Sunday 14 December 2014

Albums of the Year 2014 #9 - Taylor Swift - 1989

As we delve one step further in our top 10 albums of 2014, who do we find greeting us at number 9 but Taylor Swift. Why Taylor Swift and why this Taylor Swift album? After all it’s not as if the lady hasn’t been churning out the songs and the hits for some time now, but we've never mentioned her before on Breaking More Waves.

The answer is simple. 1989 marks a change in direction for Swift, one to the world of out and out pop and it’s a crossover that’s grabbed us completely. 1989 is a record that sounds as if Taylor’s been studying the modern pop world very hard indeed and come up with a record that manages to capture the sounds of its more commercial end (Katy Perry, Rihanna) but added reference points to artists that you’re more likely to find on blogs such as Breaking More Waves. For example, Welcome To New York sounds like a slightly cheesier version of Robyn, Out Of The Woods has hints of Chvrches with its ‘woah-oh-oh’ chanted intro, synthetics and heavy drums, Bad Blood has beats and ‘hey’ chants that make us think that Taylor must have given MØ's No Mythologies To Follow a few spins whilst Wildest Dreams is basically Lana Del Rey gone electronic.

Virtually every song on 1989 sounds like it could be a hit single. Sure, it’s a little formulaic, as if Taylor has opened the chapter in The Book Of Pop named How To Write A Hit Single. The vast majority of the songs find Taylor singing about her love life, be it in, out or during it, and there’s a fair few lyrical clichés along the way. If Breaking More Waves was a well-considered journal of music criticism rather than just a fan blog we’d be scoring Taylor down for some of this, but we’re not, and this end of year list is about the records we’ve played the most rather than necessarily what is ‘the best’ and we’ve sure as hell played 1989 a lot since its release. Why? Because its infectious, undeniably hooky and incredibly well crafted. To paraphrase Kylie Minogue, we can’t get these songs out of our head. It's probably the only album on this list that we know every single word of every single song.

Oh and Taylor, we don't care what anyone says, we still hear the words "lonely Starbucks lovers" in Blank Space, no matter what the real lyrics are.

Taylor Swift - Blank Space (Video)

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