I am not gonna spin a yarn this time but writing my sincere upstanding to folklore. I’ll try to make it short.
I wrote my appraisal to the genius Taylor Swift here, giving my honest opinions on what is the best among all records she had ever released and best songs from each record. Last week, the whole world was shaken by her again when she suddenly dropped her newest record called folklore ~ yes, it’s stylized in lowercase. You might remember reputation, she never jokes if the album title is written in lowercase. This time around, there was no Easter eggs, not even one, crazy.
I remember I was about to watch another episode of Korean Drama series in the evening when I accidentally opened Twitter and I was bug-eyed when I read,
“Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise. Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into.”
July, 23rd, 2020.
The day I woke up on Friday, I could not find the album in iTunes and went straight to YouTube when again, I was a bit shocked that she had released all tracks through visually appealing videos complete with the lyrics.
My impressions when I listened to the first track was
fresh and brilliant, distinct.
In iTunes folklore describes as an alternative album, which is another genre she dug in after the success of country and pop. I was flabbergasted with the storytelling as her power as always, the instrumental details, how smooth and calming the entire sound in the record, the mesmerizing aesthetic, everything about this album is genius. I deeply apologize Red, I used to tell the world that you are her best craft ever, but this time around, folklore stole my entire heart.
It has been a week I’ve been listening to all songs every single day, delicately sweet through my earpieces, dramatically harmonious in the air through my Allure. Truly, I couldn’t describe in words about August, the sweetest track in the record. I fell in love with Exile(Bon Iver is such a rad. After I listened to Exile, my love to Ed Sheeran when he did sing with Taylor in Everything Has Changed gone. The one with Bon is a killer, man, his voice!), Betty, Seven, Cardigan and all tracks. Yes, all tracks. Oh the bonus track, The Lakes, monumental, poetic. This is a record in my humble opinion, is her irreproachable masterpiece. That is the simplest admiration and respect I could describe.
I almost forgot she wrote Afterglow, Begin Again, and the one and only, All Too Well for a whole week.
P.S. The aesthetic above is gathered from different sources in Pinterest.
Talking about music, it has been a part of my morning rituals listening to some favourites beside a cup of coffee. I’m easy, I listen to any genres as long as its sweet and easy listening (mostly pop, of course, heavy metal? perhaps the only genre I won’t bother to listen to). According to my true self ~ this may sound overrated ~ I’m more into Ed Sheeran’s music. I just love how he creates songs that could touch any souls (Divide is my fav album of him, so far). I’m not going to write about Sheeran on this post but praising Miss Swift. If you read the reason behind all my online accounts named Ayiswift here, Swift isn’t really for Taylor Swift yet perhaps this time around, I won’t bother if it does just to show how much I adore her talent on songwriting. I don’t read celebrity news anymore (I did, ages ago) but from Twitter, I do read some flash news about popular human beings sometimes. Miss Swift, from the snake emoji from wellknown worldwide feud until giant snakes appeared everywhere on her Reputation tour, she shows us how to cleverly build a castle from the bricks they threw at you.
I have a playlist in my iPhone called “Taylor’s Masterpieces” where I gather 5 top songs from her each album and some released singles. I have no idea how often I play them in the air because truly, she is an amazing singer and songwriter. I have all her albums in my iPhone excluding her first debut, well I actually can put more than 5 songs from each album right?
Before I share which album is the best, in my opinion, I’d love to start with thirteen top songs she has ever released till date (why thirteen? isn’t her lucky number is 13? That’s what I know from social media. This list is inspired by an article by Rob Sheffield on Rolling Stone)
We could count that particular lyric as a triumph of songwriting as most of the credible music critics praised Blank Space. Well, you must agree that nothing beats Miss Swift for her creativity on this song even though Thinking Out Loud took the trophy as Song Of The Year at Grammy, the same night when she became the first woman won Album Of The Year twice. That was a crazy night. She won the highest trophy when she was in country music and got one again when she created a pop album.
Without mentioning how artistic the clip is, Style never fails to lift my mood up in the morning. It is such a perfect sophisticated song dedicated to imagining a dream of passing the California endless coast in an open vintage car in summer with a style when the sun disappears below the horizon.
