By BECKY SHANE
On October 27, 2014, Taylor Swift released her fifth album, 1989. In its first week of sales, 1989 sold over 1.287 million copies, almost doubling its predicted sale of 650,000 (USA Today).
Before 1989’s release, Swift released the single “Shake It Off” from the album. According to Forbes, it immediately debuted as number one on the Billboard 100 and set the precedent for the album’s new style. On November 10, the second single from her album, “Blank Space,” also made its début.
This new album differs from her previous ones in that it represents a new style for Taylor Swift. She describes 1989 as her “first documented official pop album,” as compared to her previous four albums’ country-pop style.
When asked what she thinks of Taylor Swift’s transition to pop music, Carmel Lee (Jr.) said, “I think it’s funny when people say that Taylor should ‘just stick to country’ because she has the right to evolve her sound. Yes, her new album is pop, but it’s pop that is sonically cohesive with the same intelligent lyrics we expect from her. So whenever someone says ‘I don’t like the new Taylor Swift’, I just say ‘What? There’s a new Taylor Swift? Where?’”
Many believe that Swift’s new sound is the result of the changes in her personal life. Swift, often noted for her dating life, has not been publicly dating recently. Also, in an interview with The Guardian in August, Swift announced her “feminist awakening.” In this interview, Swift clarified her position as a feminist as a counter to the publicly held belief that she was against feminism.
Holly McRuer (Sr.), a dedicated fan, said about Swift’s new album, “It’s new and it’s different and I think [Swift] changes her sound as she changes as a person. Usually, she’s dating another superstar who tends to be the inspiration for her music. But since she’s been single, Taylor has become more independent. I think that’s given her confidence to try out a new sound in her latest album.”
According to Time, like with her previous album Red, Taylor Swift chose not to stream 1989 on Spotify or any other music service programs . In an opinion editorial for the Wall Street Journal, Swift defended her reasoning for excluding the album’s free broadcasting by saying that “it is [her] opinion that music should not be free.”
Sheerin Zarinafsar (Sr.) says that she is “disappointed that 1989 isn’t available on Spotfiy because [she] listen[s] to all of her music here, and now [she] can’t add Taylor Swift to her playlist.” However, this forced Zarinafsar to purchase the album. Maybe if Spotify had been streaming 1989, the album would not have seen the record-breaking number of sales it did.
Fans such as Zarinasfar, Lee and McRuer are just a few fans who helped make Swift’s album record-breaking in sales. Even though 1989 marks a change in Taylor Swift’s music, her fans will always support her.