Taylor Swift’s new album 1989

Posted on 28 October 2014
By Faye Smith
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Taylor Swift’s personal life is always splattered all over the gossip pages of magazines; not that she needs it as she is the pop princess who enjoys a good over-share every now and again.

The fifth album to come from Taylor Swift is no exception.

She continues to share her feelings about her long list of A-List exes, except it is not so in-your-face like previous songs.

“1989” is the name of the album, despite not having a song with the same name in it.

It’s blatant from start to finish that Ms Swift has a bit of a soft spot for all things eighties including the classic synth-pop from the decade of Pet Shop Boys and Bananarama.

It is also Taylor’s favourite: “1989 is the most sonically cohesive album I have ever made and my favourite album I have ever made.”

Described by Taylor herself as an “album of rebirth” which could be depicted in a number of ways.

At the end of the day, Taylor is only 24; many people forget about that. She can reinvent herself as many times as she likes throughout her twenties and even thirties which is exactly what she has done through “1989”.

The beloved acoustic guitar is forgotten for the majority of the album, making way for Max Martin’s beats on the 13 songs that he produced. This more lively feel take to music is what makes 1989 a chart topper.

The album opens with “Welcome to New York”, a song that lets out the happier, more optimistic version of Taylor Swift. It is all about the excitement of New York and having a break away from the love life; something that everyone strives for.

In “Blank Space” Taylor cheekily mentions “You look like my next mistake” with references to the ups and downs of friendships and romance with players and bad boys, which is more of what we know about the heart-on-sleeve Tay.

Another happily sung romance song with a hint of humour is “Style”, where she compares her other half to James Dean and has herself as a “red-lipped classic”.

Other romantically influenced songs that hint at the theme of break ups and heartache are “Out of the Woods”, “All You Had to Do Was Stay” and “I Wish You Would”.

Although these songs’ lyrics are along the lines of the previous Taylor Swift that always sang about her personal love despair, yet the tempo juxtaposes it which leads the listener to question whether she is happy or sad about the break up: something that every young woman can relate to at some point in her life.

Some people have whispered their views on “Bad Blood” already, claiming that it’s about the beef between Taylor and Katy Perry. It could be, but it could also be yet another song about a past relationship.

Nearing the end of the album, Taylor switches up the tempo a little with “How You Get the Girl”, “This Love” and “Clean”. These three songs are longer in time compared to the three minute mark for the rest of the record.

“How You Get the Girl” still has the synth-pop disco, but mixed with the Taylor classic of strumming her guitar.

Power ballads were just emerging in the late 1980s with the likes of Bon Jovi and Berlin making a name for themselves in connection to the new serenade. Taylor sings her own version of an 80s ballad with serenity in “This Love”, accompanied by her trusty guitar. Her voice is the softest in this part of the album, telling a love story which is something that she is good at.

The finale of the album “Clean” has a little help from Imogen Heap with the ethereal backing sighs. The lyrics that stand out – “When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe” – encompass the whole romantic, love-loss theme that Taylor continues to illustrate through her music.

She juxtaposes happiness with sadness which in this day and age in music is something that is rarely done.
The album is a roller coaster of emotions with a sense of empowerment for women in a fun and playful manner.

She’s come a long way from being Romeo’s Juliet.