Taylor Swift’s newest album, 1989. Photo by Katie Compton.
Dance beats coming through the stereo bring a fun and poppy tune to the ears that make it clear that this is not the country Taylor Swift that people are used to. “Red” was the start of Swift changing from a country singer to a pop star with the sound of hit single “Trouble” being anything but country. But now, Swift has officially changed her sound and is in fact calling herself a pop singer on her new album “1989”.
In an interview, Swift revealed that the“Inspiration for this album really harkens back to the sounds of late 80’s pop. I loved how they were being so experimental. They were taking so many risks.”
Swift follows that risky craftsmanship with this album. Her songs have gone from being songs about heartbreak to being cute songs about love. There is actually only one song truly about heartbreak, called “Clean.” It is one of the stronger songs on the album because it is a relatable song with aspects of what make Taylor Swift who she has been for years. In the song, she relates heartbreak and getting over a guy to getting “clean” from an addiction. With lyrics such as “10 months sober, I must admit/ Just because you’re clean don’t mean you miss it/ 10 months older I won’t give in/ now that I’m clean I’m never gonna risk it.”
While Swift has always been strong on lyrics, this album is where the melody and background seems to finally catch up. Each tune is its own. One song can be full of different instruments and a fast cool vibe to it such as “Style.” The next song might be a slower more broken down song such as “Wildest Dreams” where this song focuses much more on her voice than it does on the background noises.
But it is so much more than just a guitar that has the same notes over and over again which is something people could say for many of Swift’s other songs.
The worst song on the album is “Bad Blood.” It’s a pounding song about how she was backstabbed by another celebrity, but it comes off childish. Swift whines about a ruined friendship with lyrics such as “Now we got problems and I don’t think we can solve them.” The chorus becomes annoying after a while with her just screaming in an overly loud voice that “Now we’ve got bad blood,” that just becomes repetitive and unnecessary.
With an 80’s synth feel to the song, “Blank Space” announces itself as the album’s strongest song and centerpiece. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” calls Swift in a confident and witty manner.As she is trying to convince the male subject of the song to be with her, she gets more passionate as the tune progresses. The music also picks up to go along with the lyrics. Thankfully, it will also be the next single for this album.
The album as a whole has a lot of diverse songs that are different than anything Swift has done before. This shows a new side to Swift. It brings to light that Swift really is here to stay and can do whatever kind of music she puts her mind to, be it country or pop.