All of her fans were wondering why she didn’t release Getaway Car as a single in reputation, most of them have been asking for a music video too, to complete the epic story behind one of the best tracks in the record. She built a cheating love story in a very smart and classy way along with Jack Antonoff. As I admire how both of them came out with the damn-I-love bridge on a creative writing session, I also admire how dark Getaway Car sounds from the intro.
It’s weird but genius. I also love the idea behind the music video directed by Joseph Khan. I must admit the first time I listened to Out Of The Woods I didn’t really like the song, I was still trying to figure out how clever the idea behind the songwriting, how the chaotic love story was. But in the end, I must admit this particular song ages like wine. The best live version? when she performed with piano at Grammy Museum, it was deep, it was fragile. It was a magical version indeed which made me realised how her genius brain could turn the same song into a deeper love song.
Ours is a kind of simple romantic song yet cleverly done. The strength is on the lyrics, only an acoustic guitar is enough to let it resonance beautifully in the air. Ours teaches you that people throw rocks on the thing that shines which makes love looks hard but in the end, they can’t judge just because they have no clue how beautiful your love actually is.
Enchanted is definitely my favourite track in her self-written album, Speak Now. It’s romantic, charming, and sweet. I fall in love with the bridge as she never fails writing beautiful song bridges indeed.
I’ve read what the co-writer behind Call It What You Want, Jack Antonoff, wrote when the song was just released, “Use your earpieces on midnight walk when listening to this song”. I tried once when I was walking back to my hostel in Hong Kong at 2 am. He was damn right, the song turned to be more magical.
If you never know this song, it’s also written by Dan Wilson, the same magic hand behind Someone Like You performed by Adele. I find this song is vulnerable but in a very artsy way. It catches my attention first time the rhythm and the lines “Taxi cabs and busy streets, that never bring you back to me”, and “But you’re in London, and I break down, cause it is not fair that you are not around”. Although it’s never been released as a single from Red, it’s one of the best tracks from the deluxe version which she performed live for the very first time during the reputation world tour in Toronto, Canada, 2018.
Delicate’s one of the top tracks from reputation (I’ll be confused if you ask me which will I pick for the best between Delicate or Getaway Car). The music video is gorgeously executed even there was a rumour it looks similar to Kenzo ads. She’s well known for Easter eggs in every clip but the message behind Delicate is just stunning even without those eggs you need to find. My favourite part is the bridge, “Sometimes I wonder when you sleep, are you ever dreaming of me” , oh wait, this one too: “Sometimes when I look into your eyes, I pretend you’re mine all the damn time” I have one more: a whole song.
This one is also in my “Morning Booster” playlist. One of the best from 1989, I’ll repeat ONE OF THE BEST SONGS IN 1989, PERIODAAAAH. It’s the single and the way I love the music video which shows how magical attending her live stadium tour. You’d agree with me after looking at the endless ocean of crowds with those light sticks glittering. It must be an experience for everyone who has attended the tour, I hope I’ll get to attend at least once someday.
I remember I once woke up in the sunny morning when Lover was officially released. I was still laying on the bed and my iPhone was automatically downloading the entire album as I did the pre-order. When it had finished, I reached my earphones and suddenly like, “THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE BEST!”, right after I listened to the first chorus. It’s an excellent bop from Taylor, Jack and St. Vincent which in my opinion I do not really need everyone’s approval to claim as the best song in her seventh album.
Okay, I admit it’s quite hard selecting her songs by how beautiful the lyrics are but my number two from her best would always be Begin Again. I mean, let me make it clearer. Paris, cafe, Leica, subtle morning sun, pastry and coffee in the music video, how could I love the whole scenes? How could you not love this timeless country song?
There is only one word to describe All Too Well: masterpiece. Everything about the song is perfect. The songcraft is something else, the details on the lyrics are brilliant. I didn’t know before that refrigerator light in the dark could be so romantic until I heard the line of “We’re dancing around the kitchen in a refrigerator light.” Only a genius could create that out-of-the-box lyric kind of. Every line shows the fragility of brokenhearted of losing someone in a very, really, I lost word to describe it any more.
