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Back to the ’80s: Taylor Swift’s 1989

via Acclaim Magazine

Taylor Swift has grown up before the public’s eyes in the past few years. She’s transformed from the heartbroken, naïve teenager from her self-titled debut album into a young woman, still making mistakes in life and love, but much more confident and comfortable with herself in her latest album, “1989,” released just last week. With her “Fearless” and “Speak Now” albums, she revealed experiences in life and in love as she became more famous (and thus dated more famous men.) The mystery of figuring out whom these personal songs were about became a kind of game for fans. With her album “Red,” Swift dug deep and developed her emotions in her songs even further. With “Red,” she also debuted notably more “pop” songs, much different than her usual country theme. With her first official pop genre album, “1989,” Swift has transformed her image. She still sticks to her themes of life and love, but her sound is something we’ve never heard from her before.

The title of this album, “1989,” is the year she was born, and with this album it’s all about her. Swift has notably grown as a person and as an artist since her first few albums. She seems more in-tune with who she is, and less the heartbroken, confused girl that she once was. Since her move to New York, which the first song on “1989,” “Welcome to New York,” is inspired by, Swift seems much more focused on herself. In “Welcome to New York,” Swift sings, “took our broken hearts/put them in a drawer/everybody here was someone else before.” With this album, at least for me, I’m focused much less on who these songs are about, and more on the changes in Swift herself that are so evident. Swift seems much more accepting of her own mistakes in love, and it shows in “1989.”

The standout tracks on this album are “Blank Space” and “Style.” In “Blank Space,” Swift sings out, “you know I love the players/and you love the game!” The lyrics paint a picture of a fun, short-lived romance that could either end up amazing or “go down in flames.” “Style” brings to life a lustful, wild romance based on attraction that isn’t necessarily a defined relationship. Swift breathlessly sings, “I should just tell you to leave cause I/know exactly where it leads but I/watch us go round and round each time.” Other notable tracks on the album are “Out Of The Woods” and “Clean” (from the deluxe version). Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and Fun. fame, helped Swift on “Out Of The Woods,” and it sounds similar to Bleachers in the best way. It has an 80’s sound to it with a Taylor Swift spin, of course. It sounds like nothing Swift has ever created before. Swift tapped Imogen Heap for songwriting on “Clean,” and it is also heavily influenced by Heap. These collaborations are really unusual and led to incredible songs for Swift. It would have been interesting to see more even more collaborations on this album.

“1989” has more lighthearted songs than her previous albums. Like “22” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Shake It Off” and “New Romantics” (deluxe) are the fun songs on “1989.” “Welcome to New York” and “How You Get The Girl” are also really upbeat. As usual, she creates incredibly relatable songs. However, this album is noticeably lacking the typical slow songs that were such a major part of her previous albums—we had “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “White Horse,” “Dear John,” “Last Kiss,” “All Too Well,” and more. “I Wish You Would” is most lyrically similar to these fan-favorites, with lyrics like “I wish you were right here/right now,” but I’m missing her typical sad song on this album.

Overall, “1989” will please fans and new listeners alike. It sounds nothing like Taylor Swift’s previous albums, but it is a nice change.


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Back to the ’80s: Taylor Swift’s 1989