The Guide to Becoming a ‘Swiftie’

The+Guide+to+Becoming+a+%27Swiftie%27

Conor Kelly and Emily McLaughlin, Staff Writer and Co-President

Whether you became a ‘Swiftie’ during her early days, her pop transition, or her Indie enlightenment, Taylor Swift really is the perfect singer and songwriter. She has recently revealed that she is going to re-record her old albums because her record deal censored her as a child and young adult. She also believes strongly in creator rights, and in many cases, artists do not own their own work but it is owned by the record label. Taylor is trying to help other artists get the rights to their work and her way of doing this for herself is rerecording her old music. For anybody ready to tackle Taylor Swift’s discography, listen up. 

I truly believe this woman does not sleep. She released her most controversial album Lover in August 2019. Only 11 months later, she released her first Indie album Folklore by surprise. Many people, including myself, did not know about this album. It wasn’t until October 2020 that I really listened to this album and became a Swiftie. Next, she filmed a documentary on Disney+, called Folklore the Long Pond Studio Sessions. This film helped show us how this album was written entirely in isolation. It’s impressive for any artist to write an entire album by themselves. Only one month after the documentary premiered on Disney+, Taylor released yet another surprise album titled, Evermore. This was meant to be Folklore ‘ssister album. Taylor said that she simply wrote too much music for Folklore , so she had to put it into a new album. Just after this album was released, Taylor announced that she would be re-recording her old music and released Love Story (Taylor’s Version). On March 25, 2021,  she released a song that was never released on her Fearless album, called “You All Over Me”. 

I’m here to guide you in the right direction of becoming a Swiftie. If nine albums seems like a lot to you, it is. I have a suggestion for the order in which you should listen to the albums to prepare for the re-recordings. I have arranged them in triads. The first album of the first triad includes 1989. 1989 was Taylor’s first full pop album after her transition from country. It has many popular songs that are familiar to a lot of people like “Bad Blood”, “Wildest Dreams”, and “Blank Space”. This album also has many emotional tracks that are not as well known like “New Romantics”, and “Out Of The Woods”. The second album I would recommend is Red. I would recommend Red because it gives you a taste of what she is going towards in 1989 and on, but it also shows you a glimpse of what she used to be – the country singer from Nashville. Tracks like “All Too Well” bring many listeners to tears and is a nice country-pop mix.  The third album I would listen to is Lover. I think Lover is really an anthem of acceptance and positivity. It is so much fun, while also so deep at the same time. Tracks like “I Think He Knows” and “I Forgot That You Existed” are so much fun to scream in the car. Tracks like “Afterglow” and “The Archer” are very emotional. 

After you have listened to the first triad and get a feel for what Taylor’s music is all about, move to the second triad. In this triad, we see how Taylor thinks, and may realize that deep down, she’s a storyteller. The first album I recommend of the second triad is Evermore. This is Taylor as a raw storyteller, exposing problems and healing herself as well. Tracks like “Tolerate It” and “Champagne Problems” really make you experience what she is trying to tell you. Each have gut wrenching stories behind them. The next album I recommend is Fearless. Similar to Evermore, I think Fearless is a collection of stories, but Fearless is different because Taylor was 15 when she wrote this album. It is such an impressive album coming from a 15 year old and to be in touch with her feelings the way she is here. Tracks like “You Belong With Me” and “Hey Stephen” are lighthearted happy stories, while tracks like “Breathe (feat. Colbie Colliat)” and “SuperStar” are slow and relaxing. The final album from this collection, and one of my top 3 albums, is Reputation. Reputation was inspired by the media making horrible assumptions about Taylor. She dropped off the grid for an entire year. She had not been seen in public, deleted all her social media posts, and cut off contact with everybody. Suddenly she posted images of a snake on her social media. It looked as though she was embracing the title the public had given her; ‘the snake’. This album makes us feel like we’re in charge. Tracks like “…Ready For It?” and “Don’t Blame Me” are very exciting and intense. These songs really make me at least feel like the main character. Though this album is all about defining ourselves, she does a great job on “Getaway Car” relaying such a powerful message about different kinds of people in life. 

Moving on to the final triad, I would suggest listening to Folklore next. It is similar to Evermore in the fact that it tells very emotional stories and brings us on a journey of discovering the good things in our life. It has less structure than Evermore and it’s bare. Tracks like “Betty” and its sister track “Cardigan” bring us on an emotional journey about this girl named Betty who was cheated on by her boyfriend, James. There are also more fun tracks like “The 1” and “The Last Great American Dynasty” which tell stories about Taylor’s life and experiences, how she handled them and grew from the experiences. The next album I would listen to is Speak Now. Speak Now is a rollercoaster from start to finish. The amazing thing about this album is that Taylor was 19-20 when she wrote it. She wrote this album independently. Some of you new potential Swifties may think “didn’t she write Folklore and Evermore by herself?” Technically she did write them herself, but when she was able to see her collaborators such as Jack Antanoff, they changed melodies and lyrics together. Speak Now was exactly what Taylor wrote and what she wanted. The most powerful track on this album would be “Dear John”. This song is all about John Mayer, who Taylor allegedly dated back in 2009, when she was 20 and he was, wait for it, 32! It’s just so impressive that at such a young age she was able to produce such emotional tracks and all by herself. The final album of this triad and her discography is her debut album, Taylor Swift. This album is her only pure country album. You can tell that this album has a young spin on country in tracks like “Picture To Burn” and “Our Song”. Sadly, many songs from this album were forgotten, or left behind. But it’s always fun to go and listen back to “Teardrops on my Guitar” or “A Perfectly Good Heart”. 

I really hope that you will listen to one of these albums or songs that I mentioned. Taylor Swift truly is a great artist all around, from her voice to her songwriting. Whether you prefer country, pop, or Indie, she has something for everyone.