To understand Taylor Swift’s stardom, you have to start from a beautiful country track titled Tim McGraw from her first debut. I admit I started from Fearless, that was like ten years ago in a small office I worked as jewellery conceptor. There was one colleague of mine who loved to play You Belong With Me from a speaker placed at the corner of the room. I had no clue who Taylor Swift was until I copied a whole mp3 songs in Fearless from another colleague whose sister had a deluxe CD. Well, I wasn’t into country music then. It was just because I loved to have it for my music collection.
As of today, I praise Fearless as one of the best country albums of all time. I love to see how her transformation grows in each era which is impressively conceptualised. After watching some of her world tour videos and interviews on YouTube, I came to realize that Miss Swift is such a hard-working artist, out of the box thinking person, always craves for something best, and she’s (this is just an honest opinion, you can’t trust what media said right?) such a super kind. I adore how she controls her creative license on music, her ideas on how people said bad things about her and turned to be something could slap them back with Grammys. Isn’t that cool?
Before I end this post, I’ll rank all of the released albums excluding her debut based on my preferred taste from 1 to 6. Also, seven top tracks in each album including the ones mentioned above.
1989 is no doubt an outstanding record, but my highest appraisal is dedicated to Red: stunning, monumental, a timeless record. I fell in love on how wide the love spectrum was captured in the album through different romantic states. And in my humble opinion, her best songwriting so far was in Red.
Best tracks from deluxe version: Come Back Be Here, Red, All Too Well, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Begin Again, The Moment I Knew, State Of Grace (Acoustic).
If everyone has the most favourite record of hers so far, mine is 1989 Deluxe. For me, the album is genius, classic, and chic. I love the fact that the world success of this album also made her as the first woman to receive Album of The Year twice at Grammy 2016. She definitely nailed everything in 1989 from the aesthetic till “Trust me, mine is better”.
Best tracks: Style, Blank Space, Clean, Out Of The Woods, New Romantics, Shake It Off, Wildest Dream.
She showed us a bold statement, “Sit down and watch me” vibe, badass-side and the dark version of used-to-be-a-sweet-American-dream-girl in reputation. The world was shocked when she erased all her online platform and came back with Look What You Made Me Do. Most of the music critics didn’t really praise her songwriting in LWYMMD, but for me, it is a powerful come-back track which the longer you listen to it, the more you’ll understand she is not an average artist. She is big. She is powerful. She is unstoppable.
Best tracks: Delicate, Dancing With Our Hands Tied, Dress, I Did Something Bad, Getaway Car, Call It What You Want, End Game.
Her stardom raised in fame from Fearless, an important record in the country music history. Her success in this album with no doubt was because of her songcraft, her honest fairy love stories, and the fact that she successfully brought country music to the younger audience. A record with bunch of no-skip gems from the fragile Come In With The Rain until her sweetest lyrics in The Best Day, I put Fearless as one of my favorite country albums ever along with Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves.
Best tracks (platinum edition): Fearless, The Best Day, You Belong With Me, Love Story, Come In With The Rain, Untouchable, Forever & Always (piano version).
People had different opinions when she dropped Me! as the lead single of Lover which most of them thought why in capital letters where there is Cruel Summer in it. You might think Me! sounds so childish and garish, don’t count Hey Kids! perhaps it makes it worse, but for me, it is a fun song. Lover is a romantic record where you could listen to her most-honest side, it’s raw in a certain point, plus one of the most beautiful bridges she has ever written in a song titled the same with the album– in my honest opinion –, Lover is a love celebration in every angle, from her shiny love story, her voice for the LGBT community, to a hint of Saint Tropez, it is her most mature record till date.
Best tracks: Cruel Summer, False God, Afterglow, Lover, The Man, Cornelia Street (the live version in Paris is something else!), London Boy.
#6 Speak Now
I had a fickle heart to choose Lover or Speak Now for the last one because there are bunch of favorite songs in an album where she wrote every single track by her own. I repeat, by her own a.k.a. Taylor Swift only. She is a genius human being who could turn mean critics to Grammy in which she has taught all of us that the best revenge to people who look down at us is our success. Period.
Best tracks: Sparks Fly, Enchanted, Back To December, Ours, Long Live, Mean, Mine.
