My taste in music has always varied across different genres. While we were away for summer break over the last few months, Taylor Swift released “Lover” and Chance the Rapper released “The Big Day.” Reactions to both fresh albums were wildly different.
Starting with Swift, we’ve always known her to be the classic success story of a small-town girl with a big-time dream. She started gaining her fame back in 2006, with songs about broken hearts and falling in love—and not to forget the classics about self-love and resisting bullying. So, the makeup of “Lover” did not come as a surprise to any of us. Overall, “Lover” is the same thing Taylor Swift has always done, but with a little more experimental sound.
The fan base that Chance the Rapper is definitely more critical and less loyal in comparison to that of Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift has undergone phases of writing songs about ex-lovers, celebrity feuds and media presence. Her last album, released in 2017, “Reputation” took a lot of backlash because of the, for lack of a better word, politics around it. “Reputation” forced her fanbase to weed out the casual fans who originally just liked her for her music, and left only the die-hard fans that would support her through anything.
“Lover” has been dubbed a more mature take on the ever-covered theme of love, and might inch those casual fans back into her corner. The sounds on the album are a bit more experimental. The song “Death by a Thousand Cuts” has a piano riff that sounds reminiscent of “Baba O’Riley (Teenage Wasteland)” by The Who. The title track, “Lover,” is simply a cute song and there is no other way to say it; it tells a story of two lovers and their hopes for the future.
As for Chance the Rapper, who has only released studio mixtapes, the last one being in 2016, the release of “The Big Day” was not received as well with his fan base. His last album, “Coloring Book,” explores the nostalgia that comes with writing about the childhood he had and the feeling of not wanting to grow up with his tracks “Same Drugs” and “Summer Friends.”
“The Big Day” is viewed as surface-level in comparison to “Coloring Book.” However, it is important to remember that the Chance the Rapper that wrote and produced “Coloring Book” was left in 2016. The Chance the Rapper that wrote “The Big Day” in 2019 might not be grappling with the same existential questions. Chance the Rapper is a husband and a father now. It is time for his sound and theme to change.
Other than the fact that it just might not be as great of an album as his last, the fanbase that Chance the Rapper is definitely more critical and less loyal in comparison to that of Swift. If Chance the Rapper isn’t making what his fans typically like, they’re not going to stick around. If you’re expecting a bit of politics around guns or race, you won’t find it in “The Big Day.” I’m in no way comparing the two artists, but I am pointing out the fact that they have different standards in regards to their fans.
Personally, I enjoyed the song “Do You Remember,” which featured Death Cab for Cutie—a collaboration I do not believe. “We Go High” might be as deep as the album goes, but it caught my attention when he mentioned the name of his wife, Kirsten Corley. I bet you can figure out why.
I do recommend giving both albums a listen. Even if it’s not what you’re expecting, you might find something you like!
Kirsten Magas is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minors in journalism and creative writing. KM867219@wcupa.edu