1989 by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift shook the pop world with the release of “1989.” Her loyal band of “Swifties” were thrown into a swirl of turmoil. Some fans were overjoyed at the opportunity to add yet another album to their collection. Some mourned the loss of “the old Taylor,” who sang their diaries through the relatable ballads on her previous albums “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” and “Red.” Even non-Swifties turned a curious ear to the new release. Some marveled with grudging approval at the record-breaking sales. Some just looked at her reputation as a blonde serial dater and groaned inwardly, muttering to themselves disgustedly about the “music of this generation.”
It’s a shame that all these people are missing the point.
“1989” isn’t just another mishmash of heartfelt country, a jumble of meaningless lyrics, or a melodic array of soulful R&B. It’s a breath of fresh air for modern pop, teeming with a mixture of upbeat tempo and clarifying honesty that has never been seen before in the music industry. It’s a beacon of light amid the foggy clutter of repetitive bubblegum beats and dubstep that infests our radio stations.
“1989” is a delightful mix of ballads tinged with background drums (“Clean”), feisty dance tunes (“Shake It Off”), and sassy, satirical messages (“Blank Space”). Swift dabbles in the hit-or-miss world of electropop with “I Know Places” and “Wildest Dreams,” resulting in a novel mixture of piercing lyrics and haunting falsetto.
But the most defining trait of this album is the innocent honesty that won Swift legions of fans in her previous albums. In “1989” she sets it free, letting her truthful lyrics tumble through the new terrain of pop tempos until they shine brighter than in any of her previous endeavors.
The hidden pain in the seemingly carefree song “Welcome to New York” rears its head with the lines “And you can want who you want/Boys and boys and girls and girls” by revealing the prejudice that haunts the world. The bittersweet melody of “But you come back to what you need” in “This Love” hides a deeper, darker resentment relatable to all those with broken hearts.
With “1989,” Swift declares to the world that her talent for storytelling isn’t confined to the soothing guitar strings of country music. In fact, when paired with the upbeat percussion of today’s pop, her musical integrity cuts deeper than ever. Swift may be a newly inducted pop artist, but her message has never been clearer.
This album is just the jolt that pop music needed. And if you’re still not convinced, well, I guess Taylor said it best: “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”