"1989's" finally here!, It's hard to believe it's been 2 whole years since Taylor Swift released RED, her massive country/pop crossover album which dominated the charts with songs such as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", "22" and "I Knew You Were Trouble", despite releasing 3 albums previously, it took RED to be able turn Taylor Swift into a massive star that people could take seriously. She writes her own great songs with catchy melodies and sings live, which unfortunately is something that is taken for granted these days.
But now she's back and Taylor Swift finds herself with the most anticipated release of the year. Her team have managed to successfully hype up the albums release by dominating the radio with "Shake It Off" and somehow managing to appear on every talk show imaginable either over in the US or here in the UK.
So does "1989" live up to all the hype?
Track 1: Welcome To New York
The most recent track to be released from the album, it was shown off last week with an introduction from Taylor, it's a upbeat pop track with a killer chorus which makes It's the perfect opener to the album.
It's undeniably a love song to her new home and It's clear to see how much she has been smitten by the city of New York with it's "bright lights" "glowing villages" and "a sound that hasn't been heard before". It's no secret that this is a new type of sound for Taylor as she goes full on pop for the first time with the song setting the stage for the rest of the album perfectly " It's a new soundtrack, I could dance to this beat forever" she sings and you just can't help dancing along with her.
Track 2: Blank Space
Taylor gets to show off her skill for smart lyrics as she plays on the fact she's known as a serial dater, it's firmly tongue in cheek and show's she can take the criticism on her love life, full of great lines such as "Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane, but I've got a blank space baby, and I'll write your name..." and "Oh my God, look at that face, you look like my next mistake..." and it's all set to a catchy beat.
Track 3: Style
It doesn't take a genius to guess who this song is about, as she creates a chorus which literally describes the appearance of One Direction's Harry Styles, the opening guitar riff could be mistaken for something taken from a Prince or Chic record and is definitely fitting with the 80's theme of the album. lyrically the verses speaks of a boy who's been cheating around and can't keep his eye's to himself but Taylor can't seem to want to get rid. however it's a weaker track and fails to live up to the standard set by the previous.
Track 4: Out Of The Woods
Another song shown off before the album release, it's a great song with another catchy chorus. It's heavy on synths and ends up sounding like a typical 80's pop song or not something too dissimilar to one of CHVRCHES songs and will defitnitly be stuck in your head long after the song finishes, it got it's Live debut earlier this week check it out below...
Track 5: All You Had To Do Was Stay It sounds very similar to Swift's previous work, one of few tracks on the album to feature an acoustic guitar and contains some impressive high notes in the chorus. It's a simple song that unfortunately ends up as quite forgettable when taking the album as a whole.
Track 6: Shake It Off
the most "pop" song on the album and if you haven't heard it already then where have you been for the last 2 months! it's a great anthem about not worrying about "the haters" and when something gets you down.... Shake It Off!
Track 7: I Wish You Would sleek guitar riff's and 808 drum loops plus a return for the synth's, it's a 80's pop song through and through as Taylor sings of an ex who she wishes she had told how much she loved etc. it's a nontraditional love song that manages to maintain the upbeat, catchy choruses the album is going for. it's a good solid song.
Track 8: Bad Blood Taylor shouts out about a rival popstar (Katy Perry) who steals her production team in what is a track which unfortunately is just too repetitive and too loud, it comes across as just too much and needs to be turned down a notch, unfortunately it's a surprising dip in quality and begs to be skipped.
Track 9: Wildest Dreams Most reviewers have described this track as very similar in style to that of Lana Del Rey and I can’t disagree, it’s surprising to see a slowed down ballad appear after constant up beat pop songs with repetitive choruses but the change is a welcome one. Taylor sings smoothly and the song is paced just like a Lana ballad even with Taylor elongating her words during the chorus, don’t get the impression this is a copy; it’s a great song and a lot less morbid than Lana, it really focuses on Taylor’s voice and is easily one of the best songs on the album.
Track 10: How You Get The Girl By far the best song on the album, it’s simply the perfect pop song. Starting off with a guitar riff that would have fitted perfectly on previous album RED and the clichéd pop uh uh uh’s, however then the drum beat kicks in and the song gets interesting. the song starts off with slow paced verses that build up over time to a brilliant chorus before dropping off and starting all over again. The lyrics are simple enough, tell a girl you’ll love her forever and she’s yours. It’s massively uplifting and will leave you with a massive grin on your face.
Track 11: This Love The album slows down again for This Love, another ballad which suffers from sounding very similar to Wildest Dreams. The problem is that it’s just nowhere near as good as WD and end’s up as forgettable as the song seems to just drag on.
Track 12: I Know Places It’s really hard to explain this track; it’s unlike anything Taylor’s ever done before, an experimental pop ballad with synth’s looping in the background, it’s a haunting listen that just works, you’ll have to listen to it yourself to understand what she’s gone for but I guarantee you’ll come away impressed.
Track 13: Clean Taylor joins up with Imogen Heap for the closing track of the standard edition, with a gentle beat this ballad works down to how well the pair sound together unfortunately without Imogen Heap the track would be mainly forgettable and for such an upbeat album it’s a surprising contrast as she sings of finally being rid of an addiction she refuses to fall back into, she’s “finally clean”.
VERDICT: 4/5 "1989" is a great record, apart from a few forgettable filler tracks it's a great pop album that manages to live up the hype. if your hoping for a album full of "Shake It Off" then you'll inventively come away disappointed but Taylor has shown that even when she ditches her guitar that she can still make a great record,
it may not live up to Taylor's two previous efforts RED and Speak Now but don't hesitate in picking it up.
The deluxe edition comes with 3 additional songs and unfortunately all 3 are forgettable additions. Wonderland sounds very similar to Bad Blood a heavy pop song based on the Alice fairy tales, You Are In Love is a forgettable ballad similar to This Love, the most interesting addition is New Romantics the song sounds like something that wouldn't be amiss on a Mike Posner record, a rare upbeat heartbreak song and is definitely worth downloading in addition to the main record/
The deluxe also comes with 3 voice memo's which explain using examples of songs from the album, the process of how Taylor creates her music, they are an interesting listen but don't justify the extra money spent on a deluxe version.