Track 5 (Taylor Swift)
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Fans of Swift began to notice the pattern of track five songs after she released Red in 2012. After releasing "Delicate" on Reputation (2017), she recognised the pattern and began to adhere to it in subsequent releases. In an Instagram Live on July 23, 2019 where she announced "The Archer" (which would later become the track five on Lover, 2019), Swift explained the significance of track five:
"So track five is kind of a tradition that really started with [the fans] because I didn't realize I was doing this, but as I was making albums ... instinctively I was just kind of putting a very vulnerable, personal, honest, emotional song as track five ... So because you noticed this, I kind of started to like, put the songs that were really honest, emotional, and vulnerable, and personal as track five".
Track five songs include "Cold as You" (Taylor Swift, 2006), "White Horse" (Fearless, 2008), "Dear John" (Speak Now, 2010), "All Too Well" (Red, 2012), "All You Had to Do Was Stay" (1989, 2014) "Delicate" (Reputation, 2017), "The Archer" (Lover, 2019), "My Tears Ricochet" (Folklore, 2020) and "Tolerate It" (Evermore, 2020). In these songs, she tackles raw emotional themes directly.
Swift has made a point of including several traditions in her recorded output, and has released a merchandise collection based on the track fives on her albums.
Billboard writes that her track fives are "notoriously tear-jerking". Vulture writes that they are "famously devastating" and have "a certain vulnerability" with "a heightened level of anticipation". Vox writes that track five is a "mythology she's built up" that creates "intimacy with her fans". Nylon calls track five "the most unwavering and constant institution in the Swift musical catalogue", "legendary", and "a look into the darkest page in Swift's notebook". Hypable explained that track five "will make your heart swell and subsequently shatter".
- "Which Taylor Swift Track 5 Is the Most Emotional? Vote for 'The Archer,' 'All Too Well,' 'Dear John' & More". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- Browne, Erin (December 11, 2020). "All of Taylor Swift's Famously Devastating Track 5's, Ranked". Vulture. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- "Ranking Taylor Swift's 'tolerate it' among her iconic 'Track 5' songs". Hypable. December 14, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- Swift, Taylor (July 23, 2019). "Taylor Swift Instagram Live – The Archer – 23 July 2019". YouTube. Retrieved February 25, 2021. Unknown parameter
- McCarthy, Lauren. "All Of Taylor Swift's Track 5 Songs, Ranked". Nylon. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- Grady, Constance (July 24, 2019). "Taylor Swift's new single, "Archer," is Swift at her most intimate and vulnerable". Vox. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
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