The significance of the year 1989 never occurred to me until mega superstar Taylor Swift named her fifth studio album. The Pennsylvania singer was born that year and said the music from that decade had heavy influence on the album.
Swift has done a complete 180 with this album, having no country songs. Her sound is different and might upset some people who were fans of her country sound, but the album is anything but bad. In my opinion, “1989” is her best album yet, and here’s why.
As a HUGE fan of T. Swizzle (the nickname my friends and I have for her), we knew that we would love this album. Swift is a lyrical genius who speaks to both genders about relationships.
This album was highly anticipated and apparently under military security protection until its release date. If you are not a “swiftie,” please still consider my word that this album will go down in history.
With Swift just recently moving into a duplex penthouse in Tribeca, it was no surprise that the first song on the album was titled “Welcome to New York.” This upbeat, techno song is the perfect introduction to Swift’s new sound, including the verse from the song, “It’s a new soundtrack I could dance to this beat/ beat forevermore.”
The second track on the album is “Blank Space.” This song was written for the media and how they perceive Taylor in her relationships with A-list celebrities, like Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal.
The song is currently being played on every radio station, and how could it not be? It’s very catchy, and you can’t help but imagine Swift dancing along with her awkward moves that make for amazing GIFs (please look these up if you haven’t seen them).
Harry Styles is the popular speculation for “Style.” Swift sings about watching them “go round and round each time” and how he has a “James Dean daydream look.”
My favorite lines from the song are when Swift questions the guy about whether he has been out with some other girl. He tells her it’s true but he can’t stop thinking about them, and she says she’s been in this position too. This song was co-written with Jack Antonoff from the band fun.
Each song has its own sound, for example, “All You Had To Do Was Stay.” Swift sings the word “stay” with some digitalization that gives it an 80s sound. “Shake It Off,” is in the middle of the album, giving you a boost of energy to shake off the haters before the “harder” sounding “I Wish You Would.” Swift sings about wanting the guy she’s with to be with her, even though he “always knew how to push her buttons.”
Swift doesn’t just write about breakups with men, but friendships with other singers that have gone sour. Katy Perry tried to persuade some of Swift’s dancers to leave the “Red” tour and join her own, reflecting Swift’s feelings in “Bad Blood.” This is one of my favorites off the album because of its pop sound and message to Perry. One of the few slow ballads on the album, “Wildest Dreams,” sends the message to remember Swift with “red lips and rosy cheeks.”
I imagine driving with the windows down in the summer listening to “How You Get the Girl,” another upbeat song that will have you dancing in your seat. The second ballad, “This Love,” discusses a love that is both good and bad, that has “come back from the dead.”
Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, co-wrote “I Know Places” with Swift. The creative lyrics of this track make it another favorite of mine, referring to Swift and her lover as foxes while the hunters (paparazzi?) are out to capture them.
The final song on the 13-track album (Swift’s favorite number) is “Clean.” Co-written with Imogen Heap, it’s the perfect song to wrap up the changes that Swift went through with this album.
Some of the powerful lyrics that reflect this are, “Rain came pouring down when I was drowning/That’s when I could finally breathe/And that morning/gone was any trace of you/I think I am finally clean.”
If you’re a huge fan like me, you probably purchased the deluxe album from Target that has three bonus songs, “Wonderland,” “You Are In Love,” and “New Romantics.” Each is equally fabulous and completes the album. The deluxe edition also has three voice memos straight from Swift’s iPhone explaining the beginning stages of writing some of the songs on the album. I thought this was a cool way for her to connect more with her fans and let them into her personal life of creating music.
Personally, I do not have anything bad to say about “1989.” Some people don’t like it, some people don’t like Swift, but the girl deserves some credit.
She is on her fifth album and still going strong, breaking more records with each one. Swift will be performing at Heinz Field on Saturday, June 6. This will be her fourth tour and third time booking the stadium. I already have my ticket, so I hope you listen to this album and don’t “shake it off.” Maybe I’ll see you there!