NEW YORK • Taylor Swift's highly anticipated seventh album has arrived in all its honeyed glory - a clear shift from the vengeful goth lite of her previous record.
But the 18-track Lover is not just an ode to matters of the heart - it is the pop star's first studio album that she actually owns, under the terms of the multi-album deal she struck last year with Universal Music Group/Republic Records.
"This album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness and chaos," Swift tweeted on last Friday's midnight release of her latest project. "It's the first album of mine that I've ever owned and I couldn't be more proud."
Lover marks a new era for Swift in that she holds the keys to its future distribution.
Earlier this year, she began publicly feuding with industry mogul Scooter Braun over his purchase of her former label, the Nashville-based Big Machine, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.
She said she would begin re-recording her early albums to create copies she owns herself.
"I think that artists deserve to own their work," she said. "I just feel very passionately about that."