'Evermore,' Taylor Swift's second surprise album of 2020, is a hit (again)

Taylor Swift surprised her fans by announcing the release of her second album of 2020, "Evermore."

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 7:10 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 7:10 AM

If your productivity fell off a cliff in 2020, Taylor Swift's "Evermore" may not be the album for you.

While the rest of us were playing virtual quizzes on Zoom, pop's biggest star reinvented her sound and recorded two surprise albums -- the second of which, "Evermore," was released Friday mere hours after it was announced.

It's a follow-up to July's mega-hit, "Folklore," with Swift returning to the wistful melodies and indie-inspired soundscapes that earned her rounds of praise, but injecting a uniquely wintry aesthetic and embarking on a few unexpected lyrical expeditions.

The 15-song effort was praised by several critics and hailed by fans on its release, with plenty noting the seamless continuation of the stripped-back style Swift delved into in "Folklore."

But others wondered whether the album lived up to its predecessor, which Swift described this week as a "sister album" to her newest offering.

"This is a bubble we may not want to pop," Variety concluded on Swift's lengthy burst of creativity during months of isolation. The publication described the singer's 2020 as "an embarrassment of stunning albums-ending-in-'ore' that she's mined out of a locked-down muse."

"Not everything here works, but taken together Folklore and Evermore make a convincing case for Swift's ability to shift shape and for her songs' ability to travel between genres," The Guardian commented in a four-star review. "As lockdown overachievements go, it's pretty impressive."

Swift again indulges her penchant for four-minute lyrical biographies, this time paying tribute to her late grandmother on "Marjorie" and a disillusioned wife on "Tolerate it" -- character studies singled out in an effusive five-star review by British magazine NME.

But the singer also returned to two familiar territories she mostly swerved on her previous album, nodding to her country music roots in "Cowboy Like Me" and then, on "Gold Rush" and "Long Story Short," moving cautiously back toward the realm of glittery pop that she conquered during the past decade.

"If 'Folklore' is an introspective, romantic older sister, 'Evermore' is the freewheeling younger sibling," NME concluded. "The new album reaps the rewards the stylistic leap of faith that 'Folklore' represented, pushing the boundaries of that sonic palette further still."

Fans seemed equally satisfied. "Evermore' is 'folklore' in screaming color," superfan Alex Goldschmidt wrote on Twitter, referencing a lyric on Swift's earlier track "Out of the Woods."

Another popular Swift fanpage wrote: "This was one of the most magical and most beautiful journeys I've ever (been) through in an album."

Swift again collaborated with Bon Iver and songwriters Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff on the effort, after the team put "Folklore" together earlier this year.

And there were a handful of songwriting credits for "William Bowery" -- the mysterious contributor whom Swift revealed last month is, in fact, her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.

It remains to be seen whether the slowed-down, reflective sound Swift has unlocked in 2020 is her ballpark now. "I have no idea what will come next," she wrote on her social media channels on Friday after the record dropped.

"I have no idea about a lot of things these days and so I've clung to the one thing that keeps me connected to you all. That thing always has and always will be music. And may it continue, evermore," Swift added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
Lauderdale11985316
Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
Pearl River9503237
Lafayette8547139
Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
Bolivar6313148
Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
Marshall18317302
Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
Cullman15383292
Limestone15298198
Elmore15161284
Lauderdale14225294
Talladega13802276
DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
Autauga9954146
Jackson9844182
Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132738
Greene126644
Choctaw88127
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