Lover (album)

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The cover artwork of Taylor Swift's album Lover: a picture of Swift with a glitter heart shape on her right eye against a rainbow background.
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 23, 2019 (2019-08-23)
RecordedNovember 2018 – February 2019
  • Electric Lady (New York City)
  • Golden Age West (Auckland)
  • Golden Age (Los Angeles)
  • Electric Feel (Los Angeles)
  • Metropolis (London)
Taylor Swift chronology
Live from Clear Channel Stripped 2008
Singles from Lover
  1. "Me!"
    Released: April 26, 2019
  2. "You Need to Calm Down"
    Released: June 14, 2019
  3. "Lover"
    Released: August 16, 2019
  4. "The Man"
    Released: January 27, 2020

Lover is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released on August 23, 2019, via Republic Records. Motivated by her positive experience on her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018), Swift sought to make an album with bright and lighter tones focusing on the foundational strengths of her songcraft, recalibrating from the dark style of its predecessor, Reputation (2017). Lover is Swift's first album after parting ways with her former label Big Machine Records, which resulted in a highly publicized dispute for the ownership of the masters to all of the albums she released before.

Swift enlisted producers Jack Antonoff, Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, and Joel Little, and recorded Lover akin to her live performances, emulating concert-based vocals. Described by her as "a love letter to love itself", the lyrical scope of Lover covers all facets of love, ranging from contentment, infatuation, endearment, lust, and heartache, to political themes such as feminism, equality, and disillusionment. Musically, it is a retro-styled pop record, combining dream pop, synth-pop, electropop, and pop rock genres with country, punk, funk, and folk elements, characterized by upbeat arrangements, midtempo rhythms and atmospheric synthesizers. Lover features guest vocals from the Chicks and Brendon Urie, and employs a summer festivity-inspired aesthetic.

Four singles supported the album: "Me!", "You Need to Calm Down", "Lover", "The Man" the first three of which reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. All of the album's 18 tracks charted on the Hot 100, breaking the all-time female record for the most simultaneous entries. Lover topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and several others. It was Swift's sixth number-one album on the US Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum. Selling 3.2 million copies in 2019, Lover was the best-selling studio album of the year and made Swift the world's best-selling musician of 2019.

Critics reviewed Lover positively, mostly praising its emotional evolution and free-spirited style, although some found it sonically sprawling and inconsistent. At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, Lover was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, while its singles "You Need to Calm Down" and "Lover" contested for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year, respectively. The album won Favorite Pop/Rock Album at the American Music Awards of 2019, and out of 17 MTV Video Music Award nominations, its music videos garnered four wins. Lover was named amongst the best albums of 2019 in the year-end lists by various publications. A concert tour promoting the album, titled Lover Fest, was announced for 2020, but cancelled following the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, an ABC concert special called Taylor Swift: City of Lover aired on May 15, 2020.


I always look at albums as chapters in my life. And to the fans, I'm so happy that you like [Reputation]... But I have to be really honest with you about something, I'm even more excited about the next chapter.

— Swift teasing Lover at the 2018 American Music Awards, E! Online[1]

In November 2017, American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her sixth studio album, Reputation, which was viewed as a comeback after a tumultuous period in her career.[2] It spent four weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart,[3] became the best seller of 2017,[4] and the best performing album of 2018.[5] To support the album, Swift embarked on the Reputation Stadium Tour (2018), which garnered critical praise,[6] and became the highest-grossing North American tour of all time.[7] It won Tour of the Year at the 2018 American Music Awards, where Swift hinted at her next album in her acceptance speech as "the next chapter".[1]

Speculation of "TS7"[note 1] began on February 24, 2019, when Swift posted a photo of seven palm trees with a pastel blue backdrop and superimposed stars on her Instagram account, which the singer later confirmed was the day she finished the album.[9][10] The post generated widespread anticipation and theories online about the album.[11][12][13] Entertainment Weekly opined they "may sound like ludicrous conspiracy theories—for the record, they were mostly correct—but they fit firmly within the Taylor Swift Musical Universe (it's like the Marvel Cinematic Universe but with more guitars and fewer Stan Lee cameos)." Swift later commented, "I couldn't expect [my fans] to know that. I figured they'd figure it out later, but a lot of their theories were actually correct. Those Easter eggs were just trying to establish that tone, which I foreshadowed ages ago in a Spotify vertical video for "Delicate" by painting my nails [pastel] colors".[10]

On April 13, 2019, Swift launched a countdown on her website, counting down to midnight EDT (UTC−04:00) on April 26.[14] On April 25, several news outlets noticed a butterfly mural in The Gulch, Nashville, Tennessee, painted by street artist Kelsey Montague,[15] and connected it with Swift's upcoming release.[16] A crowd of several hundred had gathered at the mural.[17] While Montague was initially told that the mural was commissioned as promotion for ABC, ESPN, and the 2019 NFL Draft,[18] Swift appeared at the mural and revealed that it was, in fact, part of her countdown and that she would be interviewed by Robin Roberts during the 2019 NFL Draft broadcast.[19] At midnight, she released the lead single of TS7, "Me!" featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, along with its music video.[20]

Swift encouraged fans to find the forthcoming album's title in the "Me!" video. In a May 2019 interview for The Independent, she was asked about the clues to the title, to which she answered "I think you see it once, and you hear it twice", leading fans to believe Lover is the title, as the word appears on a neon light-up sign in the background, and is heard twice.[21][22] On June 13, 2019, she confirmed the album title in an Instagram live-stream, and that it would be released on August 23, 2019.[23] Swift also announced the second single, "You Need to Calm Down", for release on the next day, followed by its music video three days later.[24] On July 22, Swift explained the album's deluxe editions, and on July 23, "The Archer" was released as a promotional single.[25] A week prior to the album release, on August 16, Swift released the title track and third single, "Lover", and revealed the album's track list on her social media.[26]


Taylor Swift on the Reputation Stadium Tour
Swift conceived Lover inspired by her fans on her Reputation Stadium Tour (2018)

Lover was influenced by the "positive energy" Swift felt during Reputation Stadium Tour, stemming from the "symbiotic relationship" she has with her fans, who led her to feel a "tonal shift", and helped her "dig out of the darker era of Reputation". Swift stated she had an epiphany during the tour, that despite the "caricature" that she thought had been created of her, "there were many people who saw what others had simply refused to"; she said she would look out into the audience and see "these amazing, thoughtful, caring, wonderful, empathetic people", and "so often with our takedown culture, talking shit about a celebrity is basically the same as talking shit about the new iPhone. So when I go and I meet fans, I see that they actually see me as a flesh-and-blood human being. That—as contrived as it may sound—changed [me] completely, assigning humanity to my life". At the tour's end, Swift channeled this positivity into creating Lover.[10]

