Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Ranking Taylor Swift's "Lover" Against Previous Albums

Image result for lover

I spent a lot of my teen years pretending that I didn't like Taylor Swift because I was "too cool" for that sort of music (I have never once been cool in my entire life and as an adult pretty much only listen to musicals). Secretly, my iPod was loaded with all her albums and I'd blast them at home and sing along to all the angsty lyrics with gusto.

Nowadays, I can be heard singing along to Taylor Swift (very badly) in public because honestly, who cares what other people think? So now that Lover has been released, I thought it would be interesting to rank all of Taylor's albums to date and decide where Lover fits in among my favourites.

So, going from worst to best, we have:

7) Taylor Swift - Taylor's debut. Super country, and not really my thing (I must admit, I have really enjoyed her transition to pop). Even teen Liz probably listened to this album the least, despite the multitude of angsty songs on it. I'd never been a huge fan of country music so I wasn't that into Taylor Swift yet - little did I know how that would change... Highlights: Should've Said No, Teardrops on My Guitar (also I'd Lie which was an unreleased song, but not sure which album it was related to? If someone remembers, let me know).

6) Fearless - teen Liz loooved Fearless. Even though it was still pretty country and internally I thought most of the songs on this album were cheesy as heck, I loved them anyway. As an adult, Love Story and You Belong With Me kind of make me cringe but there's no denying that teen Liz watched the YBWM music video about 100 times. Fearless, however, even now, has a bit more energy than the first album, and there are a few songs which I occasionally still listen to. Highlights: Fearless, That's the Way I Loved You, The Other Side of the Door.

Black-and-white image of Taylor Swift with the album's name written across it5) Reputation - yeah, I didn't love this album. By this point, I was a grown woman and really over the whole angst thing, and it seemed like Taylor wanted to bring it back and I just wasn't feeling it. That's not to say there weren't some gems on this album (I constantly get Getaway Car stuck in my head) but the overall vibe wasn't for me. Plus I found the snakes kind of creepy, please tell me I'm not the only one. Despite all of this though, I probably listen to the songs on this album that I do like more often than I listen to any on Speak Now which is up next, so in terms of individual songs, the ranking would probably be very different... Highlights: Getaway Car, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, New Year's Day, Dress.

4) Speak Now - the first hints of moving to a more pop-y style, the last album where Taylor was rocking the curly hair. This was my favourite album for a long time, and still gets some regular plays. I distinctly remember watching the Back to December music video a bunch of times, and having rewatched it recently, I can confirm it's a 100% because of the actor who played Taylor' boyfriend/ex (remember back when the emo fringe was in fashion? What a time). Highlights: Sparks Fly, Long Live, Enchanted, Haunted. 

The cover is a polaroid of Swift with shoulder-length blonde hair wearing red lipstick and a long-sleeved sweater with a picture of birds in the sky. Her face is cut off by the frame above the nose and "T. S." and "1989" are written on the white polaroid frame with black marker.3) 1989 - moving more fully over to pop, this was also a favourite album of mine from a while. I loved the whole aesthetic that went with it, and I liked almost every song, including all the bonus songs. And while some of the lyrics were still like, revenge/sass-esque, it wasn't Reputation levels of angst. This was also when Taylor started to really go all out with her music videos - Blank Space is still a classic, I used to watch it a uni instead of writing essays! Highlights: New Romantics, Style, Wildest Dreams, Blank Space. 

2) Lover - so close to being number 1. In fact, I'm still not entirely sure. It's really only All Too Well that's holding me back. In any case, I love this album. Such a breath of fresh air, so different to Reputation, and it just generally makes me smile. The song Lover is so cute, I want to cry and the bridge to Cruel Summer... I can't stop singing it. I DON'T WANNA KEEP SECRETS JUST TO KEEP YOU and I love the whole pastel aesthetic (way more me than all the snakes). So many great songs, and only two (two!) that I don't like (The Archer & Cornelia Street if you want to know, which I realise other people absolutely love, don't hate me). Highlights: Lover, Cruel Summer, The Man, Paper Rings.

