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Old 10-28-2014, 07:53 AM   #76
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Jamie & Taylor Swift | Bake It Off | Stand Up to Cancer | Parody - YouTube
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:37 AM   #77
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Three full spins in:

It's probably going to end up being my least favorite Taylor album. It has nothing to do with the sonic changes she's made, as I think for the most part she sounds comfortably at home in these soundscapes. To put it in simple terms, I just don't think there are as many good songs here as there have been on any of her others.

It's also not nearly as FUNNY as any of the others. I've always championed her sense of humor, and it's lacking here a bit in the lyrics. She seems to have sacrificed that on the majority of the tracks, and gone for colder lyrical sketches to match the synths and heavier walls of sound.

When it hits, though, it's huge. She's fucking unbelievably talented with a hook and a lot of those still shine through.

"Welcome To New York" is so joyous and infectious, such a great opener, and it makes me want to move there myself. It's an anthem and might be my favorite track.

"Black Space" is brazen and risky, and it might even lose her some fans, but it's a hell of a tune. Playing up and into her tabloid persona as the ultimate MANEATER. And the payoff in the chorus is wonderful and very old school Taylor.

"I Wish You Would" is a standout and might be the best HAIM song ever written.

The other track here with Lena Dunham's boy and the two tracks with Ryan Tedder (!) are very good, great tones and very cinematic. It's some of the Max Martin stuff that falls short I'm afraid.

"Clean" is a strong closer. Imogen Heap?

Saying it's my least favorite Taylor LP isn't as damning as it might sound, though. Gotta understand that the previous three are three of my favorite albums by anyone ever. Probably all in my top 50 all-time. On 1989, there are a few experiments that just don't quite click (the "Stay" sequel, "Wildest Dreams", "Bad Blood").

So don't get me wrong. It's probs the AOTY and it won't be leaving my car CD player until sometime around the Super Bowl. Talking about my own personal wheelhouse, it'd be tough for her to pull something quite as perfect as Speak Now or Red when focusing completely on this new direction. I'm sure this album will be many people's absolute favorite Taylor. Which is awesome. Let's go.

On the superficial level, she's never looked better. The polaroids that come with the Deluxe album?

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DOGGIES!

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Old 10-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #78
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tl;dr = It's fucking great, but I'm a bit conflicted because there are a couple of clunkers, and she's the best, and I want to play guitar with her someday.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:10 PM   #79
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Yeah, "Welcome To New York" and "Blank Space" are as good a one-two punch as she's delivered. Such a blast. The latter is gonna be a huge hit, and it should be. Probably the pop song of the year.

Also, the bonus tracks "You Are In Love" and especially "New Romantics" are better than a handful of the tracks that made the album proper. Wish they would have made the cut. Especially "New Romantics". This is the kind of lyric I wanted a bit more of on this album. This is that sense of humor I alluded to earlier. Oh well. Let's go. Happy Halloween.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:02 PM   #80
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I was going to get impressions out earlier this week, but Interference decided to shut me down every time I tried. ...So I've done a number of playthroughs, and I think 1989 as an album is disappointing. It's not really a question if Taylor can deliver some songs - she can, and Style is one of my favorite songs of the year - but there's a stretch from track 5 (All You Had To Do Was Stay) to track 11 (This Love) that by and large is her first truly forgettable stretch of songs since her 2006 debut. I can pick up Swift's signature as a songwriter there, but there's something lacking to push them beyond a b-side songwriting exercise. All You Had To Do Was Stay, Wish You Would, How You Get The Girl-eh. And there are a number of lyrical efforts that don't come together. I was concerned about Bad Blood when I read her Rolling Stone interview, and it's as self-pitying as I'd feared.

