Music Reviews

Taylor Swift: 1989

Album: 1989
Artist: Taylor Swift
Genre: Pop, Rock
Release Date: October 27, 2014
Track List:

01 Welcome to New York
02 Blank Space
03 Style
04 Out of the Woods
05 All You Had To Do Was Stay
06 Shake It Off
07 I Wish You Would
08 Bad Blood
09 Wildest Dreams
10 How You Get the Girl
11 This Love
12 I Know Places
13 Clean

He Said
For the past several years, Taylor Swift has skated a fine line between country and pop. While 1989 is her fifth studio work, she actually deems it her first… given that it solidifies her transition into a full-on pop singer. The album is a cohesive effort that plays well, but lacks the uniqueness that made previous albums memorable and distinctively “Taylor Swift”. Perhaps this is reflective of today’s mainstream pop, but many of the songs sound similar not only to one another (while listening I sometimes wasn’t sure when one track stopped and another started) but also to music made by other artists. The music is too loud on most songs and the repetition felt like just that. Swift’s songwriting, which had matured so finely seemed to have again taken a step backward, but it is definitely still present and shines in creative songs like “Clean” and “Wonderland” (bonus track found on Target exclusive Deluxe Edition) – which are my favorites.

She Said
There’s not a trace of country in this pop album. The theme of love also took a back seat. Perhaps her more limited dating pool these past two years provided little material for the album. 1989 is an improvement from Red and is defining a new Swifty era. Her vocals showed maturity and she wrote of love from a different angle. The album as a whole is a lot more upbeat than her previous works. It would serve as a nice workout soundtrack or morning routine music. My favorite track from 1989 is “This Love”, which is reminiscent of Swift’s true storytelling days. As for her music videos… I have no comments on her weird dance moves.

We Say
Taylor Swift: Pop Star is here to stay and 1989 is her coronation. It is filled with cookie-cutter pop songs that are meant to be cheeky and fun.


Taylor Swift: Red

Taylor Swift became a household name that one fateful night at the MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye West interrupted her speech. Since then, she’s been unstoppable with endless awards and record sales. Her latest CD…

Album: Red
Artist: Taylor Swift
Genre: Pop, Rock, Country
Release Date: October 22, 2012
Track List:

01 State of Grace
02 Red
03 Treacherous
04 I Knew You Were Trouble
05 All Too Well
06 22
07 I Almost Do
08 We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
09 Stay Stay Stay
10 The Last Time
11 Holy Ground
12 Sad Beautiful Tragic
13 The Lucky One
14 Everything Has Changed
15 Starlight
16 Begin Again

Accolades: Red spent six weeks atop Billboard 200, making Swift the first artist in 43 years since The Beatles to log six weeks atop Billboard 200 with three consecutive studio albums.

Purchase Red: Audio CD | MP3 [+digital booklet]

He Said
I was shocked when I heard the first single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on the radio. It felt like a giant step backwards from the very delightfully mature-sounding “Safe and Sound” (from The Hunger Games movie) and Speak Now album. It sounded childish and the lyrics were worse than the days in which Swift sang about fairytales and princesses (ala Fearless). I kind of hated Red the first time I listened to it. I skipped through most of the songs after sampling them and felt none were memorable. I concluded that Swift had diverged from her roots and became a pop star who used autotune and synthetic instruments.

It wasn’t until I heard a cover of “Red” on YouTube (thanks to Nhi’s subscriptions) that I decided to give the album another chance. With more patience and a closer ear this time around, I felt like I was listening to a different album. While the songs on Red are not as meaningful or memorable as some of Swift’s past works, they are nevertheless catchy, addictive, and rather fun.

She Said
I was very critical when I first listened to Red. I basically skipped every song after 30 seconds since I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t give Taylor a fair chance. So I had a second listening, which went much better. I still have my reservations, however, and won’t give it a glowing review. While there was musical diversity, her lyrics lack the maturity seen in Speak Now. Overall, Red is a forgettable album with only a few good hits.

We Say
Red is a departure both musically and lyrically from Taylor Swift’s past records. These songs are not country with a very pop twist. They are pop songs from a singer who formerly sold herself as a country artist. Bottom line is that Red is “different”, but if you give it some time, you may like what you hear.