1) Red - I actually didn't like Red that much for a long time. I think it's because We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together had been overplayed on the radio and it put me off listening to album all the way through. I rediscovered it when I was older and it overtook 1989 as my favourite and has stayed there ever since. All Too Well is an absolute masterpiece and I don't know if anything will ever beat it for me. And I like pretty much every song on the album. Plus I had the chance to listen to 22 when I turned 22 and it was still relevant so that was fun. I'm so torn between this and Lover for the top spot; Red does still have a lot of the country vibe in some of the songs but then there are so many songs on this album that I absolutely love. We'll see if I change my mind! Highlights: All Too Well, Holy Ground, State of Grace, Red, Stay Stay Stay.

And that's it! Are you a Taylor fan? Do you agree with me on any of these? Let me know!

Monday, 26 August 2019

My Pin Collection

Hiiiiiii. It's me. Insert standard "it's been ages since I lasted posted" rambling about university and working part-time blah blah blah. 

For no particular reason, today I thought I'd share my pin collection! I don't have too many yet as I haven't been collecting for long but I already have a wishlist longer than my arm so we'll see how that works out.

Not going to lie, I can't exactly remember where all of these are from - I will link what I do know - so I'm sure that's super useful for everyone, but I wanted to go through a few of my favourites and my thoughts on them.

The pin on the left was a gift from a friend and is one of my favourites because my entire being does essentially boil down to tea and books. In fact, I just had a cup of tea. Despite the fact that it was 32 degrees Celsius today. Because how else can you have Cadbury's chocolate if not with tea?

The only problem with this pin (and many of the pins I own) is that I like it too much to wear it anywhere. If I put it on my backpack, I'm scared it'll fall off and I'll lose it forever. Same with wearing it on a jacket. So I kind of just keep it in a box and look at it sometimes like a creepy Gollum???

The pin on the right is also incredibly accurate. I mean how many times in my youth did I stay up until 5am finishing a book? I say in my youth because I'm old now and physically cannot stay up so late anymore. Sometimes I'll read past midnight if it's a really good book, but God will I feel it in my bones when I wake up the next day. Most days I go to bed early and wake up early. Eat some toast, have a cup of tea. Maybe watch a bit of Murder, She Wrote which just seems to be on all time time? (Jessica Fletcher is clearly a serial killer. I have a whole theory on this.) So basically...I'm a grandma now.

So, this pin speaks for itself because the book is generally always better. I do think there are a few exceptions to this (controversial! But consider The 100, Jumanji...) but as a rule, I'm a harsh critic of book to movie/TV adaptations. Mostly because they're usually nowhere near as good as they could be. Often they're downright terrible. There is no greater demonstration of this than Percy Jackson. I nearly wept in the cinema. Surely the world couldn't take such a masterpiece and turn into such an atrocious pile of crap? Alas, I was wrong, and it could. (The Lightning Thief musical is pretty great though!)

The doughnut pin is because I like doughnuts. I actually wear this one occasionally (even though I got in some old subscription box - My Little Box it was called - years ago so it's not sold anywhere). Which is weird because as I am gluten-free (nearly three years strong) I can't even eat doughnuts anymore because nowhere sells them and the obscure places that do only sell crappy ones that are the texture of cake. Doughnut Time, or Crosstown Doughnuts, I beg you, please, make some gluten-free doughnuts. I miss them so much!

And last is a pin that I would very much like to own because it is just so perfectly me, but the shipping to the UK is so expensive I can't justify it. Unless any millionaires want to marry me. You might be thinking, "Wait, doesn't this pin suggest you have a general disdain for other people? Imply a certain introverted personality not well-suited for a whirlwind marriage?" and sure, you might be correct. But we can make it work. I'm not unwilling to compromise! And I make really good tea.

The astronaut pin is from the Science Museum gift shop - I can't find it online but it might still be there? Dunno.

If you have any pins, let me know. Also tell me what you do with them. Do you actually wear them? Or do you hoard them away in a box never to be seen again?