Those of you who know me as more than the voice behind the keyboard know that I live and die for Heavy Metal – FACT. But what a great many of you probably don’t know is that I am a YUUUUUGE TAYLOR SWIFT fan. Oh no, no, no, you read that right. Ever since her first album was in the “Breaking New Artists” section at Best Buy for $6.99 I have been onboard. We used to listen to her all the time at my old liquor store job and from day one two things were evident: 1. she is a tremendous songwriter and 2. she always had one foot out the door of country, and if you couldn’t see that you were just silly. She also writes/co-writes every single song on every single album – FACT. If I was to rate her past works there would be two Perfect 10’s (Taylor Swift, Red), an 8.6 (Speak Now), and a 9 (Fearless). The girl is consistent, that’s for sure.
For this new album 1989, Taylor has fully embraced the pop side of things, teaming once again with Shellback and Max Martin among others to deliver sheer pop genius across the many tracks found here. Another confession I have to make is that I fangirl HARD for new music from Taylor (right, Anne?); I have ever since the debut. I’ve yet to see her live but we plan to remedy that this tour. As soon as my download arrived at midnight I was freaking out, because I knew I was in for greatness. And once again, the lady does not disappoint. “Welcome to New York” and “Blank Space” show a 24-year old woman who is totally comfortable with who she is and in her own skin. Other tracks like my two favorites “Style” and “Out of the Woods” have a complete and total atmospheric quality that pours forth from the speakers like a fog, the synth serving as the backdrop behind Taylor’s wise-beyond-her-years lyrics.
As a songwriter she shows unprecedented growth and maturity. One listen to “I Wish You Would” and it’s obvious. With a driving rhythm, this was designed to be blared loudly with some wine and good friends to hold hands with. But at the same time she is NOT afraid to poke fun at herself trying to use silly slang terms and cultural references like in “Shake It Off”, a song that is just perfect in every way, shape, and form. It’s also in your head right now as you read this, isn’t it? “All You Had to Do Was Stay” mines the familiar break-up territory, but that has been the inspiration for great songs for years, hasn’t it? And NO ONE spins that into gold better than Ms. Swift. There is also a beautiful quality to “Wildest Dreams” that begs for repeat listens, along with a summery innocence to “How You Get the Girl”.
“This Love” is simply stunning, like when you see your lady come down the stairs dressed to kill and your heart skips several beats. Yeah, just like that, fellas. Just like when you hear “You Are in Love” for the first time your heart will catch in your throat, and you’ll remember how that feels whether your relationship is ten years, ten months, or ten hours old. And at the same time the tracks “I Know Places” and “Clean” will pull, not tug, at your heartstrings. 80’s new wave shows up on “New Romantics” which rocks in all its keyboard-laden glory and closes the album out in fine fashion.
All told TAYLOR SWIFT did an outstanding job on 1989, and over the course of these songs you will find yourself laughing, crying, dancing, and singing so loud that you don’t care who hears you. So go ahead, pop this one in, put the top down and most importantly, have fun!! That’s what we want from our pop music, isn’t it? I’m sure my favorite fashionista (and fellow fangirl) Miss Kate would agree with me.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM