Welcome to the fourth installment of our 1989 Review series here on My Fangirl Life. If you haven’t seen the rest of it, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. As I’ve already mentioned, Kris, Justine, and I all got together to discuss Taylor Swift’s new album, and I’ve worked to include all of our opinions below! Here we go again…
Track 13 – Clean
This song is a very unique look at getting over someone. I love the metaphor of being over a relationship as being “clean” or over an addiction. It’s not just about love being a drug, it’s about moving beyond that, getting over it, working through it, and preparing for what comes next.
This was a beautiful closing track for the standard album (though we still have a few bonus tracks to review!). It still has those vivid lyrics that create pictures in your head while listening, and Taylor (along with co-writer Imogen Heap), again did a lovely job personifying the lyrics in the sound of the music.
Bonus Track 1 – Wonderland
As always, when it comes to Taylor Swift albums, I am a big fan of the bonus tracks. If you haven’t bought the album yet, I highly recommend the deluxe version. But on to Wonderland…
This song is a lot of fun, but a little twisted. It is symbolic of how Taylor’s viewpoint has changed. “Love Story”, for example, was idealized and a fairytale. Now instead of being in the “Enchanted Forest” (a la “Once Upon a Time” on TV), Taylor has made the move to Wonderland – a less ideal and more sinister fairytale world.
This track somehow manages to sound both perky and dark at the same time. Kris, Justine, and I all like the uneven beats in the background – it adds to the frantic and chaotic sound, which seems extremely fitting.
Bonus Track 1.5 (Target Edition Only) – You Are in Love
This song is so darn pretty and again, as always, tells a story vividly. It paints a picture of a real love story and the smallest moments that can result in a realization of this love. The lines “You understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars/And why I’ve spent my whole life trying to put it into words” just kills me.
I love the whispery, breathless quality of Taylor’s voice throughout this track. It feels very intimate, like she is telling a story to only you. And there is that section right in the middle where it is all stripped right back and all you hear is her. Beautiful.
Bonus Track 2 – New Romantics
Kris, Justine, and I all agree that this song is a great anthem track for 1989 – and we all think it should have made the actual album cut. “New Romantics” is so upbeat, fun, happy, and rather shameless. In contrast to the rest of the album, this song isn’t just about broken hearts, but about her banding together with her girlfriends. She shakes off what everyone says about her, and stands up proudly to be who she is. I love the message and the fun in this song, and it is a great way to close off the album.
When I listen to a Taylor Swift album, I go on an emotional adventure. As people who are close to the same age as her, we at My Fangirl Life feel that Taylor’s personal development speaks directly to us. We’ve literally grown up with her, and I honestly feel that each album that comes out, though it is different from the one before, it always has extremely personal significance for me. Taylor’s development over the years is a very natural progression of how people feel about life and love, and her skill as a storyteller allows her to speak to us all.
1989 in particular, instead of discussing the ideal fairy tale love, really embraces all parts of a relationship. There’s always the possibility that something could be great, but learning from pain and experience is part of the process too. And just because something ends doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful and worthwhile. This album is very unapologetic about who she is and what she’s done, but she also takes responsibility for sometimes being the reason her relationships don’t work.
Kris said during our discussions “I need to learn more life lessons from Taylor Swift”. I totally agree – we all do.