Swift described the album as a romantic one, stating it was "not just simply thematically, like it's all love songs or something. The idea of something being romantic, it doesn't have to be a happy song. You can find romance in loneliness or sadness or going through things in your life... it just looks at those things through a romantic gaze".[23] In a Vogue interview published in August 2019, Swift called the album as a "love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory".[27] Swift also captioned the album "a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos".[28] In an Instagram post dated September 17, 2019, She dubbed Lover an album that feels like "fields, sunsets, + SUMMER".[29] In an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1 on October 30, 2019, Swift said she considered Lover a "more playful" album,[8] returning to "singing about my life in the way I actually experience it", unlike "through a filter of extremes" as is the case with Reputation. She added the album was the first time she wrote about "love that was very real", compared to earlier songs such as "Love Story" (2008).[30] Swift told People that, compared to the "theatricality" of Reputation where she "said everything [she] needed to say", Lover turned out to be the album where she was no longer "answering to something".[31] She explained to Entertainment Weekly, that the true distinction between the two albums is the delivery: "This time around I feel more comfortable being brave enough to be vulnerable, because my fans are brave enough to be vulnerable with me. Once people delve into [Lover], it'll become pretty clear that that's more of the fingerprint of this – that it's much more of a singer-songwriter, personal journey than the last one".[10]


In a YouTube live stream on August 22, 2019, Swift revealed the album was originally titled Daylight before she wrote the song "Lover" which changed her mind; she stated: "I decide an album title based on something that has a nice theme to it and a ring; it's very mood board how I go about [it]. The only time I ever started with a title was Reputation. That was the only time I started an album with a title so I began writing songs around that word. For this album, I actually thought the title of this album was going to be Daylight for a couple months. Then I wrote 'Lover' and I was like 'That's the title'".[32] In the voice memos found on Lover deluxe editions, Swift further explained that after she wrote "Lover", she knew it would be the title and that it would "depict the tone for the record, and it's been a real catalyst for what this album has become."

[Lover is] an album about all different forms of love. Even when love hurts, this album is about the full spectrum that love makes us feel, so I was like, this album is definitely going to be called Lover.

— Swift on choosing the album title, On Air with Ryan Seacrest[33]


Electric Lady Studios in New York
Much of Lover was recorded at the Electric Lady Studios (pictured) in New York City.

Swift started recording Lover after the conclusion of Reputation Stadium Tour in November 2018, channeling the "positive energy" she gathered during the tour into the studio.[10] The recording wrapped up in three months, on February 24, 2019,[10] though a Cautious Clay sample used for "London Boy" was approved in June of the same year.[34] Much of the album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City,[35] while some recording took place at Golden Age West in Auckland, New Zealand, Golden Age, and Electric Feel Studio, both in Los Angeles, and Metropolis Studios in London.[36] Swift said she approached the recording as though she were giving live performances, and that much of the album were nearly whole takes.[37] In a January 2020 interview with Variety's Chris Willman, Swift revealed that "Only the Young", the song for her 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana, was held back from being included in Lover.[38]

Writing and production

Swift wrote Lover from an "open, free, romantic, whimsical place"; she added that the album felt "aesthetically very daytime", whereas its predecessor Reputation (2017) was "all cityscape, darkness, full Swamp Witch".[39] She stated she tried "not to go into making an album with any expectation"; she started to "write so much" that she "knew immediately it [Lover] would probably be bigger" than her other studio albums.[10] Swift was the sole writer of three tracks—"Lover", "Cornelia Street" and "Daylight"; the rest were co-written with her co-producers. She co-produced every song and served as the sole executive producer of the album. Swift highlighted that every song on Lover were written specifically for the album, devoid of leftovers from other albums; citing "This Love" as an example, which she had written closer to Red (2012), but ended up being on 1989 (2014). Her percussion credits for the track "Paper Rings" made Lover her first album since 1989 that she actively participated in instrumental recordings.[40]

Jack Antonoff
Jack Antonoff (pictured) produced the majority of Lover.

Swift produced Lover with frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, as well as first-time collaborators Joel Little, Louis Bell, and Frank Dukes.[36] Swift and Antonoff first worked together on the song "Sweeter than Fiction" for the 2013 film One Chance; Antonoff went on to write and produce on two of Swift's albums—1989 and Reputation, as well as the song "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" for the 2017 film Fifty Shades Darker. Antonoff co-wrote eight and co-produced eleven songs in the album. Little co-wrote and co-produced four songs, including the singles "Me!" and "You Need to Calm Down". Bell and Dukes co-wrote and co-produced three songs. Swift co-produced tracks with Bell, Dukes, and Little from November to December 2018. Meanwhile, she worked with Antonoff on the album from January to February 2019. Sounwave has co-writing and co-producing credits on the song "London Boy"; other artists with writing credits include St. Vincent, Cautious Clay, and Brendon Urie.

I was sitting up at the piano up in my loft, and I had the chorus. It just kind of happened immediately. It was one of those ones that I wrote very, very, very quickly; and I was working out the cadence of the first verse and it just sort of fell together. But then I took some time to write the bridge, because I wanted to really level up with that bridge. That one would for me would be less of a ranting bridge and more of a story-time fable type bridge. Sometimes, I like to imagine a bridge as like a sort of fairytale lullaby fable expanding upon a song that has been not as detailed until that point. "Can I go where you go/ Can we always be this close forever and ever" is less detail, then when you go to the bridge and you realize like, oh, it just got really personal in the bridge. It expands on it all.

— Swift on writing the title track, Rolling Stone[41]

"Lover", the title track, was written by Swift on piano, late at night at her home in Nashville, Tennessee; Swift messaged a voice memo of the song to Antonoff. The next day, Swift flew to New York City to work on the song with Antonoff and recording engineer Laura Sisk, at the Electric Lady Studios. Swift played the song on the piano for them; herself and Antonoff produced the final version of the song during a six-hour recording session, using a "space echo" reverberation effect, a Paul McCartney-inspired bassline, a "washy" piano, a "dream sequence wedding" mellotron, a 12 string, live drums and a "snare hit really hard with a brush".[42][43]

I think that when people make art, other people make art and especially women who make art, I find it highly inspiring. I watched this movie on Netflix called Someone Great. I cried watching the movie. For about a week, I start waking up from dreams that I'm living out that scenario—that that's happening to me. I'd have these lyrics in my head based on the dynamics of these characters and I went in the studio with Jack Antonoff.

— Swift on writing "Death by a Thousand Cuts", E! News[44]

"Death by a Thousand Cuts", the tenth track on Lover, was inspired by the character dynamics between the lead characters of Someone Great, the 2019 Netflix romcom film written and directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.[44]

Music and lyrics

Reputation was so far from what I usually do. And Lover feels like a return to the fundamental songwriting pillars that I usually build my house on. It's really honest; it's not me playing a character. It's really just how I feel, undistilled. And there are a lot of very personal admissions in it. And also, I love a metaphor. I love building on the metaphor for a very long time. You know, the whole of Reputation was just a metaphor, but this [Lover] is a very personal record. So that's been really fun.

