Taylor Swift - 1989


This was never going to be an objective review. You all know how I feel about Taylor Swift.

So I'll keep it brief: there was no need for ny apprehension about this album. It is a pop masterpiece. It combines everything I have loved about Taylor Swift since I first came across her in the midst of a drudgy heartbreak aged eighteen years old; her beautiful lyricism, the expert way she writes lyrics specific to certain situations that are still broadly relatable, the way she taps into emotions in my heart I didn't know I had; with the love for pure pop I have also always had. My Taylor Swift fandom has always been the strongest but it has seemed out of place with my love for Max Martin and Ryan Tedder productions, the joy I feel in a massive chorus, that perfect chanty middle 8. Well now they have combined and the results are beautiful.

My highlights are:

Blank Space. Figure out what you want, be that girl for a month. 
Out of the Woods. Remember when you hit the brakes too soon, twenty stitches in a hospital room?
Wildest Dreams. Say you'll remember me, standing in a nice dress.
Clean. 10 months older, I won't give in. Now I'm clean I'm never gonna risk it.
Style. You've got that James Dean daydream look in your eye.

The worst track is Bad Blood by a million miles (what was she thinking in including it?! But I guess every album so far has had its dud, and it's not a bad as Stay Stay bloody Stay) but I would say the second worst is probably Shake It Off, and given my love of this song that's a pretty big deal.

But you know what? To most people it's probably just a bloody excellent pop album with multiple 10/10 songs. But there's something really special about my love of Taylor Swift, or about your love for whoever your favourite artist is. I mean, really of course my sister and I would still be best friends if we'd never initially overcome our awkward 5 year age gap by becoming obsessed with Taylor Swift together and spending hours watching her videography and discussing our favourite tracks. (Although we wouldn't have had that moment where we were at a Taylor Swift concert, she played All Too Well, I let myself cry for the first time in three months and my sister just knew to take my hand and not say anything.) Of course I would have got over that first 18 year old heartbreak. Of course I would have still fallen in love and had fun in my early twenties and been sometimes afraid. Of course I would have still got through the utter misery and fear and loneliness and standing too close to the edge of a train platform to feel a bit more alive that is trying to find somewhere to live when going through your first Adult Break Up. But because of Taylor Swift I felt like someone was going through all of it with me. 

This album feels to me like it's about being 24. It feels to me like it's about starting to find my place in the world. It's about getting screwed over by people and shaking it off. It's about loving yourself and celebrating your success and learning from your failures. It's about becoming excited about someone you're dating and then everything crashing down. It's about it being okay to miss your ex sometimes and it doesn't mean you're a victim or that you've let yourself down. It's about working towards being a grownup. It's about living in the present, being excited about the future and reflecting on the past.

But for you, I guess it's about whatever you think it is. And that, as they say, is the beauty of music, and of being someone's fan.

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