“Where were you when…?”
People ask that question after significant events in a state, nation or world’s timeline.
So where were you when 1989, Taylor Swift’s groundbreaking album was released last week?
The country music princess officially traded in her cowgirl boots for red lipstick and Keds. Love her or hate her, the much-awaited track list took over social media, covering every part of iTunes on T-Day.
Her fifth contribution is the first album outside of the country genre she honed as a teenager. In the words of Tay herself, “haters gonna hate,” but the music world should be praising the star for rejuvenating the face of the entire industry.
In case you’ve been wrapped up in studying and going to class, a really big thing happened this month in terms of music.
No artists went platinum in 2014. Let that sink in for a moment. One Direction didn’t sell a million copies of their CD, the qualification of a “platinum” title. Even Beyonce, Queen B, couldn’t rake in enough purchases to make the lofty cut. The only one to achieve the big million was Olaf and friends in Disney’s Frozen soundtrack. Apparently, people want to build snowmen and buy the CD to sing along while doing so.
The last artist to sell 1 million copies in a week was Taylor with her previous release, Red.
And now she did it again.
So, over the course of hundreds of days, no artist hit a million. But T.S. did — she literally outsold the entire industry in one week. That deserves a little bit of attention, or a lot, depending on how much you love the blonde bombshell.
Crusaders purchased their own copies of the polaroid-inspired collection, posting selfies via social media and tweeting lyrics to their favorite tracks. Even those who would rather listen to “Let it Go” than “Shake it Off” knew about the big day. When you know, you know.
The collection as a whole provides nostalgic hints of the 90s and early 2000s, which appeals to Taylor’s young adult audience, Crusaders included.
And though several tracks have traditional T-Swift lyrics with an entirely new sound, the work disappoints in terms of originality. Yes, it’s original for Taylor. But very few songs provide anything different to pop music.
Sticking to what she does best, Swift pens lyrics about ex, Harry Styles in “Style,” a witty stab at the boyband star. Though it may hurt Harry a bit, the track is one of the best and does present a new side of Taylor that the world needed to see.
“Bad Blood” channels an Imagine Dragons feel, only slightly less successfully. Still, it already has the makings for a hit single.
“Shake it Off” has taken over the world, inspiring parodies and ridiculously bad dance moves. You can’t stop it. It’s viral, whether the majority of listeners like it or not.
Though 1989 seems a bit lackluster, it accomplishes its mission. Taylor Swift successfully jumped ship on country music and created a mainstream album of hits that her fans love. And pop music lovers will love it too because that’s one thing it does well. Pop.
She may not be earning any new fans, but she’s reviving old ones, and that’s exactly what the music industry needed.
Hands are picking up albums in stores, something critics believed to be dead after this year.
Shake it off, Taylor. You and Target still rule the world.