My Two Favorite Taylor Swift Songs from Each Album

This coming year, Taylor Swift has plans to release rerecordings of albums 1-6. I’ve never been strong enough to sit down and rank every Taylor Swift song, but now that the re-recordings are coming out, it feels like the right time to revisit her discography. To build up to ranking the entire discography, I’m going to pick my two favorite songs from each Taylor Swift album. I know that it’s going to be really hard and kind of horrible. Here we go!

  1. 1. Taylor Swift (2006)

    The first song that I picked off this album is “The Outside”. This isn’t one of the most known songs on her debut album, but it’s so fun to sing along with. This song feels very relatable while she’s talking about isolation and this feeling of a new type of loneliness. Plus, it’s kind of a banger. Her voice isn’t as bright in this song that it is on other tracks, and while country twang Taylor Swift always has a place in my heart, “The Outside” has a tone quality to her voice that I appreciate. My second pick is “Tim McGraw”. Loving this song is a more recent development, but I love the story the song tells, and the lyrics are beautiful and simple. Plus, the line that says “Put those Georgia stars to shame that night” is one of my favorite lyrics off of this album. Honorable mentions to “PIcture to Burn” and “Our Song” because they’re classics and will always be a good time.

  2. 2. Fearless (2008)

    My first favorite is “Forever and Always”. This is one of my all time favorite driving jam out songs. To have this play in the background while I’m driving down a back road is very empowering. The instrumental has very impactful silences in the guitar part that emphasizes the vocal line perfectly, and obviously the bridge is amazing. My favorite part, though, is after Taylor exits the bridge and returns to the chorus. She has this raw power to her voice that showcases her skills. (Thanks Joe Jonas for inspiring that song). My second choice is “That’s the Way I Love You”. This song has a really good drum lead up that builds tension. The tension is still in the verse, but it’s waiting for the chorus to come. Once the chorus hits, it’s loud and impactful, plus the lyrics are so relatable. My first honorable mention is “White Horse” for being my sad bitch song when I was 8 years old. My second honorable mention is “The Best Day” because it’s the first song I ever recorded, and the recording was a Mother’s Day gift.

  3. 3. Speak Now (2010)

    Okay, Speak Now is in my Top 3 favorite albums and it deserves so much more appreciation. Picking songs off this album is going to be hard, but let’s do it. The first song is “Dear John”. This has been my sad bitch song since middle school and it still hasn’t changed. The simple intro that bends the pitch on the electric guitar is so perfect to set the mood. The lyrics are so clever, and even though the song is so tragic, it’s so beautiful. At the end of the song Taylor holds a note for at least six measures with perfect breath control, and if that’s not what I strive to do, then I don’t know what is. My second pick is “Mean”. It’s a classic, and I am a sucker for a banjo. Plus, it was the ultimate serve to the critic who ripped her to shreds. My first shout out goes to “Last Kiss” for being the song I performed in my sixth grade talent show, and the second goes to “Never Grow Up” for still giving me an existential crisis.

  4. 4. Red (2012)

    Oh boy, here we go. Picking my two favorites off of this album was much easier because they’ve pretty much stayed the same since I first listened to it. My first choice is “Sad Beautiful Tragic”. Pretty much every sad song is overshadowed by “All Too Well”, but this song is heartbreaking and touching. The simplicity of it is so gorgeous and it allows the listener to settle in the entire mood of the song. My second pick is “Holy Ground”. This album has a lot of really ballads, and while I love them all, “Holy Ground” picks up the pace in a really nice way. The instruments are super simple with one chord change and a simple drum beat, but it allows her vocals to shine and oh, do they. I also love back-up vocals saying something like “Boo-da-lie”. She said they’re the sounds of her happiness, and when I shout them while dancing, I sure do feel happy. My first honorable mention is “Everything has Changed” because it has the cutest music video, and Ed Sheeran is also in it. My second honorable mention is “State of Grace” for being a great song, and for having my name in the title. 

  5. 5. 1989 (2014)

    I get a lot of hate for this, but 1989 is my least favorite album. I know, I know. The album was her experimenting with full pop, and she has some great songs, it’s just not my favorite. My first pick is “Out of The Woods”. It’s repetitive, but it’s really catchy and I think the way she plays with technology works in this song. I would like to point everyone to her live performance of this song at the Grammy museum, because it’s amazing and everyone should watch it. My second pick is “Blank Space”. This song was so overplayed on the radio, but I fell in love with it when I heard the artist Rhodes sing a piano version. It allowed me to hear the lyrics and appreciate it. It’s actually a good song when the radio stations aren’t shoving it down your throat 24/7.

