November 2, 2014

1989 ~ Thoughts on Taylor's New Album

So I knew I wanted to talk about Taylor's latest album. It's been out for a week now (well, when this post goes up, it will have been), and I have so many thoughts. And I'm going to treat this a bit like one of my book reviews.

1989 produced by Taylor Swift, Max Martin, and Shellback, written by Taylor Swift and numerous co-writers, and performed by Taylor Swift
Grade: A
Release date: October 27, 2014
This album was provided by me. I preordered it from iTunes and went out and bought the deluxe edition at Target.
Summary: Taylor Swift's fifth album, her first album that is completely pop (before, her sound was country-pop with a bit of rock and dubstep thrown in at times). Less about love and more about her life now. There are still songs about a particular ex, but they're more nostalgic and bittersweet rather than finger-pointing and angry. Plus, check out my favorite lyrics from each song. ;)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: So, like with my review of My True Love Gave to Me, which went story-by-story, I'm going to go song-by-song.

"Welcome To New York"
I liked "Out Of The Woods" better, but it was a good intro song for the album, and I love the bridge. 3.5/5
"Like any great love/It keeps you guessing/Like any real love/It’s ever changing/Like any true love/It drives you crazy."

"Blank Space"
The SASS. I love when Taylor pokes fun at herself and her image. I'm not the biggest fan of the beat and flow of this song, but it's still a lot of fun. 4/5
"'Cause darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream"

I had heard "Style" described as having a serious Miami Vice vibe. While I've never seen that show, I could really feel where that reference would come from. This is a cool, fun song that I love jamming to. Plus, it's perfect for my dance parties. Easily in my top faves. 5/5
"You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye/And I got that red lip classic thing that you like"

"Out Of The Woods"
So, so, so amazing. I love that the verses are slower, like when you're reminiscing, and the choruses are faster and more chaotic like in the moment of the relationship. And just this song makes me so happy. 5/5
The whole dang song. I can't quote just one lyric.

"All You Had To Do Was Stay"
This isn't one of my favorites, but it's still pretty good, and it isn't one I'll skip if it comes up in my playlist. I'm not sure, though, how I feel about the high "Stay" in the chorus. However, the song has been growing on me. 4/5
"People like you always want back the love they gave away/And people like me wanna believe you when you say you've changed"

"Shake It Off"
When it first came out, I loved it of course. But then a few weeks later, I realized it was exactly what I needed in this season of my life. So, thank you, Taylor. 4.5/5
"Hey, hey, hey/Just think while you been getting down and out about the liars/And the dirty dirty cheats of the world/You could have been getting down to this sick beat."

"I Wish You Would"
Taylor has some things she references on every album. I'm not going to say which one this song has, but it's a Swiftie favorite. I felt some of the chaos of "Out Of The Woods" and enjoyed it. 4.5/5
"I wish you knew that I'll never forget you as long as I live"

"Bad Blood"

Slay, Taylor, slay. (Just for the record, if you didn't know, this is about a female artist who did some very awful things to Taylor, NOT an ex.) 5/5
"Band-aids don't fix bullet holes/You say sorry just for show/You live like that, you live with ghosts"

"Wildest Dreams"
Am I the only one who was reminded a bit of Lana del Ray with this track? This one is a bit more suggestive than some of Taylor's other songs, but it's not too provocative. 3.5/5
"Say you'll remember me/Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe/Red lips and rosy cheeks/Say you'll see me again even if it's just pretend"

"How You Get The Girl"
Several of the songs on 1989 are repetitive, but this one feels possibly the most repetitive. It's got a catchy melody, but it's perhaps my least favorite of the record. It's not as memorable or as catchy as "Out Of The Woods" and "Shake It Off." 2.5/5

"This Love"
This is the only track written solely by Taylor (although make no mistake - she was heavily involved in writing all the others). It also sounds the most country-like to me, and it's beautiful. It has a very "Sad Beautiful Tragic" or "Safe and Sound" vibe to me. 5/5
"When you’re young, you just run/But you come back to what you need"

"I Know Places"
"I Know Places" has a darkness reminiscent of "Haunted" (which is one of my favorite songs ever, fyi). And I. Love. It. Taylor is continuing to slay. 5/5
"Love's a fragile little flame, it could burn out"

This is the only song I'm not sharing a lyric from because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't heard it. It's one you need to hear for a full experience because it is beautiful. I keep using that word, I know. But I could feel Taylor's emotion and that was enough for me. If you don't get the deluxe version, this is the last track of the album and it's a magnificent closer. 5/5

I have mad love for the Cheshire Cat and Wonderland-related things, so imagine my excitement for this song. All the references to Wonderland worked well and weren't too cheesy or over-the-top. It almost doesn't sound like Taylor at times, which lessens my enjoyment just a little. 4.5/5
"You searched the world for something else to make you feel like what we had/
And in the end in Wonderland we both went mad"

"You Are In Love"
*sighs* Once again, beautiful. 5/5
"You understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars/And why I've spent
my whole life try to put it in words"

"New Romantics"
It's got a fun dance beat. I had to give it a couple listens, but it grew on me. 4/5
"Heartbreak is the national anthem"

Voice Memos
This was a new, different look at three of Taylor's songs. It was very raw and interesting. The second two felt more abrupt, though, and I think honestly I would've rather had three more bonus songs. 3/5

The Verdict: The 17 scores average out to 4.3 stars. I'd say that's a success. 1989 has me completely wonderstruck. Taylor hasn't done a 180 (a lot of Red was more pop than country), but I love this new direction. She still writes amazing lyrics and she isn't doing traditional pop. Bravo, Taylor, bravo.

1 comment:

  1. I love this album. As with all of her albums, I had to get a physical copy, and I went for the deluxe edition. I might go get another one because I want more Polaroids.

    I think "Clean" is my favorite song on the album at the moment, but I'm always changing my mind.

    I liked the voice memos, but I still wish she would have done three more songs maybe in addition to the memos. It's cool to hear them, but I wanted more music.

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover


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