With the release of the first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” it became clear the album would be a success. The single had a different sound, yet followed a similar theme to “Shake It Off,” her last debut single. Both anthems deal with shaking off judgment. They signify a positive message and gives fans a song they will want to sing along to. Swift’s album is packed with catchy tunes and blends a variety of musical inspirations to create a modern pop masterpiece. The whole album consists of rhythmic beats, an edgy sound and poignant lyrics.
Even as Swift’s sound evolves, she does not waver from her famously honest and autobiographical lyrics. Fans are still reading pages from her diary, it’s just a more mature and complicated version of the now 27-year-old.
Swift is known for using heartfelt lyrics that tell stories, and this album serves as a perfect example of her relatable and vivid writing. Each track feels like an individual chapter in one big and intense love story, making the album not only sonically cohesive, but lyrically connected as well.
Aside from a love story, there are also many instances where Swift explores darker themes. From hard lessons she’s learned, to wising up about how harsh the world can be—it is these more mature subjects that make the album more complex and thought-provoking.
And for those who are mourning the loss of the “old Taylor,” she’s not really dead as her single “Look What You Made Me Do” claims. A reminiscent of Swift’s earlier sound can be found on the album’s last track, “New Year’s Day.” The track is intimate and raw, with a sweeter sound and heartfelt lyrics. The track features the simplicity of a piano and Swift’s pure voice, which serves as an opportunity for the global pop star to prove her vocal skills without distracting beats or alteration.
Swift responded with humor and sarcasm to her trials and times of adversity. I found that inspiring. Beauty and growth can follow difficult times.
Photo Credit: Michaela Schirra