Taylor Swift – 1989 | Album Review

I don’t do reviews often, so you know I have a lot of thoughts when I dedicate an entire post to an album..

So the standard album has 13 tracks, and the deluxe has 16, not including the 3 voice memos of songs in progress with Taylor’s commentary. Let’s get on with it.

  1. Welcome To New York happens to be the perfect introduction to what you’re about to hear. It’s got that usual whimsy and optimism but with a brand new beat. It might just be in my head, but this song sounds how being in New York felt.
  2. Blank Space is the kind of hair-flipping anthem to a life that the media seems to think Taylor leads. It’s brilliant, and the sly laughs and mocking tone tell you that she’s enjoying playing up the maneater image.
  3. Style has a bit of a disconnect from the verses to the chorus but it’s a late night, breathy number with a bit of a provocative story.
  4. Out Of The Woods is a frantic one about being unsure where you stand and Jack Antonoff’s influence is very present. I do have a beef with the “necklace hanging from my neck” line but that’s just me being picky.
  5. All You Had To Do Was Stay struck me as a bit annoying on my first listen but now I’m embracing that high “stay” and signing along at the top of my lungs. “You were all I wanted but not like this” is a stand-out line.
  6. Shake It Off has been in my head for months already, do I even need to comment? Shaking on to the next one.
  7. I Wish You Would sounds very much like her mind was in a scattered state and she’s just blurting out true feelings. I can really hear 80s influences in this one.
  8. Bad Blood is some kind of Lorde/Katy Perry mashup and her voice at times sounds like Bridgit Mendler and Avril Lavigne. But it is still 100% a Taylor song.
  9. Wildest Dreams mixes a bit of Lana Del Ray with Lorde and could very well be a credits song to some romantic movie.
  10. How You Get The Girl maybe sounds the most like it could fit on an earlier album (hello acoustic guitar, it’s been a while). I like that it goes full circle and again, I’m picturing it playing during the credits of a movie. Cutesy teenage love story, maybe.
  11. This Love slows it down for a moment and takes away the heavy backbeats to make room for echoes and strings. I like the nod to Wildest Dreams and How To Get The Girl.
  12. I Know Places is dangerously true story of being in the spotlight and having it ruin relationships but learning how to avoid being seen. It seems the verses speak to the outside world while the chorus is something for only the partner to hear, a sweet-talking comfort in a scary place.
  13. Clean is another one that’s sound matches the message to a T, with the percussion and the simplicity. The bridge really caught my attention and explains such a real and complex way of getting over something.
  14. Wonderland has such a well-loved song concept but she takes it to a new place and I can’t get the way she sings “green eyes at me” to stop repeating in my head. I like to think that wonderland was the place Taylor had in mind when she said she knew places.
  15. You R In Love brings it back to the sound we got in This Love. I’m picturing a candlelit dinner on a rooftop with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Weho. No fairytale comparisons, but as if she found love in reality and it spoke for itself.
  16. New Romance is a banger to end it off with. I immediately started dancing when the beat kicked in and I didn’t stop. I think it sums up her time as a single lady, and the loves she wrote about in the other songs and ties them together.

As a whole, the album has a very distinct sound and flow. It’s clear Taylor has matured in her songwriting as always, diving into more complex situations and feelings that come with growing older. I am extremely pleased with the whole thing and hope it gets the attention and adoration it deserves.

Xo, Rachel

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