I was inspired to do this review of Taylor Swift’s new 1989 album after I saw her interview clip with David Letterman talking about how she invited a lot of her fans into her house to preview her album before it came out. I think that is pretty much unheard of for someone as big as she is, but she continues to “delight and surprise” as I think she’s been quoted to say she likes doing! She just invited random fans that expressed their passion for her music online via Instagram and such and it wasn’t any sort of extra fee for VIP, money making type of event either. I think that is why Taylor Swift is a classic!
Her new 1989 album I think will be a classic too. I’m a big country music fan but I love all other genres as well. I can understand why she wanted to transition to pop for this album as the vibe and the sound of these songs just fits a more pop/dance style. Everyone likes to experiment with music and not be stuck to just one genre for their entire career. Other pop/rock artists have done country albums so I think it’s just natural she wanted to progress into other styles.
I’m not going to speak to every song on the album, only highlight my favorites and the ones I identify with the most. There’s a couple fun and optimistic songs that I love and of course some of her standard songs that everyone relates to that she writes based off bad vibes she experienced with guys or people in general. As Logan said in an episode of Veronica Mars, “nobody writes songs about the ones that come easy” – being relationships as the “ones” he spoke of!
Insightful, relatable lyrics plus undeniably hooky melodies that move you, mentally & physically, make this album a definite purchase for me. I didn’t buy it just because it wasn’t on Spotify yet, either. The songs spoke to me, like an arrow through the heart, and I applaud her efforts for reaching out to her fans, so I wanted to show my support and invest in some music that I can look back on when I’m older, you know like a record collection!
Oh, and I have to admit, with my thoughts of my favorite songs on this album below, I had to point out songs of my own that I thought had the same lyrical sentiment as well – but with a completely different quirky style 🙂
Welcome to New York
This isn’t one of my favorite songs off her new album, but I couldn’t help compare it to my song, The San Diego Life. I was reading another review of this album from the Washington Post and it was talking about how this song was one of “her worst lyrics” and the chorus rings out like an “over caffeinated tourism jingle”. People have told me they could see my The San Diego Life song in an ad for San Diego. Who cares if it sounds like a jingle, if you write a song about a city you love and it’s catchy and memorable like a jingle, go for it!
Shake it Off
Of course this song is one of my favorites as it is so fun, upbeat, catchy and I absolutely love the vibe of shrugging stuff off what others think and just doing your thing, whether that’s shaking it off by dancing or in my case by surfing it off. I’ve done a modified cover of her song at an open mic night at PB Cantina and I call it “Surf it Off” – it was a definite crowd pleaser. I think I wanna do a youtube recording of it as well and add some surfing it off footage – stay tuned! The key lyric for me in this song is “I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet, and that’s what they don’t see” Yeah, I Identify with that lyric as I Get a Move On!
This is a pop/dance song that you can immediately feel like you would sway back and forth and dance to at a dark club with bright lights pounding down on you – a good kind of hook up on the dance floor tune! You just can’t get it out of your head, the beat and melody just keep on pumping. A definite fave of mind from an overall concept and musical style perspective and I bet it will be her next single! The song has an interesting story line to it as well, about an open relationship perhaps, as the couple both admits to each other that they’re cheating or straying but yet they can’t stay apart from each other as well. I think my Single Together song aligns with the theme of this song in a way as well.
This is another one of my favorites, it’s my second bet for what I think could be her next single. The beat and hook/lyrics just make you automatically move and want to sing along. There are also so many great quotes in this song – that’s why I really love Taylor Swift – she’s a great lyricist (and probably has a little bit of help too, but you know it’s her talking)! Key lyrics in this song for me are:
“Magic, madness, heaven, sin, saw you there and I thought, oh my God, look at that face. You look like my next mistake. Love’s a game, want to play? Screaming, crying, perfect storms. I can make all the tables turn…I get drunk on jealousy…. But you’ll come back each time you leave, cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream…. So it’s gonna be forever….Or it’s gonna go down in flames…. They’ll tell you I’m insane, cause you know I love the players and you love the game. You can tell me when it’s over If the high was worth the pain. Boys only want love if it’s torture. Don’t say I didn’t say, I didn’t warn ya.”
This is a very different type of song from Taylor Swift. It’s not a done me wrong song or cheeky fun, it’s a truly dreamlike and more adult song than her other past more teenage fare. I feel like I’m reading a romance novel while I’m listening to this song and can picture myself in this imaginary situation that the song describes with a dreamy type of guy that I’ll never get – as the guys I’m ever interested in either aren’t interested, are just intrigued with me for a moment & tease me, or are taken, it’s just a reality I’ve grown to accept. However that’s the beauty with music, you can escape into it and pretend just for a moment, that it is reality, kind of like my Hypnotize Me Please song alludes to. It kind of also brings me back to one of my fave shows awhile back, Ally McBeal. She always had daydream fantasies going on in her head. The sound of the song is also very seductive and instantly pulls you in. It also reminds me of another one of my songs, Sneaking Around, with the lyrics:
“He said, “Let’s get out of this town. Drive out of the city, away from the crowds. I thought heaven can’t help me now. Nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down. He’s so tall and handsome as hell. He’s so bad but he does it so well. I said, No one has to know what we do, his hands are in my hair. His clothes are in my room. And his voice is a familiar sound, nothing lasts forever.”
I’ve heard that this song is about a tiff between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry which is a bummer as I ‘m a fan of both of them and really enjoy and relate to their music. However I do enjoy this song with the darker vibe as I love anything that’s catchy and instantly memorable as well as completely identifying with some of the lyrics, via these key phrases in the song
“These kind of wounds they last and they last, now did you think it all through? All these things will catch up to you, and time can heal but this won’t. So if your coming my way, just don’t”
“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. You say sorry just for show. If you live like that, you live with ghosts”
All You Had To Do Was Stay
This song got my attention right away with the title. I’m big into lyrics so a key lyric I identified with in this song is
“you kept me in the palm of your hand, why’d ya have to go and lock me out when I let you in – it could have been easy, all you had to do is stay” and “people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye”.
The hook of this song is also definitely memorable and catchy.