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Taylor vs. Taylor: 10 years of Taylor Swift

Taylor+Swift%27s+musical+evolution+shines+through+in+her+album+design
Taylor Swift's musical evolution shines through in her album design

Taylor Swift's musical evolution shines through in her album design

Taylor Swift's musical evolution shines through in her album design

Hope Nathanson, Writer

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When one thinks “Taylor Swift” today, they would probably think of her modern, edgy appearance from videos such as “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Ready For It?.”Her latest album, Reputation, was released on Nov. 10 and is a far cry from her original country roots.

 

Taylor Swift began her music career as a young teenager from Nashville, TN trying be make a name for herself in the music industry.  Her self-titled album began her career with a bang, topping the US Top Country Albums charts.  Simple melodic acoustic guitar was prominent throughout the album, unlike the electronic-pop of her 2017 album.

 

Singles performed and written by Swift placed on charts since the beginning of her music career.  At the age of 16, her first single released for Taylor Swift reached number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and six on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.  Within 24 hours of the release of her lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” for Reputation, Swift had reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.  The lead single became the most streamed song on Spotify in 24 hours, and became the song with the highest streaming and selling figures of the year.

 

Through years of immense success, Swift’s music evolved and strayed far from her roots in the country music scene.  Her self-titled album incorporated typical aspects of country music , such as the banjo, fiddle, and acoustic guitar, with her bubbly teen spirit and desire to find young love.

 

From album to album over the last ten years, Swift’s music evolved to be more pop based.  This shift began to appear in her 2012 album, Red, which was a blend of country and pop influence.  However, the full shift to pop music was set in stone with the release of 1989 in 2014.

 

Reputation has little to no acoustic influence, and is instead entirely synthetic pop music (except for piano based song “New Year’s Day”), something country-era Swift probably would have never imagined.  Swift collaborated with rapper Future on Reputation on song “End Game (feat. Ed Sheeran and Future)” to add an element of rap influence in her new music style and image for herself.

 

Swift has grown with her music, not just in age but in experience. Her first album was primarily based on her high school love experiences, and made a name for herself with relatable love songs like “Our Song” and “Tim McGraw,” which she wrote in her freshman year of high school. Though she still produces songs about her love life, like “Call It What You Want To” and “Gorgeous,” much of Reputation consists of songs regarding her feuds with other celebrities.  Swift’s lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” is theorized to be about her celebrity rival, Katy Perry.  Also, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is supposedly alluding to her ongoing drama with Kanye West.  However, this is mere speculation and one can only theorize until Swift comes forth with the official meanings behind her new music.

 

From a teenage country singer to pop icon, Swift’s musical evolution shows that she is one of the most versatile artists of the 21st century.  Though some miss the “old Taylor” style of music, Swift will continue to trail-blaze the music industry and produce music beloved by the masses.

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The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia