Bonus Review! Taylor Swift – evermore

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Here at Fairly KickAss, we like to go out with a bang – and what better way to cap off 2020 than with one more fire review? It’s our Senior Weizen Correspondent, Jada, hitting you with that good-good just under the bell. Taylor Swift’s first 2020 release, folklore, was a winner… but will evermore leave the same impression? Keep reading to find out!

Also watch out for more bonus content from Jada in our final post of the year, coming next week.


Taylor Swift – evermore (Republic Records)

I think she did it but I just…can’t…prove it…By she I mean Taylor Swift, and by “it” I mean drop the two best albums of 2020 less than 5 months apart. Yes, this is a quote from “no body, no crime”; but evermore is just so damn quotable! 

Since I defined the term folklore in my review for Taylor Swift’s last surprise album just 5 months ago, it’s only fair that I define evermore now. It means always, forever, or for a very long time. Well, that is exactly how long I will be listening to this album.

Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) and Aaron Dessner (The National) both return to write the songs on evermore (along with Swift), and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) co-wrote and duets w T. on the title track, which also happens to be my favorite song on the album. Back in July you couldn’t have told me that another album would give folklore a run for its money for my album of the year, let alone that it would be from the same artist. This album is haunting, painful, personal, yet somehow feels like it was written for me and about me. Take “‘tis the damn season” for example. Who doesn’t have that first love from their hometown? It doesn’t matter how far away you get or how long you’ve been gone. That person always seems to be right there waiting when you get back. 

“marjorie” is an absolutely beautiful ode to Swift’s grandmother (who was aptly named Marjorie), opera singer and inspiration for Taylor’s pursuit of a music career. evermore (f. Bon Iver) feels like a sequel to folklore’s exile. In exile, Swift and Vernon are just figuring out how to coexist, while in evermore they are trying to figure out how to live with the loss…forever. “willow” is another one of the notorious who is this about? songs. “The more that you say, the less I know. Wherever you stray, I follow. Begging for you to take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man”. You know who you are, Sir. The last song I will mention (since by now you should all know that every song on this album is my favorite song on the album) is “coney island” (f. The National). I would never have thought to pair these two up, but now I want every song forever to have the two of them singing them! 

Other songs to note: “tolerate it”, “long story short”, “dorothea”

FFO: Bon Iver, The National, Phoebe Bridges

  • Jada

The Podcast: The Eleventh – August 2020 In Review

The FKA crew covers their favorite new albums of the month, discuss the best new arrivals in the top 40 and play a new game to help determine the filthiest song of all time.

Zack’s Top 3 Albums of the Month:
1. Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings
2. Mach-Hommy – Mach’s Hard Lemonade
3. Alex the Astronaut – The Theory of Absolutely Nothing

Jeremy’s Top 3 Albums of the Month:
1. Blues Pills – Holy Moley
2. Biffy Clyro – A Celebration of Endings
3. King Buzzo with Trevor Dunn – Gift of Sacrifice

Dan’s Top 3 Hit Singles of the Month:
1. Taylor Swift ft. Bon Iver – exile
2. Taylor Swift – cardigan
3. Miley Cyrus – Midnight Sky

July 24, 2020

Gaerea – Limbo (Season of Mist)

Gaerea is not a band. They are a “Vortex community”, “bestow[ing] their Undying Sigil to the masses”. 

For an act that has been around less than 5 years, this black metal quintet from Portugal is certainly making an impact on the global scene. The theatrics create a mystery about the group. Only 3 members of the outfit have been named, the remaining 2 shrouded under a hood bearing the Undying Sigil. 

Limbo takes us to Dante’s first circle, the hopeless wasteland where human chattel await their eternal damnation. This imagery is potent throughout the record, starting with the vivid depiction on the cover and continuing seamlessly through the music. 

Calling this “black metal” is a bit of a mislead, though. The theatrics and themes aside, the music actually feels more like doom metal, with plenty of sludgy breakdowns, atmospheric bridges, and a sense of guitar melody that you just don’t get with black metal. 

Whatever you want to call it, Limbo is relentless. It opens with a powerful overture of a song, “To Ain”, an 11-minute opus that sets the tone, theme, and sound that will occupy your earspace for 52 minutes over 6 tracks. The structure of the album is classical in nature, using movements to walk us through the “new” stages of grief: sadness, denial, anger, madness, and despair. The album closes with “Mare”, a 13-minute monolith that bookends Limbo with that same feeling of being held captive, but with chaos lurking overhead. 

I found myself listening with rapt attention. Limbo is an absolute masterpiece and Gaerea has created the perfect soundtrack to 2020. It really feels like we’re in the First Circle, awaiting damnation. I hope they don’t make us wait too long to experience the Second Circle, where we will be blown about in a violent storm without hope of rest.

Bring it on.

FFO: …And Oceans, Enthroned, Carach Angren

Read More »

The Podcast: July 2020 in Review

This week, we take a look at another pretty good month in music. Jeremy and Zack give us their favorite albums of the month, Dan looks at the best and worst top 40 hits and the guys play their first round of the Looks Like game.

Jeremy’s Top 3 Albums of July:
3. Mannequin Online – I Feel It
2. Gaerea – Limbo
1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue

Zack’s Top 3 Albums of July:
3. Gucci Mane – Gucci Mane Presents: So Icy Summer
2. Taylor Swift – folklore
1. Juice WRLD – Legends Never Die

Dan’s Top 2 Top 40 Tracks of July:
2. Megan Thee Stallion – Girls in the Hood
1. Lil’ Baby – The Bigger Picture