1989, Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album, doesn’t sound much like the decade it is named after but what it does sound like is musical progression. As someone who steers clear of country music and rolls her eyes when the name Taylor Swift is uttered, I must say that 1989 is one of her best albums by far.
Each song seems to tell its own story and take you to another place when listening to it. The first track off the album, Welcome to New York makes you feel like there abundant opportunities awaiting and New York is the place to realise them. It seems like a song fit for The Devil Wears Prada.
Blank Space, the fan favourite, sounds Lorde-like and is perhaps Taylor Swift’s most honest song, admitting her pathological attraction to players, showing self awareness.
All You Had To Do Was Stay is one of my favourites especially because of the way the word stay in the chorus rings in your ear. This is the one I’m interested in hearing acoustic covers of by other singers.
Shake it Off, the first single, is a bop-a-long track that sounds like the odd one out when compared to the rest of the tracks. Still, it’s fun to dance to. It’s nice to hear her jump on the bandwagon and ridicule herself too instead of being a petulant child who refuses to acknowledge potential criticism. New Romantics is one of the few songs on the album that even compares to Shake it Off’s fast beat.
Bad Blood reminds me of the constant push and pull between Gossip Girl’s Chuck and Blair. It could be their tumultuous anthem, in fact.
Though Taylor Swift said this album would be less boy-centric than its predecessors, I find it to be just as boy-centric but there is a difference this time. It is less doe-eyed and romantic. The songs instead are mature and self-aware, most hinting at possible disaster yet diving into something anyway.
I know Swift to be the artist who constantly writes songs about failed relationships, drawing inspirations from a series of break-ups and it didn’t sit too well with me when she reportedly did the same thing with Harry Styles. Supposedly, Out of the Woods and Style were inspired from this particular relationship and what’s odd is that I’m glad because those two songs are fantastic.
Style is my favourite, the beginning instrumental sounding perfect for a long distance drive in the dark like the one mentioned in the start of the song.
Out of the Woods is a little darker, for some reason making me think of burying bodies in the forest and looking over my shoulder constantly, setting an agitated mind space.
Some songs reminded me too much of other artists which I found distracting. Wildest Dreams is a dead ringer for a Lana Del Rey song while the instrumental of I Wish You Would seems very similar to The 1975’s sound. I’m not sure if it’s the after effect of Gone Girl but the song I Know Places seems creepy instead of romantic. Wonderland is a twist on how a place like it can be misleading which isn’t completely unheard of.
Other average tracks and some easy to skip on a playlist are T his Love, You are in Love, Clean and How You Get the Girl.
Overall I’d say the album is pretty good. I found It’s nice to have playing in the background when writing, not too much so that it distracts from the task at hand but enough to make an impact.
I don’t know, the album as a whole makes me feel like this:
…but in a good way?