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Christi’s Album Review: Taylor Swift’s New “1989” Pop Album

The new T.S. album is definitely one that sets Taylor Swift apart from other country singers. Swift has broken the mold regarding her sound and where she is going as an artist. Recently, in an interview, Swift candidly admitted that she knew she was going more “pop” on this album, and didn’t want to just “add a banjo” randomly on a track, as it would do a disservice to country music. Swift stated in another interview that she was also “‘terrified’ to venture into pop music…,” according to Fox News. No need to fear for “Fearless” Taylor. She is talented as ever with her songwriting, and even her album packaging is very clever.


shakeitofftaylor1

When you first have your 1989 experience and you open the real album (not just download it off iTunes), you’ll see that there are some benefits to purchasing the real CD. Swift and her record label, Big Machine Records, distribute real-size copies of personalized Polaroids, which are of Taylor and have lines from some of her songs off the album. Not to mention they come in a cute mini envelope when you first open the CD that says “Photos from Taylor.” Taylor Swift is a very hands-on artist and is very fond of her fans. The personal photos made the album and purchase extra special. They also create a kind of experience—as you look through them, you begin to recognize some of the lyrics from the tracks off the album. One I noticed right away, which is one of my favorites, is “I can make the bad guys good for a weekend” from her single “Blank Space.”

The intro to the album is “Welcome to New York,” a highly upbeat and whimsical track that makes you want to book a flight to NYC. This song stems from the fact Taylor has been living there. I love the line in the song where it says, “The lights are so bright, but they never blind me….” When you open the CD’s cover, there’s an introduction with a letter from Taylor expressing her change in style genre and sound, which was a “gut feeling” and a much needed change. She talks about certain meanings of songs and also says that she “moved to the loudest and brightest city in the world,” the city Taylor was always “overwhelmed by…until now.”

[Credit: Introduction of album cover]

Next up on the album is “Blank Space,” a pop, bass bumping track by pop hitmaker Max Martin, T.S. and songwriter Shellback. It’s very descriptive and gives us those sparkly lyrics that we females always love. She describes “cherry lips and crystal skies.” And how she can read the guys “like a magazine.” Swift is very observant in life and loves to express her insights and sometimes the not-so-obvious things to people who lack street smarts. She definitely can pick up the fakers, the players and the haters, but shares it in her words that are wrapped up like a pretty bow. Maybe that is why she is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation.

“New money, suit and tie, I can read you like a magazine…” (“Blank Space” lyrics, T.S., 1989)

taylor-swift

 

The next fun song is called “Style,” about long drives, dating and late nights. She describes her crush as James Dean, and again, wins us with her words.

“You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye and I got that red lip, classic thing that you like…”

The next song is called “Out of the Woods,” which is based on the struggle of life and how things aren’t perfect in life or in relationships. “We were built to fall apart then fall back together….” This song has a lot of drums and has a lot of bass and a tribal sound in a way.

Next up on the album is my FAVORITE so far, called “All You Had to Do Was Stay.” I love the beat and the lyrics. It’s just relatable and moving. I love the harmonies behind Taylor’s voice. This song kind of reminds me of Red (2012), when Swift began to lean toward a more country-pop sound. “Hey, all you had to do was stay. Had me in the palm of your hand, then why’d you have to go lock me out when I let you in?”

Next, we already know the popular song “Shake It Off.” There are a lot of different instruments that layer in the track, and the song repeats over and over so it sticks in your head. The song is cute, fun, upbeat and a chart-topper. It’s obviously the first single released off the album.

The seventh song on the album is called “I Wish You Would,” which is about regret and missing someone from a former relationship. Some lyrics are “I wish you would come back, wish I never hung up the phone like I did. I wish you knew that I will never forget you as long as I live.” I love this song and it might be number 2 or 3 on my favorites list.

The following song, track 8, “Bad Blood,” is more about a bad breakup and is again written by Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift. This track isn’t my favorite, but it isn’t all that bad either. All the songs are fluid throughout the album. The song “Wildest Dreams” reminds me of a Lana Del Rey song in the beginning. In the chorus she says, “Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset.” Some of these lyrics are more mature for Swift, so I wouldn’t say I would agree with all of the words in the song. Next up is track 10, “How You Get the Girl,” which is a typical Taylor pop song that reminds me of the Speak Now album, like “Sparks Fly.” This song is one of my favorites off the album as well.

Number 11 on the album is called “This Love,” and is definitely mellower than the other tracks. It reminds me of her song “Innocent.” Again, this song isn’t my favorite, but the lyrics are inspiring: “this love came back to me….” Track 12 is “I Know Places,” which has drums and percussion and was written by Swift and Ryan Tedder. Tedder is the lead singer of the famous band One Republic, in case you felt the vocal arrangements sounded strangely familiar. The 13th song is the final song off the album and, in case you didn’t know, number 13 is Taylor’s favorite lucky number. Swift collaborated with Imogen Heap on the final track called “Clean”—it definitely has an Imogen vibe to it. This song is about wiping away memories and being “finally clean.”

