Taylor Swift was initially a country star but with her 1989 album she abandons country in favor of pop, but make no mistake her songs still hold the same love story that has inspired fans since the first tears fell on her guitar.
Although Swift was explicit in stating that this album would not be another lovesick story, her entire album contradicts this statement. “Welcome to New York” is the introduction to the album abandoning broken hearts in a drawer to move on to an ever changing true love of the city of New York. Taylor follows with “Blank Space” a catchy tune that takes a dark undertone to the idea of romantic life, while still holding a mesmerizing melody. “Style” has a repetitive beat that is maintained in the background of her relationship with a guy who just keeps coming back. “Out of the Woods” contains some of the strongest lyrics on the album and is paired with a moving beat that goes well with the deep phrases within the song.
These songs may have individual qualities but altogether, the album represents Taylor’s Swifts journey as she moves from a young naive woman, to a individualized and strong adult. Each song brings this idea together so that the album in and of itself becomes a story. This idea of an album working together to tell a story isn’t exactly new but it is monumental for a relatively young star like Swift. Regardless the album ends with “I Know Places” a shadowy reflection of her lack of privacy and “Clean” which discusses Swift’s self-awareness and discovery.
The Deluxe Edition of 1989 contains 3 extra songs, “Wonderland”, “You are in Love”, and “New Romantics”, and 3 voice memos from “I Know Places”, “I Wish You Would”, and “Blank Space”. These tracks are definitely worth mentioning as each is quite different from the album itself while still maintaining Swift’s visible style.
Some may be disheartened of Swift’s shift to pop but she handles it tastefully and the meaningful lyrics that have characterized her previous albums are still present. The only fault of this album may be the fact that the songs all carry a very singular message with “Shake it off” being the only song that represents a different theme than breakups and love stories.
In the opening forward of 1989 Taylor Swift discusses her focus on changing her style, never staying one thing, this album isn’t just a unique mix of pop romance it’s a statement that Swift is willing to change with the times. She may have shifted to pop for now but who’s to say it will stay that way?
Logan Conrad // Copyeditor