Shedding her country twang, Taylor Swift gravitated toward the appeal of pop in her fifth studio album, 1989.
After the catchy tune Shake It Off was released last month and spread virally on the Internet, Swift’s latest work finally hit the shelves, and iTunes, Monday.
Similar to Shake It Off, songs like Welcome to New York offer a plain, yet unearthly captivating and repetitive sound.
Channeling Swift’s inner early-Katy-Perry, Style draws on dramatic pause and over-processed vocals to match the POPular trends of today.
In this track, following in the footsteps of many great rappers, Swift sings all about her self and her style. “And I got that red lip classic thing that you like,” and later, “And I got that good girl fig and a tight little skirt,” topping off the track with a very humble, “We never go out of style.”
In contrast to her “red lip classic thing,” Swift approaches her familiar lyrical trend in singing about a break-up, but this time with a twist.
Without warning, Swift unleashes her new side of writing with a misplaced teenage angst in Bad Blood when she sings, “Did you have to ruin what was shining, now it’s all rusted/Did you have to hit me? Where I’m weak baby I couldn’t breathe/I rubbed it in so deep/Salt in the wound like you’re laughing right at me.”
The question stands in Clean: Was Swift suffering from a dependency issue, or is it another lyrical strategy to sing about yet another heartbreak? “Rain came pouring down when I was drowning/That’s when I could finally breathe/And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean/I think I am finally clean/Said I think I am finally clean.”
Playing off her ambient echo in songs like This Love and All You Had To Do Was Stay, Swift no longer relies on her vocal talent but the production talent of Max Martin and Shellback.
In songs like Blank Space, Swift no longer needs the use of her talented band but favors computer-generated sound to create a beat and to create a voice.
Unlike previous Swift albums in which her voice was the primary focus with highlights from guitar, banjo and even violin, 1989 takes the route of the robotic.
So this is it, the major transition from her twang country style to her new pop identity. The album itself is truly a bad mashup of a celebrity in an identity crisis, relying too much on her big brother, Mr. Producer.
This album will fly off shelves not for its quality, but for its statement as a separation from what was and a standout among what is.