P.S. All Swift’s photographs were taken from different sources on Pinterest. Edited by me. Originally written and published on January 11, 2019. Being updated on June 19, 2020, as an addition to complete her latest album, Lover.
There was one colour popped out in my mind when I was about to repaint my room. It is one of my comfort colours after black and white; dark grey. I always find it classy and soothing. But I changed my mind.
Dark blue came as an option and ended with a colour accident. I got the blue (well, I didn’t go to get the paint. I wish I could that day), the blue was okay, it was quite dark but bright enough for a room. I worried if it was too dark it wouldn’t bring a good mood in the morning when the sunshine falls on it.
I always found the white before was great cause it was easy on the eye, versatile, and clean. Okay, the day to apply the blue I had to face one issue: it was not enough for one wall. I just wanted only one wall and the rest would be repainted on white. Long story short, I got somebody to get one more tin with the wrong blue which was ridiculous (he didn’t even bring the code to the store, Lord). I sent him again and got the same blue. Walla ;), the same blue looked different when I was applying on the first blue. Another issue. Problem solved by quick thinking: I mixed the wrong + the right blue and ended looking like the blue on Ed Sheeran’s Divide Album cover.
I found it was such a step from my comfort colour. It doesn’t look bad, does it?
I have two things to do every Sunday morning for this room: cleaning is compulsory, rearranging those things every week refreshes the look.
Yesterday evening I was faraway from my own room for an upcoming project that will be held next week. I had a quite slow yet tight day to sort some of technical needs from noon till evening and ended with a small cheap hotel room to spend one night at. A hotel room with funny looking purple floral bed and I don’t know what shades of purple and orange on the wall. It was kinda “Let’s manage” room (fellas, kindly note that money speaks in any way) but the worst part of my stay: how hard the bed was (no no, not only that but I didn’t have coffee in the morning, so count this as the worst).
When I woke up the next day I was like “hell what, this feels like 50 years old back”. I landed yesterday evening back to this city and couldn’t be happier to sleep in my own room. I mean, no matter how far you’ve traveled, no matter how often, home is the best place to be back to, right?
I’m still trying to tidy up my room here although still have some adjustments in progress. Thru the process of it, I realized that filling or decorating a room would give some random ideas how to place this and that, how to install this and that, how this should be, why I didn’t get that furniture instead and bla bla bla. That gives me a gentle reminder that the process for my own house would be more complicated. I know I’ve been mentioning this thing many times but truly, I can’t wait to start hopefully by February next year. Although I know doing that would take time and of course, budget (as I wish I had endless budget with me!) I’ll try to do it slowly but later will give me as close as the picture of what I call a ‘home’ I’ve imagined through my taste and personality.
Oh yes, I have Ed Sheeran’s picture on the wall. I didn’t photograph my bed since I never buy duvet and fabric for curtain :)
“I’ve been quite on Instagram for almost two months (yes! :)) but here on this page I’ll try to keep updating…”
It’s good to disconnect with social media and live more “real and lively” without curious looking at someone else’s life :) At least by reducing my time scrolling pages on Instagram, I could finish some books by having reading time before bed calls. Tho for the past two weeks, I didn’t really have time to read in the evening cause hell ya, I’d been working like crazy this December. I’m trying to recover myself from those sleepless nights, eating random food at random times, and from “everywhere-beds” (uh I slept on the floor you know at one shopping mall when I had to finish a pop-up store for one brand).
For me, it is necessary to give ourselves a reward after we work hard. Not essentially have to be something fancy, some good food would be good :) an iPhone X would be awesome (LOL I wish I could!). Last night I thought about adding this handsome guy for myself :P but ended with a camera case on eBay. Perhaps I should put on hold cause ah, every time I remember I have to build my own kitchen and some pieces of furniture involved, there is a whisper on my mind like “focus!” :P. Okay, I should respect myself.
So here, I just want to share some fav things I love recently :)
So yesterday, when I was in the meeting with Hennessy for their upcoming concert (I must prepare myself for all stresses from now!) the pretty lady aka the brand manager was explaining my design concept to her GM by speaking in French. You guys must be bored every time I mention how I dream to be able to speak French, right?
