The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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2023 Reading Challenge
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folklore 7.24 🤍 just like a folk song, our love will be passed on

folklore by taylor swift
folklore by Taylor Swift
In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down. - Taylor Swift
Guys! GUYS! GUUUUYSSS!!! Taylor's new album is out! She surprised the world yesterday by dropping the biggest plot twist of the year! folklore is her 8th studio album and, from her words, an entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into

The whole world was SHOOKT and I was one of them. I was thrilled and elated, I was sooo excited in anticipation for the album and the new songs we'll get from this queen. I immediately knew that I will be one of the many waiting in front of their screens for the premiere of the Cardigan music video and the release of all the songs. And that's what I did this morning! I woke up super early to catch the premiere and to listen to all of the songs. (I may have filmed myself, too. 😉)

So, what do we know about this new album? Before the release, nothing! We know nothing! Except that it will have 16 songs, plus one bonus song when you purchase the deluxe album. But now that I've already listened to the songs, here are my first thoughts and impressions. I also noted down my favorite lines from each song. Are you a fan of Taylor Swift, too? If you are, I'm sure you'll enjoy this post!

*the 1
this first song had me right when the piano started. i love the vibe and the instrumentation.  i can hear some Lover tones but it's slowly digressing to the overall feel of folklore, which is a very chill vibe. i can imagine Taylor singing this live, with only piano for accompaniment. this is the perfect first song for this album because aside from its title, it introduces us to the overall feel of the songs that we are going to be listening to.

favorite lyrics: but it would've been fun if you would've been the one; you know the greatest loves of all time are over now

i love the hook of this song. the part where Taylor sings "i - i knew you", it gets me every time. but there are a lot of metaphors and imagery in this song that i find it mysterious and a little bit confusing with what story she's trying to relay. i need to listen to this again with the lyrics on to really get into the message of the song.

favorite lyrics: i knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs; chase two girls, lose the one

the last great american dynasty
this song gives me starlight feels with a little speak now lyrical magnificence. the story-telling here is apparent and as the song progresses, we are taken through the history of a certain Rebekah who owned a house in Rhode Island which is now owned by Taylor. i'm pretty sure swifties have already begun searching the internet to find out who the names are mentioned in the song. I'll be waiting for the theories, hehehe. what i  love most about this song is how Taylor has woven herself into the narrative. the first half of the song was about the past and then later on as the song comes to an end, she shows up in the picture and inserts herself effortlessly like she has always belonged in the story. such brilliance.

favorite lyrics: she had a marvelous time ruining everything

folklore by taylor swift
*exile (feat. Bon Iver)
this has got to be my favorite track in this album. they say it's The Last Time's big brother and I kinda see why, but this song is just pure. the heartbreak and heartache are written all over the lines and melody, and i can't help but get reminded of the hurt i've been through before. it squeezes my heart and it makes me want to cry. my favorite part of the song was when Justin and Taylor sang back and forth with the lyrics "you never gave a warning sign - i gave so many signs."

favorite lyrics: i think i've seen this film before and i didn't like the ending; you're not my homeland anymore, so what am i defending now?; you were my town, now i'm in exile seeing you out

my tears ricochet
the ooh-ooh-oohs at the beginning make me feel like there are angels descending in front of me ready to escort me to my destination. seriously though, this song just had me all in goosebumps the whole time! The poetry in these lyrics is just mind-boggling, who knew tears could ricochet? This song is beautiful yet sad and tragic. i can hear how Taylor's voice is close to breaking as she sings "i didn't have it in myself to go with grace". 

favorite lyrics: and i still talk to you when i'm screaming at the sky; you had to kill me, but it killed you just the same; and if i'm dead to you why are you at the wake

i got major kilig vibes from this song! I feel like I'm at the ending scene of a 90's chick flick where there's a red carpet to walk to (because it's prom), and my date is waiting for me at one end, looking at me with awe. and then we were dancing through the sweet melody, me leaning my head on his shoulders and him whispering sweet nothings in my ear through my made-up hair. HUSH! ahhhh, this song gives me very vivid imagery, i'm blushing!

favorite lyrics: spinning in my highest heels, love, shining just for you

this is the most indie-folk song in the album and its laid back feels are very calming. chill music I'd love to listen to when I'm feeling stressed or just sitting by the beach reading a book. Although this will take a few listens before it will grow in me, it has a certain vibe that i'd really like to get into.

favorite lyrics: and just like a folk song, our love will be passed on

I love this song!!! my second favorite next to exile. i love the chorus so much, i always sing along to it whenever it plays. i just love how Taylor pens the lyrics so well, it all just flows so smoothly. i can't explain it, i just really love the entire feel of august. i love it so bad, i wanna cover it!

