A Beginner’s Guide to Taylor Swift

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With Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, “Midnights,” released last month, the album has been the talk of the town for the Swiftie, the casual listener, and the ones who are simply trying to stay up with the times alike. With such an in-depth and divisive discography, here is a personal guide and ranking of Swift’s major albums, from her self-titled album in 2006 to now. 

Midnights (2022) – 6.5/10 

  • A return to the fun pop of the “Reputation” and “Lover” eras
  • Lyrics that occasionally feel like a fever dream but with enough sad moments to remind the listener of the recent “Folklore” and “Evermore” roots
  • The seven extra songs from the 3 am edition are the best by far – if one wants to avoid occasionally cringe-worthy choruses. 

Evermore (2020) – 8/10 

  •  The overlooked twin of “Folklore.” 
  • “Evermore” is sad and with infinite tired oldest daughter energy. 
  • The same artistic lyrics and storytelling as “Folklore” are simply doomed forever to be in the original album’s shadow
  • Rory Gilmore has this album on repeat. 

Folklore (2020 ) – 9/10

  • Swift’s foray into indie, with renowned lyrics and imagery, this album feels like staring out melancholy to the sea at a Gatsby-themed party. 
  •  A love story that weaves across the album 
  • This is an album for the girls who have “never been a natural; all [they] do is try, try, try.”

Lover (2019) – 7/10

  • The perfect album to play while getting ready to feel like a 10/10 or while absolutely lovesick. 
  • Some of the songs do dip into Old Navy Denim Sale commercial territory, but it’s only because they are so replayable.  

Reputation (2017) – 6/10

  • A lot of the songs sound the same but this is forgivable, considering this is the original baddie album. 
  • You can still play “Look What You Made Me Do” to feel untouchable. 

1989 (2014) – 4/10

  • “Blank Space”, “Shake it Off” and “Bad Blood” are the only songs on this album. 
  • Not bad, but not memorable. 

Red (2012) – 7/10

  • Every single song COULD be cliche but instead, just don’t miss. 
  • ‘I Knew You We’re Trouble’ is as iconic now as it was 10 years ago. 
  • Her country beginnings are officially gone, but it’s not entirely a sad thing. 

Speak Now (2010) – 7/10 (8/10 when you’re in your feels)

  • The saddest album thus far. 
  • Perfect for when you need to cry about a recent heartbreak, but with a few beginning signs of the “Red” era with the country twang of the first two albums fading. 7/10 

Fearless (2008) – 7.5/10

  • The perfect country/pop mix for car rides. 
  • Every song feels straight from a Disney high school movie. 

Taylor Swift (2006) – 10/10

  • The classic original country songs for when you need life to feel like a coming-of-age music video. 
  • This album is a forgotten childhood friend you can see after years without missing a beat. 

While favorites differ from person to person, and it’s more than worthwhile to find your own, this is enough of a breakdown to get even the most casual listeners through the inevitable grilling to take a side in the great Swift debate. *

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