It’s true: America’s favorite country-pop artist Taylor Swift has officially gone pop. The southern twang and muses about finding true love is no longer present in Swift’s latest album 1989.
The album kicks off with “Welcome to New York,” making us forget her Nashville-inspired previous albums, and introducing us to her new home in the world of pop. This song introduces us to a mature Swift: one who is done with singing about everlasting love.
Most easily recognizable is her first single, “Shake It Off,” released pre-album drop. The synthetic beat, lighthearted message, and catchy lyrical repetition of this song gave us a sample of what the rest of the album would be like. Her second released single, “Out of the Woods,” is reminiscent of our parents’ favorite ‘80s hits, and reveals just how much Swift has evolved. Her shift from country to pop should not come as a huge surprise; it was foreshadowed in her last album, Red.
This grown up T-Swift is more preoccupied with making men “good for one weekend” than keeping them around long-term. Flings and unrequited love are now the name of the game. “Bad Blood” calls us to relieve pent up aggression or regret we may have suffered from past relationships. We catch themes of one-night-stands that may turn into relationships, but she is not heavily concerned about love in her lyrics.
In “I Wish You Would,” Swift delivers a similar beat to contemporary pop songs, but with such an emotional lyrical ballad we can’t help but wonder who the song is about. Many online outlets have already attempted to dissect this particular song to figure out who Swift could be referencing.
There are clear influences of Lana Del Rey’s and Lorde’s styles in the slower and vocally deeper songs such as “This Love,” “Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know Places.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise since Swift is reportedly good friends with the two pop artists, and was no doubt influenced by their music. With more intense songs like these, she offers diversity to the album while also remaining easily identifiable and unique.
There are thirteen tracks (keeping with her lucky number) that can either be over-interpreted or simply enjoyed. The beat is unquestionably appealing in each song, but not every song is particularly memorable. It might take a second to realize that these pop songs are Taylor Swift and not another pop star, but once you listen to the lyrics, Swift is revealed.
Swift is no longer our female country-pop icon. It is undeniable that Swift has thrown away her country musical background and adopted one that is now solely pop. It is unique and positive to see an artist changing styles to keep fans on their toes and giving them something new to enjoy. No one should be disappointed as 1989 embraces pop audaciously. And while Swift may have given up on long-term love and switched to passionate flings, what matters is that pop has a new queen to the genre, and due to the record-breaking first week album sales, one that will inevitably reign for a long time.