speak of hopes and loves and various stories. A swaying, chugging combination of voice and lyric and indie-genteel accompaniment, Folklore sits easily on the turntable (to use a term). There are no classic tracks, but that’s not the point. Amongst a very even, healthy roster of songs, I noted the gossamer-voiced old-love song “Seven”; the rickety, bass-infused “Cardigan” (“when you are young, they assume you know nothing”); and the fine “Exile,” featuring Bon Iver’s scratchy croon over a bucolic piano figure and faraway strings. Enjoyable and not diva at all.

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