I do not like Taylor Swift. I am a normal, breathing, functioning human being. As a female, it is incredibly hard to like her. Yet, here I sit writing this listening to her 5th (wow) album “1989” secretly loving every minute of it. How does she do it?
I’ve been documenting my complicated relationship with Swift on this blog for years now and she still leaves me puzzled. How can someone who is so difficult to like make such incredible albums? I’ve been a critic of her move from country to pop and although I still think she’s making a huge mistake in that department, I can’t help but love “1989.”
The album’s title alone makes me happy. Paying respects to a better era. Genius. And even though I’d rather see Swift with a guitar I can’t complain that a lot of the songs on this album are laced with her brilliant songwriting. There I said it. Taylor Swift can write. Although I’m still upset that she’s trying too hard to be mainstream, she does make the pop thing work. What an evil genius.
I also can’t help but respect Taylor because she doesn’t just write her songs, she’s producing her albums now. She’s in charge of everything and we all know how important that is to me when it comes to the music industry. Even though she’s like 25 and still acts 12 there’s something about her that’s mature and relatable when it comes to the music.
I’ve also throw caution to the wind with “Out of the Woods.” I love Harry Styles. I don’t doubt his and Swift’s relationship was pretty fake. So when I listen to that song I pretend like I don’t know it’s about Harry. Because it’s just too good not to listen. Most pop music makes me want to throw up, but Swift makes up for the artificial beats and auto tune with her writing. I hate that I can’t hate her for that.
There are other gem status tracks on “1989” too. “Welcome to New York” isn’t that bad. “Blank Space” is smart and really catchy. That’s something Swift is really good at. At first I didn’t like “Style,” but once you actually understand the lyrics it gets better. The album closes with “Clean,” which is probably the most boring track.
“Shake It Off” is definitely the weakest song on the album. It’s more for commercial use than anything else. It doesn’t showcase Swift’s writing ability at all. I mean “haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate” is some bimbo crap that Katy Perry would sing. And as much as it pains me to say it, Taylor Swift is so much more than that.
You start to see the 1989 influence on tracks like “I Wish You Would,” “I Know Places,” and “Bad Blood.” I don’t care to speculate who her songs are about anymore. Maybe the point is that really doesn’t matter. “Bad Blood” would probably make me sick if anyone else sang it, but for some reason it works out well for Swift. How does she keep doing that?
I also can’t help but like the songs that are less pop and closer to what Swift should be. “Wildest Dreams,” “How You Get the Girl,” and “This Love” show that Swift is still the same songwriter that used to sing about teardrops on guitars or whatever (remember those days?!).
So maybe I don’t completely hate Taylor Swift. Or maybe I do. Or maybe we can agree to have a casual relationship. Because I can’t fully hate her, but I can’t ever admit that I love her either. Oh well. I’m going to go listen to “1989” again.