I won’t dream and dream without any action. Even though I won’t start very soon, listening on how sexy when they were speaking awoken me that inspirations or anything inspired you to upgrade your skill, is needed. So, we won’t be “there” and lulled. I’ll keep French for now yet I want to share two creative persons I’ve been eyeing for the last two weeks.
I love every single thing Martin posted on his Instagram especially his portraits. Anything simple could be so eye-catchy from his eyes. I really adore his skill. Tho I have no clue reading French on his blog yet I could linger upon his pictures for a whole day. Oh, thanks to MacBook that has an automatic translator!
If Martin captures on a simpler and softer look, JiaJia Fei is the opposite. She’s vibrant and I kinda love it too. She has a unique strong character. I really love her page here.
Looking at these two makes me think there are so many amazing insanely creative human beings outside there. What makes you and me different? This last sentence just made me say to myself, “You better sit down and think what and what of the “things” cause you really need to upgrade yourself, Zis”
I was so buzzing picking a wrapping paper, writing a short note on the “I-designed-and-printed” card, and arranging all items together for one of my very best friends Andreas Knogler. I finally made time to send the package today! (two times I postponed sending it cause I used the money for berries lol). Even though he’s currently studying his Master degree in Girona, Spain, I thought sending it to where his home is would be better. I just hope Andreas won’t be grinning when he read what I wrote on the card. Well, he’s used to my cheesiness, anyway.
Oh, is there any job like: you have a creative license to pick awesome gifts, package them thoughtfully, and send them across the globe as a surprise? If any, I’d be so glad to do that!
It was started on Saturday night when I wanted to just drew something with watercolor because it’s been long since I attended basic design class years back. Been trying few times and found that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Even just for a simple object like a leaf (sounds like I need serious practice). So it ended with abstract lines using red color. Why red? Cause it felt like I missed somebody outside there then (everyone was wondered who is E that I always mention on my Instagram page?).
From an abstract drawing to few flatlays-play, I thought I shouldn’t share these only on my IG page but here too.
As I wish my day-off today could be more and more longer. Unfortunately it’s 10:03PM already.
Pablo Picasso used to say this, “every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”
I’m not gonna preach about how to be an artist to you guys :) though I do agree with the statement above. Everyone has their own ‘creative’ side in different ways and it grows if you let it grow.
Your creativity will step forward by keeping your imagination grows, too. And it is a good thing when you can expand your creativity by looking for
And on this post I’ll share some inspirational people that inspired me a lot recently. Most of them about photography.
“Oh, the Goddess of the most exquisite blog in the universe if I may say. Everything about Park&Cube is on point. Yes, EVERYTHING”
Shini Park, the founder of Park&Cube is definition of amazing. Super supersuper talented and her job is such a dreaaaaaaam job!
The content, the photos, the art direction, the fonts!, the lay-outs, and how she writes her posts is KILLER. Distinct and very tasteful. It’s hard to say if I’m not a big fan of her work. I mean, you guys know so well that I’m the biggest fan of Alice Gao, but Shini is one of a kind. Honestly, I knew Shini’s blog when Alice posted about her trip to UK and finally met Shini in person. Since then I fell in love with Park&Cube. I guarantee you will spend hours reading her blog (what are you waiting for?).
And you know what I love the most from gorgeous bloggers outside there, they’ll inspire you how they grow. I used to read Alice’s stories when she moved to NYC to pursue her passion in photography, capturing many coffee-shops and her food with an iPhone and her Canon, until she’s on her stage today. And I found ‘that’ too when I read Shini’s old posts. Looking at her old photographs and her recent ones makes me think ‘you imagine what you desire’.
“If you want to cry by looking pictures above, don’t worry, YOU ARE NOT ALONE”
I almost cried when I saw Teppo posted –“oh I don’t have words to describe it!!”- amazing sceneries from Greenland where he spent a whole summer this year. Two reasons, number one, how breathtaking the Greenland is (and it’s on the same earth you and me are living guys!). Two, Teppo is extremely talented, NO DOUBT. The last reason is the most thing I adore from him. He has sharp eyes for beauties indeed.
