By Madiha Yameen
It’s a whole new Taylor! Taylor has taken a vacation from her innocent-maiden and heart-broken-over-and-over, take the anger out in songs days. She has come a long way from her princess’ in a castle balcony. This time there are much fewer guitars and fewer break-up songs. Taylor hasn’t dated for a year and a half; since Styles dude. Makes me want to remind you, track titled Style is not about Harry. This time Taylor has “got a long list of ex-lovers” but she has shaken them off so do you thinks she “could make all the tables turn” this time too? Taylor started writing 1989 in April 2013 – released it on October 27, 2014. Why 1989, though? “The idea that you can do what you want, be who you want, wear what you want, love what you want bright colours, bold chances, rebellion. The idea of that was so inspiring to me,” Taylor, speaking of ’80s culture, continued during her album announcement live-stream. “In thinking about that, and thinking about how this new album is a bit of a rebirth … I’ve never really made these kinds of changes before,” she said.
Best Of 1989
Welcome To New York (released October 20, 2014.) is a lovable, pumping girls-party track which is the best opening for an album. Kicks off with heavy synths and 80s-inspired sounds. Melody sounds a bit inspired from ‘22’ but as I said it’s the whole new Taylor. OneRepublic’s Ryan has co-written this track and it’s gonna live forever. I predict, whenever any “Boys and boys, girls and girls” visit NY any time they will remember this track! Blank Space starts like typical hip-hop songs. That pumping drums and fresh-fresh Taylor vocals you have never heard before is what Blank Space about. Believe me when I say it, in the beginning, sounds like a rap song. Taylor showcases the ‘reckless’ Taylor. Mischievous vibe is lovable. Max Martin, the mastermind behind Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync has co-written this track that’s why it sounds a cross between Spears and Katy Perry. With Out Of Woods (released October 14, 2014) I got confuse. The chorus is loud and urgent which is predictable. But the heavily synthesized taking-U-turns beat and ‘thousands of people chanting’ sound weird. A quite depressing number! It expresses a very desperate anxiety as Taylor wonders day-to-day what is happening with her relationship. Jack Antonoff has co-written it. Had to give ‘em some credit for the last stanza of the song. Too much tension in it. It’s awesome! (I almost marked it a Not Bad-Not Good)
Shake It Off (released as the lead single on August 18, 2014) is the track which literally got my eyes like saucers. Haters-gonna-hate is the theme of this song. The song, no, this song really blows you over. Cool bridge, cooler chorus. 50s hand-claps and a sound-clip saying “Just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world, you could’ve been getting down to this sick beat”. It has honest-to-God loads of fun vocally and that charming, catchy choral phrase twirls around some flavourful new elements, like skronking horns and some live drums. Bad Blood has the bad-girl start with screaming n taunting vocals which speaks ‘oh-really’ with a that face. And who inspired this track? Drum rolls please… the famous Katy Perrrry! She said while alerting people about this song “For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not.” Not top of the line lyrics – oh please, but lyrics are Taylor’s signature! This Love aka the most beautiful song on the album begins with sumptuous harmonies and sonic arches galore with echoing and breathy (awesome) Taylor’s vocals. Chorus is the sweetest on the album. This first real ballad had me sitting back from the screen listening hard to the lyrics. “This love left a permanent mark, this love is glowing in the dark”. Just gorgeous!
Synthized I-I-I-I-Is and metallic beat and a little Rihanna feels is how I Know Places starts. So not Taylor Swift! It’s weird – but in a good way! So many different sounds and sudden change in the melody – this track is co-written with Ryan Tedder. I Know Places flirts with being “street,” The heavy auto-tune at the beginning of the song lends nothing to the track or Taylor’s vocals. In this one, you never know what’s happening but you love it! Ryan has surely taken a risk here! Wonderland starts with old-Taylor’s signature sound as in Love Story – but then suddenly 2014-Taylor kicks in! Filled with allusions to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it’s too much Avril Lavigne’s Alice. It may be TOO much Avril but I love this bonus track! Clean’s beginning made me think Mario’s “I Don’t Wanna Know”. This electronic ballad co-written with Imogen Heap, gives fans the more vulnerable and gob smacked Swift they remember “All Too Well”.
Worst Of 1989
Talking about Style, I have rarely seen Taylor in tight little skirt. Well I have surely seen a white-tee clad lad with her. It screams Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s not one of the best. Music doesn’t complement Taylor’s vocals. Lyrics don’t complement the straight-as-a-ramrod beat. Too much like Style, I Wish You Would. It has some good rhythm with chorus but its cliché ‘straight-as-a-ramrod beat’ wanted me to put this track on fire. As it ascends it starts making you hate it more. Skip over!
Not Bad-Not Good
All You Had To Do Is Stay started with a perfect rhythm and lyrics. Oh it was so perfect but then chorus had to start and her toned down squeal voice screaming “Stay” had to ruin everything. Like every Taylor’s break-up song, this one has a loud and pumping beat which almost sounds like it’s a cheery track. Martin is the man behind it too. But it’s almost okay. Wildest Dreams is the cross between new and old Taylor. It has the starting which I personally like. Like when you are passing on a steady speed through a dark underpass with anger boiling your face. Well, start (heart beats) was good but its too much Lana Del Rey. Love the chorus though. It’s that song you will be saying about ‘young love in the air’. How You Get The Girl is Guitar, innocence and country. Back to the old place! Then the boring beats kick in, along with some mediocre lyrics, and it’s leaving me dissatisfied. Taylor, in this track, shares the titular method for getting the girl: “I want you for worse or for better, I would wait forever and ever (ever and ever), Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together. I would wait forever and ever” Chorus rocks!