Albums to watch

Folklore

Taylor Swift

Folklore

Surprise release of the eighth album from the pop artist produced by longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner

ADM rating[?]

8.4

Label
Republic
UK Release date
24/07/2020
US Release date
24/07/2020
  1. 10.0 |   The Guardian

    Released with little fanfare this move to more muted songwriting is proof Swift’s music can thrive without the celebrity drama
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  2. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    Folklore is a triumph of wistful, escapist and melancholy music. No one writes a song with the emotional dexterity, self-awareness, and narrative richness like Ms Swift
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  3. 10.0 |   Gigwise

    A standout work from one of America’s greatest living songwriters
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  4. 10.0 |   music OMH

    Folklore is sad, beautiful, somewhat tragic, a little bit off the wall, but most of all it feels free
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  5. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    folklore's sepia-toned colour palette and muted production only adds to its magic
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  6. 10.0 |   Albumism

    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
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  7. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The singer-songwriter's eighth album cuts away the pop scaffolding for dark, dreamy contemplation
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  8. 9.0 |   Northern Transmission

    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. Well, only surprising until you sit down to listen to the album and after it’s finished, the only likely outcome
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  9. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Her eighth album is a radical detour into the deepest collection of songs she’s ever come up with
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  10. 9.0 |   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. The melodies are full of warmth and round-edges, moving and twinkling on her whim as she indulges in one of the most most human and timeless past-times we have
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  11. 9.0 |   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
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  12. 9.0 |   Clash

    A serene, wintery album released smack in the middle of summer, folklore is 'Red' but gentler, reputation but more insightful, Speak Now but more lyrically complex. It reverberates with the energy of a former pop-star finally navigating production without grasping for a hit, and forces us to slow down and take stock of where we are now in love and life
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  13. 8.7 |   Paste Magazine

    Swift proves quarantine can be a crucible for musical magic on surprise 8th LP
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  14. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    In the end, folklore may or may not reflect a permanent musical shift for Taylor Swift. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be a grand step forward—that it’s a whimsical and intriguing album offering new insights into Swift’s work is completely enough.
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  15. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    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
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  16. 8.0 |   The Independent

    This shimmering album is exquisite, piano-based poetry
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  17. 8.0 |   The FT

    The willingness of a huge star to make an abrupt left turn is winning
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  18. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    A delicately exquisite indie transformation
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  19. 8.0 |   NME

    This rich isolation album boasts collaborations with Bon Iver and The National's Aaron Dessner, and might just feature Taylor's best song ever
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  20. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    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
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  21. 8.0 |   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
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  22. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Swift’s first “alternative” record doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a gentle, spontaneous collection of lyric poetry
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  23. 8.0 |   All Music

    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
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  24. 7.3 |   Beats Per Minute

    The muted sonic palette allows for her to finally be wholly comfortable as a performer, to let go of the awkwardly goofy bubblegum tracks of the past and showcase her talent as sensual lyricist
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  25. 7.0 |   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
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  26. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    Where it ultimately stands within her catalogue will take more time to decipher, but folklore nonetheless feels like a watershed moment for Swift
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  27. 6.4 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    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
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  28. 6.0 |   God Is In The TV

    The most interesting thing about Folklore is the fact it is Taylor Swift doing it. But is it more compelling than Lucy Rose, Lucy Dacus or Phoebe Bridgers’ takes? No
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