I've been a fan of Taylor Swift since Drew looked at me. Of course, I've had my ups and downs with her as an artist and a public figure, but I cannot deny my love for a lot of her music.
There I said it.
This is probably for the same reasons that most of us started loving her in the beginning - because she made our most trivial emotions seem completely real. She's never been afraid of indulging in feelings that I think a lot of young females relate to and in a way that is unapologetically fun.
Taylor Swift from TX to VA
now i’m lying on the cold, hard ground
Yep, basically what I'm trying to say is that she gets (a lot of) us. And she is happy to be the silly girl who writes silly music so that other silly girls can feel validated in their silly feelings.
This hasn't always played out well for her. She's not been great about intersectionality or about heteronormativity or recognizing how much influence she has and how she should be using it (she has gotten better).
But in the end, I have to say that there's nothing like letting yourself belt out a few of her most indulgent hits. And honestly, I think it's valid to look at the impact that Taylor Swift has had upon many young females. Because, let's be honest, it's a lot.
My friends and I have had heated debates over which albums are the best. And these debates haven't always turned out pretty. Because in the end, her songs are so intertwined with such intimate phases in our lives, that it becomes way too personal.
But when my sister and I went on a cross country drive, moving her from Texas to Virginia in just 2 days, we decided the best thing to do was go back and listen to every single Taylor Swift song that exists and make the definitive *unbiased of personal life intertwinment* ranking.
***It's important to note that we also gave Taylor citations for all of the songs that aren't great for women or gender.
In comparison to her other albums, this one is weak. She's trying too hard to make a new sound. She's trying too hard to make a point. She's just trying too hard.
Taylor Swift's lyrics have a way of being either perfect or so horribly face-to-palm lame. And this album spends way too much time in face-to-palm territory.
SEE: This is why we can't have nice things. Delicate. Call It What You Want. (I actually really like this song but the lyrics are objectively lame)
I will say that the album starts and ends strong. But we get super lost in the middle. (I honestly can't even remember what Dress is)
One last very important thing to note about this album is that it has no *citations. YAY TAY
5. Taylor Swift
Aw baby Taylor.
We've all got to appreciate the energy that basically smacks you in the face while listening to Taylor Swift. She's got her full southern twang going on, and it's just so freaking cute.
This album has some of the all-time favs: Our Song, Tim McGraw. I would say Teardrops On My Guitar but actually upon listening again it's not as great as you want it to be.
This Taylor isn't afraid to call you out by name. (Stay Beautiful had us all looking for a Cory whose eyes could be like a jungle) And she's just so damn adorable.
Buuuuut this album is pretty juvenile. It's a little hard to go back and still feel like you totally relate to our sweet baby Tay. And a lot of the songs sound the same slash are kind of mediocre slash perpetuate very heteronormative narratives.
This album has 2 *citations.
I'm Only Me When I'm With You. Oh gawd. Let us not teach young girls that they can't be a person without their boyfriend, PLEASE.
Picture to Burn. She threatens to tell her exe's friends that he's gay. But if you listen to the version that's on Spotify now, it's been changed.
I understand that some people might be upset to see it so low ... but to that I say: go back and listen to every Taylor Swift album in a row and then talk to me.
The good songs in this album are really good. But an album can't be carried by All Too Well.
We also discussed that perhaps this album suffers from overplay. I mean, can you still listen to Never Getting Back Together and really enjoy it?
And the songs that aren't those top few are just mediocre. (Whyyyy Stay, Stay, Stay)
This album does have one of my used to be favorite songs, but my feminist awakening has since made me realize that it deserves a ****citation.
I Knew You Were Trouble is such a fun song that I used to be able to repeat it like 15 times in a row without it getting old.
But it literally uses the lyrics "the blame is on me".
How did we not see this before?? This song was literally a guidebook for letting guys off the hook for being guys. Like I should have known you would treat me like sh**, my bad.
I knew you were trouble when you walked in so SHAME ON ME???
When you need to get your teen angst on, come to Fearless.
Fearless gets into the top 3 because it has no mediocres songs. And if you're reeling while you read this, go back and listen to the whole thing.
Forever and Always, Fearless, Love Story. This is when we really realized how hard Taylor gets us and how much she's not afraid to indulge it.
I do have to note that I think my least favorite Taylor Swift song is on this album: Fifteen. I get that it meant a lot to a lot of people, but c'mon.
This album has 2 *citations.
Love Story. Not great for evolved female narratives. She literally calls herself a scarlet letter. I don't think we really need to spend time romanticizing falling in love in what ever the hell renaissance time period she's going for. But it is SO MUCH FUN.
You Belong With Me. Another of those songs that I used to straight up fan girl over. I could listen to it on repeat so many times, I'm surprised my brain didn't explode.
But this song is a classic example of girls hating on each other for a guy's attention.
"She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts"
Maybe he belongs with you but probably not for that reason, Tay!
2. Speak Now
So, in a perfect world, this album would be number one for me. But alas, I recognize that perhaps it doesn't hold as much weight for everyone else as it does for me.
But this is SUCH a solid album. And if you're scratching your head, maybe you just haven't listened to it in a while. Or all the way through alongside every other Taylor Swift album. Taking extensive notes. Luckily, now you don't have to.
There's diversity in the songs; she has smarter lyrics. Every song on this album is good - except for Never Grow Up. Though, it's not bad enough to drag it down in the rating.
It does have one *citation.
Better Than Revenge. "She's better known for the things that she does on the mattress." Need I say more?
Also, it's uncool that this other girl is hooking up with your boyfriend. But HE'S THE ONE CHEATING ON YOU. Can we not get revenge on him??
Alright, here it is. The best Taylor Swift album is 1989.
The songs are diverse in sound. And this is her peak of writing lyrics that don't make you want to cringe.
She still indulges your inner female dreams, but she's more mature.
It has some of the BEST songs: Blank Space, Style, Wildest Dreams.
But we also can't forget those few that are pretty weak: Welcome to New York, How You Get the Girl.
It also has the only worthwhile Deluxe Edition! New Romantics should have been on the normal album for sure.
There is, however, one *citation.
I hate to say this, but it's Blank Space. It's for the lyric "Boys only want love if its torture." Way too heteronormative.
My mom and I had a discussion about this because she seems to think that it's Taylor's own experience so she should be able to express it. Buuuut in this case, she's making a sweeping statement. If it was 'they' or 'he', then sure. Otherwise, c'mon Tay gender doesn't stipulate who does or does not suffer unnecessarily for love!
So there you have it! The definitive list of Taylor Swift's albums.
Have something to debate? I'm ready for whatever may come at me!