By Abby Del Vecchio
It’s been eight years since Taylor Swift’s self-titled first album, meaning eight years of songs about friendships, heartbreak and love that have touched millions of fans. But there is something different about “1989” besides the complete departure from the country genre Swift resided in, there is no name-dropping and no blatant attacks on her exes as her previous albums comprised of.
In the forward of her album booklet, Swift writes to fans saying that moving to New York City has helped change her, as a person and the way she writes her music.
“I needed to change the way I told my stories and the way they sounded,” Swift said. Adding that she listened to music of the decade of her birth, and with that “1989” was born.
The lead song off the album, “Shake it Off” may just be the weakest song off the album, but Swift is known for never releasing her best song as her first single. The song shows her more grown-up side, saying she will just shake off the haters, the players, the fakers and the heartbreakers.
The album begins with a powerful, dance-in-your-seat-while-you’re-driving song called, “Welcome to New York.” Swift moved to New York back in April after “dreaming and obsessing” over moving to the city.
“I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life for the last couple of years,” Swift said.
Following “Welcome to New York” is one of her strongest songs on the entire album, “Blank Space.” Swift mocks her serial dating reputation with the lyrics, “Got a long list of ex lovers/ they’ll tell you I’m insane.” The song shows Swift’s sense of humor, proving that she knows she has a disastrous love life.
“Wonderland,” one of the bonus tracks on the Target edition of the album, uses “Alice in Wonderland” to parallel the world her and her man created while in love. “We found wonderland/ you and I got lost in it/ And we pretended it could last forever/ We found wonderland/ And life was never worse but never better,” the lyrics read.
“Wildest Dreams” is a tale of a dangerous love that she sings in breathy tones. Swift channels Lana Del Rey with the dark, mysteriousness of the song, and the “ah-aah-ah’s” at the end of the chorus.
“Style” is probably her most “1980s” sound on the album with a Miami-Vice inspired vibe. The lyrics, “You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye/ And I got that red lip classic thing that you like” provide visual lyrics that the pop industry sometimes lacks.
“1989” raises the bar for pop stars, just as Swift’s previous albums raised the bar for country stars. With solid lyrics and upbeat rhythms, Swift takes the pop world by storm and wins.