Taylor Swift is a name that, when brought up, almost always causes controversy. Some may say that she is a drama queen who only writes songs about breakups, others may say her music is only made for teenage girls. Well, maybe it is because I am a teenage girl, but I absolutely love Taylor Swift.
Taylor Alison Swift is a genre-jumping, record-setting singer-songwriter. She got her start in the country music capital of the United States, Nashville, Tennessee. Her first album called Taylor Swift went platinum and sold over a million copies. This album is made up of mostly breakup songs, but also love songs and songs about growing up and finding yourself. Swift followed this album with another country album called Fearless. This album is similar to her first, but it has hints of more maturity and growth in her songwriting ability. She followed this with her third and final country album titled Speak Now. In my opinion, this album is where Taylor’s poetic ability to put feelings into words first debuts, with gutwrenchingly sad songs like “Last Kiss” and “Dear John”.
While these albums did hint at a more pop-like side of country music, her fourth album Red is widely known as her country-pop album. It was instantly a hit, with her main single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reaching number one on the Billboard pop singles chart. This led to her first official pop album called 1989 just two years later, which sold over five million copies. This album is also the first to have an overwhelming majority of the songs be about independence, finding yourself, and just having fun as a single woman.
See, I wanted this review to be solely about Taylor’s music and growth as opposed to her scandals, relationships, etc. However, I must include this detail in order to express how much I love this album. Due to a few different instances combined, Taylor Swift went off the grid for a full year after the 1989 era. She deleted all of her Instagram posts, stayed clear of reporters, etc. After this year was up, Taylor released, in my opinion, the best album she has ever written called Reputation.
I am not even sure what genre to classify Reputation in. Apple Music says pop, but I would say it is a semi-pop, semi-rock masterpiece. This album fully encapsulates her anger and vengeance of that year, while simultaneously illustrating a new relationship being born from the ashes of it. I was lucky enough to attend the Reputation Stadium Tour in Atlanta; safe to say, it was the best night of my life.
Two years after this album was released, Taylor Swift left Big Machines record label, which unfortunately owned the master rights to all of her recorded albums thus far. This led to Taylor finding a legendary loophole and doing what no one thought she would: re-recording her old albums and adding on unreleased tracks. She re-recorded Fearless in 2021 and Red later that same year.
Between Reputation and the re-recordings, however, Taylor released three albums that she owned herself: Lover, Folklore, and Evermore. These albums fade Taylor into another genre shift, from pop to indie. Lover features some upbeat songs, but mostly slower almost R&B-sounding tracks. Both Folklore and Evermore were surprise releases that Taylor wrote during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine. Both are also lyrical masterpieces that demonstrate Taylor’s writing ability as the best it has ever been.
What I admire most about Taylor Swift is how she can do absolutely anything and be so good at it. Taylor Swift entered the world of music when she was about 16 years old and has rarely left it since then. She grew up under a microscope. Even so, while changing genres, especially multiple times as she did, is looked down upon in pop culture, Swift never stopped doing genuinely whatever she wanted to. Everyone is supposed to fit into a little box that can be summed up in a few words, but in reality, that is not how people are. People change and morph with time, you, me, and even Taylor Alison Swift.