When something miraculous happens I like to do two things. First I like to text all of my close friends saying something like, “GOD IS REAL AND HE HAS CHOSEN ME TO BE HIS VESSEL BECAUSE I AM THE SPECIAL CHOSEN ONE.” Then I like to write about the miraculous thing that has happened which has resulted in this blog post.
Allow me to set the scene; Friday I get home from work, I am sad that I am not able to afford tickets to the We Can Survive charity show at the Hollywood Bowl with headliner Taylor Swift. (Keep in mind I am still riding pretty high from attending Taylor’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Hollywood Blvd performance the previous night.) I get home, check the mail and think I am seeing things. In the mailbox is a package from Target. I think to myself, “this cannot be real. Something is happening. Mercury is out of retrograde and my reward for surviving said retrograde is this.” IN THE PACKAGE IS TAYLOR SWIFT’S NEW ALBUM “1989” WHICH WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE UNTIL MONDAY AKA OCTOBER 27 AKA THE ACTUAL RELEASE DATE.
I SOMEHOW HAD THE NEW TAYLOR SWIFT ALBUM IN MY POSSESSION 4 DAYS EARLY.
How this happened I will never know for sure. Did someone at Target see my name and think, “wow I’m getting a good vibe from this girl’s name. Seems like she would really appreciate this album early. Ship it out boys.” Or did Taylor herself say, “Oh that Sarah, she sure is a light in my life. Send her the album before anyone else. She really is the best and I want to give her this special gift to share just between us before the rest of the world gets to listen to it.” I am choosing to believe the latter.
I had my first listen through laying on the floor next to my record player with one of my best friends. I laughed out loud at the lyric puns, danced to the insanely catchy hooks and cried four times at the poignant lyrics. I had my second and third listens in a car driving with no particular destination, letting Taylor being the decider of when we turned the car around to go home.
I’ve raved on and on about Taylor before and could probably write so much on her that people would stop reading right about now so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Taylor has this knack for making her albums more than just an album for her fans, she makes them an experience. She writes secret messages in her lyric booklets. She includes Polaroid replicas in her deluxe album packages. She releases Voice Memos to show fans her songwriting process and explain how these songs came to life. She holds secret listening sessions months before the album is ever released just for the superfans. She goes above and beyond to try to bring you into her world not only to enjoy it, but to understand it and make it your world too.
Taking it back to the early days, there is no album that will ever be able to beat Fearless for me. Since Taylor is just a year older than I am, we have essentially grown up on the same timeline, experiencing a lot of things young girls/women experience in life whether you are massive pop star or just a normal girl stressing over if a boy likes you back. Fearless was released when I was 17 and emotionally frantic about almost everything in my life (as most young teenagers are). For that reason alone, nothing will ever hold a closer place in my heart. Speak Now was released during the start of my college years when I was trying to find my footing while living on my own for the first time. Red was released during the end of my college years when I was trying to figure out what I was doing with my life and feeling scattered in every sense of the word.
Like all previous albums, 1989 continues to follow my timeline. Red was an emotionally devastated record filled with emotional heartbreak as well as Taylor’s own musical exploration. She experimented with different sounds that mirrored her trying to find herself after feeling, for lack of a better term, broken. 1989 is the upswing after Red. It is picking yourself up after being broken and building a new house out of the jagged pieces and creating something you didn’t think could ever exist. If I’m channeling my inner metaphorical Taylor – Red was the tsunami and 1989 is the new city she built out of the ruins.
Taylor is confident, independent and strong on this album. I grabbed onto 1989 so quickly because it reminds me a lot of Fearless in the way she chooses and arranges her lyrics as well as how sure of herself she is on each track. On the past albums, she was playing with different sounds and arrangements but on this one, she knows what she wants and goes at it full force.
- Songs to dance to: Style, Shake It Off, New Romantics, Blank Space
- Songs to sing in a hairbrush to: All You Had To Do Was Stay, How You Get The Girl, I Wish You Would, Bad Blood
- Songs to cry to: Clean, This Love, You Are In Love, Wildest Dreams
This new Taylor era mirrors what I’ve been working on in my own life – being strong, finding yourself on your own terms and doing what makes you happy.
I leave you with the words of Taylor herself from the album’s closer “Clean.” The secret lyric message hidden within “Clean” encompasses everything Taylor set out to accomplish not only with this record, but with this new chapter in her life (and by timeline association, my life too).
“She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything.”