Taylor Swift's first 8 albums

Taylor Swift Has An Album for Any One of Your Moods

Before I was a swiftie, I loved Selena Gomez. One day I looked Selena up on YouTube and while listening to her songs I stumbled on a video titled something along the lines of “Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift- Speak Now Tour.” I clicked on the video, and slowly (as the video loaded at snail pace, it was 2011) a blond girl, wearing a purple dress appeared. She talked for a bit, and then introduced Selena. The performance was pretty good, but I didn’t think much of it until 2012. 

I was watching "Good Morning America" when the blond girl popped up again. She was announching that her fourth studio album, RED, was out. She performed a few songs, and I fell in love. I knew then, that the blond girl with the cool, red lipsick would be my favorite music artist for years to come. 

I was not worng. Nine years later, I still turn to her music whenever I need comforting or the advice of an older sister. Having listened to Taylor for so long, I have come to the conclusion that each one of her nine albums corresponds best to different kinds of moods. I have created a list to prove my point, continue on at the risk of being converted to a Swiftie by the end of it. 

 

  1. 1. Taylor Swift: Reminiscent

    Taylor Swift's first album

    Taylor’s debut album, released in 2006, was a great introduction to Taylor’s beautiful songwriting. With songs such as “A Place in This World”, “Tied Together with a Smile,” and “Teardrops on My Guitar,” this Taylor album is the best when you feel like reminiscing. The album depicts scenarios everyone faces as we find our place in the world. Swift provides her listeners with little lessons revolving around first crushes, first heartbreaks, first betrayals, and self-identity. Through the album’s yeehaw bangers, Swift sends a warning about the ups and downs in life  but it does so in a way that prepares you to overcome them yourself if ever needed.

  2. 2. Fearless: Fearless

    "Fearless" by Taylor Swift

    Fearless was released in 2008; the stellar album won Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammys, making twenty-year-old Taylor the youngest recipient of the award. As the name implies, Fearless is perfect for when you are feeling fearless. Swift’s storytelling techniques make each song on the album feel like its own short story. Her songwriting in this album is captivating and draws you in, allowing you to be a part of the narrative, and not just a bystander; it focuses on navigating through hardships, mistakes, heartbreak and hope. The “Love Story” singer is able to inspire and encourage by allowing her fans to step into her shoes and learn from her mistakes, disappointments and realizations.

  3. 3. Speak Now: Escapism

    Speak Now by Taylor Swift on Vinyl

    Speak Now is my favorite Taylor Swift album. It is a masterpiece. Swift was inspired to write this album when she received harsh criticism from a music critic who claimed that he did not believe Swift actually made any substantial contributions during writing sessions; she decided to prove him wrong. Speak Now became Taylor’s first wholly self-written album, selling 1,047,000 copies in its first week. In my opinion, The Speak Now era has been Taylor’s most magical, whimsical and enchanting (pun intended) era yet. The hope and vulnerability inscribed in the album’s lyrics makes it one of Taylor’s most heartbreaking yet compelling album to date. As a hopeless romantic, I love how the album highlights the highs and lows of various kinds of relationships. Swift brings attention to power play and mental abuse that can occur in unhealthy relationships but does so in such a classy and honest way; when she said “Don't you think nineteen is too young to be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?” in the song “Dear John.” It is such a beautiful and powerful song which makes the live version 1989 times better. Even when  you are feeling broken, alone, hopeful or full of anger, Speak Now has a song that is bound to match your feelings. I love screaming passionate and heavy lyrics in the car, and this is the perfect album to do so to.  This album allows you to drift off into dream-like, passionate narratives.  

  4. 4. RED: Heartbreak

    Photo of a phone playing "Red" by Taylor Swift

    RED was the Taylor Swift album that converted me from a fan, to a full on “Swiftie”. After three country albums, Swift decided to venture into the realm of pop music. The album, RED, allowed Taylor to swiftly transition from country princess, to pop queen. RED is Swift’s take on how messy, lonely, confusing, wonderful, and spectacular love can be. Through songs like “Treacherous”, “I Almost Do,” “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” “The Moment I Knew,” and “Come Back… Be Here,” Swift emphasizes how love can be both over and under-whelming. RED also provides us with one of Swift’s most heartbreaking, heart string pulling, lyrical masterpieces of a song, “All Too Well”. This album is perfect for when you need a “pick-me-up” after someone takes a chain saw and chops your heart into tiny itty-bitty pieces and then proceeds to stomp all over them. It’s also a great album to destress too as you can hop in your car, hit play and drive around town singing (yelling) along to RED. There is honestly no better therapy, than Swift therapy.

  5. 5. 1989: Unstoppable

    1989 the album by Taylor Swift

    The album,1989, secured Taylor’s position as pop queen. With this album, Swift became the first solo woman to win the Album of The Year at the Grammy’s twice. This album takes you on a trip and shows you the different types of loves one can expect to encounter in life: real, easy, earth-shattering, and heart-breaking love. Swift reflects on her mistakes, the lessons she has learned in life and  begins to dip her toes in the idea of her own reputation. Through songs  such as “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” “Clean,” and “How You Get the Girl,” Swift uses different stories to explain how we sometimes miss and crave for love so much that we feel overwhelmed with our feelings. These songs show that even when we ache for someone, we still have the choice in how we want to end our individual stories. No matter how we feel, only each of us can be in charge of our own destinies. 

