An astonishing appeal

I'd never liked Taylor Swift. At all. That was, until her release of "1989" altogether shattered any notions I held.

Actually, I let me re-phrase that. I'd never totally understood her appeal. On the outside, she's this tall, lanky country girl-gone pop who could be seen dancing awkwardly by herself in the aisle at award shows; Swift was parodied for her over-the-top gawky "oh my gosh, me?!" shocked reaction to winning a Grammy; she was seen as the girl who dates men, chews them up and spits them out through her lyrics for the world to hear. Dating Swift issued you a gag order, in a way. Eventually, the finer points of your relationship would soon be recorded for prosperity. It all seemed a bit gimmicky to me.

Then I heard "Shake It Off" and it was as if none of that happened. Although that's not entirely true - the album's first release was actually a confirmation that Swift is well aware of her reputation and better yet, she could not care less. "Shake It Off" is as catchy and heartening as it gets. The striking percussion mixed with that brass creates a beat that's hard to ignore. Swift blows off her haters to the most cheery melody imaginable. It's true, she's just a young girl experiencing heartbreak and turning it into something tangible to help with the healing process. Who can fault her for that?

Swift still manages to reminisce on particular lost loves, ones that are easy (for her die-hard fans) to figure out. Enter "Out Of The Woods", a ballad that gives a rumored tip of the hat to Harry Styles. Fans flipped out. But I flipped out for an entirely different reason: This is kind of my new jam! It's super sweet, does not paint a negative picture of Styles and carries the theme with the rest of "1989" of sanguine musical notes.

The biggest factor with falling in love with "1989" is that Swift has grown as a person. You can tell by the way she promoted the album. Handpicking fans and inviting them to one of her (many) homes for a private listening session, complete with homemade cookies (which Swift is known for, I've learned) and visits from her famous cats would make any super fan lose their mind. Swift presents herself as relatable by being creatively welcoming both as an artist and in real life.

Personally, I can't imagine the lifestyle Swift leads. Promoting, touring, recording, all while under the watchful and dissecting eye of the public. "1989" shows everyone (and I mean that in the truest sense) that she has matured and is still evolving. Considering the stress and critics she faces, Swift never feels the need to use gratuitous lyrics or actions in her work, including interviews, which also lends to her impeccable role model status.

Are we out of the woods yet?

Are we in the clear yet?

In my mind, you are Taylor. You gained a new fan.


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