Reports that Taylor Swift’s fifth album 1989 could potentially ‘save’ the record format are hugely significant. In just one week sales surged past 1.287 million and Swift made headlines for removing all of her music for the streaming service Spotify.
With 1989, Swift moves away from the country twangs with which she made her name, and it has been a long time coming. This album marks Swift’s second collaboration process with Scandanavian songwriters Max Martin and Shellback which follows the success of her fourth, sonically varying album Red. It’s natural that the previously uncharacteristic bass drops of songs such as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ would progress into her new material.
Whilst many (rightly) laughed at Red’s categorization as a country album, 1989 is Swift in an entirely new light. Banjos have been replaced with drum’n’bass beats and rare acoustic guitar can be found on the quite, echoing track ‘This Love’. 1989, being a Swift album, also includes multiple songs with single potential. Not least the instantly catchy ‘Style’, a song destined to be played on road-trips.
Gone are the angsty, teen ballads of lost and broken loves. But Swift still engages with the subject of romance in retrospect. 1989 has all the elements of a Taylor Swift album, descriptive, detailed perspectives; contagiously catchy choruses and melodramatic metaphors.
If this is the album to save the industry then that is fine by me.
This article was originally published in Qmunicate magazine