favorite lyrics: but I can see us lost in the memory august slipped away into a moment in time cause it was never mine; back when i was living for the hope of it all; wanting was enough, for me, it was enough

this is me trying
my first impression before hearing this song was this is going to be a song that would resemble "Back to December" or "Afterglow" judging by its title. but Taylor gave us a conception of "the archer" and "i almost do" and i don't know if i like this or if i'm just okay with it. i have to listen to this one more.

favorite lyrics: could've followed all my fears all the way down; at least i'm trying

illicit affairs
clandestine meetings and longing stares - such a graphic scene i could picture behind my eyes. i love how Taylor sings the last lines in high notes here, it touches my soul. the story-telling is better than ever, and this is really what makes me look up to Taylor. she's just so talented, i love how she writes lyrics that one could smell and taste, just like how she wrote "Soon You'll Get Better" with the lyrics "The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair. In doctor's office lighting, I didn't tell you I was scared."

favorite lyrics: what started in beautiful rooms, ends in meeting in parking lots; you showed me colors that i can't see with anyone else; and you know damn well, for you i would ruin myself a million little times

*invisible strings
i'm feeling a little "Breathe" vibe here with a hint of "Begin Again". i felt like i was taken to a trip to the meadow with a bubbling brook. very fairy-like yet the lyrics are not to be trifled with. i love the idea that this song centered about the invisible string that ties two souls together, very romantic ^^,

favorite lyrics: time, mystical time cutting me open then healing me fine; hell was the journey but it brought me heaven; one single thread of gold tied me to you

mad woman
and then we have this song. it has a very mellow tune but the lyrics are explosive as fuck. basically, Taylor telling y'all not to mess with women, coz there's nothing like a mad woman, haha! And then, when she sang "it's obvious that wanting me dead has really brought you two together", I was like, WHAT?! WHO IS THIS SONG ABOUT?

favorite lyrics: you'll poke that bear till her claws come out

angelic voice, relaxing music, AMAZING orchestration, goosebumps!!! before the album was released, Taylor teased us with the song titles. when i read them, i was instantly attracted to epiphany. I don't know why but when I heard this song, I just felt calm and relaxed. i think Taylor wrote this song with the pandemic in mind. i see some elements of it in the song and i don't know, maybe i should listen to it more...

favorite lyrics: Just one single glimpse of relief to make some sense of what you've seen; with you i serve, with you i fall down

harmonicaaaaa, i love it! this is such a BOP! girl, when the harmonica started playing, I was instantly won over! this song reminded me of "Mary's Song" with its dramatics and lyrical story-telling style. another song with a story that we need to tear apart. at first, i thought Taylor was singing in her perspective, and then later on in the song's bridge, the narrator mentioned his name was James and that made more sense, haha! i'm not used to Taylor writing in someone else's perspective but this is a welcome change i'd embrace wholeheartedly!

favorite lyrics: the only thing i wanna do is make it up to you; will you kiss me on the porch in front of all your stupid friends?

i honestly don't know how i feel about this song. not my favorite in this bunch. it's not that i hate it, i just don't get it. i need to listen more and maybe it will grow in me...

favorite lyrics: give you the silence that only comes when two people understand each other

have you seen "The Last Five Years" movie? coz i'm getting its vibe here. it's sad and melancholic, a feeling we know all too well in Taylor's previous songs, but this one just really struck a chord in me.

favorite lyrics: your faithless love is the only hoax i believe in; don't want no other shade of blue but you

This album is a whole new world of whimsy and adventure from the first to the last track. I loved delving into the different stories Taylor Swift has woven. Such marvel I couldn't put into words. 🤍 This is a huge transition, a huge change from her previous works, but I am here for it. I am so proud of Taylor's growth. I love how she continuously experiments with different music styles and genres and just does it with flare.

I get it now, how her music is not for everyone. If you haven't been a fan of Taylor from the start, you won't like her songs like her loyal fans will. As a long time swiftie, I devour whatever she puts out, not out of bias, but because I understand her process and how she thinks and how she pieces things together. I don't know if I make any sense right now, but I have seen a pattern from non-swifties who do not understand the beauty of Taylor's albums. And I have accepted that there are people who will never appreciate her work and that's fine. That's why we, swifties, are here.

I did not intend for this post to end so emotionally, but I just want to get this out here for once. I am so thankful that Taylor Swift and her music has come into my life. Taylor and her music have brought me joy ever since I was 14. She's the only artist that I've looked up to and idolized this much and I am so proud that her being my role model gave me strength that I never found from anyone else. Her music has been my saving grace as I grew up. Even though I don't know Taylor personally, I feel so close to her because her music has always been there as I traverse through in my life. And now with this new chapter in her career, I am just so happy to be one of the many swifties who revels in her art and lyrics. So, thank you, Taylor, for giving me this much happiness despite the depression and anxiety that this pandemic has caused me. I love you and I hope I could see you in person in the future. 🤍

P.S. if you're curious, the titles with stars (*) are my favorite tracks in the album. 😊

stream folklore! xx



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