[Source: foxnews.com]

What is YOUR favorite song off the album? Do you like her new pop sound or do you miss the country Taylor? Comment below! Message me @ChristiGiven.

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29 Comments

  1. billygirl88

    Posted by billygirl88 on November 8, 2016 at 08:58

    Gosh I want this album so bad. xD

  2. completelyandutterlyloved

    Posted by completelyandutterlyloved on June 15, 2016 at 19:23

    My favourite songs in 1989 would have to be ‘All you had to do was Stay’ and ‘New Romantics’ which is only in the Deluxe version.
    I even went to the 1989 World Tour concert!!! It was AMAZING!
    I’m honestly not too fussed about Taylor converting to Pop. She’s allowed to experiment and explore different sounds. Although, some of the lyrics in 1989 I don’t agree with.
    Go Taylor!

  3. EmilyVictoria

    Posted by EmilyVictoria on January 7, 2015 at 18:27

    I LOVE EVERY SONG OFF OF THIS ALBUM. But if I had to pick one, it would probably be “Style” since my favorite actor is James Dean and I love the music to it. 🙂

    • Lee Mattson

      Posted by Lee Mattson on December 9, 2015 at 19:10

      I realize this comment is almost a year late, but I feel the same way! I love, love James Dean.

  4. nataliesophia

    Posted by nataliesophia on December 29, 2014 at 15:20

    blank space is my favorite- watch the music video its really cool!

  5. Infinityfreehugzz

    Posted by Infinityfreehugzz on December 5, 2014 at 20:32

    I love taylor so mucch

  6. krisizzzzle

    Posted by krisizzzzle on December 5, 2014 at 11:49

    I LOVE this album! The transition from country to pop was flawless. I love the Polaroids, too! We got the same set, #3! “Bad Blood” is actually one of my favorites; in her recent Rolling Stone interview, Taylor said that the song is about a falling out she had with a female friend who turned out not to be a very good friend, attempting to hire a bunch of people out from under her. I also think that it’s very cool that she got to write “clean” with Imogen Heap, who was one of her favorite artists when she was my age! The Lana Del Rey inspiration is no coincidence, either.
    I especially love how happy 1989 is. It tells a killer story, and the way it wraps up with a ballad declaring that just because something was good doesn’t mean that you can never let go of it gets me every time. I hope Taylor experiments more with pop in the future, because this album is so different than other chart toppers today.

  7. ktuck22

    Posted by ktuck22 on November 24, 2014 at 21:15

    I love Taylor Swift. She has always been my favorite artist because she’s so humble and down to Earth and personal with her fans. I am surprised you didn’t give this album a harsher review, though, because even I was surprised at some of her lyrics. I am in love with this album, though, and I’m glad you didn’t find it bad. Taylor Swift is a wonderfully beautiful woman who is just trying to make sense of this crazy world, and I admire her for being able to do it so maturely in such a public light.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Hawkeyelover101 on November 16, 2014 at 19:40

    Just saying, but…………..James Dean is a porn star……………..

    • mkay77

      Posted by mkay77 on November 23, 2014 at 21:43

      That’s James DEEN. James Dean was an actor. Totally different men in totally different generations 😉

  9. RememberKatee

    Posted by RememberKatee on November 16, 2014 at 17:13

    I love “Blank Space”! It’s her basically taking the idea that the media has of her and she’s just going along, making a joke out of it. I like her new pop sound, it suits her and her current style.

  10. Sydney_Andrews

    Posted by Sydney_Andrews on November 14, 2014 at 11:19

    I love her and her new album… my favorite song off the album is Wonderland and I hope she doesn’t release it as a single because I’m greedy and want it to myself.

  11. GraceGirl1379

    Posted by GraceGirl1379 on November 12, 2014 at 12:57

    I listened to Blank Space just now and it sounded kind of creepy and destructive. Also not accurate.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by maddijs on November 14, 2014 at 13:12

      Taylor Swift wrote Blank Space to illustrate the way the media portrays her: a desperate, destructive, insane girl looking for relationships. She is making fun of the media and how they exaggerate things. The song is basically a satire.

  12. tanatiger12

    Posted by tanatiger12 on November 12, 2014 at 00:42

    I don’t believe she is a great role model, but she is better then most there are a lot of reasons she a good one and a bad one, but no ones perfect. I don’t care for her music I like some of her songs but not a lot!!

  13. doodlez58

    Posted by doodlez58 on November 10, 2014 at 15:58

    I love Taylor swift. love the music and the role model she is for girls. =) I do think though that sometimes Taylor Swift gets in the way of God for me. I know this needs to change. any one have any thoughts on what I should do? I am asking God to help me with this struggle but it is hard. I really like the album, and I don’t think I should completely get rid of taylor swift all together, I’m just in a real in-between place.

