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Look What You Made Me Listen To: 1989 (Deluxe Edition)

Welcome to a newbie’s reactions to Taylor Swift! I have minimal prior exposure to her music beyond what’s played on the radio or what popular songs people talk about. This is my first intentional, close listen-through of her entire discography. I do not claim to be a Taylor Swift expert, nor can I promise that my impressions of each song will be considered “socially acceptable” by her fans.

Each song will be scored out of 10, adding decimals as I see fit. Examples of songs that I would rate a 10 include “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Sound of Silence” for reference. Anything 5 or higher means I like the song! I listened to the album in track order, so my reactions and scores match accordingly. 

With that being said, here are my thoughts on her fifth album, titled “1989 (Deluxe Edition).”

Welcome To New York

This is very… electronic for Taylor. I don’t know how I feel about it. It seems like a good song, but my brain is just having difficulty recognizing it as a Taylor Swift song. Overall, it’s not terrible! Rating: 6.5/10

Blank Space

I do recognize Blank Space. I’m not a huge fan of this song. I get why it’s popular- it has the stereotypical pop sound and catchy elements- but I don’t personally find it interesting overall. Rating: 5/10

Style

The introduction intrigues me. I like the vibes of this one better than the previous two. However, speak-singing earns any song deductions. Outside of the speak-singing, I don’t mind this song! Rating: 6.5/10

Out Of The Woods

This sound is different! It’s not as basic as some of the other songs on this album. I like the effects but not necessarily the vocals and melody. Rating: 6/10

All You Had To Do Was Stay

This song has very basic vibes, and it vocally reminds me of “Out Of The Woods,” which makes sense. While I don’t dislike this song, like many of the songs on this album, I get nothing out of listening to them. 5.5/10

Shake It Off

Ahh yes, “Shake It Off.” I think this song is fun, even though it is overplayed and also a little basic. The low saxophone line is a bop, so good for whoever that musician is! I like the beginning of the song more than the end, and again, I don’t like when she interrupts the songs with talking. Rating: 6.5/10

I Wish You Would

I think this one seems cool! I like the narrative, and the beat has good energy. The vocals aren’t my favorite but combined with everything else, I enjoy the song! Rating: 6.75/10

Bad Blood

I also know this song. There are more iconic Taylor Swift songs on this album than I thought there were going to be, which is a surprise. Even though it’s more prominent than some other songs, I’m not a huge fan of this one. The lyrics are cool, but the vocals are a little aggressive for my taste. Rating: 6/10

Wildest Dreams

Muffled drum beats always remind me of being underwater for some reason. I’m glad this one is a little lower energy than a lot of the rest of the album because my ears were getting tired. This was a nice break! Rating: 7.25/10

How You Get The Girl

Overall, I don’t mind this song, but again, it’s not my favorite. It’s a good bop but not very memorable. Rating: 6.5/10

This Love

I instantly perked up when I heard the quiet guitar intro. I love lower energy songs- my brain feels less stressed. I liked this song a lot! One thing I like about this album is the sound effects. They’re good at creating new vibes in Taylor’s songs. Rating: 7.5/10

I Know Places

This song has very edgy vibes. I like how the song sounds around a minute in, but before and after that, I enjoyed it less. Overall, I think the chorus improved the song, but I didn’t like everything else. 6.5/10

Clean

I like the vibe of this intro! I like the marimba-like instrumentals in the background, but the vocals aren’t super unique compared to the other songs. Rating: 6.75/10

Wonderland

“Alice in Wonderland” references! I should have known. The song isn’t what I expected from that, though. It’s more intense than I thought it would be. I like the chorus but not the verses. “Wonderland” is very chaotic, but I like it. It fits with how crazy the plot is. Rating: 7.25/10

You Are In Love

I like the atmosphere in the introduction. This is a cool song. It doesn’t sound conventional, but it’s soothing. The melody is a little too repetitive, but I don’t mind the overall vibe. Rating: 7/10

New Romantics

Although this song sounds kind of basic, I like the chorus. The verses aren’t my favorite, but this song isn’t bad! I particularly enjoyed the less edgy parts. Rating: 7/10

Average Rating: 6.53/10

Favorite song (based on rating): “This Love”

While I didn’t dislike any songs on this album, there were no standouts either. I’m content to listen to any of the songs on “1989,” but I don’t think I’d really seek any of them out. Overall, I found this a little too pop-like for my taste. It was definitely a departure from the sound of her other albums! My friend seems to think I won’t like “reputation,” but I’m excited to see where Taylor heads next!

Anna DeGoede

Hofstra '24

Anna is a Journalism major with a passion for true crime, personality tests and good food. When she isn't writing for HerCampus or The Hofstra Chronicle, Anna plays the trumpet and aggressive games of Uno with her friends.
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