Artist: Taylor Swift
About: 13 songs; 49 minutes
These are things that I know after multiple listens of Taylor Swift’s 1989 – Taylor Swift has red lips, rosy cheeks, and cute dresses. However, a week listening to Taylor Swift has still not convinced me that I could listen to Top 40 Radio (is that still a thing?) and accurately pick out a song of hers. That is the harshest thing that you will read from me this week. Taylor Swift has a good voice. She is masterful in her brand. It is impressive that this – her first true “pop” album – is again filled with songs that she has written. She gives us Taylor – girl and her guitar -writing songs; telling her story. This time, however, the story is a little more grown up and poppy.
There’s no way that I can say that this album didn’t do it for me. She had me singing along with her and wondering which boy she was talking about in the different songs. Dan writes in his blog about all of the references that other reviewers have called attention to and which he cares not to understand. I am a little more voyeuristic in my pop culture persona and am willing to read the gossip between the lines. It is true, however, that the themes of the songs don’t need Cliff Notes in order to understand what she is talking about. She’s a cute twenty-something living the life.
When she sings “he’s tall and handsome as hell” you know exactly that mood and time she is singing from. In that same song, Wildest Dreams she breathily sings:
Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Picture perfect end of a bad relationship as brought to you by TS.
Wildest Dreams is one of the slower songs on this 13 track album. Most of the other songs are much more classic pop. Blank Space is just fun in its clever call out to start a relationship that is bound to end badly. She loves the players and he loves the game.
Shake it Off – the first release with a video – is her response to so many naysayers hating on her and her just shaking those jerks off. It is pretty charming when she sings “I go on too many dates” which she follows with a giggle. How can you not appreciate her willingness to laugh at what certainly must at other times be completely annoying? Her celebrity life means an inability to do anything without anyone else’s willingness to voice a public opinion about her private life.
1989 was my entry into Taylor Swift world and it was fun. I hope that the Taylor she puts out there is who she really is – beyond the red lips and cute dresses, a performer of note.
Next up: RTJ2, by Run the Jewels