  6. 6. Reputation (2017)

    This album is amazing. There are songs on here that I didn’t think I would like, but ended up loving, and her range is fantastic. This is where it’s going to get really hard to only pick two, but we’re doing it. My first pick is “Delicate”. I know it’s super popular, but it’s such a feel good song and it makes me want to dance. I also feel like she is using the technology she has in place to her advantage. It doesn’t outshine her, it amplifies what she’s already created. For example, the intro is no instrumentation, but her distorted voice, and it sounds amazing, and catches the audience’s attention. Plus, it’s a dream of mine to yell, “1, 2, 3 let’s go bitch” at a concert during this song one day. My second pick is “Getaway Car”. This song is a masterpiece, and it is one of my favorite driving songs. The bridge is immaculate, and I don’t think anyone is going to disagree with me. My first honorable mention is “Don’t Blame Me” because when I first heard it I didn’t think she wrote it because it’s just so out of her usual wheelhouse. She has this amazing note that she belts healthily, and the chorus is this dark pop moment that I’ll appreciate forever. My second honorable mention is “New Year’s Day” for being the cutest love song, and for having syncopation that makes my heart happy. My third honorable mention—I know, three!—is “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” for having a really good beat drop and vibe change in the chorus. .

  7. 7. Lover (2019)

    Lover was my real reemergence into being a Swiftie. The album was released on my 18th birthday and I felt that if that wasn’t a sign to become immersed in her music, I didn’t know what was. To me, this was her first successful attempt at a bright pop sound. She took the expectations and made it her own. My first pick is “It’s Nice To Have A Friend”. This is very indicative of the fact that I was meant to love albums like folklore and evermore. It has very calm vibes that are so happy and calming. The trumpet bridge in this song is so refreshing. It’s a controlled and attention grabbing sound, and she’s not singing over it so they’re not competing. My second choice is “Death By A Thousand Cuts”. This was my first favorite off the album, and I still love it. I think the lyrics are so clever, and it’s so fun to sing along with. The way the intro grows with the “my my my” leads into the song perfectly and it makes me love it even more. Shout out to “The Man” for being a feminist anthem, and to “Afterglow” for having lyrics that makes love real (and catchy). 

  8. 8. folklore (2020)

    Alright, this is where we truly get into the thick of it. I don’t skip many songs on folklore, so this is going to be very difficult. My first pick is “mirrorball”. “mirrorball”, like most of the songs on the album, has amazing vibes. The album doesn’t have many dance songs, but this is one of the few. I really love the droning electric guitar and the tambourine playing in the background. The song’s chorus is so quaint, and it really sets a scene in your mind while listening to the song. My second pick is “my tears ricochet”. This song made me cry the first time I heard it, and it’s stayed my favorite. The “ooh” section  at the beginning really contrasts the lower range that Taylor follows it with, and it creates such contrast. The lyricism in this song is also just amazing and really shows her talent. My first honorable mention, and truly was so close to being picked, is “illicit affairs”. This song is gorgeous musically and lyrically, and has one of my favorite bridges in any Taylor Swift song. It’s a really good driving song—a really key component, as you can probably tell. My second honorable mention is ”hoax” because, even though it’s depressing as fuck, I really considered making it my first dance song for a minute. I would like to name every song in this paragraph, but sadly I can’t do that, so we’ll end the honorable mentions there.

  9. 9. evermore (2020)

    Alright, last one! This was her most recent album, and it also had barely any skips on it. My absolute favorite song on this album is “cowboy like me”. The lyricism is amazing, and the lazy sound of it makes it sound so natural. It also has one of my favorite lyrics of all time. She says, “you hang from my lips like the Gardens of Babylon”. The story she tells is so creative, and it makes me feel so many emotions at once. Plus, it’s lowkey country, and it’s a feat to make me like country music. My second pick is the storyline between “dorothea” and “tis’ the damn season”. I know that;s kind of cheating, but I love them equally and they’re connected! So I’m counting it. They’re both so good. “dorothea” has a really cool piano part, and “tis’ the damn’ season” has an equally good electric guitar intro. They compliment each other so well, and represent the character speaking so well. Honorable mention time! My first honorable mention is “gold rush” because she sings a lot of words that sound the same in close succession very fast—which also means that I had to learn, and I did. My second honorable mention is “ivy”. It might be my favorite chorus on the whole album. It’s so catchy, and it represents this mystical magical love that makes my heart warm. My final honorable mention for her entire discography is all of her collaborations on this album. Bon Iver, The National, and HAIM all killed their songs individually, and made some of the most iconic Taylor Songs in existence.

I have officially picked my two favorite songs from each Taylor Swift album currently in existence, and hopefully I’m one step closer to ranking her entire discography. I’m so excited for all of the re-recordings to come out and see how she makes each era her own as she revists them. Maybe once they get rereleased, my favorites will change. Guess we’ll have to see.