It is probably no longer appropriate to call Taylor Swift a country singer. After all, the records released by the 24-year-old have increasingly taken on a pop theme and her fifth studio album 1989 is no exception. In fact, the 13-track effort is a straight-up pop album with only a few tracks that showed hints of acoustic guitar riffs.
A blast into the past: Taylor enlisted the help of many iconic producers such as Max Martin and the result is an undeniably polished album. Most songs on 1989 are laden with a 80s vibe and even though a small minority are renditions that could have been a lot more creative, each track is Billboard material. The opener, ‘Welcome to New York’, relates her transition to the Big Apple from Nashville and is a celebration of the single life she leads in a city that never sleeps. “How You Get The Girl’ leaves a strong impression; fans get the best of both worlds as she retained her acoustic guitar along with upbeat disco grooves.
All grown up in love: It would not be a Taylor Swift record without romance. She still sings about love, but this time, she has matured in her way of translating her feelings into music. Mid-tempo ballads like ‘This Love’ and ‘I Know Places’ could have earned spots on her earlier albums while ‘Blank Space’ and its slightly destructive lyrics signalled her wish to have some fun (and not hung on endlessly on a broken relationship) even if she eventually “go down in flames”. ‘Wildest Dreams’ goes for a more soulful approach; her vocals remained flawless even if it is a notch deeper than she is used to.
Recommended tracks: ‘How You Get The Girl’, ‘This Love’ and ‘Blank Space’