Monday, October 27, 2014


Taylor Swift has officially gone pop. I mean, come on. Wasn't she always pop? Sure, a country twang snuck in, but the thing that strikes me is that the songwriting on 1989 is the same as her other albums, they are just to a different beat. And that's a good thing!!! 1989 is the year this bitch was born, y'all!! And just barely: December 23, 1989. We are all old! There is definitely some 80s influence on this album, especially with album opener, the excellent and anthemic Welcome to New York, but this is not a retro album. What this album IS is confessional. Taylor always writes about her life and, frankly, that is what makes her music so popular and entertaining. There are juicy songs about relationship troubles like the synth-soaked Out of the Woods; the biting Bad Blood, a song supposedly about her feud with Katy Perry; and even songs about hopeless romanticism like Blank Space. Taylor writes with some pretty heavy weight pop names here: Max Martin (Britney, Pink, Katy Perry), Shellback (Pink, Britney, Usher) , Ryan Tedder (U2, Adele, Beyonce), singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, and Fun's Jack Antonoff. This makes for an album of many influences, but surprising cohesiveness. The possibility for singles is staggering; the pulsing Style is a definite highlight and the gorgeous All You Had To Do Was Stay is a genius title and continuation of Taylor's personal stories of love and heartbreak. This is not just an experiment of some country girl playing in the pop world, this is a genuinely inspired pop record. Of course, first single Shake It Off already hit #1 and she hasn't even had to officially release a second single yet. Interestingly there are a couple of obvious modern influences, like the Lana Del Rey whisper of Wildest Dreams, which finds Swift crooning and scooping her notes so perfectly that I had to check if Lana wrote the song. She didn't. This, again, is not a complaint. The results are quite lovely. There is also influence from another young singer that is a friend of Taylor's, Lorde. I Know Places is VERY Lorde and could easily fit on Heroine, her debut. Of course it would be easy to label Swift a copy cat, but to dream that artists are not inspired or influenced by their contemporaries is ludicrous. Another highlight would have to be the absolutely breathtaking This Love, written solely by Swift. Soft, floating and airy, This Love has GOT to be a single, y'all. The album closes with the Imogen Heap assisted Clean, a song heavily influenced by the singer and it features Heap on backup vocals. It's a dramatic end the first album in a new era for Taylor Swift. 1989 delivers exactly what was promised, a more pop Swift.

No comments:

Post a Comment