As everyone should know very well by now, whether they are a fan or not, Monday October 27th marked Taylor Swift Day. Not the first, and probably not the last, but still a joyous day indeed. Taylor dropped her newest album 1989 and I felt like this would be a fitting time to foray into music reviews. Here’s my take on 1989, track by track. *’ed tracks are my JAMS.
Full Disclosure: There is no All Too Well on this CD. There will never be another All Too Well and excuse me while I go listen to it for the 4000th time and cry softly to myself.
1. Welcome to New York: As an avid H8ER of NYC, this song on message alone bloooows. When I think “Welcome to NY”, I smell street meat mixed with homeless people BO, hear sirens and people shouting for money and see Amanda Bynes wandering aimlessly with bandaids on her face. But of course I’m not Taylor Swift with an endless bank account and supply of fresh crop coordinates to wear upon exiting the gym. So I guess I can understand how we would see NY differently. Putting that aside, not into the sick beat on this one, a little too 13 going on 30 for me.
Honorable mention lyrics: “Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats” & “Took our broken hearts, put them in a drawer, Everybody here was someone else before”
2. Blank Space*: First ten seconds, gangster Tay? NICE TO MEET YOU. WHERE YOU BEEN? This is 100% one of those songs that if it were to come on I wouldn’t know how to groove to it. It’s way too cool for me. I love it. I feel like this is the sassiest Tay gets on this album and you gotta respect the sass. (PS “They’ll tell you I’m insane” hits a little close to home, huh T?)
Honorable mention lyric: “Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” I mean obviously. The delivery of this paired with a cocky laugh. Oohh kill em, OG T.
3. Style*: Hey do you think this is about Harry? Just wondering. This is a good “I feel like I’m reading seventeen magazine and doing my nails when I bop to this” jam. Also Taylor saying she wears a tight little skirt? HUSSY. I LOVE it. (So did Harry apparently) Burn city. Side note: Harry’s dirty locks are actually starting to go out of style, he should probably consider cleaning that up. Taylor’s red lip and crop coordinates, however, I am not sick of yet so for right now I agree. You so stylish, girl.
Honorable mention lyric: “Take me home. Just take me home” (There’s really no good lyric in this song so I chose this one because I want Harry Styles to just take me home. Also this lyric is a rare glimpse of Taylor not being a cat lady for once.)
4. Out of the Woods*: I think this one has to be my favorite so far. I hated it at first because when it came out I was still jamming so hard to Shake it Off and I wasn’t ready for it. I’m ready now. It’s just the right amount of 80’s sound. More like Breakfast Club, less like 13 Going on 30. Also I like when Tay wails OH I REMEMBER. (Insert goat sound here, internet.) Jk she has much more goaty songs yet to come.
Honorable mention lyric: “The rest of the world was black and white But we were in screaming color”
5. All You Had To Do Was Stay: This is a tough one for me. I like everything about this song except for the “stay” which is essentially the whole song. It’s supes whiny. It kind of sounds like when I would *hypothetically* perform a solo concert in my car and try to hit the high notes in All Too Well. Not gr8. And that’s why I can’t love this song.
Honorable mention lyric (this is difficult…there’s literally 4 lyrics to this song): “But people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye.” YEAH GIRL POWER. Let em walk gurrrrlll.
6. Shake It Off*: The second this song came out I loved it real hard. The downfall of this is that it got me super excited and swept up in the year of new Taylor causing me to immediately and aggressively pre-buy 1989 the next day. Pre-buying a cd is a huge commitment when you don’t know what it will sound like, it’s an even bigger and more embarrassing commitment when you realize it comes with 13 personal polaroids of Taylor and you have to ship it to your sister’s apt because you don’t have an address yet. In retrospect it was too much. I got swept away in Swift hysteria. I know that now. I DO NOT, however, regret playing this song on repeat for the remainder of the summer and long after everyone had already gotten annoyed by it. It’s the 22 of this album, and I’d like to personally thank Taylor for making it all ages. Getting past 22 was a rough spot for me. 23 just isn’t as cool and flirty. Could for sure do without the mid song talking. It gives me all the uncomfies.
Honorable mention lyric: “It’s like I got this music In my mind Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.” CHURCH. (I don’t even know what that means I just heard Scott Disick say it once so I wanted to give it a whirl.)
7. I Wish You Would: This song feels like a Hil Duff song during the Disney days. Like I can see Lizzie McGuire jamming to this song on her Hit Clips while Gordo stares at her longingly, Ethan models and styles his fluffy Ken doll hair in his locker mirror and Miranda wears wacky clothes so that she’s less irrelevant. Did I go too far with that? Probably. But that’s all I can think of. So sue me. I think the best part of this song is when the “I wish, I wish” in the background goes away.
Honorable mention lyric: “You give me everything and nothing” So much drama. So many feels.
8. Bad Blood*: So apparently this song is about Katy Perry? I swear to God if anyone is still fighting over John Mayer we need a quick reality check. It’s John Mayer. His songs haven’t been sex since Contiuum circa 2006. Old John Mayer=worth fighting over. New hippy, post-racism retirement John Mayer=not worth fighting over. Got it? Stand down gurls. Now that we’ve cleared that up, this song is growing on me, which is why it earned a star. I like the beat and it makes me feel like I could carry a boombox on my shoulder and start street fights with girls wearing whipped cream bras with a blue wig.
