With the pop phenomenon’s new album fast approaching I thought it was best I rank the 10 best songs by the singer-songwriter-savant.
10. Begin Again
A sweet country song about Taylor letting go of her romantic past as she finds love again. The perfect album closer for Red; the country-pop album that detailed love and heartbreak all in flashes of colour. Her vocals are soft and her lyrics are endearing and heartwarming, what more could you want from a Taylor Swift ballad?
9. New Romantics
The best synth-pop track on 1989. If promoted right it could’ve been one of the biggest singles from the album. Swift mocks herself and everyone around her in this song with a careless nature that oozes self-confidence. She’s “bored” in the verses but as soon as that chorus hits she’s up on her feet singing “proudly”. She’s even able to slip in a reference to classic literature with the lyric “We show off our different Scarlet letters / Trust me mine is better”.
8. Sparks Fly
This song is loaded with metaphors. Swift’s lover is “a full on rainstorm” and she’s a “house of cards”. Her love for using images such as “pouring rain” and “green eyes” also make regular appearances in this song. Sparks Fly, a song from an album written entirely by Taylor Swift herself. Speak Now details how she knows this boy might not be so good for her, but he’s captivating.
7. Hey Stephen
Hey Stephen, one of the sweetest songs written by Swift. She hums and laughs her way through the track as she crushes on a boy named Stephen. It is young love at its very best, and she is even able to poke fun at herself as she admits “All those other girls well they’re beautiful / But would they write a song for you?”.
6. Dear John
Another song where Taylor directly @’s her ex-beau. Although, her alleged inspiration is from the ‘Dear John’ breakup letters women used to send their partners who were off at war. This song takes the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions. It slow burns from his manipulative ways to Taylor triumphantly exclaiming how she’s “shining like fireworks over your sad empty town”. Yet, she then takes you back down to how she “should have known”. A lot of emotions for one 19 year old to feel.
This title-track comes from her album named, you guessed it, Fearless. Swift describes the perfect first date, and her initial reluctance to fall in love, but she jumps anyway. This song is the perfect blend of country and pop and foreshadows how she would slowly foray into pop as she grew older.
4. State of Grace
An experimental album opener for Red, Swift moved more into rock for this song. State of Grace is about falling in love but looking at all the different ways it could end up going. It shows growth on Swift’s behalf as she displays a more mature outlook on love. She still manages to sneak in her classic imagery with “four blue eyes” though.
Enchanted is a love song, where she does not know if her feeling for someone are reciprocated. He has her “blushing” and “wonderstruck”, yet she lies awake at 2am thinking “who do you love”. This song displays early Swift ideals of a fairy tale romance and young love, but the crooning “please don’t be in love with someone else” keeps the song grounded and relatable.
This song is sheer pop perfection. Style nails the 80’s vibe and sound Swift was aiming for on her aptly named album 1989. She invokes the classic ‘good girl & bad boy’ imagery that is prevalent throughout her entire songwriting discography. Red lips vs. Slicked back hair. But she instead places the blame on both parties in this song. They’ve both made mistakes, but they always come back together. Although, is that necessarily a good thing?
1. All Too Well
All Too Well is Taylor Swift lyrically at her best. The 5 minutes and 29 seconds song finds Swift reliving the ups and downs of a failed relationship that she cannot seem to shake. The details scattered throughout the song transport you to those moments you imagine you shared with her. Dancing in the refrigerator light, autumn days and leaving her scarf at his sisters house. However, it’s the crescendo of the song, where she belts how he “broke me like a promise” and how she’s “a crumpled up piece of paper lying here” that solidifies this song at the top of her discography.