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Review of Taylor Swift’s 1989

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

If you’ve watched television, used social media, or basically just been awake throughout the past few weeks, you probably know that Taylor Swift released a new album: 1989. You also probably know that this is her first truly pop album, without a single hint of the country melodies that dominated her early albums. As a loyal T-Swift fan since the “Our Song” and “Teardrops on My Guitar” days, I have to admit, I have a mixed reaction to the new sound Swift has debuted in 1989. First, the good reactions: in classic T-Swift style, the lyrics are extremely descriptive and personal, which is something I’m glad she’s retained even as her style of music has changed. It is certainly also excellent pop music that makes me want to cruise down a California highway with the top down, singing at the top of my lungs and probably (unsafely) dancing while driving.

However, I’m just not sure that’s what I want to experience when listening to my girl Taylor. In my opinion, there are a million artists out there who can make cutesy pop songs, like Jessie J and Katy Perry. But there are only a few who can create country songs, of both fast and slow tempo, with lyrics so relatable that I feel like the singer is reading from my diary. I see that as Taylor’s unique niche, and her departure from that has honestly slightly disappointed me as a loyal fan. I understand that she has grown up and is no longer a teenager singing to her hot neighbor across their yard, like in the “You Belong With Me” video. However, growing up doesn’t have to mean changing completely. I just wish Taylor Swift had kept one foot, or even a pinky toe, in the country pool, instead of diving headfirst into the ocean of pop.

With that being said, some of the songs from 1989 are, undoubtedly, jams, so I’m going to rank my 3 top favorites and one least favorite from the album.


1. Blank Space. I’ve always appreciated both ends of the Swift spectrum. There are the joyful “my man is the best in the world” songs on one side, and the sorrowful “my man left me crying on my bedroom floor” songs on the other. However, what stands out to me about this song is that it’s somewhere in the middle. She acknowledges that a boy she’s interested in may break her heart, and there’s a chance they’ll “go down in flames”. However, she’s willing to take a risk on him anyway. And that, to me, sounds like growing up: being realistic, but still optimistic about love, rather than blindly believing that every story will have a happy ending.

2. Clean. This song sticks out for me as having the most profound lyrics out of all the songs on the album. In it, Taylor sings about getting over one of her exes. She describes the dark aspects of the process in several ways. One particular line describes the suffocation she felt after losing her love; “the water filled my lungs, I screamed so loud, but no one heard a thing”. However, when the song reaches the chorus, she takes a more optimistic stance. My favorite line from the song is “when I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe”. This line expresses how throughout all the bad times, she learned about herself and was able to come out “clean”.

3. All You Had To Do Was Stay. In this upbeat track, Swift laments an ex who left her “picking up the pieces of the mess [he] made”. I like how it’s different from her usual breakup songs, because she’s singing in a fun rather than defeated way about a bad situation. I’d also like to think of this song as the sadder sequel to the song “Stay Stay Stay” on 2012’s Red, in which her boyfriend does, indeed, stay. #SorryTaylor #JustShakeItOff

Least Favorite

Out of the Woods. I don’t mean to be rude to one of my favorite singers and people in the world, but on this song, T-Swift just takes her foray into pop music Way. Too. Far. I am not a fan of the overly synthesized beat, constant, almost annoying repetition of the phrase “are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods,” or the random male voice that says “oh-oh-oh” over and over in the background. I can appreciate the story within the song, Taylor wondering if her relationship is “out of the woods,” or basically, if it will last. However, I don’t like much else about it. Times like this are when I just want to hear a little “Hey Stephen,” you know?

Like I said before, I do miss the cowboy-boot wearing, Queen of Nashville Taylor Swift. However, there are some truly great pop songs on 1989. I can’t deny that unless she switches over to being a rapper, I will probably always be waiting in anticipation to see what T-Swift does next.

Victoria is a sophomore in CSOM at Boston College, majoring in Business Management with a Marketing concentration. She is also involved in the Student Admission Program and is a freshman mentor for the Compass Fellowship. When she's not at BC, you'll find her spending her days on the sand in her hometown of Rockaway Beach, a suburb of New York City. She enjoys going to concerts, traveling, watching Gossip Girl and Scandal, and pretending she's Beyoncé.
I am a Political Science major and Women's and Gender Studies minor at Boston College. I am an RA on campus and am involved in the Student Admissions Program. Since I am from Florida, I can legitimately say that I love long walks on the beach. I also love getting lost in a world fabricated by a novel, there is honestly nothing better.