Saturday, December 27, 2014

Music: My Thoughts on '1989' by Taylor Swift

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I never used to like Taylor Swift. I have always thought she was pretty and that she could sing pretty well, but the music she sang wasn't really my thing. When 'Shake it Off' came out I fought and fought to keep the song from getting stuck in my head. It was super catchy and a little silly, And I eventually convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with liking a Taylor Swift song. 'Blank Space' came out and I became obsessed... Since I got the album for Christmas I thought I would write down a few of my thoughts about it and what other people have been saying. I'm not going to call it a review, but I guess that's pretty much what this is...

Obviously this is called '1989' because that is the year Taylor Swift was born. It seems she has taken a bit of inspiration from the year with some of the backing music having a bit of a eighties/nineties vibe to it. I can here synthesizers in there at some point, The intro to 'Blank Space' reminds me a little of Public Enemy's 'He Got Game', And, the organ/synth part of 'Welcome to NewYork' sounds suspiciously similar to another 1980s track that I can't remember the name of... There are also free polaroid style printouts in the album and according to Wikipedia Taylor Swift lists the likes of Annie Lennox and Madonna as inspiration for the album.

The album is classified as "Pop" and many fans are unhappy about her switching from "Country". I have to say that I will honestly never understand how music companies decide what Genre an album is. I never actually considered Taylor Swift (based on the songs that were in the charts) to be any thing other than country-pop, And that the two hit songs from the last album were definitely "Pop" tracks. So I cannot see what the problem is. However, there possibly are some lesser known "country" tracks on these albums that I don't know about...

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I have never owned a Taylor Swift CD or any of her songs before now, though my sister was a fan and had a couple of her earlier albums. I think the reason I like her music now is because I like how the lyrics differ from the usual Taylor Swift style and I like a bit of synth. I'm not afraid to admit just how much eighties music I have in my collection... I also like Taylor's carefree attitude. Instead of hiding in a corner after hearing criticism, she writes a song or two about it. To me 'Blank Space' and 'Shake it Off' are all about addressing what people are saying about Miss Swift. I think 'Shake it Off' is honestly so empowering. 

There have also been a few internet critics claiming to be hardcore Lana Del Rey and Lorde fans, whom despise Taylor's new album because they think she is copying their fave artists. I don't agree. I know that Taylor Swift is friends with Lorde and in a recent interview said that Lorde did get to listen to some tracks while they were in progress, but Lorde's music is so much darker and so different. Taylor does mention James Dean in a song and Red Lipstick in another, but I honestly think that the similarities with Lana end there. Lana Del Rey has a much deeper voice and her melodies are very old-school (more old-school than the eighties). And, Taylor Swift doesn't use curse words... I think people are too quick to call people out on tiny similarities these days. Remember when Ke$ha and Maroon5 feat Xtina both came out with songs where they mentioned Mick Jagger in the Lyrics? Did anyone accuse them of Copying?

I definitely do think that Taylor's lyrics are slightly different to what you'd expect, however I like it. I think she is not the only artist to flit between genres and styles. Look at Madonna who went from singing 'Lucky Star' to singing 'Ray of Light' and then to 'Give me all Your Luvin'. If I were to pick at similarities I would say I could hear a bit of Katy Perry, Avril, Emmy Rossum and Haim when I listen to this CD. I think Mostly I just hear Taylor and Synths. 

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I like most of the songs on the album, however I am not too sure about 'Bad Blood' and 'Clean'. My favourites so far are 'Blank Space' and 'Wildest Dreams'. I am always impressed by artists that can write (and co-write) their own music, because I think that's more real to listen to and makes them seem more genuine and less like a front for a record company. I heard Taylor say in an interview that her record company was a bit nervous about the album and I like that they let her take the risk. I also like that her music is about life and love and not about being "up in da club".

There has been a little criticism about all of her "love songs" and "break-up songs". I think it mostly died down when she explained that Male singers write songs about their Exes too. The lovey-dovey stuff used to bother me before I liked her music. It doesn't bother me now...

Can I also just say how crazy all the internet hate is for musicians? I can be a little picky with music and I might rubbish some pop singers in the house, but if you don't like people why would you go onto interviews and music videos and write mean stuff in the comments? I really don't like some of the Tweeny Bopper boy bands out there, so I just try my very best to avoid the TV station that plays them on Saturday mornings so I don't have to listen to it. The internet is the same.

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I would recommend this CD to people who never really liked Taylor Swift before and are willing to reconsider. If you already like Taylor Swift then be warned that this is probably not what you are used to and keep an open mind before pressing play. 

I think it's also great when singers you like are smart, actually wear respectable clothes (I admire her style) and have nice personalities (when they get interviewed). I could care less about her love-live  with the exception of Harry Styles. If she ends up with Harry Styles then my opinion of her is going to be significantly less positive... It's safe to say I am no One Direction fan.

I THINK I MIGHT SHARE SOME MORE PICTURES NOW:

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If you want to see where I got the pictures click on the ">" signs underneath each one. I hope you enjoyed this post. I have been thinking about doing some more music posts on here such as album reviews and top 5 albums I ____ . Let me know what you think. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas this year. I'm sorry I didn't do an Xmas post, but by the time the opportunity came around I didn't really feel up to it. I'm trying to get back into a positive mind set and get some things out of the way before the New Year. Taking Taylor's advice and Shaking it Off!

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Also if you haven't already, feel free to check out the Quirky Vintage Facebook Page.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

3 comments:

Jessica Cangiano said...

So very, very true. There is way to much bashing and unjustified critiquing of musicians (and their work) online, as well as actors and really, most folks in the limelight (even if that is in their own very specified niches). I'm extremely grateful that there isn't much in the way of that in the vintage world, but have still occasionally seen it happen there, too. Of course no one is going to be loved by every member of the public, but why so many folks have to yield snark every chance they get as though it were a light saber - the usage of which only serves to make them feel better about themselves - is beyond me.

♥ Jessica

Margarita Bloom said...

Love this post! Sooo great...I was never a big fan of Taylors but with the new pop songs coming out I'm pretty much in love with her songs and her fashion style and her goofy, carefree sense of style. I'm on the TayTay bandwagon now. lol... It's funny because I get peeps who say I look similar to her which is a huge compliment!!

I never understood why peeps have to bash other people and what they do...there was so much drama & criticism around the music video "Shake it Off" and all I got from it was me being empowered to "shake off" the haters and Taylor being her goofy wonderful self.

Heehee, love that last gif of her in the ballerina outfit. Too cute.

Regina / Head Glam Girl at Margarita Bloom
Margarita Bloom | Retro Vintage Skincare & Beauty
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Natalie_vintage_girl said...

Yeah, I can't believe some people. I think it's pretty empowering too :)