    She also explores the idea the media has about her but does so in a way that allows for fans to relate to what she writes. In “Bad Blood,” and “Blank Space,” she expressed her anger about the situation she went through but she conveyed her emotions in a satirical way that by the end of each song you no longer feel angry or annoyed, instead you feel unstoppable and strong. She further explores the idea of freedom, in “Welcome to New York.” At the pinnacle of her career, 1989 not only made Swift stronger, but it also inspired thousands of fans around the world to take hold of their own destinies. 

  6. 6. reputation: Façade

    Reputation by Taylor Swift

    After three years without a Taylor Swift album, I was a little skeptical about reputation. For starters, I hate snakes and that was a pretty big theme of the era. It was also really dark; this was the first Swift album with a black and white cover. Some might say this was her “rebellious era” because this was the first time we saw Taylor like this, she gave us “… no further explanation… just…reputation” (Taylor Swift, 2017). Speaking honestly, it scared me a little. I was scared to give the album a listen, because I was scared to lose the “old Taylor.” I had grown up with her and wasn’t sure if I was ready to let her go. I bought the album the day it came out but it took me a few days to muster up the courage to give it a listen. However when I finally clicked play, I knew right away that “the old Taylor,” had not gone anywhere. She is still here; she is still the older sister who one can turn to for advice. The only difference now is that she has just gone through certain painful situations in life and has learned to guard herself better. She still tells her stories in the beautiful songwriting that I fell in love with in the first place. The first few songs were darker, both lyrically and musically but the songs after those songs show how she has stepped out of the curtain and shown her old-self. Only those who were brave enough to wander into the world of her reputation, to see her side of things, saw that she had not changed in a bad way: Swift was just stronger, more guarded and happier than she had ever been. She had put up a Façade that only the ones who truly cared for her could see past. 

  7. 7. Lover: Unquestionably Content

    lover the album in vinyl

    The album, Lover, was a dramatic shift from her previous album. Swift had told her side of the story through reputation, and easily left the dark era being her and stepped into the daylight with Lover. This is one of Swift’s most diverse albums as it speaks on anxiety, sexism, politics and heartbreak (both romantically and platonically). Like any other Taylor Swift album, Lover narrates the painful themes which emphasize the idea of resilience. The album is also filled with songs that express content and satisfaction. In the song, “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince,” Swift disguises her take on the United States’ current political culture under the narrative of high school, and prom. She sings, “American stories, burning before me… boys will be boys then,” highlighting how she thinks her country is in trouble, and hints at the sexism that prevails in our society. Swift further explores the double standard women face in her song, “The Man,” where she sings “they wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve, what I was wearing… could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves.” One can turn to songs such as “Lover,” “Paper Rings,” “Afterglow,” and “Daylight,” when in need of a comforting pat on the back. If the idea of driving into the sunset was a song, it would be “Daylight.” It is such a calming outro to the album and leaves you feeling peaceful and content. This song is best listened to as you watch the sun rise. In this album, Swift expresses her unquestionably content with life. 

  8. 8. folklore: Whimsical

    folklore by Taylor Swift

    Swift swept in, in an attempt to save 2020, and released a surprise album titled folklore. I fell in love with Swift’s music because of her beautiful songwriting skills and this album did not disappoint. Swift ventures into the folklorian woods and explores the stories of characters she created and delves into a new genre. folklore, marks Swift’s second genre change in her fourteen-year long career. Swift narrates the story of Rebekah Harkness, an American composer and philanthropist, in her song “The Last Great American Dynasty.” She also created characters named Betty, James, and Augustine/ Augusta and narrates the story of their love triangle. Throughout three different songs, Swift allows us to step into the shoes of each individual character and experience how they view the pickle they have found themselves in.

    As someone who loves songwriting that tells you stories, this album does not disappoint. The album is nothing short of whimsical, sweeping you off your feet with its wonderful lyrics and music. 

  9. 9. evermore: Closure

    Evermore by Taylor Swift

    According to Swift, evermore, is the sister album of folklore. Similar to folklore, evermore tells the stories of the characters  Swift has made up and welcomes you into a new land. If, after listening to folklore you thought her songwriting couldn’t possibly be topped, you were mistaken. This album is unique, and beautifully sad but in a way that leaves you content. “Champagne Problems,” is such a sad song, it narrates the events following a failed marriage proposal and how the different people involved react to the rejection. The lyrics, and the tempo are gut wrenching, yet the song is so beautiful. A lot of the songs on this album are like this. I recommend listening to them while following along to the lyrics so you don’t miss out on the great storytelling that occurs throughout the album. This album symbolizes closure, moving on, and content. 

I hope this article either converted you to a Swiftie or at least encouraged you to give Swift a listen. In addition to these nine studio albums, Swift also has a few live albums ("Speak Now World Tour Live," is the best one, but that might be a conversation for another article). 

This was so much fun to write and think about. Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram to let me know what you think, or if you would have assigned a different mood to a specific album.