“I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1989.” The first sentences introducing 1989 cannot get any simpler. Mega superstar Taylor Swift never fulfills her multi millionaire persona, does she?
Although she no longer lives on the Christmas tree farm on which she was born, and even though she’s progressed from her Nashville phase, Taylor Swift never completely shifts away from her roots. She’s classic, and that’s exactly what the classics do.
Taylor Swift had created the ultimate game plan to succeed, not only in pop culture, but in life categories including sophistication, style, and happiness. Taylor has found a new, inspiring way to live life. She shows girls, teenagers, and even adults that it’s okay to get mad at people sometimes, that it’s fine if you make mistakes, or dance strangely. Taylor doesn’t feel the need to be “hipster” or “sexy.” Instead, Swift shows fans that she’s comfortable in her own skin. She has an excited demeanor, ready to take on the world. This positivity is what keeps fans coming for Swift. She’s real. She doesn’t belong in a category. Her style, music, and character don’t contain boundaries either. When she’s in love, fairytales are real; when Swift is not, independence is the key. These little details tell us that Swift is relatable. Behind the red lipstick, sparkly dresses, and Grammy awards, Taylor is a twenty-something year-old who loves to bake and play with her cats.
Unlike other celebrities, Taylor Swift likes to carry an innocent identity. She doesn’t try to be sultry or dark; she’s simple. She’s brilliant in her art. What makes her so talented is that she’s an artist. She’s actually a true artist. An artist is someone who creates something from start to finish. Swift writes her music, sings it, performs it, behaves as a role-model, and attends to her fans.
1989 is Taylor’s fifth studio-recorded album. Selling 1.28 million copies in its first week, the album, released by Big Machine Records, became the best-selling album since 2002. The album was released October 27, following Taylor’s usual trend of album releases. She usually releases an album every two years, during the third trimester of October.
I’d like to point out that I love Taylor Swift more than anyone else in the world. I own all her albums, I’ve been to two concerts, and I try to get my hands on all her merchandise. I’m going to be truthful about my opinions on these songs, there are thirteen of them (Taylor’s lucky number,) I’ve had more than enough time to make up solid opinions on each individual song. My point, however, is that I won’t be bashing any of these songs, because I honestly don’t think anything Taylor does can be criticized, if this bothers you, I recommend that you go on with your day and do not read further. Thank you.
Welcome to New York
Moving to a New York City apartment was a big deal to Taylor, and her affection for the city is displayed explicitly in the first track off 1989, Welcome to New York. The song opens up like a sort of anthem. It has a nineties melody, almost coming from an old Gwen Stefani tune. The words to the song are simple, and the beat is repetitive. It’s a song that is literally MEANT to be sung along to. At different parts of the song, you can hear simple clapping, and it actually sounds really, really good. Taylor’s voice is auto-tuned to sound almost techno, but it still sounds authentic and smart, something only Taylor can do. The message of the song is inspiring. It has an ‘I can conquer the world if I try’ theme. Listening to the song, you can almost picture glossy-eyed Taylor stepping into the big city for the first time, and spinning around as she gazes upon the skyscrapers. You would have no idea that the pop superstar is probably just as universally popular as NYC.
Blank Space is going to be popular, and it only takes one listen to know it. It’s the first song fans will have memorized word for word; I can swear on it. The song is catchy, with dialogistic lyrics that make you move your lips and point fingers. It carries a story of a girl who plays with guys on her fingertips. You know, the crazy, psychotic, obsessive girlfriend, the image Taylor is usually portrayed as. In this song, Taylor almost gets back at all of those who carry this misconception. She actually played the role, and wrote a song in a-crazy-psychotic-girl perspective. She also made it sound incredible and addicting. Now everyone is singing this song that only a crazy-psychotic-girlfriend would narrate, but it doesn’t even sound like what she’s doing is that morbid. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the power of Taylor Swift.
You guys this song is brilliant. It starts off sort of scary, like a break-up song. It actually feels like an emotional song until you hear the chorus. Gasp. It’s not. Gasp again. It’s not, at all.
The song opens up with a strumming electric guitar, and the string rhythm continues throughout the song. This repetition of beat is new for Taylor, and it goes hand in hand with her transition into pop. At the end of the chorus, Taylor is accompanies by a voiceover screaming the word, “OUT OF STYLE.” The screaming is something else one can associate with this album in particular. My only wish is that this song included an actual bridge instead of a repetition of the chorus. The bridge displays Taylor’s singing abilities; however, bridges that put her writing ability on display are my favorite.