Honorable mention lyric: “Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes” So true Dr. Swift, so true.
9. Wildest Dreams: I haven’t read many reviews of this album yet but one that I read before I had even listened to the album said she mimicked Lana del Ray on one track, I’m going to assume it’s this one. ALL I can think when listening to this song is how it’s almost exactly the Lana/Great Gatsby “Young & Beautiful”. Lana’s song “Say you’ll still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful.” Tay’s song “Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset.” Coincidence? I hate the Lana song because they used it in Gatsby to be about Daisy who is a HUGE twat. Also Kanye had it played when he proposed to Kim, insert monkey covering mouth to hold in vomit emoji. Long story short I’m not in love with this one.
Honorable mention lyric: “Hes so tall and handsome as hell Hes so bad but he does it so well” Is this a song lyric or directly copied from the “what you’re looking for” section on my OkCupid profile? HEYYOO.
10. How You Get The Girl: Cin always taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. As you very well know I’ve never followed that rule a day in my life. I physically cannot say nice things about this song. I feel dumber after listening to it. I guess the one nice thing I can say is that the chorus SOUNDS catchy. I like how it’s sung, but the lyrics read like an advice column for Tiger Beat.
Honorable mention lyric: “With pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks” Lawls. So Innocent.
11. This Love: I can’t quite place what song the “oh oh oh’s” make me think of but it is certainly an old song that now lives on classic rock radio stations. I think I like this song for a slower change of pace from the rest of the album but again the chorus lyrics aren’t great. This love is good, this love is bad” WHICH ONE IS IT TAY? MAKE UP YOUR G-D MIND. Solid for a power ballad post break up I guess though.
Honorable mention lyric: “When you’re young you just run But you come back to what you need” All the wisdom.
12. I Know Places*: It might be the emo side of me that liked the Ashlee Simpson Show (and youtubed clips from it the other night, 10 years later) but I’m starting to love this song. It makes me want to write in my journal and dye my hair black. Just kitten, black isn’t my color. I can picture the music video for this being in the woods at night and involving her cats. Nailed it. Call me a visionary. Plus MARIST RED FOXES (insert Red Fox Rumble).
Honorable mention lyric: “Loose lips sink ships all the damn time Not this time.” ALL THE DAMN TIME.
13. Clean: I think this is probably the only song on this album that reminds me of something she’s done before. It has a similar sound to something from the Speak Now era. I like it but it’s nothing special for me. I like that it’s simple and not being overpowered by synths or mid-song talking. It’s CLEAN. Get it?! HA.HA. All jokes aside, is she comparing dating Harry to being an alcoholic? Little dramats don’t we think? Not the finish to the album that I would’ve pictured but then again let’s take a walk down memory lane to Red’s Begin Again ending. Wooooooof. So it’s probably better than that.
Honorable mention lyric: “You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore” I think we can ALL picture this, amirite? Wine stains? No? Just me?
If you also impulse bought the deluxe edition here are the bonus songs:
13. Wonderland*: This song is banging. It’s Princess fairytale Taylor in Wonderland meets carnival announcer. I mean this of course in the best possible way. The first time you hear her crazy “wonderrrlaaaaaaaaahhhnnnddd” voice you’ll know what i mean. Bonus points for cheshire cat reference.
Honorable Mention Lyric: “And in the end in wonderland we both went mad.” Mostly for her creepy delivery of “mad”.
14. You Are In Love: Supposedly this is Lena Dunham’s wedding song. Knowing that before hearing it made me want it to be the most romantic song ever. I guess it’s more of a modern romantic song, but I actually laughed out loud imaging two people dance act this out as the first dance of their wedding. It just made me think of mimes. I can’t explain the weird places my mind just went to. This song is alright but as far as love songs go I’ll stick with Thinking Out Loud for this year.
Honorable Mention Lyric: “You two are dancing in a snowglobe round and round.” Snowglobe dancing. WOULDN’T THAT BE AWESOME?! (None of this made sense. Pls disregard)
15. New Romantics*: Lovin the modern sound of this song so hard. It’s the female “Safe and Sound” except the lyrics are a lovely romanticized version of post grad problems. A young professionals (I use that term quite loosely) anthem, if you will. I can get down with it for sure. This probably should’ve closed the actual album instead of the bonus tracks if we’re being honest..and we ARE being honest.
Honorable Mention Lyric: “Honey life is just a classroom” PREACH. “We are too busy dancing To get knocked off our feet”
Summary: T’s goal with 1989 was to sound completely different. It was her first fully declared pop album (we’ll all just slyly ignore that Red was 110% pop, but apparently not actually, you know, because Stay, Stay, Stay) Anywho. Goal achieved Tay. This album is all sorts of different. Respect. There are certainly some great jams, but as a whole it’s an album that I cannot listen to on repeat every day. What I’m getting at here is that this album is not Red. Red is her crowned jewel and I will never get sick of it. It gives me all the feels and I refuse to apologize for that.