Taylor Swift, now entering her fourteenth year in the music industry, stands as one of the most influential and awarded artists in the world at just 29 years old. She has millions of fans around the world, including myself. Don’t you fucking judge me, okay? Look, I’m like super woke. I went to the women’s march. I’ve shared a post asking for donations to planned parenthood. I still fucking watch The Mindy Project. So, keeping that in mind here is the definitive ranking of Taylor Swift’s albums.
Coming in last on the list is 2012’s Red, admittedly a controversial opinion. And while yes, “All Too Well” ranks amongst the decade’s best songs, the album is unmistakably a transition piece. Yet, even at Taylor’s worst, it stands as an insightful look at the life of a woman coming into adulthood. Okay, an extremely wealthy White woman. But, it’s still progressive… in its own way. And besides, Taylor’s a Democrat now, so it’s totally fine. Red? More like Blue, right? Right?
5.) Taylor Swift:
Fifth is the album that started it all, Taylor Swift. Taylor’s talent, catchy hooks, and perfectly constructed lyrics made her first effort became a surprise hit that launched the singer into superstardom at just 16. Okay, I know that it was only released because her family invested over $100,000 to get her record label off the ground, but come on. Money can’t buy talent. It just makes it like a lot easier to package and distribute this talent for monetary gain.
The fourth pick is Taylor’s most recent and most polarizing work, Reputation. A clear departure from Swift’s style, Reputation blends Swift’s pointed and intimate lyricism with EDM and trap-inspired production, often to dazzling results. Sure this new style is symptomatic of a greater trend within the music industry of White artists appropriating Black music, but like … you know… it makes some good points about hook-up culture.
Ranking third is 1989, which marks both Taylor’s transition into pop and adulthood. And before you friggen say it, yes I know the “Shake it Off” video heavily appropriates Black culture, “Bad Blood” champions highly flawed gender politics, and “Wildest Dreams” for some goddamn reason romanticizes African Colonialism. Yes, I KNOW THESE THINGS. But, come on, “Blank Space” is a perfect song. Jesus, Taylor why are you making this so hard?
Okay, okay, everyone likes Fearless. It’s the definitive pop-country album. There’s no way you can come for me for liking this. Shit, wait. I guess “You Belong with Me” shames the likes and values of traditionally feminine women in a way that often surfaces within Taylor’s work despite the fact that Taylor uses these very values to make herself more marketable. But, isn’t that in itself just a commentary on the role of the female celebrity? Is it? Goddamnit, why is this so complicated?
1.) Speak Now:
Fine, fine, I get it that she’s been a problematic figure during her career and whatever but like isn’t it more progressive to work to separate art from the artist in an attempt to denounce the capitalist commodification of art and cultural artifacts? Wait, fuck, that’s just utopian idealism that ignores the reality of our societal injustices. Whatever, every song on Speak Now fucking slaps.
There you bastards go. Every one of Taylor Swift’s albums ranked, which I genuinely enjoy even though I am still socially progressive. God, that was hard. It’s almost like we hold her – and female artists as a whole – to a higher standard than men because we have a predetermined notion of what “properly” acting like a woman is. Or not.