  14. kellybarta14

    Posted by kellybarta14 on November 10, 2014 at 13:22

    I love 1989 (I like Welcome To New York and How You Get The Girl) But i agree with Kaela to an extent

  15. KaelaT18

    Posted by KaelaT18 on November 9, 2014 at 11:13

    I’m surprised you didn’t write a more condemning and judging article about the album, especially considering how many times she says “hell”, “oh my G..”, and the one time she says “damn”. And the two times she DEFINITELY she mentions sex with her boyfriend (“Style”, “Wildest Dreams”). And also the lyrics “…and you can want who you want/boys and boys and girls and girls”, which was a definite reference to gay couples. I for one LOVE the album, I’m just really surprised you weren’t more judgmental and dis-approving of the album.

    • GalatianGirl25

      Posted by GalatianGirl25 on November 30, 2014 at 14:01

      Wow… gay couples, the shame. WHAT IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM WITH HOMOSEXUALITY! Love is love guys, no matter the gender, race, or background.

    • mkay77

      Posted by mkay77 on November 12, 2014 at 20:39

      I see what you’re trying to say, but I do believe “condemning” and “judgmental” are terms with quite heavy gravity. Sure, her morals and your morals may be different, but that’s the beauty of humanity. You probably have reasons to back them up; I highly doubt you woke up one day with the thought “y’know, I don’t agree with non-heterosexuality” just bursting into your head. By the same token, she probably did not wake up one morning and come to the revelation “and you can want who you want/boys and boys and girls and girls”. She probably had some sort of logic to back that up. And really for those kinds of more ambiguous things, who’s to judge whose standpoint is correct? You? Taylor? Me? Christi? It’s all up to God from there. I don’t know if that made any sense what I’m trying to say? Then again, I’m just one person, and I’m just as biased as anybody else, so there could be more than one answer.

    • doodlez58

      Posted by doodlez58 on November 10, 2014 at 16:01

      I think she was trying to be general as to not hurt any taylor loving users feelings. my friend really likes one direction and I would never say that I think their music is stupid because she is my friend and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. still, I had the same general thought.

      • toughandsweet

        Posted by toughandsweet on November 11, 2014 at 00:36

        me too kinda, I am a HUGE swiftie. I have the album, and like all her other albums/songs,I just don’t listen to the “bad ones” (cussing, using the Lords name in vein, pro gay etc.) but the majority of her music is awesome. I personally don’t think Style is about sex, wildest dreams yes (even though its still vague compared to what other artists sing) but I don’t think style is. And I think they should have said what a great album it is BUT mentioned there are a few songs that aren’t good/we shouldn’t listen to. But either way I’m very glad they aren’t judgmental mean people like most adult/christian adults are towards her and other celebrities.

  16. mirandy

    Posted by mirandy on November 7, 2014 at 18:36

    I went to Target and bought the deluxe version two days after it came out. I have all 15 Polaroids hanging on my wall and I’ve listen to the CD at least 200 times. (Probably more. It’s been on repeat FOREVER.) But I love this CD. I like that you can still hear her country roots if you listen close enough but she’s still pop. I love it. It’s great and I love that Taylor makes it a point to be a good role model for girls. I will keep buying her CD’s and I will keep supporting her as long as she stays the same old, sweet Taylor.

    • toughandsweet

      Posted by toughandsweet on November 11, 2014 at 00:32

      Same here! exceptI bought it one day after haha! but same here! I just don’t listen to the few songs that she’s cusses or looses the Lords name in vein, but the majority of her songs are amazing and clean!

  17. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on November 7, 2014 at 14:37

    I really have never listened to Taylor because so much of her music is about boys, crushes, breakups, etc. Should we really be listening to this new album as girls who are trying to change the way we approach relationships with guys and how we do the whole dating thing? It seems to me like her whole album is about that stuff.

    • Pinkypie2017

      Posted by Pinkypie2017 on November 8, 2014 at 04:28

      I don’t know what you mean by trying to change the way we do this dating thing. Because even as a Christian you still have crushes and you still have to date to get married and sometimes something might go wrong and you have to break up for whatever reason. So I don’t think we shouldn’t be listening to her I just don’t like that all her songs are the same. She does not seem to learn from relationships and everyone eventually leaves her.

  18. brittney_heart

    Posted by brittney_heart on November 7, 2014 at 13:43

    Thanks for writing this review. I’ve always been a fan of Taylor’s and wanted a Christian view point and
    opinion on it. ☺

  19. his98child

    Posted by his98child on November 6, 2014 at 15:33

    Taylor stated in an interview that “Bad Blood” was also based on a friendship with another celebrity (supposedly Katy Perry) that went sour.

    I personally love the whole album and think that Taylor has ventured into the pop world skillfully and smoothly. I love how personable she is with her fans and all the polaroids that were included with the physical CD.