With her fifth studio album, 1989, Taylor Swift finally departs from the country music which catapulted her to stardom in 2006’s eponymous debut album. Keeping up with the buzz that 1989 has been creating ever since its announcement in August and the high expectations in terms of sales, the album released on 27th October under much speculation as Taylor’s first ‘officially documented pop album.’
So what new does 1989 offer? Well, apart from the new pop, electro pop and bubblegum pop music, one legacy that Swift continues to take forward while leaving the sound of basses and banjos behind, is her songwriting which is one of the top reasons 1989 is going to be another milestone in her eight year long career.
The album opener, ‘Welcome to New York’ is one of the first songs through which Swift apparently shows that she is capable of amalgamating catchy pop-anthem music of drum machines with close lyrical observations.
With the next song, ‘Blank Space’, Swift has shown that she has matured and knows what she wants while she sings, ‘Cause you know I love the players and you love the game’. Swifties will find the change that she has developed in her lyrical and musical style at the most in this song while still connected with her confessional lyric writing style.
While the third song ‘Style’ carries on carries on the heavy pop element, the (rumored) Harry Styles inspired song, ‘Out of the Woods’ is quite catchy with its heavy chanting of the chorus and the ballad of the stanzas of , ‘Your necklace hanging from my neck, the night we couldn’t quite forget’.
While she explores love and power in ‘All You Had to Do Was Stay’, we come to the already Billboard number one hit single ‘Shake It Off’ which is a fine piece of writing and is a fine change from her themes of love and heartbreaks.
The other half of the album includes pop ballads and songs of breathy voclas including songs like ‘I Wish You Would’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Wildest Dreams’, ‘How You Get the Girl’, ‘This Love’, ‘I Know Places’ and the closing track ‘Clean’.
While she delivers a strong vocal performance in almost all the songs, the lyrics of some like ‘Clean’ and ‘Wildest Dreams’ stand out exceptionally.
Overall, 1989 is a good album with the exceptionally famous lyrics Swift is known for. For fans who don’t like the pop sound of the album and the entire transition in her music, the lyrics will surely make up for the lost country sound. The reinvention of sound, themes and persona that Swift sings in this thirteen song masterpiece will be another memoir for her fans.