1989 by Taylor Swift
Forget what you heard about the notorious songstress: Taylor Swift struts into the scene with sheer sophistication through her 2014 album wowza. And fresh Swiftie or not, have no fear—there’s enough class on the tracks to ease any worries about the switch from country to pop.
Because when you take a listen, it doesn’t matter. It’s the same voice that’s been singing to you all along, and here Swift’s classic lyricism has never gleamed brighter. She’s been gripping fair hearts with as much wonderstruck as breathless heartbreak for nearly a decade now, her music career shaking the industry since age 16. And since, still not much has changed; the melodies remain fresh and powered.
And boy, what class. Swift takes on NYC with the synth-zapping beats of “Welcome to New York,” undoubtedly pointing in the direction of her own awe moving to the Big Apple (as she hints in the Foreword of 1989’s CD lyric lookbook). “Blank Space,” “Style,” and “Shake It Off” have already gotten the world bumping to the beat, each with enough YouTube views to make your head swim. Still others fill up the brilliant assemblage, to name a few: “Bad Blood” is a heavy backbone with angry wounds; “I Know Places” inspires a dark, meticulous edge; “This Love” and “Clean” empower old souls with unique sound; “Out of the Wood” rampages the landscape with wild eyes.
And what unites this versatile dance is the rich imagery that stands trademark T-Swift. The lines are poetry alone: add in instrumentals reminiscent of the neon glass ’80s and it just gets better. There’s no question that in 2015, the only place you’ll want to be at is 1989.