It was Swift's first official pop album, fully abandoning her country origins in favor of a dreamy Synth-Pop sound inspired by the music of her birth decade, The '80s. Aiming for a "sonically cohesive record," she again partnered with Max Martin and Shellback, while her longtime producer Jack Antonoff made his first contribution to one of her album releases with "Out of the Woods."note
With its release, Swift became the first artist in history with two albums that had sold over a million copies within a week. Her eight-month 1989 World Tour was the highest grossing tour of 2015 and was released as a concert film by Apple Music.
Preceded by Red, succeeded by reputation.
- "Welcome to New York" (3:32)
- "Blank Space" (3:51)
- "Style" (3:51)
- "Out of the Woods" (3:55)
- "All You Had to Do Was Stay" (3:13)
- "Shake It Off" (3:39)
- "I Wish You Would" (3:27)
- "Bad Blood" (3:31)
- "Wildest Dreams" (3:40)
- "How You Get the Girl" (4:07)
- "This Love" (4:10)
- "I Know Places" (3:15)
- "Clean" (4:30)
- "Wonderland" (Bonus Track) (4:05)
- "You Are in Love" (Bonus Track) (4:27)
- "New Romantics" (Bonus Track) (3:50)
Trope it off!
- Action Girl: Not just Taylor, but no less than twenty women in the music video for "Bad Blood". The whole video is some sort of sci-fi noir set up, complete with explosions, hand-to-hand combat, swordfighting, and numerous Quentin Tarantino references.
- Adam Westing: "Blank Space" and even more explicitly in its music video. Taylor's character is the media's perception of her: A girl who lures boys in, dates them for song writing material, gets jealous and clingy, goes Ax-Crazy, and, as the current boy escapes, has another one lined up.
- Album Closure: The final track, "Clean", is about finally getting "clean" from a toxic relationship—complete with Redemption in the Rain.
- Alice Allusion: The bonus track "Wonderland" uses shout-outs to Alice in Wonderland to describe a fairy-tale romance that descended into madness.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys:
- "Blank Space":I can make the bad guys good for a weekend
- "Wildest Dreams":He's so tall and handsome as hell
He's so bad, but he does it so well
- "Blank Space":
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: On New Years' Eve 2014, she performed "Welcome to New York" and "Shake It Off" on a stage in Times Square that had colored lights glowing aplenty.
- Arc Number: Swift's favorite number, 13, appears as the number of tracks on the album.
- Ax-Crazy: Her character becomes this in the "Blank Space" video, tearing up paintings and destroying her boyfriend's car with a golf club.
- Between My Legs: Taylor crawls through a tunnel of legs in the music video for "Shake It Off".
- Beware the Nice Ones Combined with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing in "Blank Space".
- Rose garden filled with thorns ...
'Cause, darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream
- Big Applesauce: "Welcome To New York", based on her having moved to an upscale apartment in New York City.
- Bittersweet Ending: The final track of the album's standard edition is "Clean", an emotional farewell to an unhealthy relationship.The rain came pouring down
When I was drowning
That's when I could finally breathe
- Black Widow: Her performance of "Blank Space" for the American Music Awards was themed after this. The music video proper takes on a more Yandere feel.
- Break-Up Song: Noticeably fewer than on Red, a particularly sad album.
- "All You Had To Do Was Stay," a melancholy song to a lover who shouldn't have left.
- "Clean," about the relief of finally getting over a toxic relationship.
- Breather Episode: "How You Get The Girl", a very uptempo song, is sandwiched between "Wildest Dreams" and "This Love", both of which are much slower and have sadder tones.
- The Cameo: The video for "Bad Blood" is more or less just a string of cameos of various female actors, singers, and models.
- Clothing Damage: Taylor undergoes this in the video for "Out of the Woods", her dress getting ripped up quite a bit as she struggles through the wilderness.
- Taylor deliberately destroys her boyfriend's clothes near the end of the video for "Blank Space", although the point is more humiliation than fanservice.
- Cover Version: Ryan Adams covered the entire album.
- The Diss Track: "Bad Blood" is a song about an artist who tried to hurt Swift's career. Considering her falling-out with Katy Perry, and the fact that some of her tour dancers were hired out by Perry, most believe the song to be about her. (Another substantial rumor that plagues the song is that she's resentful of Perry's on-off relationship with John Mayer, who also dated Taylor, and that she's bitter over someone she thought was a friend is dating her ex.)
- Easter Egg: In 1989 she carried on her tradition of hiding secret messages in the liner notes. In the lyrics to "Blank Space," it's:There once was a girl known by everyone and no one
- Empathic Environment: The "emotional landscape" in the video for "Out of the Woods."
- Femme Fatale: Her character in "Blank Space" has elements of this, promising her new lover heaven only to turn on him (as the media had portrayed Swift as doing).
- Forbidden Love: "I Know Places" is about this. It's a dramatic take on the experience of dating while in the public eye.Something happens when everybody finds out
See the vultures circling, dark clouds
Love's a fragile little flame, it could burn out
It could burn out
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the "Out of the Woods" video, if you pause at the right time, you'll see the vines spelling out the song title.
- Gay Aesop: One of the aspects of New York City she praises in the album's first track is that:You can want who you want
Boys and boys and girls and girls
- Golf Clubbing: Destroys her boyfriend's car with a golf club at the end of the "Blank Space" video.
