In her 2017 song “Look What You Made Me Do,” the old Taylor Swift can’t come to the phone because, as the lyrics go, she’s dead. Today’s T. Swift is alive and well, but she isn’t available to take calls either. She’s booked solid in the coming days, busy promoting her next blockbuster, Lover.
The 18-track album, which features the Dixie Chicks and Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie, had already sold nearly a million copies as of Tuesday — three days before its release. The album sat atop Apple’s iTunes chart Friday morning.
Positive reviews promised that it’ll almost surely be a contender at next year’s music awards shows. In a review for Variety, critic Chris Willman wrote, “It’s an album with a lot of froth to it, but weighted froth — her most mature collection as well as her most fun one.” Time said the collection of songs had “an energy that feels like pure distilled Swift,” while Vanity Fair called it simply “her best effort since Red,” the album Swift released in 2012.
Not that the reviews matter to her Swifities. They were all in on Swift’s new album before they even heard it. They quickly snapped it up and began quoting and decoding the lyrics.
HAPPY LOVER DAY! 💌 First physical copies purchased in Magnolia, TX 💖 and the streak lives on... see you lovers on the flip side 💋#LoverOutNow #taylorswift #Lover @taylorswift13 @taylornation13 @Target pic.twitter.com/A1YlYgL1JB— Holly Armstrong (@HollyArmstr0ng) August 23, 2019
“Lover” album is fire. That’s it. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.#TaylorSwift— Maddy Fredrick (@FredrickMaddy) August 23, 2019
TAYLOR I LOVE THIS ALBUM ! @taylorswift13 @taylornation13 #TaylorSwift #Afterglow #corneliastreet #CruelSummer #Lover #lover #TaylorNation #TaylorSwift #missamericanaandtheheartbreakprince #LoversLounge #LoverMusicVideo #taylurking #Swifties pic.twitter.com/ei3m4PFib1— molly da swiftie🤙🏻🤩 (@styleswiftlet) August 23, 2019
Swift’s packed schedule for release week included, among other things, a high-profile appearance on Thursday’s edition of Good Morning America, where she performed “You Need to Calm Down” and “ME!,” from the new album, plus a throwback favorite, “Shake It Off,” from her 2014 album, 1989.
Just hours before Lover became available, Swift performed, answered questions from fans and read some vintage entries from her diary during a live event called Lover’s Lounge that streamed on YouTube.
She’ll appear on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. A preview teases that one of the subjects she’ll talk about is how women and men are treated differently in the music industry.
Then, on Monday, she’s scheduled to give the all-important opening performance at the 2019 MTV VMAs — her first since the release of Lover. She’ll likely be back onstage at some point to accept one of the 10 awards for which she’s nominated this year, for both “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down.” Swift tied with Ariana Grande for the most nominations.
Perhaps she’ll be able to sneak in a break before heading back to the studio in late 2020, when she plans to rerecord her older songs, which her former record label sold to music manager Scooter Braun in June.
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