We first heard inklings that life-size Precious Moments statue Taylor Swift was moving in a new direction on 2012’s smash, Red. It was singles like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “22,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” that saw the starlet shedding her country curls and flirty sundresses for all the faux-edginess that accompanies a pair of Forever 21 leather shorts. But it’d take Swift two more years to bury those country roots and pursue the pop stardom she’s flirted with forever.
The official announcement came via Yahoo! stream in August that Swift’s next album, 1989, would see the singer embark on a pop sojourn with a trusted fleet of producers including Max Martin and Shellback. The news was accompanied by the release of her music video for the album’s first single, “Shake It Off.”
Once the screams of fervent Swifties died down, many casual fans were left to wonder if the album would be all brand: Would her trademark ballads of heartbreak and triumph be swapped for an album shilling 13 songs that sounded like a Diet Coke ad? “Out of the Woods” offered hope, but nothing was certain until the album’s midnight Monday release.
We’ve done you the courtesy of ranking the album’s songs from best to meh, in order to make the Swift fanfare easier to parse. Keep reading »