August 12, 2015 Taylor Swift – 1989 (Album Review)
In recent years, Taylor Swift has become one of modern music’s iconic figures. Born and raised in Reading, PA, she moved to Nashville, TN at the age of fourteen to pursue her music career, and she quickly became a phenomenon by the time she was seventeen, releasing their self-titled debut in 2006. Amazingly out-doing her debut, her 2009 album Fearless became the best-selling album in the United States that year, selling an estimated 6.9 million. Keeping up her success, her third and fourth albums, 2010’s Speak Now as well as 2012’s Red, both sold one million copies during the first week of its release and hit number one on charts. Overall, Swift has sold 40 million albums, received seven Grammy Awards, twenty-two Billboard Music Awards, eleven Country Music Association Awards, and eight Academy of Country Music Awards. A fan or not, these are tremendous feats for any artists, and even more impressive, in a time when consumers are not even buying music anymore.
On top of the entertainment world, Swift exploded once again with her fifth studio album released on October 27, 2014, entitling the record after her birth year, 1989. A record that was in the works during Red, for 1989, Swift collaborated with producers Max Martin and Shellback over the course of the songwriting period. Known to be a Country artist, she declared 1989 to be a Pop album, and this was evident by the massively popular lead single “Shake it Off.” This up-tempo track describes her personal life that everyone makes decisions, chooses the words to say, choose their style, and who they want to be. Her second single “Blank Space” is considered one of the best quality songs she has ever put out. The lyrics tells listeners that the media relays false information that she dates many men, that she is the type to go around dating everyone and breaking up with them for unreasonable reasons. Then there is the third single “Style,” which received positive reviews from music writers and critics with its 1980s Funk Pop-style vibe, and it could be one of the best tracks on 1989.
As for the rest of 1989, Swift chose the opening track to be “Welcome to New York” because New York became a landscape and location of her life in the past couple of years that she always wanted to move there. During an ABC interview, she described New York as an electrifying city and inspiration that is indescribable, with endless possibilities and opportunities. The album’s fourth track, “Out of the Woods,” possess a ’80s sound with modern elements touching on the topic of anxiety and that fear took place in a relationship that ended sooner rather than later. Following is “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” an inspired song about her ex that wanted out of the relationship and how he ended it all. This heavy Pop/Synth track has become a 1989 favorite with listeners, and justifiably so.
Midway through the record, “I Wish You Would” is a song about her wishing the guy never left and ended the way it had. This up-pace song gives listeners a rush and a sense of urgency for forgiveness. This comes before her May 2015 single “Bad Blood,” which tells the story of two individuals who were really good friends, but ended abruptly and now they are not friends anymore and cannot go back to the way things were. Her latest single, “Wildest Dream,” explains her hope about her lover that he will remember the best moments they had once it is over. It expresses mixed feelings however, hoping they will last, but also knowing it can end as well. Flowing right into the fast-pace Pop Rock song “How To Get The Girl,” Swift offers advice to the guy who wants to get the girl back. In the words, she suggests better tactics than the previous ones her former lovers have tried and used on her.
Changing the pace, “This Love” is a slow tempo song that sooths the soul and explains about a girl remembering what it was like being with her ex, being held close by his side, spending time together, but now that he is gone, it is not the same. Bringing the mood right back up, “I Know Places” reveals a couple that has hatred from everyone and that she knows places to escape to where no one will ever find them, just like foxes and how they run from their hunters who chase their tails. Then there is the final cut off 1989, “Clean,” which Swift teamed up with the talented Imogen Heap to write in London. Here, Swift recalls someone she used to date, and she has been living in the same city for two weeks, hoping he is fine and it made her realize that she was finally clean and free.
Overall, 1989 gives audiences a more in-depth insight of Swift’s relationships, struggles, and patches in her life she experienced. Giving her fans a different prospective than previous albums, 1989 represents a change from Country to Pop that is welcomed. CrypticRock gives 1989 5 out of 5 stars.