“We’re too busy dancin’ to get knocked off our feet.”
On the morning of October 27 I was a woman on a mission. At breakfast, I quickly shoveled down my yogurt and granola, tossed back my OJ and then threw on whatever clothes I deemed appropriate for my journey from Gloucester Road station. My destination? A record store on Bond Street. My mission? Purchasing Taylor Swift’s new CD 1989, of course.
For a Monday morning, and for a girl who is hopeless when it comes to directions, it was a bit of a trek but it was completely worth it once I was sitting on the tube ride home, clutching 1989 tightly in my hands. As a naturally impatient person I ripped open the CD’s plastic casing right then and there to get my hands on the deluxe edition CD and a collection of pseudo Polaroids, customized with handwritten lyrics.
I booked it through the crowds leaving the station back to my room to have my first taste of Taylor’s new sound. I had an hour before running out again to meet up with a friend and I didn’t want to waste a second. I’ll admit my first listen was a bit rushed, but an hour was certainly enough time to chuckle, smirk, applaud and drop my jaw at the clever lyrical and sonic twists Taylor takes with this new collection of songs.
It was with Red that I hopped aboard the Taylor train with the help of my persistent and passionate friends who are long time fans. But I’ve never been in love, never even come close, and because of that I have had a hell of a time relating to some of Taylor’s older songs no matter how poetic the lyrics are (and oh god, are they poetic). But this unapologetic, bold and brash Taylor is right up my alley; it’s something that I can really relate to. When I think about it, it’s something I’ve wanted for the longest time – to see and hear Taylor let loose and throw caution to the winds of New York.
Usually when I listen to singles (and prereleased songs, in this case) after hearing all the songs, I can’t help but view them as sonically separate from the rest of the album, but “Welcome to New York,” “Out of the Woods” and “Shake It Off” fit perfectly into 1989‘s narrative. Speaking of the sound, just like everything else in her life, Taylor does pop her own way. None of these tracks sound like she’s trying too hard to compete with Ariana Grande, Katy Perry or the other queens of the pop charts. Taylor has created her own version of pop, putting other artists to shame.
Pop is pleasing, but I really do love that “How You Get the Girl” is reminiscent of Taylor’s earlier material. The song could settle in ever so nicely on the Red but still fits nicely sandwiched between “This Love” and “Wildest Dreams” on 1989. “Wildest Dreams” is the song I’ve gravitated toward the most on this album. It’s Lana Del Rey meets Lorde meets the song of my dreams. These past few days I’ve actually woken up with the sound of Taylor’s floaty voice singing “He’s so tall and handsome as hell // He’s so bad but he does it so well,” stuck in my head.
My only qualm with the album? That “New Romantics” is a bonus track and not on the actual album. Taylor, you’re breaking my heart here, babe. I wanna dance and scream along to this song in a stadium with 15,000+ other fans. Is that too much to ask?!
Either way, I can’t wait to hop in my car as soon as I get back to the States and dance and scream along to every song on 1989.