- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 05 November 2014
When it was first announced that Taylor Swift's new record was going to be pop instead of country, I have to admit I was already disappointed with the album. How could the girl who moved to Nashville to be a country artist just decide one day that she can change her style without any effort? I was one of the skeptics when the album 1989 was finally released on Oct. 27, but I crossed my fingers, hit play, and surprisingly fell in love with the new Swift. The theme of moving on instead of dwelling in heartbreak somehow made this album shockingly catchy.
Before the track list was even shared, Swift put out three songs for her listeners: "Shake It Off," "Out of the Woods," and "Welcome To New York." I will be the first to admit that "Shake It Off" made me want to shake Swift off. The song sounded the opposite of what we were used to hearing: lyrics about heartbreak with Swift playing the piano in the background. Then, "Out of the Woods" was released.
With speculation that this track was about the famous Harry Styles of One Direction, it was a reminder that Swift is still the same girl who writes songs about relationships. "Welcome To New York" was the last song to be released before 1989 hit airwaves. This was track number one, so naturally this is the song I used to judge the whole album. For the first time in what feels like forever, Swift was singing about taking chances that did not involve loving anyone but yourself. Within the past year Swift finally moved to New York after being on the fence about it. This song was to show that she was proud of her decision, and it was the best change she ever made.
1989 is comprised of 13 tracks (Swift's favorite number) and ranges from songs about being stabbed in the back by a friend to moving on from someone who no longer serves you any purpose.
The genre of pop welcomed Swift with open arms as if she had been doing it her whole life. Upbeat songs keep your foot tapping throughout the whole album, and listeners really hear a different side of Swift 's voice.
"Wildest Dreams" is one of those songs that makes you ask, "Is this really Taylor Swift or is this Lana Del Ray?" The beginning of the track has the same feel as Del Ray's hit song "Summertime Sadness." As one of my favorites on the album, it is easy to say that her new sound may be her best.
No album would be complete without accusations of which song is about whom. Besides "Out of the Woods," another song starting some buzz is track eight, "Bad Blood." At first, many believed the song to be about Miley Cyrus. Later it was discovered that all signs point to Katy Perry. Swift explains in the song that she was really hurt by what this person did, and she was not expecting it at all. While Swift does not write and tell, it is hard to disagree with the rumors when we all know they have had a falling out.
The theme of moving on really shines through in songs "Clean" and "All You Had to Do Was Stay." "Clean" is the song that does it for me. Even though she is not at her piano singing what we are used to hearing, Swift still manages to paint a picture in our minds. The lyrics explain that the beginning of a break up is the hardest part, but you can move on to better things. Sometimes when you are at your worst is when you realize just how great you are alone.
One of the reasons Swift has so many dedicated fans is because she is loyal to them. While her after-concert 'T-Parties' are no longer confidential, she did host 1989 Secret Sessions in multiple states leading up to the release of the album. At these Secret Sessions, certain guests were invited to hear the album first. They each even got some alone time with Swift to take Polaroid pictures, Swift's latest obsession. If you were not one of the lucky ones to manage an invite, don't worry! When you purchase the album at Target or on iTunes, you will receive a special code you can enter on taylorswift.com and get the chance to attend one of Swift's upcoming concerts as well as meet her. No wonder her fans have stuck with her through the years.
The last two albums Swift has put out, Speak Now and RED, have both broken world records by selling a million copies in one week. So far no record released by a single artist in 2014 has sold a million copies. The closest has been Beyoncé's self-titled album, which has sold around 787,000 according to billboard.com. There is no doubt in my mind that Swift will be reaching one million copies by the end of 1989's first week. My advice to old listeners is to give this new sound a chance. This may not be the album you turn on to cry to, but it will be the album you turn on to motivate yourself into taking new chances.
IMAGE TAKEN from taylorswift.com.br
PHOTO COURTESY of eonline.com