“1989” starts a new journey for mega star
By Amanda Kochanowski
Over the past eight years, Taylor Swift has made a household name out of herself. Born and raised on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania, the female star started writing and singing when she was only 15, landing a contract with newly independent record label, Big Machine Records. She started with her self-titled album in 2006 and gained fans with her hit single “Teardrops On My Guitar.” Big Machine Records has continued to represent her for all five of her albums.
Swift’s first and second album showed off her young age. With 13 tracks about young love, fairytales and having her head up in the clouds, Swift’s teen girl audience ate it up. Critics also approved of her quality lyrics and genuine sound, winning “Fearless” both Album of the Year and Best Country Album at the 2010 Grammys. Singles “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” also scored the artist many nominations and awards throughout the media, while “White Horse” earned two Grammys for both Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.
In 2012, “Speak Now” was released as Swift’s third studio album. By this time, the 19-year-old had learned of love, loss and fame. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with over one million copies sold in the opening week alone. Due to the digital success of the album, all 14 tracks made their way onto the Billboard Hot 100 single chart. This huge accomplishment earned the “Most Simultaneous U.S. Hot 100 Hits by a Female Artist” Guinness World Record.
Swift’s ever-changing high profile life by 2012 affected her personality, looks and musical style. With straight hair, red lips and an updated sound, Swift continued her world domination. “Red” was well received by her loyal fans, with singles “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” becoming instant hits.
Swift released her fifth studio album “1989” on Oct. 27. There is absolutely no country here—no banjos, no sweet, southern accent. It is definitely 100 percent Taylor Swift and 100 percent genius though. While some fans may have feared Swift’s change of sound, she proves once again that she knows exactly what she’s doing. This is her best album yet.
Swift has found the perfect balance between fun and substance. The upbeat, guitar dominated pop sound still manages to pair perfectly with Swift’s signature emotional lyrics.
Lead single “Shake It Off” released Aug. 18, addresses the criticism and hate Swift often receives. The music video for the track was released the same day, and included many fans dancing with Swift.
Swift continues her interactions with fans across many social media platforms. The day of the album release, the singer posted fans’ photos and videos with the album to her Facebook page in an album called “#taylurking.”
Swift even tweeted, “Yes, it’s a busy promo day… But if you think I’m too busy to cyber-stalk you, you’re WRONG #TS1989.”
Overall, Swift manages to make listeners cry, laugh, sing along and feel like her best friend. “1989” is a must-buy and is available in stores now. Each physical CD comes with a set of 13 Polaroid pictures of the star. A deluxe edition of the album is available at Target, with three additional songs and three voice memos of Swift talking about the writing and recording process.