Out of the Woods
Out of the Woods was released a couple weeks before the release of the album, and was an instant success. This one is Taylor’s favorite track on the record. (It’s mine, too.)
The song is a vintage; and no one in today’s industry has done that. It’s the perfect fall, hiking song. It’s dramatic, it’s interesting, and it’s meaningful. Like the previous songs, this one’s repetitive. The chorus is a repeated question, “Are we out of the woods?” But the words mean something. This chorus is metaphorically talking about a love that’s never shown in the light. It’s metaphorically speaking of a romance that’s always stuck in the woods. The bridge makes this song complete. It’s perfect. In the bridge, Taylor talks about a car crash. And the words are raw and deliberate, it’s beautiful.
By the way, Taylor proclaims that the bridge is not a metaphor! Amazing, right?
All you had to do was Stay
This track is another favorite of mine. This one has a high-pitched, auto-tuned “stay” in the chorus. The first time I heard it, I hated that part. Now, I look forward to it. Again, I wish the bridge was longer, but that’s only because I cannot get enough Taylor. I love the way Taylor recorded this one. In the second chorus the voice-over. Is. Perfect.
Shake it Off
This was Taylor’s first single off the album. Like all of her initial singles, it’s extremely pop. She writes them for the radio folks. What makes this one differ from WANEGBT, however, is that it almost sounds like it’s been pulled out of another decade. It’s classic.
This song is not significant in its wording or rhythm, but I don’t mind when it plays. And even though I thought it would be the song I always skip, it’s not.
I Wish you Would
This was another song that didn’t stand out to me after the first listen. Now it’s the most played song on my phone. The reason behind that is that this song has a great beat. Jack Antonoff did a wonderful job with this one. You can tell the focus is on the instrumentals and I love that.
This song is wild. The rhythm is mad, angry even. Taylor sings directly to someone who made a very, very big mistake. I just feel like the words are too aggressive. I have to say this is one of the very first Taylor songs I can’t really relate, too. Her voice is beautiful in this song in particular, however. I’d LOVE to hear a version of this song sung acoustically.
This one is classic. The words are beautiful, and Taylor’s voice is flawless. “Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset.”
“His voice is a familiar sound, ‘Nothing lasts forever.’”
It’s a breakup song written before the breakup even happens. Taylor is singing about a guy she knows she won’t end up with, but she doesn’t need to end up with him in order to be satisfied. All she needs is for him to remember her.
How you get the Girl
This is probably the only true pop song on the record. For this track, Taylor is addressing a man trying to get his girl back. To any girl, this song is beautiful. To Taylor fans, this song is incredible. For the first time on this record, Taylor sounds like the same girl she was 6 years ago, when she believed that love is everything. It would be great if guys fit the description and character depicted in this song. If only.
This. Song. Is. Breathtaking.
Taylor’s voice is finally stripped down. Taylor sounds like an angel, reading out someone’s dream. This Love is brilliant. You hear guitar, and it’s an acoustic guitar! The words are strong; Taylor’s voice is echoing which adds an amazing effect. The lyrics are well thought-out and meaningful.
The words are so simple. “This love is good, this love is bad.” It’s SO raw. Yet, before you know it, you’re crying as you listen. The bridge in this song makes you fall in love. There are not enough good things I can say about this song. I wouldn’t mind more songs like this from Taylor; This Love is a beautiful listen.
I Know Places
This song is haunting, addicting, and really, really good.
I love the rhythm, the words are easy and simple, and the chorus brings the song together effortlessly. It’s perfect. Taylor also scores for addicting with this track. In addition, this song sound nothing like any of her previous songs, making it stand out on the album.
She’s so good you guys, I cannot say it enough times. This song deserves as much attention as Shake it Off received at its release.
This is probably the most remarkable track on the record. Taylor goes deep with this one. It’s brilliantly written. The words are relatable. It’s inspiring. It’s majestic and lovely, too.
It hits you in a place you probably never thought Taylor couldn’t hit you in. Her voice just sounds so real. Her voice is soft, too. “I screamed so loud, but no one heard a thing.”
It gives you a sense of freedom. And the bridge is the best thing that’s happened on Earth. The bridge is stunning. Well done, Taylor. Well done.
Overall, this album is a show-stopper. It’s incredible, addicting, majestic, awesome, and well-written. Taylor hits all kinds of different odds and ends in the song-writing world. This album addresses breakups, relationships, love, and self-worth. The thirteen songs on this album make the perfect addition to Taylor’s already perfect list of songs. She’s brilliant. It’s that simple. Taylor is a musical genius.