On the morning of the much anticipated Monday Oct. 27, I went to the gym motivated only by the fact that I would be listening to the new Taylor Swift album in its entirety- just a mere ten and a half hours after its release on iTunes.
The first thing that I realized about the album was that you actually CAN listen to it at the gym. This alone speaks volumes about how different her sound is from her past work. You could not listen to Fearless, Speak Now or Red straight through with the intention of getting “pumped up” for a workout. You would have been interrupted by the forgiveness song dedicated to Kanye West, “Innocent,” the song of nostalgia and growth, “Never Grow Up,” the melancholy notes of a lost love, “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” upon many others. Swift really says it perfectly herself in her “Welcome to New York” lyrics: “It’s a new soundtrack; I could dance to this beat forevermore.”
And let’s just say, you won’t hear any ukuleles in Swift’s newest album 1989.
After attending three concerts and two tours, downloading 85 songs to my iPhone and having every lyric memorized by heart, I don’t just consider myself a “Swiftie,” but the ultimate Swiftie.
I was both holding my breath for but also remaining skeptical of hearing my queen’s new work.
I can tell you that if you’re looking for a ballad that’ll shake you to your core and will overwhelm even the most happily in love person with tears, I’m not sure that you’ll find it on this album. Nothing comparable to “Last Kiss” or “All Too Well,” at least. The closest comparison I can draw is “Wildest Dreams,” but even that is a stretch.
You might notice a hint more cynicism in her lyrics than ever before. The once self-proclaimed hopeless romantic is now singing words like: “Boys only want love if it’s torture; don’t say I didn’t warn ya.” But that only corresponds to the disinterest in love she’s demonstrated in recent interviews, as well as the fact that she is nearly 25 and no longer singing about being 15.
This is nothing like the Taylor Swift you’ve heard before, but it is. It is just as captivating and powerful and whole-hearted. It couldn’t be done by anyone else, that’s for sure.
The lyrical genius has worked her magical brilliance once again, but in a whole new way.
And if you don’t like it, well, you can just shake it off.