Swift goes pop for giant release
NEW YORK: Moving more decisively away from her country roots, Taylor Swift on Monday released a danceable pop album that the beleaguered record industry hopes will be the year’s top-seller.
Called “1989,” the year the soon-to-be 25-year-old US music phenomenon was born, Swift’s fifth album is accompanied by a methodical marketing campaign that ranges from product tie-ins to meetings with lucky fans.
Swift, who moved as a child to Nashville and released a debut album with a country base when she was just 16, shifts firmly into pop mode on the latest album by trading her guitar for a synth sound that would, in fact, have sounded familiar in 1989.
Swift — whose breakups with celebrity boyfriends have delighted tabloids — once again taps into her personal life for her lyrics, but on “1989” the tone is often cheeky and plainly cognizant of the media glare upon her.
“I go on too many dates / But I can’t make ‘em stay / At least that’s what people say,” she sings with a chuckle on the album’s first single “Shake It Off,” which is driven by an infectious funk rhythm.
Swift teamed up for “Shake It Off” and several other “1989” tracks with the Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback, who worked with her on “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” her chart-topping song from her last album “Red” in 2012.
Martin has written or co-written some of the major hits of the past 20 years by bubblegum pop stars such as the Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears.
Swift, appearing Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote the album, declared that “1989” was her best work.
“I think it’s always important to remind your fans why they started listening to you in the first place but, on a new album, give them something truly new,” she said.
“I could have made ‘Red’ twice, done the same thing over again. Instead, I decided to go in a completely different direction,” she said.