This is the Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked!

July 27, 2020 4 Comments

You knew this was coming. I told you back when I wrote about the ‘Folklore’ announcement; I’d share thoughts on the sounds of Taylor Swift’s new album, and two days of listening to this new album, I thought I’d post a little Taylor Swift Folklore ranking of the song list. Because, why not?

DISCUSSION | Ranking the Best Songs on ‘Lover’ from this New Taylor Swift Era

What I take away from this album is three primary things. One being this is very different from Taylor’s recent pop-y sound. Visually, it “looks” more like ‘Red,’ but is also more grown up than that album. Secondly, this album also visualizes as more of a storyteller album versus her usual autobiographical stories. I am sure some will read or feel that songs continue to operate in this sphere, but given how different this entire album is, I st0% believe this is Taylor being the storyteller outside of herself. 

This is the Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked! Write up of the Taylor Swift Folklore Rankings. Because, why not? Text © Rissi JC

I’ll confess I’m not an “Easter egg” hunter independently, but sometimes I’ll watch videos or read articles from the work others do. What I did to in putting this together is mainly (I skimmed three) stay away from articles and didn’t watch any videos on this album so that I could write my own thoughts. I did take the weekend (and today while I went through my I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing workout; and by the way, trying to listen while doing so is TOUGH!) to listen to most of these songs multiple times while writing this.

That said, let’s take a look at these 16 tracks (since that bonus 17th is available only on the deluxe editions).


The Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked!


16: Mad Woman (track 12)

Have barely listened to this one to be honest.

*NOTE: This one receives an “explicit” rating (f-word) across all platforms, but you can purchase the “clean lyrics” album.

15: Epiphany (track 13)

Just the fact that this is track 13 probably means something to Taylor, right?

14: Illicit Affairs (track 10)

13: The Last Great American Dynasty (track 3)

This one is 100% driven by a specific story, and I think it’s more about that that it is parts of the artist’s life.

*NOTE: This one receives an “explicit” rating across all platforms, but you can purchase the “clean lyrics” album.

12: Peace (track 15)

This one is very Indie-folk-y. Or it feels so to me.

*NOTE: This one receives an “explicit” rating (sh*t) across all platforms, but you can purchase the “clean lyrics” album.

This is the Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked! Write up of the Taylor Swift Folklore Rankings. Because, why not? Text © Rissi JC

11: Exile (track 4)

Some listeners pontificate that this one is political, and some of the lyrics do lean this way, but if this is true, I have to say, this mentality is very dangerous. I think anytime someone begins to question things in this way, it’s scary and gives me the, I think, justified opinion that we look at the wrong aspects of why this life, our home, and the opportunities it offers and does give us, can be, and are, good. I tend to think this isn’t political given the lyrics, and if not, it’s pretty. The music that backs the lyrics is gorgeous, and this one also marks the only song Taylor duets on in this album.

10: Betty (track 14)

Part of the trilogy Taylor calls a “Teenage Love Triangle,” I appreciate the story-telling aspect of this one, but just don’t “feel” the message of the song. Someone did describe this as a grown up ‘You Belong with Me.’

*NOTE: This one receives an “explicit” rating (f-word) across all platforms, but you can purchase the “clean lyrics” album.

9: Mirrorball (track 6)

You’ll find me on my tallest tiptoes – Taylor Swift

8: Seven (track 7)

7: Cardigan (Track 2)

This one has an old-fashioned vibe to it about first (and then lost) love, and what it makes us feel or go through. It’s also supposed to be a part of the teenage love triangle trio, and is from Betty’s perspective.

This is the Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked! Write up of the Taylor Swift Folklore Rankings. Because, why not? Text © Rissi JC

6: Hoax (track 16)

There’s something weirdly haunting about this song even though I don’t really “feel” it as a favorite track.

5: August (track 8)

The final third of the trilogy, this song is from the perspective of the “new girl,” and is therefore about an affair with regrets. Still, the lyrics are, well, lyrical and the entire song paints a picture with beautiful imagery.

4: My Tears Ricochet (track 5)

This one is a sad kind of ballad (in that famed vulnerable track list position Swift is known for), but I like it. Not sure why as it is moody, but something about it makes it interesting and a good listen.

