Taylor Swift impresses with her full pivot to pop in 1989

Madeline Fagen, News Editor

The countdown to the release of Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 began with the #3DaysTil1989 trend on twitter. As 12:00 a.m. on Oct. 27 approached, that trend transformed to #6HoursTil1989 and, eventually, to #10MinutesTil1989. Fans were hysterical as they awaited the album’s unveiling.
The frenzy only amplified once that 12:00 mark was reached and the preorder symbol next to each song turned into a small circle indicating that the song was downloading.
After listening to just the first few seconds of one of the 13 songs (no coincidence there considering 13 is her lucky number) on the album, it becomes obvious that Swift is taking her music in a new direction. 1989 lacks the confusion of genre present in her last few albums, as this album is her first completely pop publication. Previously, Swift hid behind her title as a country singer as a safeguard for success. With little direct competition in this genre, she could take home awards one after another. She took advantage of this by adding in hints of pop to her songs without completely shifting to another genre. People questioned this approach, but she continued to release song after song as country despite the criticism. However, after the release of this new album, Swift’s days of being called a “country wannabe” are certainly over.
The album title appropriately portrays this change in Swift’s style. She decided to call it 1989 because that is the year in which she was born and the album is a rebirth in her music style. Swift refused to conform to the modern definition of pop, which is full of guest rappers and electric backgrounds. Instead, she followed the traditional version of the genre from the 1980s.
Not only has the genre of music changed, but the content of the songs has also shifted. Although she still addressees the occasional break up, the lyrics primarily focus on promoting confidence and individuality.
Swift emulates her change in style and campaign for independence in her recent move to New York City. This move was one of the final stages of her transition from small town girl to big city star. The music video for the song first released on the album, “Shake it Off,” displays her experience as she navigates life in NYC. Each of the scenes show her having fun and being herself despite being an outsider in all of the situations.
In this way, 1989 reaches a new depth for Swift. She indirectly explains how she feels in this stage of her life by giving advice to others on how to deal with her circumstances.
After just a single day on the market, 1989 was number one on iTunes. It is obviously a huge success for Swift and a big step in her career.