— Swift comparing Lover to Reputation, Rolling Stone[41]

With 18 tracks, Lover is the longest standard studio album in Swift's catalog thus far. The deluxe edition adds two bonus voice memos that feature demo versions of the tracks "I Forgot That You Existed" and "Lover". It was written and produced by Swift, Jack Antonoff, Joel Little, Louis Bell, and Frank Dukes.[45]


Lover is primarily a pop record,[46] expanding on synth-pop, pop rock,[47][48] dream pop,[49] and electropop[50] genres with an overarching retro motif.[51] It further incorporates an eclectic mix of country, pop punk, indie-pop, folk rock, and quiet storm elements.[52] The album's texture has been described as lighter, brighter, dreamy, glossy and breezy,[28][53][50][47] departing from the dark, heavy, hip hop-influenced sound of Reputation,[54][55] returning to the 1980s-inspired synth-pop of 1989.[56][50][53] Rebecca Lewis of Metro described Lover as a solid mix of "upbeat pop bangers, dreamy pop songs, heavy bass beats that make you want to clap along and devastatingly sad ballads",[57] while Time's Dana Schwartz thought the album spans from "earnest, twangy love songs to unapologetically bubblegum anthems".[53] Variety's Chris Willman called it "one big pop bubblegum blast of a record".[58]

The A.V. Club critic Annie Zaleski noticed a uniform sonic mood board last heard on 1989, from how Lover mixes "contemporary touchstones" and indie-electropop with plenty of piano and modernized retro elements.[51] Rolling Stone writer Nick Catucci found the album's dominant sound to be "sleekly updated" 1980s pop-rock and dreamy throwback.[47] Apple Music noted that most of Lover is "baked in the atmospheric synths and '80s drums favored by Jack Antonoff".[59] The Daily Telegraph stated that Lover balances the assets of Americana songcraft with slick, modern pop production, making use of "clean and lean" sound from standard chord progressions and mid-tempo rock rhythms, "subtly updated with ear-snagging digital sparkles".[50] The funk and rock and roll elements of Lover were compared to works by Prince (especially the albums 1999 and Sign o' the Times) and Bruce Springsteen.[60][61][62][50] Tracks such as "Lover", "Paper Rings" and "Soon You'll Get Better" tease Swift's return to her country roots.[53] Billboard deemed Lover a pop record of varying tempo—heightening intensity in some tracks, while offering some of Swift's most straightforward song structures in others, thus preventing any "jarry transitions" or "notable swoons" across the track-list.[63]

Lyrics and themes

Dubbed as her most romantic and free-spirited work upon release,[64][59] Lover has been described by Swift as "a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos"[65] and "a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory",[64] presenting her most mature understanding of love yet.[56][58] The album is characterized by themes of contentment, emotional evolution, and moving-on from the past, with forward-thinking songs,[55][47] and is hence designated as Swift's recalibration from the themes in Reputation.[66][55] Hope, new beginnings and flourishment were highlighted as Lover's principle mood;[57] however, the lyrical scope covers diverse themes such as self-love, individuality, romantic devotion, feminism, political criticism, grief, mental health, familial love, friendship, and LGBT rights, weaving them into a single concept.[63][67] Stephen Erlewine of AllMusic stated that Lover comprises the full range of human emotion, in which Swift embraces "all aspects of her personality".[68]

The highly detailed lyrics have been found reminiscent to that of Swift's old-school work, where characters had novelistic aspects,[69] especially the personal lyricism of Speak Now (2010)[53] and the confessional songwriting of Red (2012).[70] Deborah Krieger of PopMatters observed that the songs on Lover largely stem from contentment and satisfaction "in the middle of a strong relationship", rather than chronicling its downfall, which she cited as the main difference between Lover and its predecessors like Speak Now, Red and 1989.[71] Critics saw Swift reaching a point of self-perception in Lover,[72] entering a confident headspace with the knowledge she is not required to prove herself to anybody.[51]

The album is saturated in Swift's personal stories, packed with autobiographical details, emotional clarity and wisdom;[62][50][51][73] Variety's Chris Wilman highlighted "the minor war between past doubts and current happiness" which adds sophisticated layers to the lyrics.[58] Critics further noticed how Lover provides glimpses into Swift's inner life using specific lyrics. Time's Dana Schwartz of Time described it as "lifting a curtain to reveal the three-dimensional interiority behind two-dimensional paparazzi photos", while The A.V. Club's Annie Zaleski thought that it delves into "love's day-to-day joys" that "drop just enough breadcrumb hints into reality to make songs more believable".[53][51]

Open-hearted love songs dominate Lover, and examines all aspects of love. The songs consist of diaristic lyrics, emotional bridges, witty couplets and turns of phrase, while also celebrating Swift's sense of humor, departing from the serious Reputation persona. As seen in "The Man", "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince" and "You Need to Calm Down", the album incorporates politically charged lyrics, a previously less explored territory for Swift, while also embodying Americana-inspired songwriting.[53][46][50][57][58] The Daily Telegraph attributed the "romantic zippiness" of "Paper Rings" and "I Think He Knows" to that of Broadway musicals.[50]

Lover has also been theorized as a part of a trilogy. MTV opined that if 1989 is Swift's "pop magnum opus, a high-pitched trumpeting into a newfound universe of freedom and independence", and Reputation "reflects the scorn felt when the reality of the world's cruelty drives her to distress", then Lover completes the trilogy—"a pastel-hued compromise between the good and the bad, not in spite of who she's been, but because of who she's been".[67] The Quietus argued Lover could be the finale to a Red and 1989 trilogy (considering Reputation as an odd standalone), or the first part to a new trilogy constituting Swift's future projects.[74]

Jason Lipshutz of Billboard defined Lover as a distillation of all of Swift's accomplishments, condensing different components of her music to reflect her current interests and strengths as a singer-songwriter.[75] MTV's Terron Moore called the album a "dazzling, bursting compendium of pompous hope, modest love, and sobering grief, as well as a journey to make peace with the past", and divided the album into three tropes: Swift and love, Swift and fame, Swift and her audience.[76] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone compared the album's introspection to that of David Bowie's Low, Joni Mitchell's Hejira, Al Green's The Belle Album and Carole King's Tapestry, and opined that Lover also has many sharp "therein lies the issue" moments like Reputation, however, Swift diminishes the "Therein Factor" to make room for "a whole avalanche of emotion".[62] Craig Jenkins of Vulture called Lover a song cycle that celebrates the feeling of "meeting someone you'd happily spend the rest of your life with".[69] Metro's Rebecca Lewis outlined that the 18 tracks of Lover work together by bouncing between happiness, anger, lust, infatuation and heartache, enabling a showcase of the "full spectrum of love".[57]


The opening track "I Forgot That You Existed" is a light-hearted pop rap and post-tropical house song, where Swift declares her indifference to her detractors and farewell to the events that inspired Reputation, with a reference to Drake and his 2018 song "In My Feelings".[55][77][47][78] The song is set to a minimalist and syncopated arrangement of piano and finger snaps.[78][79][61] "Cruel Summer" is a breezy synth-pop and industrial pop song,[80][55][81] about the tumultuous feelings ensuing from a summer romance.[77][82] The song is accompanied by pulsating synthesizers, and robotic, distorted vocals.[83][73][84][81] The title track is a slow-paced country and indie folk waltz. It features reverberated vocals and vintage instrumentals, and romantic lyrics that reference traditional marriage vows.[85][60][86][87][54]

In the fourth track, "The Man", Swift imagines the media's treatment of her if she were a man,[58] over a production featuring flashy harmonies, murky synths, and rumbling beats.[27] The song is a commentary on patriarchy and sexist double standards that women experience, and namechecks actor Leonardo DiCaprio.[86] "The Archer" is a 1980s-styled vulnerable synth-pop, dream pop, and alternative ballad with a slow groove,[87][88] building a tense production with kick drum thumps, reaching a climax as it progresses.[89][90] In the song, Swift channels her insecurities, anxiety, and existential crisis.[56][48] "I Think He Knows" is a sparse funk-inflected tune with elements of post-punk and thumping Electropop[91] and the atmosphere reminiscing Broadway musicals. It sees Swift examining the blossoming of a relationship, speculating how much the subject can surmise her feelings for him, and mentions the neighborhood Music Row.[46][92][90][50] The song's humorous tone starts with Swift's chant-like vocals over stripped-down finger snaps and a prominent bass, building into a dramatic chorus sung in falsetto register, dotted by breathy sighs and downbeats.[93][87][60][59]

"London Boy" begins with a spoken-word intro by English actor Idris Elba (pictured left) and name checks English fashion designer Stella McCartney (pictured right).

The gloomy seventh track "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince" is a melodramatic synth-pop protest song telling the story of a high school parable. Marked with peppy cheerleader chants,[94][60] Swift expresses her disillusionment at the state of US politics, using the song as a metaphorical critique.[94][51][50] The high-spirited "Paper Rings" is a 2000s-throwback[84] pop rock, punk rock,[56] new wave, and surf-pop[51] song with a power pop arrangement[90] and rockabilly rhythm.[58] It sees Swift committing to a relationship,[55] declaring she would marry her lover with just rings made of paper.[95] "Cornelia Street" is a narrative ballad named after a street in Greenwich Village where Swift rented a townhouse.[96] In the song, she expresses fears that her fledging relationship might not survive,[48] over a lush, stuttering synth base and a flute-like keyboard line, ending with a final crescendo.[87][57][84][67]

The tenth track, "Death by a Thousand Cuts", is a fast-paced torch song, with an ornate guitar, a tinkling piano section and quivering synths.[87][51][55][50][54] A recollection of a lost romance,[86] the song was inspired by the 2019 romcom film Someone Great, which in turn was inspired by the song "Clean" from Swift's 2014 album 1989.[44] "London Boy" is a dub-influenced paean with swinging rock and roll beats.[47][50] The song features a spoken intro from actor Idris Elba, Swift's co-star in the 2019 musical Cats, and mentions Stella McCartney, with whom Swift launched a fashion line inspired by Lover.[77][46][97] It mentions various London locations: Camden Market, Soho, Highgate, Brixton, Shoreditch, West End, Hackney, Bond Street, and Hampstead Heath.[98] The country ballad "Soon You'll Get Better" features slide guitars and the Chicks contributing banjo, fiddle, and backing vocals.[82][61] Swift addresses her parents' battle with cancer, especially her mother's second diagnosis, over a production similar to lullabies and prayers.[99][86][87]

The Chicks performing
"Soon You'll Get Better" features backing harmonies by American country band the Chicks.

The thirteenth track, "False God", is a sensuous, slow-burning R&B and quiet storm ballad[100][47] with elements of jazz[50] and trip hop over trap beats.[57][46] A lone saxophone and hiccuping vocal samples intertwine with Swift's sultry vocals and lyrics invoking religious imagery.[57][90][82][48][87] The song sees her discussing redemptive sex and the worthwhile "trials and tribulations of love".[57][86] "You Need to Calm Down" is an LGBT-friendly electropop song that takes aim at internet trolls, bullies, and homophobes,[70] over synth beats and cascading chorus echoes.[87] "Afterglow", the fifteenth track, is a stadium anthem[101] and ballad that sees Swift apologizing to a romantic partner for the impending failure of a relationship,[58][51] propelled by a slow and heavy bass.[57]

In the bubblegum pop and synth-pop song "Me!",[102][103] driven by a marching band drumline,[104] Swift duets with Brendon Urie about self-affirmation and individualism.[72][92] In the indie pop cut "It's Nice to Have a Friend", Swift paints the progression of a romance from childhood into adulthood,[92][105] backed by steelpans, harps, tubular bells and punctuated by a trumpet solo and church bells near the middle.[105][54][82] The song samples the track "Summer in the South" from the album Parkscapes by the Toronto-based Regent Park School of Music.[106] The final track "Daylight" is an introspective ballad that documents her past and where she heads in the future.[51] Advancing from a slow build to a smooth pop melody,[87] the song makes reference to Swift's 2012 song "Red", which shows Swift's growth in perspectives.[56] The album concludes with a spoken word monologue from Swift: "I want to be defined by the things that I love. Not the things I hate, not the things I'm afraid of, the things that haunt me in the middle of the night. I think that you are what you love."[58]

Art direction

Cover artwork

The cover artwork of Lover was shot and edited by 24-year-old Colombian photographer and collage artist, Valheria Rocha; she, along with Swift, handled the art direction of the photographs used for the album's campaign.[107] Murals painted by street artist Kelsey Montague were also used to support Lover.[108]

I think about Lover, and all the glitter heart eyes it inspired and the way people photoshopped themselves on the cover: everyone, from my neighbor to Ellen DeGeneres. There's a level of iconicness and relatability that made the cover influential. People saw they could easily make their own versions of Lover and I think it makes them feel a little closer to Taylor.

— Valheria Rocha, Art director of Lover, "We've Entered a New Age of Kitschy Album Artwork", Entertainment Weekly[109]

The cover artwork features Swift in her signature red lips, with a heart-shaped pink glitter arrangement surrounding her right eye, before a cloudy sky dominated by pink and blue hues, as well as a yellow light leak. The album title is etched above Swift's head, in a slanted, pink, glittery, cursive font.[107] Picsart, in collaboration with Swift, made a special "Taylor Swift Replay" feature available, using which the users can edit themselves on to the cover art.[110]

The logo of Lover is the album title, written in a slanted, deep pink, glittery, cursive calligraphy font.


The aesthetic of Lover has been described as daytime,[39] summer,[92] and spring,[111] incorporating butterflies,[86] hearts,[112] floral[111] and kitsch,[109] and consisting heavily of pastel colors.[113] The aesthetic has also been employed in several public appearances and live performances throughout the Lover era.[114][115][116][117] Swift teased the aesthetic on Instagram before the album was announced, departing from the dark, gothic, serpentine black and white color scheme of its predecessor, Reputation (2017).[111][118] Swift further defined Lover as open fields and sunsets;[29] calling it a "festival-y" album, while discussing the album's accompanying tour, the Lover Fest.[119]

Release and promotion

Lover was released on August 23, 2019, through Republic Records; it is the first album by Swift to be released under the label since her departure from Big Machine Records in November 2018.[120] The album is Swift's first project she owns the master recordings for.[60] Lover also leaked on the internet a few hours prior to its official release.[121] The standard edition was physically released on CD, cassette tape,[122] and vinyl,[123] as well as made available for digital download and streaming. It is the first time Swift made her album available for streaming on its release day, and the first time she made an album available for digital purchase directly on her website. The deluxe edition comes in four versions, each containing a CD, two bonus audio memos and a blank journal, with different bonus content of Swift's old diary entries, photos, and a poster.[25] The deluxe editions were distributed exclusively by Target in the US,[124] and available on Swift's webstore globally.[125]


