“1989” – the Taylor Swift album that never goes out of style. The fifth studio album for the global pop star helped her turn into one, as she began to shift her career toward pop music.
Released on Oct. 27, 2014, “1989” achieved great success following its initial release, spending an entire year in the Billboard Top 10 charting albums and winning “Album of the Year” at the 58th Grammy Awards. From the album came several chart-topping singles, including “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” “Wildest Dreams” and “Style,” all of which came with viral music videos.
Soon to come is Swift’s re-recording of the Grammy award-winning album, “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” In anticipation of her re-releasing this fifth, pop-perfection album, here are all the “1989” tracks, ranked.
16. “Bad Blood”
Sure, the music video was iconically star-studded, but the song doesn’t quite measure up to all that star power. Out of all the glamorous choruses on this eclectic album, this one definitely is the least likable as it grows tiresome after a while. The track isn’t completely awful and hardly even a skip, but Swift should have given another song on the album a chance to be a single, rather than this one.
This track five isn’t one that sticks out among her other track fives or on this album in general. Though its lyrics are thematically isolated as Swift intended, the upbeat-sounding chorus sets it apart a little bit. The bridge is the best aspect of the song, especially with Swift angrily stretching out her vocals during the lyric “This was what you wanted,” which helped the song’s theme shine through just a bit.
For an opening track, it makes sense for this to be placed on top of an album full of poppy, energetic songs, and it perfectly sets you up for what is in store. The lyrics, “It’s a new soundtrack I can dance to this beat, beat for evermore,” outright predicts the everlasting legacy of this album. But this song is one of the cheesiest off the album, making it feel inferior to its predecessors.
13. “Shake It Off”
For one of the album’s main singles, this song gets an unfair amount of hatred, sorely due to the distinct rap part in the song’s bridge. But when you shake that off, the song does exactly what it should—make you shake, shake, shake.
Making “Wonderland” a deluxe track was probably for the better, but that doesn’t mean it’s unlistenable. Swift taking a treacherous love story and comparing it to “Alice in Wonderland” helps her, yet again, show off how skillfully she can make allusions in her lyrics. Ultimately, for its theme, it feels like the underrated cousin of “Out Of The Woods.”
11. “I Know Places”
“I Know Places” features a vocal performance that isn’t heard very often from Swift. And with how well it works with this track, it’s a shame that she doesn’t utilize it more. Essentially, this song feels like a precursor for several tracks on her following album “Reputation” with similar lyrical themes and production style.
10. “This Love”
Even though it’s the least streamed song off the album, it set an unexpected precedent for future music to come from Swift and Jack Antonoff, with the “Midnights” track “Labyrinth” following in its soft-synth shadows. Thankfully, a well-deserved resurgence came due to the track being an early-released re-recording for “The Summer I Turned Pretty.”
Though “You Are In Love” is a deluxe track and one of the longest in duration, it’s quite underrated. Its softer-synth sound has the most resemblance to an 80s song than other tracks, fitting toward the album’s theme. With how mellow and tender the track is, plus the relatably amorous lyrics, you can’t help but truly feel like you are in love.
Sure, “How You Get The Girl” is a bit cheesy and definitely sounds like 2014, but it sure does have that replay factor that most “1989” songs have. It stays on track with the other songs with the emphasized belted “I would wait for ever and ever” lyric coming out of the bridge, the accented drum beats and the many “oh, oh, oh’s.”
Track seven of “1989,” “I Wish You Would,” is yet another sleepless song of Swift’s that mentions her signature “2 a.m.” It also features way too many lyrics with just the letter “I.” But these two things hardly take anything away from the song because you can never get tired of listening to it. This track and the aforementioned “How You Get The Girl” are similar to each other in many ways, constantly replayable but also not the most successful songs of the album.
“Clean” is one of many of Swift’s songs that deeply resonate with listeners, thanks to her amazing, unmatched lyricism. It sits perfectly as the last track of the album and not just for the fact that this type of song is typically put last on her albums, but for the clear theme of growth and closure.
Making a song that confronts her reputation head-on was one of the best musical career moves that Swift has ever made. A pen-click sound playing right between the track title and the lyrics “And I’ll write your name,” is production at its absolute finest. Back in the day, this song was inescapable but for good reasons. And of course, the other inescapable thing was all the Instagram captions that used “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
The redundant chorus might lose a few listeners, but with Swift’s magical, genius mind, there’s probably a good intention of making this chorus continuously repeat the song’s title. The most prolific aspect of this track is the soaring bridge that creates a heart-pounding, accelerated feeling while listening. It also incorporates a modern twist on the '80s Phil Collins-esqe drum beats while infiltrating Swift’s evocative lyrics, making “Out Of The Woods” one of the most signature “1989” tracks.
There is no doubt that “Wildest Dreams” isn’t one of the most respected songs on the album. With inspiration from singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, a power ballad hook to end all hooks and the inclusion of her own heartbeat set this song up for great, everlasting success.
The deluxe song that should not have been a deluxe song, “New Romantics,” is a definite fan-favorite. The deluxe track even followed the album’s theme marvelously, as the title refers to an '80s subculture. For how exhilarating this song is, it was certainly a missed opportunity for Swift to make this a single off the album.
No matter how many times you listen to this third track on the album, “Style” is just that song that will never go “out of style.” That iconic guitar intro flows so nicely into that distinctive strut-like beat and then the pumping staccato chorus comes in to make the song even more infectious. However, it is when Swift is belting “Take me home” post-bridge, that really takes the song all the way home.