Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 is the singer’s first official venture into pop music. The 13-track release shows no hint of her country roots, with synthesizer melodies and a deeper sound to her normally high-pitched voice.
The first single to be released was “Shake it Off,” the most upbeat song on the album. The song strays from her typical love-themed tracks, but the album itself is full of the typical romance you’d expect from Swift. Save for “Bad Blood” and “Welcome to New York,” every song on 1989 is about love.
However, Swift approaches her favorite lyrical topic with more maturity than ever. This is seen almost immediately in “Blank Space,” where she sings, “I could make the bad guys good for a weekend,” and “Wildest Dreams,” a song about a romantic chance encounter that has a Lana Del Rey feel to it. Swift is certainly no Lana del Rey, but “Wildest Dreams” pulls from her darker side, a refreshing change from this pop album.
Another highlight is “Out of the Woods,” a song about the fragility and uncertainty that relationships carry and exemplifies the album’s 80s pop feel.
That being said, a number of songs on the album delve too far into the pop genre and come off as cheesy. Songs like “I Wish You Would” and “All You Had to Do Was Stay” would be interesting to hear as country songs instead of over-synthesized pop tracks.
Despite the mixed bag of tracks spread throughout the release, it ends strong with the song “Clean,” which is about her finding her sense of self through letting go of a bad relationship. It’s a great ending and shows a coming-of-age for Swift that we haven’t seen in the past.
For her pop debut, Swift’s 1989 is not bad. Some of it is cheesy, sure, but it’s Taylor Swift. We’re used to hearing her fairy tale versions of love, but what makes this album different is her refreshing view on how relationships can change without bitterness. “Clean,” explains it perfectly: “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.”
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