A surprise happened this year and it was actually a good one! I know it’s almost unbelievable, but it actually happened. Taylor Swift dropped a surprise new album folklore on Friday and it’s honestly one of few things I have enjoyed from this entire year. It’s been on a heavy rotation since Friday and I’m still discovering new things to love about it. So it only makes sense that I turn into work by forcing myself to rank all 16 songs from my least favorite to my most favorite (if that makes sense).
I want to preface this by saying I love this album from top to bottom. I truly believe this is Taylor’s most cohesive album and it puts a brilliant spotlight on Taylor’s songwriting skills. Highlighting Taylor as one of the greatest songwriters of this generation. That being said, I do prefer some songs over others. Some of my favorite songs on the album may not be the best songs on the album, but I love them regardless. This is my ranking of all 16 songs of folklore.
16. This Is Me Trying
This Is Me Trying for what it is, is a good song. But every time I listen to it I can’t help but feel like it should be kicking up into second gear. But that second gear never comes. It’s lacking something to take it to the next level.
Hoax was the perfect choice for a closing track. If it was anywhere else on the album I probably wouldn’t like it as much. It’s good but would have felt like filler anywhere else on the album.
14. My Tears Ricochet
This is a fan favorite and to easy to see why. The lyrics are some of the best in the entire album. The song itself just isn’t one of my favorites, the lyrics are top-notch and Taylor’s vocals are great, but everything else feels like more could have been done.
Seven is a song I would call adorable as Taylor recalls a childhood friendship. It’s very sweet and catchy. There isn’t too much substance to it beyond that, but that isn’t a bad thing at all. It enjoyable for what it is.
What I love most about Epiphany is the message of the song. Taylor definitely wrote this song with health care workers in mind and their ongoing battle working with COVID-19. It’s a haunting song that will live on even after COVID-19 is over with.
Mirrorball is the definition of a grower. I’m a sucker for 80s pop and Mirrorball has the sound of it. It didn’t quite grab my attention at first, but it has grown on me with repeat listens and I believe it will continue to do so.
This is one of Taylor’s best vocal performances on the entire album. The amount of emotion she packs into the chorus of August is some of her best work.
9. Illicit Affairs
This is one of the more interesting songs on the album because you can theorize just about anything from the lyrics. It makes the song that much more interesting to listen back to.
Betty is another fan favorite and I too love this song. It’s a return to Taylor’s country roots and the storytelling she tells within the song is marvelous. One of the best-written tracks on the album.
7. Exile (ft. Bon Iver)
Exile is by far one of Taylor’s best collaborations she has ever done. Their two voices compliment each other’s so well. Exile is a worthy second single when the time comes.
6. Mad Woman
This at first glance may not seem like your typical feminist anthem. It doesn’t outright scream it’s the message for you, if you’re smart you’ll be able to figure it out for yourself. But what I love most about Mad Woman is how quiet it is, but it’s still an angry song. Just flashes of anger all over the place.
5. The Last Great American Dynasty
Taylor proves with this song (and so many other songs on the album) that she is able to write songs about other people just as well as she can write for herself. It’s amazing to hear her write about other people both fictional and real.
4. Invisible String
Invisible String is a clear standout on the album that I somehow missed the first time I listened to the album, but I have corrected my mistake. If a song can be described as pretty Invisible String is that song. And unlike Seven, Invisible String has so many layers to it.
3. The 1
Honestly, my top three could have been flipped around and I wouldn’t care. I adore these three songs, the order doesn’t really matter. The 1 was the best song to start the album and sets the tone of the album well.
Taylor does a lot of writing on this album about characters, not herself, but Peace is without about her own romantic relationship and the knowledge of that makes it feel the more personal. It’s one of my favorites just based on how open and personal Taylor gets on it.
My number 1 at least for the moment is Cardigan. The song much like the music video is magical and stunning. I have listened to Cardigan so many times since Friday and I’m just not tired of it yet. I keep returning to it and I don’t see that stopping any time soon.
Have you listened to folklore? If so, what’s your favorite song off it?