- Here We Go Again!: The music video for "Blank Space" ends with another suitor arriving to fill the blank space left by the previous guy who just took off running.
- Intercourse with You: From "Wildest Dreams":I said, "No one has to know what we do"
His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room ...
You'll see me in hindsight, tangled up with you all night
Burnin' it down
- I Warned You: From the bridge of "Blank Space":Boys only want love if it's torture
Don't say I didn't, say I didn't warn you
- Kubrick Stare: Demonstrates in the videos for "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood".
- Location Song: "Welcome to New York" is an ode to her new home, the Big Apple.
- Love Is a Drug: "Clean" plays with this, comparing getting over a toxic relationship to going through withdrawal.Ten months sober, I must admit
Just because you're clean don't mean you don't miss it
Ten months older, I won't give in
Now that I'm clean, I'm never gonna risk it
- Love Nostalgia Song:
- "I Wish You Would," where the singer looks back on a relationship that ended badly and hopes that it might be renewed.
- "Wildest Dreams," where the singer anticipates this:Someday when you leave me
I bet these memories
Follow you around
- Misery Poker: from the bonus track "New Romantics":It's poker
He can't see it in my face
But I'm about to play my Ace
- New Romantic: One of the bonus tracks being titled "New Romantics" suggests that this period was an influence on the album's aesthetic.
- New Sound Album: Her official departure from Country Music. 1989's production was mostly electronic, making use of drum machines and synthesizers.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Referenced in "New Romantics":We play dumb, but we know exactly what we're doing
- Power Walk: The music video for "Bad Blood" features one, with both opposing armies advancing slowly in formation.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You could've been gettin' down to THIS. SICK. BEAT."
- Punny Title: "Style" is widely thought to be about Harry Styles.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Bad Blood", which was rumoured to be about Katy Perry.
- Did you have to do this?
I was thinking that you could be trusted
Did you have to ruin what was shiny?
Now it's all rusted
- Record Producer: Much of the album's new sound came from Swift's behind-the-scenes decisions on who would assist with the production. The majority of the album was produced by Max Martin and Shellback, dominant songwriter/producers of 2000s-2010s pop who had previously worked with Swift on the major singles from Red. Other songs went to similar giants in the then-contemporary pop field, with Jack Antonoff co-producing "Out of the Woods", "I Wish You Would", and "You Are In Love", Ryan Tedder being behind "Welcome To New York" and "I Know Places", and "I Wish You Would", and Imogen Heap producing "Clean". Notably, Nathan Chapman, who produced almost all of Swift's first three albums and many songs on Red, only had a production credit on "This Love", which would prove to be his last collaboration with Swift.
- Redemption in the Rain: The conceit of "Clean"The rain came pouring down
When I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe
And by morning
Gone was any trace of you; I think I am finally clean
- Romance on the Set: The starlet in the "Wildest Dreams" video has one with the male lead. It doesn't end happily, as he moves on to someone else.
- The video for "Shake It Off" has her surrounded by skilled dancers of all types and her just being . . . not. The song's lyrics also highlight common criticisms of her image:I stay out too late
Got nothing in my brain
That's what people say ...
I go on too many dates
But I can't make them stay
At least that's what people say
- "Blank Space" is one long, sarcastic Self-Deprecation song, based on the media's image of her as a psychotic maneater.Got a long list of ex-lovers
They'll tell you I'm insane
- All of the celebrities picked the names of the alter egos they played in the "Bad Blood" video themselves. Taylor's alias is "Catastrophe".
- The video for "Shake It Off" has her surrounded by skilled dancers of all types and her just being . . . not. The song's lyrics also highlight common criticisms of her image:
- Shout-Out: "Bad Blood"'s music video references several films. The bikes, for instance, are a reference to TRON. The opening scene, in which Taylor gets thrown out a window and lands on top of a car, also closely resembles the opening scene of the horror-comedy Detention (which, notably, was also directed by Joseph Kahn), right down to the way in which she's splayed out atop the car◊, as well as the fact that the character in Detention who suffers that fate is named Taylor.
- Synth-Pop: Her first album in the genre.
- Title by Number: 1989, the year of Swift's birth and also the musical era she was trying to emulate.
- Took a Level in Badass: The "Out of the Woods" music video is essentially about Taylor doing this, being chased into an apparently-enchanted forest by some wolves and surviving treacherous conditions.
- Troperiffic: The "Bad Blood" music video is chock-full of Action Girl tropes and references to Sci-Fi and Spy movies, to the point that io9.com published an article enumerating them.
- Unflinching Walk: The climax of the "Bad Blood" video shows two opposing armies advancing on each other slowly, with explosions erupting behind them.
- Valley Girl: Her "ex-man's new girlfriend" apparently speaks like this.She's like, "Oh my god"
- What Beautiful Eyes!: "I Know Places":In the dead of night, your eyes so green
- Whole Costume Reference: The video for "Shake It Off" has Taylor dressed up as Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Skrillex, and Fergie as they appeared in various music videos.
- Your Makeup Is Running:
- "New Romantics" says, "We cry tears of mascara in the bathroom."
- In the "Blank Space" video, Taylor's makeup begins to run heavily as she loses it.