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Although not all of Taylor Swift’s songs are based on personal experience, there is a certain autobiographical feel to all of her music. 1989 is the next chapter in the story of her growth as a musician. Especially over her last two albums Speak Now and Red, she has progressively left her country roots and embraced her passion for pop. Some of the tracks on this album like ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Wonderland’ have a similar feel to the music of other pop artists; but even though she is no longer mixing pop with country, her music continues to have an originality that distinguishes her from other musicians. This album’s sound is quite different from her past work, but as a long-term fan of her music, it feels like a natural development.
One of my favourite things about this album is that it shows how Swift has responded (or pointedly hasn’t) to comments about her music. She has been heavily criticised for writing copious love songs, but the majority of this album continues to be songs about relationships and heartbreak. And why not? 1989 only proves that Swift has a talent for love songs. I’d challenge anyone criticising her for these reasons to write a song half as emotionally meaningful as ‘Clean’. Swift also appears to respond to criticism through tracks such as ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘New Romantics’. She makes her message pretty clear.
Overall, Swift’s exploration of a new style of music coupled with her insightful and clever lyrics creates her best album to date. The only reason you shouldn’t listen to this is if you don’t want to be singing one of her songs for the rest of the day. My housemates may start hating me soon.