Taylor Swift – 1989

The cover of 1989.


The cover of 1989.

Valerie Pham, Photojournalist

On October 27, 2014, Taylor Swift released her fifth official album, 1989. She addressed her fans with information about her new album on a live web chat sponsored by Yahoo on August 13. On her chat she released her first single, Shake it Off along with its music video, her album title, and its release date. The music video currently has over 255,000,000 views on YouTube and hit the number one spot on iTunes within minutes of its release, along with her album pre-orders. Taylor’s video chat left her fans anxious for the release of her album. She promoted her album in the weeks leading up to the release with the release of her songs Out of the Wood and Welcome to New York. She also took to her social media accounts by posting pictures of her song lyrics and track listings.


As her first official pop album, the singer adopted a new style of music and although her long-time country fans were hesitant, she did not disappoint. Taylor Swift has very gradually transitioned from a country artist to a pop artist. Her previous albums slightly lacked her ‘country’ touch from her first self-titled album and her second album, Fearless. Industry experts believed that 1989 would not be as successful compared to her past albums because of her crossover to pop, but the sales only increased. On her Instagram, a week after her album was released, she stated that, “Industry experts predicted 1989 would sell 650,000 first week. You went and bought 1.287 million albums.” The only album that has ever sold more than Taylor’s was Eminem’s The Eminem Show back in 2002, selling 1,322,000 copies. Swift’s previous albums came close, but not nearly as close as 1989, with Red selling 1.21 million copies in its first week, Speak Now selling 1,047,000, and Fearless selling over 592,300 copies.


Her album featured thirteen tracks, Welcome to New York, Blank Space, Style, Out of the Woods, All You Had to Do Was Stay, Shake it Off, I Wish You Would, Bad Blood, Wildest Dreams, How You Get the Girl, This Love, I Know Places, and Clean. Although the genre of her music has changed, the base of it hasn’t. She still gains inspiration from love and the experiences she has had in her past relationships. All of her songs are almost impossible to get out of your head. The eleventh track, This Love is one of the few slow ballads that talks about how hard loving someone can be. All of her songs have a very deep and poetic meaning behind them.


In all of her past albums, in the lyric books that come with the physical copies have secret messages. All of the words are lower case except for a few that make up messages. In her album Speak Now, along with all of them she has been blatant about who or what the song is about in the message, for example, in her song Back to December, the message was “TAY,” which obviously referred to Taylor Launter, who Swift used to date. In 1989 she was more subtle and poetic, on her thirteenth and final track she wrote, “She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything.”


Swift recently released all of her tour dates and her new music video for Black Space was released on November 10, 2014 and it has already garnered over 13 million views in the one day. The debut of her album has firmly held 1989‘s number one spot on iTunes and left all of her tracks in the top 100. The debut of her album made an effect on the YLHS student body, where students can be heard humming her melodies. Caitlyn Ortiz (10) said, “I think that her songs are showing what she truly feels about guys and even the world around her. She’s also letting society and her haters know that she doesn’t care what they think of her and it won’t stop her from being herself.” Jaylin Mandley (9) stated that, “Shake it off is basically my personal inspiration. Whenever I need my hair dried, I honestly dance to that song like no one’s watching. It lets me be myself and not only then does my hair dry, but my spirits are also shaken up for the better!” Ashley Taylor (9) said, “It’s a really hard choice, but my favorite songs have to be Style and Clean.” Taylor Swift continues to be an enormous inspiration to all of the aspiring artists in the world by showing how hard work does pay off in the end and that everyone starts somewhere. She has matured as an artist and expanded her audience base while staying the unassuming and down-to-earth artist that she has always been.