Though we all hail Queen Bey, let’s be real, our loyalties are strong with the Princess of Pop, Taylor Swift herself. Though this latest album is a whole new sound, we can still lift our PSLs to the woman who brought back the signature red lip.
Where TSwift’s old tunes were more an ode to our hopeful and younger middle school/high school selves, the soundtrack to every two-week-relationship breakup, this new album shows Swift has officially traded her cowboy boots for stilettos. As if we didn’t see that coming.
“This felt like the most authentic thing for me to follow because I’ve been playing around with pop sensibilities with my writing for the past couple of years and I just really wanted to go for it this time,” Swift said in an interview on Good Morning America.
Though I’m not as smitten with this album as I am with “Red,” I will admit that I have to constantly remind myself not to dance while walking to class and blaring “1989.” Though the lyrics are simpler–the choruses often one line repeated and a stray away from her ballad-style of romantic tall-tales, the beats are sick. Well, I don’t know if they’re really sick, but don’t lie, you already started singing the line from her latest dynamo: “you coulda been gettin’ down to this. sick. beat. (bum bum bum)” And now that song is stuck in your head. You will stride confidently for the rest of the day.
It’s safe to say “Shake It Off” is the shining star of the singer’s fifth album, gazing proudly from the top of the charts. And new age feminists everywhere can definitely shake off this millennial anthem. If anything, this song has encompassed the endearing persona of TSwift as America’s Sweetheart. She’s the flapper girl of our generation, with her blonde bob, nonchalant independence and awkward dance moves, how can we not be in love?
Swift’s full album hit the stands Monday, in climactic build up from single releases “Shake It Off,” “Out Of The Woods,” and “Welcome to New York.”
She’s still sticking to her usual formula of immortalizing bad exes via top-charting breakup songs, but with this album she touches on the abstract, complicated side of relationships.
“I wanted to make sure that these songs sounded exactly the way that the emotions felt when I felt them,” Swift said of her song “Out of the Woods.”
“This song is about the fragility and breakable nature of some relationships,” she said in the interview. “This was a relationship where I was kind of living day-to-day wondering where it was going, if it was going to go anywhere, if it was going to end the next day.”
The repetition of the main chorus “Are we out of the woods yet? (4x) Are we in the clear yet? (3x) Good. (Then repeated again)” definitely feels like the heartbeat of running through a wild unknown. We get you there, Taylor.
And “Wildest Dreams” is the tale of an edgy romance that Swift knows will end poorly, but is still irresistible, just like this image she paints (of course alluding to her signature red lips, found in at least three of her songs):
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
The track has an eerier, sultry sound very reminiscent of Lana DelRay.
“Style” also gives a shoutout to the red lip:
You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back in every time.
Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style
This fast-paced song is proof that Swift’s switch to pop will not be going out of style any time soon. She’s one classy lady who doesn’t even need Harry Styles (who supposedly the song is about, in addition to a few more on the album).
Now the music snob in me is not saying she is the greatest thing to ever hit the music industry, there are plenty of rising artists that are wowing us with their brilliance lately (Alt-J’s newest album). But even if you’re a hater, let’s give TSwift some credit for standing up for self-esteem and encouraging us all to shake it off.
And with all the dirty shaking that’s going on courtesy of Nicki Minaj, thank you very much, TSwift, for shaking it off with class.
The rest of the album is generically pop love songs. I commend Swift for going out of her comfort zone. The melodies are catchy and some lyrics stand far above others. I’m not sure if I’d buy the whole album again (I pre-ordered it) because I’m really devoutly fond of a few and don’t care as much for the others. But for one brave leap into a genre she’d already dipped her feet into, I’d say Swift cannonballed well. Here’s to hoping her next album will be an even bigger step. I’m putting in my vote for an indie album or a jazz one! And if we’re lucky, maybe a holiday album?!
But even better: