A Definitive (And Totally Biased) Ranking of Every Song on 'Lover'

via Instagram @taylorswift

via Instagram @taylorswift

Have you listened to Taylor Swift’s new album yet? It’s already 2019 biggest selling record and we can see why. When T. Swift releases an album, it’s pretty much all you hear about for the next few months (and the few months beforehand, to be honest). So why don’t we count down the best songs on ‘Lover’?

Thomas is a huge Taylor Swift fan, and now that her new album ‘Lover’ has been out for over a week (and he’s listened to it approximately 113 times), he thought it would be fun to rank the songs in order from worst to best. You may agree with some of the choices and you may not, but we can probably all agree that the first half of the album is infinitely better than the second half, which is typically what you get with Swift.

Red may be her best album lyrically, but this album is probably her most fun. Even PJ (who isn’t a huge TS fan by any means) turned to me the other day and said he thinks this is his favorite album she’s ever put out, and is particularly loving ‘Afterglow’. On this album, she’s giving us HAIM, she’s giving us Lana Del Rey, she’s giving us Postal Service, she’s giving us country (?!). Are there too many songs on this album? Probably. Are some of them skippable? Most definitely. But when Taylor Swift blesses us with a new album every few years, it’s an event, and like any event, we need to make a big deal of it. So without further ado, here are the best and worst songs from ‘Lover’:

18. False God

Taylor doing R&B? I knew from the first listen of this song that it would be my least favorite on the album. I appreciate the lyrics, and she’s the sexiest she’s ever been, even more so than ‘Dress’, but it still feels off for her to be doing R&B. It’s not a bad song (does Taylor make bad songs?) but it’s not my favorite.

Best lyric: Staring out the window like I’m not your favorite town, I’m New York City, I still do it for you, babe.

17. Daylight

This is a beautiful closer, and not a bad song in the least (the words are gorgeous), but this is no ‘New Year’s Day’ or ‘Clean’ for me. It took me a couple of listens to find the melody, but overall it’s a solid closing song that wraps up everything she’s feeling very nicely. I think I just prefer the songs on the first half of the album so much more that this song never really stood a chance for me.

Best lyric: I wanna be defined by the things that I love, not the things I hate, not the things I’m afraid of…I just think that you are what you love.

16. You Need To Calm Down

What could I say about this song that hasn’t already been said? It was supposed to be the LGBTQ+ anthem (maybe it still is?) of the summer, but I think it missed a few of the points of what it means to be an ally. Still, Swift is the only big, heterosexual superstar actively coming out and supporting LGBTQ+ rights in her songs, and the fact that she’s trying so hard to pass the Equality Act is amazing. Plus, it’s catchy as hell.

Best lyric: And I ain’t trying to mess with your self-expression but I’ve learned the lesson that stressing and obsessing about somebody else is no fun. And snakes and stones never broke my bones, so.

15. ME!

Where do we even begin with this song? As the first single from ‘Lover’, it was polarizing to a lot of people. PJ and I stayed up until midnight when it was released and we were in bed watching the music video on our laptop and just kept going what? what….? WHAT?! Over and over again with each verse and chorus, and then when the “Hey kids! Spelling is FUN!” line happened, we almost shut our computer down. Thankfully they removed that line from the album version and it instantly made the song better. I think at the end of the day this is a fun, positive, and uplifting song that I actually enjoy, it just surprised me that a person of Swift’s talents was the one who wrote it. But I guess not every song has to be at an ‘All Too Well’ level, and this song is so damn catchy, does it really matter that it’s mot as good as the others?

Best lyric: I know that I went psycho on the phone, I never leave well enough alone, and trouble’s gonna follow where I go.

14. Soon You’ll Get Better

This song, y’all. It’s so beautifully heartbreaking. It’s similar to ‘The Best Day’ in the fact that it’s about her mom, but it couldn’t be more different in tone and feel. The lyrics are so beautiful and honest and raw and real, and the addition of The Dixie Chicks in the background (who I’m pretty sure were put on this earth to harmonize melodies to perfection) absolutely complete the song for me.

Best lyric: And I hate to make this all about me, but then who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do, if there’s no you?

13. Death By A Thousand Cuts

I don’t know what it is about this song, but this is one that I always skip whenever it comes on, even though I technically don’t have a problem with it. I guess it’s just I would rather listen to the other songs more than this one, which is why it’s lower on the list. It’s not a bad song, though, and I sing along to it whenever it’s on, but it’s not one of my favorites.

Best lyric: I look through the windows of this love even though we boarded them up. 

12. It’s Nice To Have A Friend

This is probably the weirdest song on the album, but I absolutely love it. It gives me major Postal Service vibes, but it’s quirky and fun and playful. I love the innocence of it and the feel it evokes, even if I don’t entirely know what it’s about or what she’s trying to say/the point of the song is. But she is right, it is nice to have a friend. Mr. Rogers would be proud.

Best lyric: Lost my gloves, you give me one, wanna hang out? Yeah, sounds like fun.

11. The Archer

I really like this song, and the only reason it’s on the lower half of this list is because I love her fun, more up-beat songs on the album so much. But I love the words and the angle she’s coming from on this one. And I will casually find myself singing, “All the kinds horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put me together again.” over and over randomly throughout the day. Even when she doesn’t write the words, Swift has an ear for catchy rhymes.

