Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ wasn’t worth all that Spotify drama


Photographers assigned to Taylor Swift concerts will be greeted by a friendlier photo contract.
Taylor Swift's '1989' album is finally available for streaming, so I was all ears.
Photo: GabboT/Flickr CC

No one has shut up about this album since it came out in October 2014. Taylor Swift’s “1989” sold over a million copies in the first week alone and continues to sell well even today, largely due to the fact that it was previously nowhere to be found on streaming services. That is until Apple Music launched and Swift suddenly had a change of heart.

Still, since everyone I know buzzed about this album and the media certainly buzzed about it given the Spotify melodrama, I had to give it a listen. I didn’t want to buy it because I truly didn’t care that much, but I cared enough to listen if I was already paying for a streaming subscription. Now that I’m officially an Apple Music member, I got to stream “1989” in its entirety while I was cooking my lunch.

The album opens with “Welcome to New York,” a song about Swift’s exuberant attitude moving to New York City. Within the first few seconds, the album title is made clear: not only is 1989 her birth year, but the music on this album draws inspiration from the ’80s. The song has great energy to it, I can almost picture myself in the middle of Times Square listening to it.

Oh look, the water is boiling. Time to steam the vegetables.

The next tracks, “Blank Space” and “Style” are two of the singles from the album, so I’m already a bit biased. I’ve heard them a million times and they’re perfectly catchy, but I’m over them. “Style” is one of my favorites on the album though, as it has a unique alternative sound with great lyrics.

Then we get to “Out of the Woods.” I toss meatballs into the frying pan while Taylor Swift repeatedly asks me for three minutes and 56 seconds if she’s out of the woods yet. I really don’t know or care Taylor, just let me cook this meat please.

“Shake It Off” is still one of the most infectious songs I’ve ever heard. So there’s that.

“Bad Blood” is my favorite song on the album. It has an awesome beat that rises and crashes along with her voice. It’s the one that, though a commercial single, I still don’t get tired of.

I slightly burned the meatballs. Whatever. They go on the plate as “Wildest Dreams” plays. Another lyrically impressive song, the production even sounds like a dream. This is another solid track up there with “Bad Blood.”

Unfortunately, that’s where the songs stop being particularly noteworthy. (“I Know Places” is decent.) Almost all of the songs I mentioned are commercial singles though, which means we were already able to listen to them for free either on the radio or YouTube.

I finished eating my lunch a bit underwhelmed. Taylor Swift’s album didn’t quite meet the high expectations so many people set for it. It’s not terrible; in fact I’d listen to it again. My favorite songs apart from “Wildest Dreams” and “I Know Places” are the commercial singles.

So was the album worth the roughly nine-month wait to stream? Not really. I could have streamed this nine months ago and come to a similar conclusion. Sorry, Taylor. Time to “Clean” my dishes.