US Rolling Stone Magazine October 2019: The Taylor Swift Cover Edition

Lover is Swift’s most adult album, a rebalancing of sound and persona that opens doors to the next decade of her career; it’s also a welcome return to the sonic diversity of 2012’s Red, with tracks ranging from the St. Vincent-assisted über-bop “Cruel Summer” to the unbearably poignant country-fied “Soon You’ll Get Better” (with the Dixie Chicks) and the “Shake It Off”-worthy pep of “Paper Rings.”

She wants to talk about the music, of course, but she is also ready to explain the past three years of her life, in depth, for the first time. The conversation is often not a light one. She’s built up more armor in the past few years, but still has the opposite of a poker face — you can see every micro-emotion wash over her as she ponders a question, her nose wrinkling in semi-ironic offense at the term “old-school pop stars,” her preposterously blue eyes glistening as she turns to darker subjects. In her worst moments, she says, “You feel like you’re being completely pulled into a riptide. So what are you going to do? Splash a lot? Or hold your breath and hope you somehow resurface? And that’s what I did. And it took three years. Sitting here doing an interview — the fact that we’ve done an interview before is the only reason I’m not in a full body sweat.”

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