But enough of that. Blank Space/Style/Out Of The Woods is a strong trio of songs to anchor the album. I'm on board with GAF about Blank Space, and to my ears Style is a bit unique for Taylor in that it's not just relying on a killer vocal lyric/performance to sell the song: the riff it's built on is right in my wheelhouse, and it seems almost criminal that the song ends as soon as it does. If there's any justice in the world there should be a sweet extended remix out soon. If you hop ahead to I Know Places, Clean and on to the three bonus tracks Wonderland/You Are In Love/New Romantics, an image of 1989 as a distinctive synthpop album starts to come together. But that middle stretch is a heck of a drag.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:48 AM   #81
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Yeah, Style was the one that jumped out to me on first listen.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #82
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Now that Taylor has released her most unabashedly radio friendly album yet, followed by this piece of news:

Taylor Swift Catalog Removed from Spotify | Billboard

When does she start getting labeled a total corporate sellout like U2? I don't use Spotify and normally don't care what corners artists cut to make money, but this inconveniences her fans over literal penny-pinching. She's already worth $200 million, is gaining back some streaming revenue really advantageous here?
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:43 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Now that Taylor has released her most unabashedly radio friendly album yet, followed by this piece of news:

Taylor Swift Catalog Removed from Spotify | Billboard

When does she start getting labeled a total corporate sellout like U2? I don't use Spotify and normally don't care what corners artists cut to make money, but this inconveniences her fans over literal penny-pinching. She's already worth $200 million, is gaining back some streaming revenue really advantageous here?
The article makes it sound like it wasn't entirely her decision...that the label pulled her catalog from spotify because it's being sold and it wants to drive up its price.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:24 PM   #84
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The article makes it sound like it wasn't entirely her decision...that the label pulled her catalog from spotify because it's being sold and it wants to drive up its price.
It's Taylor's decision. In a Wall Street Journal interview a few months back she equated streaming and piracy, and this same debate popped up when Red came out because she refused to put it on Spotify. Big Machine has also not removed any of their artist's other discographies.

I think what's debatable here is her motivations. She claims to be fighting for the little guy, smaller artists, but smaller artists need the extra revenue, so destroying Spotify isn't especially productive. Plus, she's basically saying that the fans that only stream her music have been robbing her for years. This all one week after releasing a massively lucrative album that she can wring more sales out of.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:31 PM   #85
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I think Miss Swift is clearly no dummy. Whether she's short-sighted remains to be seen. However, surely she is part of the dialog. She's in it for the long haul. She is standing up for the artist as she sees fit. I'd bet $ she's talked to Bono about this - perhaps back at the Oscars after party when they seemed to spend quite a bit of time chatting.

The dialog is open and building. Things will change and already are.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:56 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Now that Taylor has released her most unabashedly radio friendly album yet, followed by this piece of news:

Taylor Swift Catalog Removed from Spotify | Billboard

When does she start getting labeled a total corporate sellout like U2? I don't use Spotify and normally don't care what corners artists cut to make money, but this inconveniences her fans over literal penny-pinching. She's already worth $200 million, is gaining back some streaming revenue really advantageous here?
Most people at the audiophile message board I post at (Steve Hoffman forums) are championing her decision to do this since it is common knowledge artists get nothing from Spotify. And of course the thread also has its detractors of people who lump Swift in with teen pop stars which gets annoying.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:06 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
It's Taylor's decision. In a Wall Street Journal interview a few months back she equated streaming and piracy, and this same debate popped up when Red came out because she refused to put it on Spotify. Big Machine has also not removed any of their artist's other discographies.

I think what's debatable here is her motivations. She claims to be fighting for the little guy, smaller artists, but smaller artists need the extra revenue, so destroying Spotify isn't especially productive. Plus, she's basically saying that the fans that only stream her music have been robbing her for years. This all one week after releasing a massively lucrative album that she can wring more sales out of.
Well, the article didn't make that clear, but I'll take your word.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #88
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Here's a source that agrees with Nam that Taylor had no say in the decision:

Why Taylor Swift Got Off Spotify - Business Insider

If I had to guess, it sounds like a mutual business decision that Taylor is using as an excuse to publically protest streaming services at large.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #89
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Anyway, Spotify isn't the only place to stream music. If somebody wants to stream her stuff, they can still do it on Grooveshark, and I'm sure there are other places too.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #90
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I checked this morning and most of Taylor's discography is still on Rhapsody. No 1989, which is common practice for new albums from commercially successful artists.
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