Swift teased the details about Lover through cryptic hint-dropping and "easter eggs" on social media. Entertainment Weekly wrote, Swift "has perfected the pop culture feedback loop: She shares updates about her life and drops hints about new music, which fans then gobble up and re-promote with their own theories, which Swift then re-shares on her Tumblr or incorporates into future clues. It's like a T-Swift-built Escher staircase of personal memories and moments that tease what's next". Swift commented that she loves "that they [fans] like the cryptic hint-dropping. Because as long as they like it, I'll keep doing it. It's fun. It feels mischievous and playful". The magazine added that Swift "has designed the ultimate artistic scavenger hunt – and it's easy to get swept up in its drama, even if you don't listen to her music", and that she makes the audience "feel like they're on the journey with her".[10]

A few weeks before the expected release of Lover, Swift invited a select group of fans to private listening parties called Secret Sessions, to listen to the album, a tradition which began with 1989 in 2014. These sessions were held in London,[126] Nashville, and Los Angeles,[127] where "Swift met personally with each fan and posed for photos until 5 a.m."[128] These fans were asked to keep information about the album confidential until its release.[129] Audio recordings of the sessions were played on iHeartRadio.[77] In these recordings, we hear Swift talk about her thought process while writing several songs on Lover. When talking about the second track on the album, Cruel Summer, she said, "It deals with the idea of being in a relationship where there's some element of desperation and pain in it, where you're yearning for something that you don't quite have yet." When speaking on her song The Man, she revealed, "I often think about what my career would have been like, and what my headlines about my career would have been like if I had been a man instead of a woman."[130]

Swift partnered with Amazon in the lead-up to the release, with Amazon featuring Lover-themed designs on some of their cardboard delivery boxes.[131] On August 20, Swift released an exclusive playlist on Spotify, which incrementally revealed lyrics from the album.[132] The next day, Swift unveiled a line of clothing and accessories designed in collaboration with British fashion designer Stella McCartney.[133] She gave interviews on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; the earlier was Swift's first talk show in three years.[134][135] She appeared on the magazine covers of Rolling Stone,[136] Vogue's coveted September issue,[137] British Vogue,[138] Entertainment Weekly[139] and People.[140]

The New York Times highlighted Swift's "old-fashioned" way of releasing Lover, from the release of its lead single "Me!" till the album release. The newspaper stated that Swift is "steady in her traditional pop playbook, with radio singles, music videos, magazine covers, television appearances and a stream of things for sale, all on schedule", even though the majority of the music industry has adapted to the digital era.[35]


Brendon Urie singing
The lead single "Me!" features Brendon Urie, the vocalist of the American rock band Panic! at the Disco.

Lover was supported by four singles and a promotional single; all of which charted inside the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100—three of them reached the top ten.

"Me!" featuring Urie of Panic! at the Disco serves as the lead single of Lover. It was released along with its symbolic music video on April 26, 2019.[20] The music video amassed 65.2 million views within its first day of release, breaking the 24-hour Vevo record previously held by Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next", also breaking Swift's personal record set in 2017 with the "Look What You Made Me Do" music video, which garnered 43.2 million views on its first day. "Me!" broke several streaming and sales records, including the biggest single-week jump in the Billboard Hot 100 history, when it moved upward by 98 spots.[141] It peaked at number two in the US and Canada, while reaching the top three in many other countries.[141]

"You Need to Calm Down" was announced as the second single during Swift's album announcement livestream on Instagram, on June 13, 2019, and was released the following day along with its lyric video.[23] The accompanying music video, released four days later,[142] had special appearances from guests such as Katy Perry, Ryan Reynolds, and LGBTQ+ personalities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, Adam Lambert, RuPaul, Adam Rippon, Billy Porter and the "Fab 5" cast of Queer Eye.[143][144] It debuted and peaked at number two on the Hot 100.

"Lover", the title track, was announced as the third single on August 11, 2019, by Swift at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards.[145] On August 15, 2019, Swift announced on her social media that the music video for the song would premiere during a live Q&A session on YouTube the day before the album release, on August 22, 2019.[146] The music video adapts a Christmas aesthetic, featuring a dollhouse with seven distinctly-colored rooms, inside a snow globe.[147] On the Hot 100, the song debuted at number 19 and peaked at number 10, becoming the third consecutive top 10 single from Lover.[148]

"The Man", upon the release of Lover, debuted and peaked at number 23 on the Hot 100; it was highest-peaking non-single track from the album.[149] On January 27 and 28, 2020, the song impacted US adult contemporary and pop radio formats as the fourth and final single from the album.[150] Its official music video was released on February 27, 2020, and saw Swift portray a male alter-ego named "Tyler Swift", voiced by Dwayne Johnson. The video—Swift's solo directorial debut—was met with praise from critics for its satire and features cameos from Swift's father Scott Swift and TikTok star Loren Gray.[151]

Promotional singles

"The Archer" was released as the album's only promotional single on July 23, 2019.[152] Swift explained it would not be a single and it was meant to showcase a side of the album unseen by fans with the first two singles, "Me!" and "You Need to Calm Down". A lyric video accompanied the song's release.[153] On the Hot 100, the song debuted at number 69, eventually peaking at number 38.[149]

Live performances

Swift performed songs from Lover on several televised events. On May 1, 2019, Swift and Urie made the first live performance of "Me!" at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at Las Vegas, Nevada.[154] The duo performed the song again at the season finale of the sixteenth season of The Voice on May 21.[155] Swift performed "Me!" solo at the finale of the fourteenth season of Germany's Next Top Model on May 22.[156] On May 24, she appeared on The Graham Norton Show as a musical guest, performing "Me!".[157] On May 25, Swift performed "Me!" at the quarter-finals of the eighth season of The Voice: la plus belle voix, the French edition of The Voice.[158]

On July 10, Swift headlined the Amazon Prime Day Concert 2019 in New York City, performing "Me!" and for the first time "You Need to Calm Down", as well as a selection of songs from her previous albums.[159] On August 22, the day before the album's release, Swift performed a free concert at Central Park in New York City on Good Morning America.[160] Swift then performed "The Archer" on a YouTube livestream later that day.[161] Swift opened the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards with a medley of "You Need to Calm Down" and "Lover" on August 26, where she also won three awards.[162] On September 2, Swift performed "London Boy", "Lover", "The Archer" and "You Need to Calm Down" for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.[163]

On October 5, Swift performed "Lover" and "False God" on Saturday Night Live, hosted by actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge.[164] On October 11, she performed "Lover", "The Man", "Death by a Thousand Cuts", along with "All Too Well" from Red (2012), on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert at Washington, D.C.[165] On October 19, Swift performed "Me!", "Lover", and "You Need to Calm Down" at the We Can Survive charity concert in Los Angeles.[166] On November 7, she performed "Me!" for Nippon TV's Sukkiri Morning Show in Tokyo, Japan.[167] On November 10, Swift headlined the Alibaba Singles' Day Countdown Gala in Shanghai, China, where she performed "Me!", "Lover", and "You Need to Calm Down", televised across China.[168] On November 24, Swift performed a medley of her greatest hits, including "The Man" and "Lover", at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, where she received the Artist of the Decade trophy.[169] On December 8, she performed "Me!", "London Boy", "Lover", and "You Need to Calm Down" at Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball 2019 in London.[170] On December 13, Swift performed "Me!", "Lover", and "You Need to Calm Down" at iHeartRadio Z100's Jingle Ball in New York City.[171] On December 14, she performed "Lover" at the finale of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.[172] On April 18, 2020, Swift performed "Soon You'll Get Better" for the One World: Together at Home concert, which raised funds for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.[173]

