A NOTE FROM A&E EDITOR MATTHEW SALZANO: Before assigning this week’s issue, I had requests from many of my Mast writers to be assigned the eagerly anticipated “1989” review. I decided it was in everyone’s best interest to show you not just one review, but five. These five writers each took almost 49 minutes out of their busy lives to listen and tell you how Swift did in her fifth album so you can decide if it’s one to skip.
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Taylor Swift has grown into her own person. She’s not here to please anyone but herself and she couldn’t hear you if she wanted to over the sound of her seven Grammys. She’s still a lyrical genius and her transformation into a pop queen should scare superstars like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Swift’s new sound is refreshing, whimsical and downright catchy. Sorry, housemates, but this album will be on repeat for at least a month.
People may say she goes “on too many dates” and has “nothing in her brain,” but clearly Taylor Swift is doing something right with “1989.” Having an older sister has exposed me, and millions of other brothers, to the complete discography of the queen of crossover. I believe “1989” might be one of her best pieces of work so far. Though many Swift fans may miss her classic ballads such as “White Horse” and “Back to December,” fans of the seven-time Grammy Award winner should find “1989” irresistible. I think those who aren’t Swift fans will enjoy the nice change of pace she takes in the album. Anyone should be able to find at least one song they enjoy — or just can’t get out of their heads.
Taylor Swift’s album was expected to be new and amazing once “Shake it Off” hit the top of the charts and every girl — and her boyfriend — knew and loved the song. However, after listening to the rest of “1989, I am disappointed her single is the only innovative and fun new song. The rest of the tracks followed Swift’s usual boy-crazy equation — minus a guitar. In a time where pop music seems to be limitless, Swift takes a step back and plays it safe. A fun night of dancing it out with Swift has to be put on hold while you listen to several slow-jam-head-nodding tracks about love. Sorry, Swift, I wish you were feeling 22 again. At least then you were a bit of fun.
Taylor Swift has pushed the envelope to find a new sound that redefines her in her new album — and it totally worked. The album cover is crazy cool. My favorite songs off the album are “You Are in Love,” a classic Swift song about what it is to be in love, and “Style,” a positive anthem of how who we are will never go out of style. “1989” has a great feel: both heartfelt and creative.
For those who have been excitedly awaiting the former country star’s first officially documented pop album, “1989” doesn’t disappoint. Swift hits the essence of the 1980s with an array of punchy beats and synthesized rhythms, while managing to stay within the relevance of the 21st century. Songs like “Welcome To New York” and “Style” sound like they could’ve definitely been anthems of the late 1980s, while tracks such as “All You Had To Do Was Stay” and “How You Get The Girl” fit in beautifully with today’s top pop hits. The unusual musical composition of “I Know Places” and the slow, sultry sound of “Wildest Dreams” resemble tracks of beloved pop artists such as Lorde and Lana Del Rey, who have gained praise for their unique — and almost strange — musical styles. Critics of this new pop album may state that the songs sound too generic or that the new direction is uncharacteristic of Swift, given her country roots. Those who’ve been anxious to revel in Swift’s pop transformation, however, will be appreciative of the mature and artistic route that Swift has taken in this new album era.