Oh OK, I probably have to tell you this ; I might call it “hate?” no, that’s not it, “jealous”?I don’t think either. So, what is the word then? mesmerize? I don’t know. When you know somebody and feel that ‘oh my God, he’s still soooo much younger than me and that’s not fair!” (I assume you know what I mean). A little bit ‘jelly’ with Teppo cause he’s still young and full of talent in photography I must confess, but good news is we became a friend from Instagram (still remember how I screamed when he sent me a photograph of ices floating on the sea in Greenland through WhatsApp!).
I’m still looking forward to let Teppo shares his experiences and indulgences in photography on KitKat :)) oh come on, don’t tell me you are not following my buddy in his Instagram?
“Noah Mills’s Instagram shows his talent in photography”
I’m not following Paris, Milan or New York Fashion Week, though I love to see how wild and crazy creativity in fashion world are. If you’re among of those ‘fashionista’ who always get a front-row invitation or you’re a real fashion blogger, you must know who Noah Mills is.
Since I found his Instagram through ‘explore’ page, I found that he always post beautiful pictures from his daily life. He’s not like those models or public figures, oh let me make this clear, I do hate ‘so-so’ public figures who post pictures with their endorse products on Instagram. If they are nicely captured that’s not a problem, but if it’s tacky post, oh come on I know I shouldn’t say this since that is their right on an era like this but I have a right too to speak my mind, nah? :)
Noah is different. I felt like he maintains his page on a simply yet tasteful way. Even when I saw a cup of his morning coffee in a black and white stripes cup placed on a wooden table, it was so artistic. If you are in doubt with my opinion, look at his page here. Let me know if we are on the same page!
“I didn’t pick inspirations only from Shini, Teppo and Noah. I still have three people who for me, their stories and passions are inspiring too”
Katerine, a Russian who fell in love with Japan and it’s culture shares her love for that amazing country on her Instagram. Read her interview too on this page.
Are you a dessert person I’m crazy with dessert? Love sweets and stylish decorated cakes? You must know Caroline Khoo, open this page and tell me she’s blown you away with her craft like she did to me!
And the last one is Audrey, a traveller and professional travel blogger on thatbackpacker. She shares a lot of travel stories that I trust, it will tease you to pack your things and explore this world more often. You may like to read her ‘post-uni blue’, it’s so interesting!
I’m trying to clear my mind from I repeat these words I know ‘ups and downs’ feeling and looking for some inspirations to enrich my creative soul. I shouldn’t be so lazy updating this blog when I had a lot of free time last month that I spent more in front of my iPhone instagram of course. Instead, I should wake up and believe that everything will happen if it has to happen. I’m not gonna talk too much on this post guys, just wanted to share to you some of the inspirations that inspired me. From music, design and photography. Here we go!
First time I found her song on YouTube, I mean, whattt? she’s so catchy and original! She is Yuna.
Sounds cheesy I know, but who doesn’t like 25? Most of her song I like, but what she did at Brit Award was awesome. Plus, no words could describe how the stage design mesmerised me. Watch here and you’ll understand what I mean.
I adore someone who can write something beautifully. Whosoever, whatsoever. From poem, novel, till song. And Ryan Tedder? A songwriter who made me dream to wake up in a hotel near Piccadilly.
I always see how serious a singer through their video clips apart their beautiful songs. And what Tulus did in his latest single is beyond beautiful. The scene, Prague of course. Shit!
For you guys who think that I’m a graphic designer, I’m not! :). Though I had my bachelor degree from Industrial Product Design, yes I love to know different spectrums of design. Stationary from Venamour is ‘must see’ if you are interested in graphic and paper. Their products are awesome!
Fucking cool kinds of stuff from Fendi makes me want everything about those cute monsters! From bag, jacket, wrist watch till wallet! F*ck!
Opening this site reminds me that I used to work as a jewellery conceptor a few years ago. But what Giampiero does is beyond beautiful, his sketches are oh my God and so does this site! Loook how beautiful the front page is! I die!
The last inspirations come from pictures, pictures and pictures!
I fall in love with how the brilliant Hideaki Hamada captures something. If you love photography I swear you’ll love this.
Come on, it’s been a while for food photography! Gosh, beautiful food photography and clean blog? you’ll be pampered with these ones, this | this | and this.
“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process; it’s not random”
I’ll try to keep this blog moving but let me say hello to March, thanks for bringing me closer to July :)