This is not a drill, Taylor Nation. Go, go, go!
Update: These are just my first impressions. Expected an extended review coming up soon.
Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, has been released. We’re still listening to it. Here’s the first thing you will notice. Every song has the potential to be your new favorite and as you play this album, each track in turn will take you back to the eighties, or at least the eighties as revisited in Taylor’s mind.
Here at the Swift Agency, a guy who actually grew up in the 80’s, I want to say it does capture the sound and somehow brings it to today. It’s worth your time to download and listen thoroughly. This album is cohesive and all its tracks sound like they belong together. The album is out now on iTunes.
Welcome To New York embodies the era of living in the 80’s in the Big Apple, but it also sounds freshly squeezed. It’s something you expect to hear in a New York City club at New Year’s Eve. Feels like the perfect explanation and album opener to the new sound.
Blank Space was a bit of a surprise. You kinda expected a slower song, and it is but the rhythm of this one is highly quirky. You won’t forget this one for a while. “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” Easily becomes your favorite to sing along. Listen in for the pen clicking open. Also, this is a great song to go cruising around.
Style starts like a song out of the soundtrack of Miami Vice. It also has an even cooler chorus rhythm that sounds like a different song altogether. This is my current favorite song.
Out Of The Woods is still a dream. If there was something I’d criticize about this song is that it needs to be longer. Also, the start is a bit minimalistic, it becomes lyrically amazing soon but it’s deceptively slow at first. This song has one of the best bridges I’ve ever heard.
All You Had To Do Was Stay well, certainly this one can’t also be good. Guess what, another infectious chorus and more 80’s synth. Did Taylor really pulled a Greatest Hits album somehow? Don’t miss this song. Even if the opening tune doesn’t grab you, wait until you get the hook.
Shake It Off seems to continue my personal tradition that the first single of a new album is not my favorite. It has grown on me, but it still feels a bit over-sugary. That being said, it actually sounds a lot better when listened along with the rest of the album. I love the horn section.
I Wish You Would is quick and snappy enough to give you whiplash. This one could have been the main single in any other artist’s album. The stop and start are definitively an 80’s thing.
Bad Blood is almost experimental. It’s more of a protest song than a dance tune and no, it doesn’t really go into details so you can breathe easy. Very deep tones and strong percussion bring this one as the possible odd song of the album. There’s a lot of energy and dramatic undertones and high vocal runs. Rhythmically one of the richest songs too.
Wildest Dreams is finally a slow song, but not slow enough to count as a break. Very high range on the chorus make this one a difficult song to sing live. Sounds more alternative than pop.
How You Get The Girl picks up the pace a bit but if you know T’s songs, you know that you have to wait until the chorus. It’s worth it. Mean hook and everything. You kinda wish this song was all chorus and never slow down.
This Love broke me into a thousand nine hundred and eighty nine pieces. It’s a highly romantic and emotional song that for the first time distances Taylor from the action taking place in the lyrics.
I Know Places is alternative rock. It feels like a new version of “Haunted” circa 1989. This song is really dark in both sound and lyrics: “They are the hunters and we are the foxes.” It’s scary and scary good.
Clean is full of healing. This song is medicine turned into musical form. Seriously, this song feels so good that it could be used for alternative therapy. You don’t know how much you need to hear this song until you hear it.
Do yourself a favor. I’m not saying 1989 will become your favorite. I’m saying it has so much potential to become a favorite that you owe it to yourself to listen to it. You have not heard Taylor like this. Forget “Shake It Off” and listen to the other tracks. They’re too good to pass up.
Here’s Lightning On Her Feet herself with a message for people throwing album launch parties:
Coming up on the Calendar!
- October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released. We all die. Aghhh. RIP Taylor Nation.
- October 27: Appearance on Good Morning America.
- October 27: Taylor Swift appears on Ellen DeGeneres.
- October 27: 1989 Secret Session with iHeartRadio.
- October 27: Coaching during the Knockout Rounds on NBC’s The Voice.
- October 28: Coaching during the Knockout Rounds on NBC’s The Voice.
- October 28: Appearance on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman.
- October 29: Appearance on ABC’s The View.
- October 29: Scholastic reading event at 1pm ET, 10am PT.
- October 30: Performance at the Good Morning America concert.