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How did ‘1989’ by Taylor Swift Change the Game?

It’s been seven years since Taylor Swift released her pop breakthrough album, ‘1989.’ Many fans have been speculating that Swift will release her re-recording of the album this summer after the success of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version).’ While they wait for Swift’s extremely cryptic easter eggs, perhaps it’s the best time to analyze what makes ‘1989’ one of the defining pop albums of the 2010s and how it will influence the future of mainstream pop. 

2014 was a year full of smashing pop hits, but ‘1989’ managed to produce three No.1 singles, making Swift the first woman to succeed herself on the top Billboard Hot 100 chart. ‘1989’ is an 80’s synth pop-inspired album that did not follow the pop music trend at the time, which contains dance-pop anthems and hip-hop crossovers. 

Not only did the 80s synth-pop make the album stand out, it also set a new trend of pop music; a trend that can be found years later in today’s music such as Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” and The Weeknd’s “After Hours.” It’s hard to imagine that Swift didn’t help push the return of 80’s pop in the current pop music world back in 2014.

Swift has proven time and time again that she cannot be defined by one genre, and ‘1989’ was only the beginning of Swift’s reinvention over the years, but what always remained in her music was confessional storytelling. New artists such as Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray have often cited Swift as their biggest inspiration in writing emotional engaging lyrics in pop music.

‘1989’ is an album about freedom and new beginnings and little did Swift know that it would also symbolize another new beginning, not just for her career, but for pop music as well. 


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