Summer tunes move “Swift”ly along

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Cover of Taylor Swift album
Cover of Taylor Swift album "Fearless"

Will Love’s Music Memo

Taylor Swift
In an effort to reclaim legal ownership of her music, the first step for Taylor Swift was re-recording 2008’s Fearless. Unlike other artists who have been in similar predicaments, case in point JoJo whose re-recordings showcased improved vocal ability albeit significantly differed from the original recordings, Taylor Swift excels at providing a near identical rendition of the original album. Fearless, her sophomore album, is the first of six planned re-recordings.

Cover of Liz Phair album "Soberish"
Cover of Liz Phair album “Soberish”

It was savvy of Swift to start with Fearless as the album contains more of her iconic hits and stable singles. Although most of the alterations to the original songs are practically unnoticeable, with the runtime for each being the same or off by a single second to the original, this rendition of “Love Story” is packed with more umph and purposefully noticeable stronger production. In the end, you are left wanting more of Taylor’s versions.

Liz Phair
Soberish marks Liz Phair’s return to music. 11 years since 2010’s Funstyle, Phair took most of the 2010s off. Now, serving 90s nostalgia touring the world with Alanis Morissette and Garbage, Liz Phair is at her best yet. The best route Liz Phair took was ditching the seemingly originally planned concept album. Instead, we get much more honest and heartfelt material which highlight Phair’s beautiful songwriting ability.

With each track, Phair reveals more depth and vulnerability, and is refreshingly honest whether singing about struggles in romance or sobriety. This is Phair’s most solid album yet and will sound even better when performed live.

Cover of Maroon 5 album "Jordi"
Cover of Maroon 5 album “Jordi”

Maroon 5
Jordi is what happens when an artist/band goes out of their way to appease all of their fans and appeal to as many radio markets as possible. The result? An underwhelming body of work with an overt focus on mainstream appeal lacking sincerity. The music is too scattered and reeks of an attempt at continuing relevancy rather than creating music for the purpose of creating music.

The title is a tribute to Maroon 5’s late manager, who died suddenly in 2017, so depth is present to some degree. The strongest moments arise when the band expresses emotion, particularly on solid tracks like “Memories”, “Nobody’s Love”, and “One Light.” The album credits nearly fifty writers, further illustrating this album is more marketing oriented than anything else.

Olivia Rodrigo
In an era where artists such as Cardi B and Doja Cat are saturating the music scene with more superficiality than ever before, newcomers like Olivia Rodrigo are bringing substance back into the Top 40 market. Despite being only eighteen years old, Rodrigo’s music comes across more mature than her senior peers.

Cover of Olivia Rodrigo album "Sour"
Cover of Olivia Rodrigo album “Sour”

2021 has been shaping up to be a breakout year for the actress turned singer/songwriter as she has starred in Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series as well as broke streaming records with “driver’s license” which has also become a TikTok anthem. Rodrigo’s debut album, Sour, delves into emotional waters as the songs center around heartbreak, insecurity, revenge, and even child abuse with a queer girl rejected by her family in “hope ur ok.” Seemingly modeled after Taylor Swift, Oliva Rodrigo has a bright future ahead of her.