Without a doubt the strongest pop album of 2014 is 1989 by Taylor Swift. This comes as no surprise to me- I'm a diehard Taylor Swift fan. Over the past six years, Taylor inspired many hairbrush karaoke sessions for me. Her songs boast thousands of plays on my iPod. And I've seen her four times in concert, including once on every one of her headlining US tours.
Taylor Swift simultaneously manages to be insanely relatable and one of the biggest pop stars in the world. She feels like a best friend I've never met, and every new album gives me a chance to catch up on what's happened in the past two years. 1989 contains songs dealing with many different aspects of the twenty something experience, from moving to a new city to dealing with haters and friends turned enemies to navigating romantic relationships.
The key to Swift's continued success lies in her songwriting abilities, which only grow stronger with every new album. Casual listeners may not realize that Swift cowrites every song on her albums. Her ability to combine sharp lyrics with catchy and emotional melodies provides the key to her continual domination of the charts.
On 1989, Swift moves further into the world of electropop thatat she dipped her toes into on "Red." The experimentation makes for some of the best songs on the album including "Blank Space," "Bad Blood" and "Out of the Woods." Other standouts include "How You Get the Girl," which begs for a hairbrush karaoke session; "Clean," where the melancholy melody sets stage for similar lyrics; and "Shake It Off," which implores the listener to jump up and start dancing.
It's been fun as a Swift fan to grow with her through the years, hear the progression in her music and watch previous Taylor haters realize they now enjoy her music. If you fall into that last category, don't worry, you're not alone. Saturday Night Live even touched on it in a sketch from last night's episode: Swiftamine.