Brian Hiatt, writing for Rolling Stone:
She wants to talk about the music, of course, but she is also ready to explain the past three years of her life, in depth, for the first time. The conversation is often not a light one. She’s built up more armor in the past few years, but still has the opposite of a poker face — you can see every micro-emotion wash over her as she ponders a question, her nose wrinkling in semi-ironic offense at the term “old-school pop stars,” her preposterously blue eyes glistening as she turns to darker subjects. In her worst moments, she says, “You feel like you’re being completely pulled into a riptide. So what are you going to do? Splash a lot? Or hold your breath and hope you somehow resurface? And that’s what I did. And it took three years. Sitting here doing an interview — the fact that we’ve done an interview before is the only reason I’m not in a full body sweat.”
Lover earned 867,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Aug. 29, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 679,000 were in album sales. Both figures are the largest registered for any album in a single week since Swift’s reputation debuted with 1.238 million units in its first week, of which 1.216 million were in album sales (in the week ending Nov. 16, 2017).
The album accounted for 27% of all U.S. album sales last week.
Abby Aguirre, writing for Vogue:
I ask her, why get louder about LGBTQ rights now? “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she says. “I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It’s clickbait, and it’s a part of my life story, and it’s a part of my career arc.”
For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums. […]
This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.
Capitalism is destructive to most industries, but it’s always felt specifically exploitative to me in the arts.