I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace

Look at how my tears ricochet – Taylor Swift

3: The 1 (track 1)

This one is “fun” in many ways despite it being about the end of a relationship. It asks, wistfully, what may have happened if a relationship that seemed doomed was actually “the one.” Like I said, it’s fun, and as others mention, it may be the most “pop-y” of the tracks.

*NOTE: This one receives an “explicit” rating (sh*t) across all platforms, but you can purchase the “clean lyrics” album.

2: This is Me Trying (track 9)

1: Invisible String

This may not be the strongest lyrically or musically (what do I know about either of these), but it’s pleasant to listen to. It’s a blend of happy and wistful, and I’m kind of hear for it.


All this said, I am a little “worried” this surprise album means it’ll will be another lengthy time frame before hear new music from this artist. Still, we have the promise of new recordings of her first 5 (or is it 6?) albums, and who knows! It’d be totally Taylor Swift to write and drop another entire album at any given time (same time next year?). This album is very much driven by stories (most of which feel “old,” like a worn storybook), and most of the songs seem almost unfinished (if not in words, then musically), almost as if on the exhale of a breath, as if there could be more, but this is where the storyteller want to leave you – curious for more.

In summary while I do like this album at first glance, I have to say the comments I saw on Twitter regarding Taylor swearing in her songs being the definition of her growing up from “PG” lyrics does nothing to impress me. This makes me want to vent a bit. Songs that don’t use profanity doesn’t mean they’re “appropriate.”You can write lyrics that don’t rely on explicit language and still be very much grown up. I’m all for growing creatively, and I understand the need to, but this doesn’t mean “antics” have to be used to demonstrate this.

That’s my (overlong) write up on ‘Folklore.’ For now. Will I write more about this album? Possibly, yes. Possibly, no. Just depends on what I think the more I see or listen. Until then, excuse me while I go listen to more of this album.

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ on iTunes or digitally on Amazon.

For now, it’s YOUR turn. What are your impressions of ‘Folklore’? What are your new Taylor Swift Folklore ranking of songs? I want to know all the thoughts. Drop all of those comments below in the comment section.

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This is the Sound of ‘Folklore’ New Taylor Swift Ranked! Write up of the Taylor Swift Folklore Rankings. Because, why not? Text © Rissi JC
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Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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4 Comments

  • Kirsty July 27, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks for writing another fun Taylor Swift post; they are always enjoyable to read!
    I have to confess, while I have not yet gotten around to actually listening to any of the songs on this new album, I did look up the lyrics for a few of them, and ‘Invisible String’ was the one which stuck out to me the most too; whimsical & stacked FULL of gorgeous descriptive imagery, the romanticism of the idea is just beautiful, and reminds me of the speech Edward Rochester says to Jane Eyre about being connected to her via a string.

    • Rissi JC August 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you (as always!) for reading, Kirsty. I have fun writing them. :)

      I really (really!) like ‘Invisible String’ and actually think it’s quite underrated given the story it tells. On Twitter, people are sad because this seems more of a sad album and so they’re worried about Taylor. Someone even said they hope the bonus track is more of a happy love song. Actually I think ‘Invisible String’ is a kind of lead in to that track, so… it’ll be interesting. Aww! I love the Rochester connection. Let me know what you think if you have a listen.

  • Catherine@TheLazyHufflepuff July 28, 2020 at 3:58 am

    Ooh – your ranking is interesting! Betty is the only song I liked straight away on this one, reminds me of the old Fearless stuff but from the boy’s perspective, and I love that harmonica or whatever it is at the beginning. Invisible String is lovely too though, very romantic and clever. I read somewhere that Epiphany is about front-line workers in the pandemic?

    • Rissi JC August 4, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      I really like ‘Invisible String.’ I think it’s quite underrated as a happy love song, which Twitter feels is a sadder album. That said, I also think this one is a lead-in to that bonus track…! The more I’ve heard ‘Betty,’ the more it grows on me (as many Swift songs have given my past experience with her albums). I see more of a ‘Red’ vibe in this one in terms of its “look,” but when it comes to the musicality of it all, I’m lost. ;) I hadn’t seen that about ‘Epiphany,’ but knowing that and hearing the lyrics makes sense.

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