Taylor Swift - 1989
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2014 Ratings: #200 / 845
Year End Rank: #15
User Score
Based on 779 ratings
2014 Ratings: #181
October 27, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Big Machine / Label
Pop, Electropop / Genres
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taylorswift.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Pretty Much Amazing

1989 would have been just as impressive thirty years ago, against much fiercer competition. It’s also proof that an expert songwriter, one who happens to sing and dance (somewhat less expertly), can rule our dreary charts.

90
Sputnikmusic

Whether she’s poking fun at herself, touching on more risqué topics ..., or just going about her business singing about breakups because that’s what she wants to do, 1989 is an album that shows growth straight across the board.

90
PopMatters

By twisting free of the final touches of genre constraint clinging onto Red’s moments of twang, Swift sends her nearly unparalleled gift for melody soaring into the stratosphere.

85
The Line of Best Fit

There's evolution with purpose in every fibre of 1989, and far from jettisoning her integrity in this drastic lunge, she's proved in her bold, risky decision that she's got courage in her convictions to pull it off and faith in her fans to accept the new direction.

83
A.V. Club

Swift’s never going to be as bleak as Del Rey or as sexually frank as Madonna, but, on 1989, she’s figured out how to be an adult once and for all.

80
Rolling Stone

Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she's ever tried before.

80
Time Out London

‘1989’ is less of a reinvention, more the sound of a winning formula being ruthlessly refined. 

80
musicOMH

While not completely successful in showcasing in her transition into pure pop, 1989 is a great listen for those refuse to believe both the hype and the haters.

80
Billboard

It's Swift's best work -- a sophisticated pop tour de force that deserves to be as popular commercially as with Robyn-worshipping blog--gers; an album that finds Swift meeting Katy and Miley and Pink on their home turf and staring them down.

80
The Guardian

On 1989 the reasons she’s afforded the kind of respect denied to her peers are abundantly obvious.

80
The Observer

Swift’s fifth record is a bold, gossipy confection that plays to her strengths – strengths which pretty much define modern pop.

75
Consequence of Sound

Her metropolitan butterflies aside, Swift’s songwriting is as consistently razor-sharp as it’s ever been. 

75
Entertainment Weekly

Too often on 1989 she’s trying to win at somebody else’s game, whittling her words down to generic love stuff over flowy synthesizers.

70
AllMusic

A cold, somewhat distant celebration of all the transient transparencies of modern pop, undercut by its own desperate desire to be nothing but a sparkling soundtrack to an aspirational lifestyle.

70
NME

‘1989’ is Taylor Swift’s radical reinvention: one to finally alienate her country audience and plant her flag firmly in pop soil.

70
Drowned in Sound

Swift’s self-empowerment is so irrepressible that you can actually hear her kiss off the haters with the help of a brass backing section.

70
FACT Magazine

No longer writing love stories that naively set out to rival Romeo and Juliet, the Swift on 1989 is very aware of the transience and the fun of everything she’s writing about – but she’s also aware that that doesn’t mean it can’t sound larger than life.

70
Slant Magazine

1989’s standout tracks retain the narrative detail and clever metaphor-building that distinguished Swift’s early country songs, even amid the diversions wrought by the aggressive studio production on display throughout.

60
The 405

1989 is a testament to Swift's transition as a woman, and it's admirable to anyone embarking on the difficult journey of finding themselves.

60
Clash

It has moments of magic, passages that gleam so perfectly. But then it stalls. And it splutters. And it parks itself, enticing first impressions undermined by an unreliable core, as Just Another Pop Record.

60
NOW Magazine

The little personal details she inserts into otherwise fluffy songs are what make tracks like Out Of The Woods so resonant. If anything, 1989 proves that those skills, and not the marketing campaign, are the source of her success.

50
Tiny Mix Tapes

1989 is a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity.

exception
77
with her first strictly pop album, i was not disappointed by taylor swift. she had some really strong hooks and catchy instrumentals. her lyrics stayed within the same range she has always had, not exactly shallow but not deep either. she had some really nice songs(wildest dreams) and some stupid ones(shake it off). i've liked swifts older albums even though im not much of a country fan. i get why this made swift the monumental figure she is today
fav tracks: wildest dreams, blank space, ... read more
Z.Younk
9
Some generic poptronica beats slapped together by, I'm sure, some famous, but cut-rate producers, and Taylor adds her dumb-teen-girl-attracting pop-lyrical touch for a monster hit much worst than Pharrell's misfire of similar intentions. She completely abandon's country which at one time i think may have been her genre, as skateboard P also did. Either way, selling out isn't as bad when you're already a loathsome hit maker, knowingly dumbing down the population. Taylor ... read more
holowna
92
Swift's stellar fifth record is undoubtedly my favorite pop album of all time. Her writing becomes more self-aware, unabashedly dramatic and dreamy, and concise. Swift showcases her immaculate ability to string together beautifully catchy narratives, all with the slightest hint of conceit (and irony). Every track is drenched in a springtime repose; a refraction of great urgency that both happened long ago and at this very moment.

Rating: Outstanding to Exceptional (92).
EMR
76
While pop underappreciators have been stating the contrary, this album is actually pretty good. In fact, it is a pop album, and there is no other thing one could expect from Taylor Swift these days. It is strong that way, and cohesive as a whole, which is it's biggest statement to the world. While Taylor has been gaining each year more attention due to her charismatic persona, what truly gets the listener here is the quality of her compositions (again, these are pop songs. Catchy choruses, ... read more
dyelir
84
Let's get this straight, I hate Taylor Swift. I tell all my friends that contemplate buying her music not to. But in her first fully devoted pop effort, she owns her claimed status as "basic bitch" by critics, and takes the cliche American love story she used so often in her country days and hones in on the predictability, the simplicity of it all by making breezy pop that surprised even the most cynical detractors.
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Track List

  1. Welcome to New York
  2. Blank Space
  3. Style
  4. Out of the Woods
  5. All You Had to Do Was Stay
  6. Shake It Off
  7. I Wish You Would
  8. Bad Blood
  9. Wildest Dreams
  10. How You Get the Girl
  11. This Love
  12. I Know Places
  13. Clean 
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Added on: August 18, 2014