Best lyric: Easy they come, easy they go, I jump from the train, I ride off alone, I never grew up, it’s getting so old.

10. I Forgot That You Existed

I think as an opener it’s a pretty solid song. The title is a little trite, but the words are clever and I like the point of view/outlook she’s coming from when she matter-of-factly states that she doesn’t love the person or hate them, she just doesn’t really think about them at all. Which, to me, is the definition of moving on and is a lot easier said than done, but is so worth it when you finally get to that state of mind.

Best lyric: I forgot that you existed. It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.

9. London Boy

Sure this song is silly and has a very questionable opening line, but it’s also one of the most fun on the album. Having never been to London before, I really got a sense of what it’s like by Swift listing all of the things she loves so much about her boyfriend’s hometown. Plus listening to her list everything she loves about Joe is adorable, even if she doesn’t do the best British accent. Bonus points for mentioning Tennessee AND for an intro by Idris Elba. Swoon.

Best lyric: But something happened, I heard him laughing, I saw the dimples first and then I heard the accent. They say home is where the heart is, but that’s not where mine is.

8. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince

Taylor at her most Lana-like, almost even more so than ‘Wildest Dreams’. The melody and the beat and the lyrics and the way she enunciates (and the fact that it has the word Americana in it, which is LDR’s favorite topic to sing about) reminds me so much of Lana Del Rey that I almost wonder if this should have been a duet between the two queens. I like this song because it’s interesting and the metaphors are killer. The lyrics are creative, clever, and put to good use, too.

Best lyric: Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men?

7. Paper Rings

Another fun one! I told my sister that I kind of wish she would have put this type of song out about 10 years ago because it seems a little juvenile for a 30 year old to be singing, but it’s a cute love song that is almost impossible not to dance to. It also reminds me of one of my favorite movies of all time, Clueless. Can’t you just picture Cher riding around in her Jeep with her friends listening to this song and living her best life?

Best lyric: I like shiny things but I’d marry you with paper rings uh-huh, that’s right, darling, you’re the one I want.

6. Afterglow

This is a song that grew on me, mostly because this is PJ’s favorite song on the album and I somehow always end up loving whatever song PJ likes in the end. I love how she frames a very common topic in relationships, though: that your head can make up some messed up shit sometimes and you will say or do things you don’t mean in the moment because you’re so upset. But acknowledging that you’ve made a mistake, that it’s all your fault and they didn’t do anything wrong, is the best thing you can do to correct the situation. And it really shows Swift’s maturity as a person and as a songwriter to include a song like this on her album. Also, this is PJ’s favorite song on the album, so I feel like I should have included it a little higher on the list. Sorry, baby!

Best lyric: Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves.

5. Lover

The most atmospheric song on the album. I wanted to not like this song because it’s so heavy and schmalzy, but I really do love it. Y’all know I’m sappy lovey-dovey, and this song is one big love letter to love, which is what she said her album is all about, so naturally I’m placing it high on the list. Me and PJ listened to this song the other night while we were in bed talking and it was the perfect background song to just be with him.

Best lyric: Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close? Forever and ever.

4. I Think He Knows

This song is SO MUCH FUN. It’s cute and poppy and boppy and I love the confidence she’s giving us. This album has a lot of 80’s sounding songs, almost more so than ‘1989’, and this is one of the best examples of it. The part right before the last chorus when the music really picks up and she belts, “I think he knooooooows!” gives me major Mariah Carey vibes and I am so here for it. Chills, every time.

Best lyric: I got that uhh, I mean, want to see what’s under that attitude. I want you, bless my soul.

3. Cornelia Street

I always think she’s at her best when it’s just her penning the songs, and this is a prime example. It’s sweet and a little melancholy, but the lyrics are so strong and you can’t help but sing along to the chorus when she sings, “And I hope I never lose you, hope this never ends.” And to be honest, I didn’t want the song to end, either.

Best lyric: Years ago we were just inside, barefoot in the kitchen, sacred new beginnings that became my religion, listen.

 2. The Man

This. Song. Is. So. Good. She’s been extremely vocal the last few years about feminism, and this song wraps everything up in a big bow and delivers it with all of the Haim-inspired gusto it can muster. The beat and music is full on Haim, but the smart and sharp lyrics are all Swift. So many good points made and I love the Leo reference in Saint Tropez. Also, I didn’t know how to pronounce Saint Tropez until this song, so I really owe her a lot for this one.

Best lyrics: If I was out flashing my dollars I’d be a bitch, not a baller, they paint me out to be bad, so it’s okay that I’m mad.

1. Cruel Summer

For me, this song rivals Blank Space in how good of a song it is, which is a big claim to make, and the reason it comes in at number 1. The tempo, the picture it paints, how you feel when you listen to the song. The lyrics and the melody, it all just fits and makes me feel like I’m driving in a convertible with the top down, cruising down the California highway as the sun is setting. Not that I’ve ever done that, but that’s how powerful this song is! It paints such a vivid picture and is easily one of her best songs to date.

Best lyric: He looks up grinning like a devil!

There you have it! Have you listened to the whole thing yet? What are your favorite songs on the album?