Taylor Swift – 1989 album review

Tay Tay’s back with her new album – and <i>heat</i> had an exclusive listen to hear what it’s like. Here’s our track-by-track review


by Jen Crothers |
Published on

1 Welcome To New York

Against a backing track of synths, Taylor heralds her change in sound with a strong opener. It’s upbeat and anthemic, and you’ll be singing it into the nearest hairbrush.

*2 Blank Space *

Taylor sings “You look like my next mistake” in this pared down, mellow song about new love. “I’m a like a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” she sings, before adding, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”

*3 Style *

One of the best songs on the album, hands down. It’s got guitars, a great bassline and tip-top lyrics. Taylor describes herself as having “that good girl thing in a tight little skirt/I’ve got that red-lipped classic thing you like.” Yes you do, Taylor.

4 Out Of The Woods

Taylor treated fans to a sneaky pre-album release peek at this song, which is very much rumoured to be about her dalliance with Harry Styles.

5 All You Had To Do Was Stay

Welcome to the song with the biggest chorus on the album. There’s a brilliantly haunting high-noted “STAY” in the chorus, and by the sounds of things, it’s about lost love. You missed your chance, whoever you are…

6 Shake It Off

THE song that hooted the horn, quite literally, Taylor’s new sound. Snappy and tooty, Taylor just doesn’t give a toss about the haters and we love her for it. No-one’s ever made the phrase, “This. Sick. Beat” sound so punchy.

7 I Wish You Would

This opens with an 80s-esque guitar riff, with Taylor singing “I wish you would come back” before dropping into a different tempo for the chorus, with a genius breakdown and a doorbell-esque noise throughout.

8 Bad Blood

Lyrically, this is probably the darkest tune on 1989. It’s styled out like a pop-based protest chant while Taylor sings that she’s “still got scars on my back from your knife” at one point. Painful.

9 Wildest Dreams

Lana Del Rey called – she wants her sound back. Breathy and ethereal, it sounds a bit like Born To Die.

10 How You Get The Girl

AKA The One From The Diet Coke Kitten ad. Upbeat and catchy, it’s the most old-school sounding slice of Taylor on 1989.

11 This Love

The album’s big ballad. It’s the most emosh in tone, and is the most ethereal on the album – all about love returning.

12 I Know Places

Taylor repeats “They are the hunters/We are the foxes/And we run” throughout this almost military-sounding number, and it ends with a tape being clicked off (ask your mum).

13 Clean

Tay wants you to know that she’s clean, right? As in, over a relationship. It’s got a xylophone in it, and lots of plinky plonky piano. Perfect way to end an epic album.

Verdict: 1989 somehow manages to retain the elements of why we all fell in love with banjo-toting Tay Tay in the first place, but she’s grown up and made a right old stonker of an album. Taylor 2.0, we salute you.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us