Print Edition: November 12, 2014
Taylor Swift has officially turned from country cutie into pop queen with her new album 1989 (titled after the year of her birth — the significance, I would speculate, is rooted in her ’90s childhood). Props to Swift for preparing her beloved fans for this significant sound change by releasing “Shake it Off,” accompanied with the humourous music video. It ensured us all that, behind the highly EQed vocals and snappy beats, is still everyone’s beloved Swift — not afraid to make fun of herself. It’s the reason why her fan-base is so huge — she’s so relatable!
I was caught off-guard with “Out of the Woods.” I was instantly met with vocals that reminded me of Avril Lavigne. The sound was earthy and gritty with pounding, spacey drums — very fitting for the title.
Swift did her due diligence in covering various pop sounds. “Bad Blood” resembles Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” and there are streaks of Lorde littered throughout the album. The album also carries a ’90s new-age vibe to it (especially “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” “Wildest Dreams,” and “This Love”), with airy and breathy vocals like Enya, and Donna Lewis’ “I Love You Always, Forever.” Growing up in the ’90s obviously had a heavy influence on the sounds Taylor Swift produced in this album.
Lyrically, Taylor is still battling all the woes of a young lover: heartache, dealing with people’s critiques and judgments, fear of loss, infatuation, and all the other worries that come with being in your 20s (minus the adult things like taxes, budgeting, and rent). Between the all-too-frequent times she mentions boys in cars and her red lipstick, the real Taylor is still under all the pop production, and I’m not sad to see the country twang go.