City of Lover

On September 9, 2019, to celebrate the album release, Swift played a one-off concert at L'Olympia in Paris, France, called City of Lover. She performed eight songs from Lover, including the singles "Me!", "You Need to Calm Down", "Lover", and "The Man", along with songs from previous albums.[174] On May 17, 2020, the concert was aired as a one-hour special, titled Taylor Swift: City of Lover, on ABC; the special was briefly available on Hulu and Disney+ as well.[175][176]

Canceled tour

On September 17, 2019, Swift announced the Lover Fest, a concert tour set to begin in the summer of 2020, starting on June 20, 2020, in Werchter, Belgium and concluding on August 1, 2020, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Swift intended to play two shows at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles as part of the "Lover Fest West", and two shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough as part of the "Lover Fest East", in addition to ten festival dates in Europe and two shows in Brazil. Swift explained on social media that "The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. I want to go to some places I haven't been and play festivals. Where we didn't have festivals, we made some."[177] The tour was to be her first visit to several European countries and her first official concerts in Latin America. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2020 festival dates planned for the tour were canceled, with the US and Brazil shows postponed and to be rescheduled to sometime in 2021.[178] Subsequently, the postponed dates were canceled as well.[179]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
A.V ClubA−[51]
The Daily Telegraph[50]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[72]
The Guardian[82]
The Independent[182]
Rolling Stone[47]
The Times[183]

Lover received positive reviews from music critics, most of whom complimented its free-spirited sound and earnest themes, and agreed that it showcases a new side of Swift.[184] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received a mean score of 79 based on 26 sources.[181]

Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone called the album "overpowering" and a "career-capping masterpiece".[62] Also in Rolling Stone, Nick Catucci wrote Lover is "evolutionary rather than revolutionary", and expanded that it "feels like an epiphany: free and unhurried, governed by no one concept or outlook, it represents Swift at her most liberated".[47] Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club called the album "one of [Swift's] strongest, most relatable albums to date... unburdened by external expectations and her own past."[51] Jon Caramanica from The New York Times chose Lover as his critic's Pick and thought it was "reassuringly strong" and "a palate cleanse, a recalibration and a reaffirmation of old strengths" compared to Reputation (2017), defining it as a "transitional album designed to close one particularly bruised chapter and suggest ways to move forward—or in some cases, to return to how things once were".[55] Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times commended the album's maturity and emotional wisdom, calling it "very impressive". He further described the album as "grown-up, complex pop".[73] Billboard's Jason Lipshutz summarized the album as "whimsical, moving, imperfect, exhilarating", adding it was "a towering work that's worth both close analysis on headphones and scream-alongs on stadium speakers".[63] Writing for Vulture, Craig Jenkins stated that "the old Taylor is back on Lover and the best she's been in years" and added that the album is "the most complete full-length she's delivered in years".[69] Time's Dana Schwartz opined that Lover is a "lovechild between Speak Now and 1989, lifting the personal lyricism from the former and the synth-pop production from the latter".[53]

Nora Princiotti of The Boston Globe labelled Lover as "satisfying pop" that dips back into many of Swift's "creative wells", with songs that "snatch elements from all over her past", instead of "going for a clear, new sound like she did on her previous two albums"; she added that the result is a "dreamy record that makes good use of its stylistic freedom".[60] Nick Levine from NME considered Lover to be "more sprawling and further from flawless" than 1989 (2014), but it succeeds due to Swift's "frequently dazzling" melodies, and the "loved-up lyrics are ultimately quite touching." He concluded that despite "the odd dud", the album is a "welcome reminder of her songwriting skills and ability to craft sonically inviting pop music".[46] Alexandra Pollard from The Independent awarded the album four stars out of five, writing "there is a brilliant album among the 18 songs, if only it had been pruned a little".[61] Reviewing in his Substack-published Consumer Guide column, Robert Christgau preferred Lover over Reputation's celebrity concept and admired Swift for focusing her talents on songs about love, which he said is a more relatable theme "for female pop fans with their own lives, not just unfortunates ensnared by the vicarious vagaries of celebrity culture".[185]

In a less favorable review, Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine wrote the album "attempts to be something to everyone" but "lacks a unified sonic aesthetic".[54] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian called Lover "too long" and appears to be an attempt by Swift to "reassert her commercial dominance". However, he remarked Swift's songwriting as better "than any of her competitors" and praised "False God" and "It's Nice to Have a Friend" for being "more satisfying".[82] Writing for The Observer, Kitty Empire summarized the album as a "kitsch-leaning festival of humour, pastels, butterflies and the desire not to be defined by negatives", but also wonders if it might be "a partial retrenchment until Swift decides what to do next", giving it three stars out of five.[70]

Year-end lists

Numerous publications placed Lover in their 2019 year-end best-albums lists. Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield and Variety critic Chris Willman named Lover the best album of 2019. Some of the album's tracks were also included in many 2019 year-end lists: Billboard ranked "Cruel Summer" and "Lover" at the tenth and twenty-first spots in its list of 100 best songs of 2019, respectively;[186] Rolling Stone placed "Cruel Summer" at number four in its list of 50 best songs of 2019;[187] Herald-Tribune listed "You Need to Calm Down" as the second best;[188] Uproxx named "Cornelia Street" as the seventh best song of 2019;[189] Slate placed "Lover" amongst the top 10 best songs of 2019;[190] "The Archer" and "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince" were named the sixth and nineteenth best songs of 2019 by Slant, respectively;[191] Stereogum placed "The Archer" in the top 10 of its 100 best songs 2019;[192] The Fader placed "I Think He Knows" at number eight on its list of 25 best pop songs of the year.[193] Furthermore, Good Morning America listed Lover among the "50 notable albums" of the 2010s decade.[194]

Select year-end rankings of Lover
Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
The A.V. Club Annie Zaleski's 10 Best Albums of 2019
Billboard The 50 Best Albums of 2019
The Guardian The 50 Best Albums of 2019
The Independent The 50 Best Albums of 2019
Los Angeles Times The Best Albums and Songs of 2019
The New York Times Best Albums of 2019
People The 10 Best Albums of 2019
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2019
Rob Sheffield's Top 25 Albums of 2019
USA Today The 10 Best Albums of 2019
Variety Chris Willman's Best Albums of 2019


Lover and its singles received three nods at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The album contended for Best Pop Vocal Album as Swift's third consecutive nomination in the category, following 1989 (2014) and Reputation (2017). "You Need to Calm Down" was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance while "Lover" was up for Song of the Year. Swift won all of her five nominations at the American Music Awards of 2019, becoming the most awarded artist of the night and the most awarded in AMAs history (29 wins), extending her record in the categories of Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. She was also crowned the Artist of the Decade of the 2010s.[206][207]

Lover's music videos garnered four wins at the MTV Video Music Awards: Video of the Year and Video for Good for "You Need to Calm Down"—having previously won the former for "Bad Blood" (2015), Swift tied Rihanna and Beyoncé as the only women to win the top prize twice—and Best Visual Effects for "Me!" in the 2019 show, and Best Direction in 2020 for "The Man".[208][209][210] She also won Best Video for "Me!" and Best US Act at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards,[211] Best Female Video International for "Me!" at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards Japan,[212] Best International Artist for Lover at the ARIA Music Awards of 2019[213] and the Best Solo Act in the World at the 2020 NME Awards.[214]

Lover led Swift to win International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)'s Global Recording Artist of the Year for 2019; she previously won the award for 1989 in 2015.[215] Lover was also awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the biggest-selling album worldwide for a solo artist.[216]

Awards and nominations for Lover
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2019 People's Choice Awards Favorite Album of the Year Won [217]
American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Album Won [218]
ARIA Music Awards Best International Artist (Lover) Won [213]
BuzzAngle Music Awards Top Albums by Album Sales Won [219]
Digital Album Sales Won
NetEase Annual Music Awards Top Western Album Won [220]
2020 Grammy Awards Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated [221]
Japan Gold Disc Awards Album of the Year (Western) Won [222]
Best 3 Albums (Western) Won
RTHK International Pop Poll Awards Best Selling Album (English) Won [223]
Guinness World Records Biggest-selling album worldwide for a solo artist (2019) Won [216]
CD Shop Awards Music Jacket Creative Awards Won [224]
iHeartRadio Music Awards Pop Album of the Year Won [225]
Billboard Music Awards Top Billboard 200 Album Nominated [226]
ADDY American Advertising Awards Sales and Marketing - Packaging Campaign Won [227]

Commercial performance

Lover sold more than 3.2 million pure copies worldwide in 2019.[228] Republic Records reported that it earned 3 million units in global consumption in its opening week.[229] The strong global sales of Lover led the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to name Swift the best selling artist of 2019, earning the honor for the second time, her first being in 2014 after the release of 1989, making Swift the first female artist to do so.[215] Lover was the best-selling studio album of 2019, setting the Guinness World Record for the biggest-selling album worldwide for a solo artist.[216] It was also the best-selling album by a female artist, second overall, behind Japanese band Arashi's greatest hits album 5x20 All the Best!! 1999–2019.[228] In February 2020, Universal Music Publishing Group reported that Lover has exceeded 5 million units in global consumption.[230]


With 178,600 pre-adds on Apple Music within one day, Lover is the most pre-saved album by a female artist as of July 2019; it is also the most pre-saved pop album on the platform.[143] Republic Records reported album pre-sales worldwide were nearly one million.[231] Target confirmed Lover is its best-selling music pre-order of all time, surpassing the record previously held by Swift's own Reputation (2017).[232] In China, Lover sold over 201,300 pre-sales units on NetEase Music, 15,882 units on KuGou and 4.69 million song downloads on QQ Music. It became the fastest western album to receive a 3× diamond certification in the history of QQ Music and made Swift the first female artist to have three albums, after 1989 (2014) and Reputation (2017), reach this mark. Two days before its release, Lover exceeded a total digital sales volume of ¥8.7 million in China.[233]

United States

In the US, Lover sold around 450,000 copies in its first day, earning the biggest sales week of 2019, breaking the first-week sales record of Jonas Brothers' Happiness Begins (357,000) in a day.[234] Lover debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 chart, generating more than 867,000 units with around 679,000 pure sales, immediately becoming the country's best-selling album of 2019, and the biggest sales week since Swift's own Reputation. It is the singer's sixth number-one album in the country; she also became the first female artist in US history to have six albums sell more than 500,000 copies in a single week. Lover earned more than 226 million streams across all platforms in the US in its first week, marking the second largest streaming week of all time among albums by women.[235][236]

Additionally, Lover outsold all the other 199 albums on the chart combined in its opening week, the first album to achieve this feat since Reputation.[237] Billboard noted that the Lover's opening week was aided by the merchandise bundles and four Target-exclusive deluxe CDs sold via Swift's website,[235] and reported that the album accounted for 27% of the total US album sales that week.[236] Swift tied Beyoncé for most consecutive number-one debuts on the Billboard 200 for a female artist, at six albums.[238] Amazon asserted that Lover is the biggest debut in the history of Amazon Music.[239] In its second week on the Billboard 200, Lover moved 178,000 units and descended to number two, a decrease of 79% from the previous week, marking the largest second-week sales of 2019.[240] Lover went on to spend 18 weeks inside the top 10 of Billboard 200, six more weeks than its predecessor, Reputation.[241] In August 2020, following the release of Folklore, Swift's eighth studio album, Lover climbed back to number 18 on the chart.[242]

All 18 tracks from Lover charted simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking numerous records—the most simultaneous Hot 100 entries among women, the most simultaneous Hot 100 debuts among women, the album by a female artist with most simultaneous Hot 100 entries and the album by a female artist with the most simultaneous Hot 100 debuts—all of which were previously held by Billie Eilish and her 2019 debut studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.[149] Bolstered by Lover, Swift held the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Songwriters chart for three consecutive weeks,[243] and returned to the top spot of the Billboard Artist 100 chart for a thirty-seventh week, extending her all-time record as the longest running number-one act on the chart.[244]

By the end of 2019, Lover had sold 1.085 million copies in the US (which includes 386,000 digital copies and 699,000 physical copies), making it the top selling album of 2019 in both physical sales and overall sales. It is Swift's fourth album to become the best-seller of the year, following Fearless in 2009, 1989 in 2014 and Reputation in 2017. Lover was also the only 2019 release to reach the one-million mark. The album also generated more than 2.191 million album-equivalent units in 2019, landing third on the Nielsen Music/MRC Data's list of the year's most-consumed albums and fourth on the 2019 Billboard 200 Year-End chart.[245][246] As of February 2020, Lover has moved over 2.3 million units in the US.[247] In March 2020, the album was certified 2× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, denoting 2 million units moved in the country.[248] On the 2020 Billboard Year-End charts, Lover landed at numbers 9, 8 and 15 on Top Album Sales, Top Current Albums Sales and Top Billboard 200 Albums charts, respectively, accompanied by Swift's eighth studio album, Folklore (2020), at number one on the two earlier charts and fifth on latter.[249]

Other markets

In Canada, Lover debuted at number-one on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart as Swift's sixth consecutive chart-topper in the country.[250] By the end of 2019, the album had moved over 181,000 units (including 61,000 pure copies) in Canada.[251] Lover landed at number 13 on the 2020 year-end Top Canadian Albums list; Swift was the only woman with two albums inside the top-15, with Folklore at number 9.[249]

In Europe, Lover gave Swift her highest debuts on many charts in her career yet. In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with 53,000 units, consisting of 35,000 traditional sales. It made Swift the first female artist to have four chart-topping albums in the 2010s decade.[252] It also was the year's fastest-selling female digital album in the UK, surpassing Ariana Grande's Thank U, Next.[253] The album is certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for selling over 300,000 units in the country. In Ireland, the album debuted at number one on the Irish Albums Chart, making Swift the only female artist with four chart-topping albums in the country in the 2010s decade.[254] Lover also went number-one in Estonia, Flanders, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romandy, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden.

