Hello everybody! Today, since I am very much still in my Swiftie feels since Lover was released so recently, you’re getting a different music post than I’d originally planned- which is about 1989. Onto the post!
Welcome to New York- this love letter to New York is such a great choice for opener. It sets up what the album will be sonically really well, and it’s got great production and melody. And in typical me fashion, I’m very into the clapping. Also, the bridge of this is SERIOUSLY underrated,
Blank Space– if you don’t love Blank Space, I’m sorry but I do not understand. I think the whole “Taylor Swift is a jealous lunatic who tortures all her boyfriends and scares them away” thing is ridiculous, sexist and completely unfair, so when I first heard this I was initially very confused, till I worked out that she meant it to be a satirical takedown of this idea of her. The lyrics are so amazing, Max Martin and Shellback are ridiculously talented at prodcution and the whole thing is just so much FUN- it came on when I was in Waterstones the other day and I started mouthing along whilst being at the till, and even did some of the actions Taylor does when she performs it (very subtly, so I don’t think the bookseller noticed!). Hands down one of her best songs EVER.
Style- oh, this song. It’s about an on/off relationship, and it’s SO GOOD. It’s another super catchy one and the lyrics give a very vivid idea of the relationship, but the things I love most about it are the vocals (especially the backing vocals) and the music itself- the guitar sounds amazing and I’m very into the keyboard at the prechorus. And of course, this is 1989, so the synths are pretty superb as well.
Out of the Woods- I find this song so frustrating, which is perhaps apt given it focuses on a doomed relationship. I love the lyrics and her vocals are sublime, but the production is a bit too busy to let you really notice it. I highly recommend the acoustic Grammy Museum version.
All You Had to Do Was Stay– If the story that the high-pitched stay in the chorus came to Taylor in a dream is true, I wouldn’t be at all surprised, because something that perfect surely wasn’t thought of in some mundane way. The song is basically her telling off an ex who abandoned her (I suspect Harry Styles, personally), and I’m in love with it- I know a lot of people hate it on the basis that it’s a bit less vulnerable than track 5 usually is, but it’s a really excellent song so I don’t hold a grudge. The production is flawless, the multilayering of the vocals sounds SO good and the lyrics are simple but effective.
Shake it Off– honestly, I think this song gets a lot of unfair critcism. Is it her lyrical masterpiece? No. Is it exceptionally fun and catchy? Yes. Both qualities you need in your lead single, making this the perfect choice for it! I always want to sing along, and I think it’s a pretty excellent pop song tbh.
I Wish You Would– this sounds like it’s very likely about the same person that All You Had to Do Was Stay is, but in this one she misses him and is willing to forgive him. I really like the drums and guitar in this, and I think the verses are fab, but I’m not quite so keen on the chorus (though I don’t hate it). The repetition of ‘I wish I’ before the bridge sounds gorgeous, and there are some standout turns of phrase.
Bad Blood– I used to think of this as the big black spot on this album, but I’m actually really surprised listening this time. Bloody hell, those verses are so good, and I know it’s an unpopular bridge. The chorus is still grating, but I don’t think I’ll be skipping this anymore. Also, stellar vocals. This was such a nice surprise!!
Wildest Dreams– I first heard this on the radio, for some reason, and I knew immediately it was Taylor Swift and that I loved it a great deal. I think this is another Harry Styles one, quite possibly, but I kind of prefer the music video storyline, so that’s how I think of it, and it’s a clever concept executed in a really excellent way. My favourite thing about it is the heartbeat in the backing track, but the vocals are a close second. Also, I know everyone looks at Reputation as the album where she started aiming at sultry with some love songs, but personally I think this is the best one in that vein she’s ever written. The way she BREATHES in the chorus is heavenly.
How You Get the Girl- this is basically the sequel to All You Had to Do Was Stay, which actually tells him how to make amends. And the picture painted here is so convincing and romantic, you’d probably take him back even though he’s been so absolutely rubbish. It’s an unconventional love story with great vocals and a pretty melody, and it ges this girl every time.
This Love- yeah, I kind of wish this one had stayed a poem. I can’t believe it made the album when the bonus tracks are as good as they are. I like the chorus vocals and guitars, but it’s a real weak spot for this album.
I Know Places- this is one of the most underrated Taylor Swift songs. It uses hunting as a metaphor for the scrunity of a celebrity relationship. I’m obsessed with the high notes, and the production is perfection to the point I can’t BELIEVE she’s not worked with Ryan Tedder for more than just this and Welcome to New York.
Clean- this is an exceptional ballad, and it’s a very cleansing song, as is the intention. The vocal and simple synths make it very chill, Imogen Heap’s backing vocals are gorgeous and it’s stunning in terms of the lyrics and how they all tie into each other.
Wonderland- this song uses Alice in Wonderland as a metaphor for a toxic relationship, and it’s surprisingly effective. Very clever lyrics and bouncy production that uses lots of gimmicks to great effect make this a lot more fun than most songs in this vein, and the pre-choruses alone mean this should be on the actual album. The “ay ay” thing gets annoying after a while, but otherwise I’m super into it.
You Are in Love- this is a gorgeous ballad about the love story of Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff. It obviously didn’t end all that well, but the song still stands up well. The gentle instrumental goes really well with the lyrics, and it’s just a really beautiful story. I LOVE the singsong vocals in the chorus so much too.
New Romantics– I will NEVER not be salty this isn’t on the standard edition of the album; I actually think it should have been a proper single, because it captures the vibe of the album so well. It’s one of my favourite Taylor Swift songs ever, and it’s just everything. It’s about a lot of different things, and very hard to explain, but it’s so catchy and clever and all somehow fits together
Are you a Taylor Swift fan? What is your favourite song from 1989? I’d love to hear in the comments!