Whatever your opinion of pop music’s darling, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift is slaying the music industry at the moment. Between winning countless awards – including Best International Female Solo Artist at this year’s Brit’s – receiving no less than nine nominations at the upcoming MTV VMAs, notching up a number of sell-out tours worldwide, receiving critical acclaim for her newest offering ‘1989’, AND putting Spotify and Apple in their place over streaming, she seems to be everywhere at the moment.
Having helped propel her to the forefront of the industry, her fifth studio album ‘1989’ sees Swift make the bold move to shed her country roots and wholeheartedly embrace pop music. Driven by synths and drums rather than the guitar-led sound of her previous efforts, ‘1989’ incorporates an electro pop sound complete with a healthy dose of drum programming – giving it a slight 80’s edge.
Album opener ‘Welcome to New York’ is a perfect example of this, full of synths and 80’s style electro-keyboard chords, followed closely by ‘Blank Space,’ which contrastingly has more of a dark and moody feel. There is a good mix of up-tempo songs and slower ones; both providing stand-out moments in totally different ways.
Tracks like ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay’ and ‘How You Get The Girl’ are infectious enough to have you dancing in your desk chair, whereas – recently announced next single – ‘Wildest Dreams’ and ‘This Love’, are slowed down with a dreamy, romantic vibe. The album also features Swift’s four hit singles including – the undeniably fun and positive lead single – ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Style’, and ‘Bad Blood,’ (the only song on the album to incorporate a flavour of R’n’B.)
Swift also shows her sense of humour throughout as she pokes fun at the perception the media have of her, namely her ‘serial dater’ reputation. She also sheds some light on how hard it can be in the lime-light and the struggle to stay out of it – likening the situation to hunters chasing foxes – in ‘I Know Places’.
Lyrically, it’s easy to hear Swift’s growth – artistically and personally – as these are some of her most mature to date. Album closer ‘Clean’ is the only distinctive break-up song on the album, but in a way that’s unlike any she’s ever done. It seems gone are the days of boy-shaming and secret crushes, her recent songs centre on situations and happenings rather than pinpointing individuals, and this album is a perfect mark of that transition.
It’s clear to see that Taylor Swift has found her place within the industry and is comfortable in her own skin – and she has every right to be. ‘1989’ is a great pop album full of killer tracks, many of which show off swift’s fun side.
Overall verdict: I’ve been a fan of Swift’s music since the early days of ‘Love Story,’ and it’s awesome to see how far she’s come as an artist – deservedly so. Having said that, I realise she is a little bit like Marmite; some people love her and some people love to hate her, but personally I think ‘1989’ marks a totally new stage in her career that can’t really be compared to what came before it, as it is so different.
All You Had To Do Was Stay
How You Get The Girl
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