In Australia, Lover debuted at number one on the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming Swift's fifth consecutive chart-topper in the country. It also posted the biggest first-week sales of 2019 in the country and all of the 18 tracks from the album appeared in the top 75 of the ARIA Singles Chart.[255][256]

In China, Lover was a massive success, topping the best-selling digital albums lists of all major Chinese music platforms. It became the first international album in Chinese history to surpass 1 million units within a week of its release, setting the record for the biggest sales week for an international artist in the country.[257] By the end of 2019, it became the best-selling and most consumed album of the year in China.[258] Lover has been certified 3× Diamond by QQ Music.[233] It is one of the best-selling digital albums of all time in China. Following 1989 and Reputation, Lover is Swift's third album to rank in the all-time top 10, making her the first non-Chinese act to achieve this; all the three releases have exceeded 1 million digital units in the country.[258][216]

Track listing

Track listing and credits adapted from the album liner notes, Apple Music and Tidal.[36][59][45]

1."I Forgot That You Existed"
2."Cruel Summer"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
4."The Man"
  • Swift
  • Little
5."The Archer"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
6."I Think He Knows"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
7."Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince"
  • Swift
  • Little
  • Swift
  • Little
8."Paper Rings"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
9."Cornelia Street"Swift
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
10."Death by a Thousand Cuts"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
11."London Boy"
12."Soon You'll Get Better" (featuring The Chicks)
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
13."False God"
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
14."You Need to Calm Down"
  • Swift
  • Little
  • Swift
  • Little
  • Swift
  • Bell
  • Feeney
  • Swift
  • Bell
  • Dukes
16."Me!" (featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco)
  • Swift
  • Little
  • Urie
  • Swift
  • Little
17."It's Nice to Have a Friend"
  • Swift
  • Bell
  • Feeney
  • Swift
  • Bell
  • Dukes
  • Swift
  • Antonoff
Total length:61:48


  • ^a signifies a co-producer
  • "The Archer" contains an interpolation of the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty".[259]
  • "London Boy" contains a sample of "Cold War" by Cautious Clay and a snippet of James Corden interviewing Idris Elba.[36][58][260]
  • "Me!" is stylized in all caps, and the album version does not contain the spoken lyrics "Hey, kids, spelling is fun!"[261]
  • "It's Nice to Have a Friend" contains a sample of "Summer in the South" by the Toronto-based Regent Park School of Music.[262]


Adapted from the album liner notes.[36]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, writer, producer (all tracks); executive producer; journal entries (deluxe); personal photographies (deluxe); packaging creative direction; percussion (track 8)
  • Jack Antonoff – producer, keyboards, programming, recording (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8–13, 18); writer (tracks: 2, 5, 6, 8, 10–13); piano (tracks: 3, 8, 9, 12, 18); live drums (tracks: 2, 3, 8, 9); acoustic guitars (tracks: 3, 6, 8, 12); electric guitars (tracks: 6, 8, 18); percussion, bass (tracks: 3, 8, 11); vocoder (track 2); synthesizers (track 10); guitar (track 10); wurlitzer (track 12); background vocals (track 8)
  • Louis Bell – producer, writer, programming, recording (tracks: 1, 15, 17); keyboards (track 1)
  • Frank Dukes – producer, writer, guitar, programming (tracks: 1, 15, 17)
  • Joel Little – producer, writer, recording, keyboards, drum programming (tracks: 4, 7, 14, 16); synths, guitar (track 16)
  • Laura Sisk – recording (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8–13, 18); background vocals (track 13)
  • Annie Clark – writer, guitar (track 2)
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing (all tracks)
  • John Hanes – mix engineer (all tracks)
  • Randy Merrill – mastering (all tracks)
  • Grant Strumwasser – assistant (track 1)
  • John Rooney – assistant (tracks: 2–6, 9–13, 18)
  • Jon Sher – assistant (tracks: 2, 6, 8, 11)
  • Nick Mills – assistant (tracks: 8, 11, 18)
  • Joe Harrison – guitar (tracks: 1, 15, 17)
  • Serafin Aguilar – trumpet (track 1)
  • David Urquidi – saxophone (track 1)
  • Steve Hughes – trombone (track 1)
  • Michael Riddleberger – live drums (tracks: 2, 13)
  • Sounwave – co-producer, writer (track 11)
  • Cautious Clay – writer (track 11)
  • Sean Hutchinson – live drums (track 11)
  • Mikey Freedom Hart – keyboards (track 11); background vocals (track 13)
  • Evan Smith – keyboards, saxophones (tracks: 11, 13)
  • Emily Strayer – banjo (track 12)
  • Martie Maguire – fiddle (track 12)
  • The Chicks – featured artist (track 12)
  • Brandon Bost – background vocals (track 13)
  • Cassidy Ladden – background vocals (track 13)
  • Ken Lewis – background vocals (track 13)
  • Matthew Tavares – guitar (tracks: 15, 17)
  • Brendon Urie – featured artist, writer (track 16)
  • Valheria Rocha – photography
  • Andrea Swift – personal photographies (deluxe)
  • Scott Swift – personal photographies (deluxe)
  • Joseph Cassel – wardrobe stylist
  • Riawna Capri – hair
  • Lorrie Turk – makeup
  • Josh & Bethany Newman – packaging art direction
  • Parker Foote – packaging design
  • Jin Kim – packaging design
  • Ryon Nishimori – packaging design
  • Abby Murdock – packaging design


Certifications and sales

Certifications for Lover, with pure sales where available
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[333] 2× Platinum 140,000double-dagger
Canada 61,000[334]
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[335] Platinum 20,000double-dagger
France 21,000[336]
Italy (FIMI)[337] Gold 25,000double-dagger
Japan 33,000[338]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[339] Platinum 15,000double-dagger
Norway (IFPI Norway)[340] Platinum 20,000*
Singapore (RIAS)[341] Platinum 10,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[342] Gold 20,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[343] Platinum 300,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[345] 2× Platinum 1,220,000[note 2]
Worldwide (IFPI) 3,200,000[note 3]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Release formats for Lover
Region Date Format(s) Edition(s) Label Ref.
Various August 23, 2019
Standard Republic [45]
CD [346]
Deluxe [347]
United Kingdom Cassette tape Standard Virgin EMI [348]
Europe Universal [348]
United States August 30, 2019 Republic [349]
Australia November 1, 2019 Universal [350]
Brazil November 2, 2019 CD [351]
United States November 15, 2019 Vinyl Republic [123]
United Kingdom Virgin EMI [352]
Europe Universal [353]
China mainland December 6, 2019 CD Standard [354]
August 23, 2020 Vinyl Standard [355]

See also


  1. ^ "TS7" was the unofficial nickname of the album amongst fans and mainstream media until the title was revealed.[8]
  2. ^ U.S. pure sales as of October 2020[344]
  3. ^ Global sales (pure albums) by the end of 2019[228]


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