In this business, there are two capacity that will addition your folio angle like annihilation else: Bold of Thrones and Taylor Swift. One of them is a massive, multi-million-dollar action abounding with abandon and betrayal, and the added affectedness on HBO. I acquisition it adamantine to explain why exactly, and I’m abiding Swift would, too: Somehow, this one 27-year-old woman from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, keeps award herself at the centermost of our civic conversations about race, gender, celebrity, victimhood, alike the economics of the tech industry. And, alfresco the legions of admirers who eat up aggregate she puts out, no booty on her anytime stays solid for long. She was a advanced teenager, and the ultimate apotheosis of white privilege. She’s been feminism’s affliction nightmare, and an apostle for victims of animal assault. Some bodies say she’s a goddess of the alt-right. Added bodies say she’s Jewish.
And yet, clashing Madonna or Bowie, Swift got through the aboriginal 11 years of her career afterwards any aloft reinventions. (For 1989, she accepted feminism and threw abroad the aftermost vestiges of her Nashville sound, but those were basically aloof artful changes.) If the chat on her has confused aback her debut, it’s because we’ve changed, not her. Swift — or at atomic the adaptation of Swift on her albums — has remained abundantly the aforementioned actuality aback her debut: a thin-skinned, acquiescent obsessive, with a affection for huge adventurous moments. Bodies don’t boring affluence into a accord in her songs; they actualization up at anniversary other’s doors backward at night and they kiss in the rain. An base suitor won’t aloof say article thoughtless; he’ll skip a altogether affair or leave a boyish babe arrant abandoned in a auberge room. Accept to her songs and you’ll anguish at the affinity to the best affecting moments in your own clandestine history. Accept to too abounding and you ability anguish afresh at the acrimonious activity that those belief of castigation accept all been a bit boring and arid by comparison. What array of complete activity can angle up adjoin fantasies like these?
So, uh, I don’t acclaim you accept to this annual top to bottom.
But I do acclaim sampling as abounding of these songs as you see fit. Alike with the boundless analytical embrace of poptimism — a development I doubtable has as abundant to do with the economics of online media as it does with the alive apprehension of aftertaste — there are still those who see Swift as aloof addition industry widget, a Miley or Katy with the tuner set to “girl with a guitar.” If this annual does anything, I achievement it convinces you that, beneath all the thinkpieces, exes, and feuds, she is one of our era’s abundant singer-songwriters. She may not accept the raw articulate ability of some of her competitors, but what she lacks in Mariah-level ambit she makes up for in versatility and personality. (A carpetbagger from the Pennsylvania suburbs, she became an able code-switcher aboriginal in her career and never looked back.) And aback it comes to autograph instantly memorable pop songs, her abandoned aeon are a few bearding Swedish guys, none of whom accomplish their own stuff. I adding at atomic ten stone-cold abstract in her discography. Others ability see more. No bulk how aerial your defenses, I agreement you’ll acquisition at atomic one that breach them down.
Some arena rules: We’re baronial every Taylor Swift song that’s anytime been appear with her name on it — which agency we charge acutely leave out the unreleased 9/11 song “Didn’t They” as able-bodied as Nils Sjöberg’s “This Is What You Came For” — excluding advance area Swift is abandoned “featured” (no one’s annual this annual for B.o.B.’s “Both of Us”) but including a few duets area she gets an “and” credit. Songwriting is an important allotment of Swift’s spellbook, so covers are advised added agonizingly than originals. Because Swift’s career began so young, we’re larboard in the awkward position of anticipation assignment done by a accurate high-schooler, which can feel at times like punching down. I’ll try to accomplish slight allowances for age, reserving the harshest criticism for the songs accounting aback Swift was an developed millionaire.
124. “Look What You Fabricated Me Do,” Reputation (2017): “There’s a aberration that I see artists accomplish aback they’re on their fourth or fifth record, and they anticipate addition is added important than solid songwriting,” Swift told New York aback in 2013. “The best abhorrent anticlimax as a adviser for me is aback I’m alert to a song and I see what they were aggravating to do.” To Swift’s credit, it took her six annal to get to this point. On a conceptual level, the mission actuality is clear: Afterwards the Kim-Kanye altercation fabricated her the cerebration person’s least-favorite pop star, this improvement distinct would be her admirable heel turn. But the villain apparel sits uneasily on Swift’s shoulders, and alike worse, the songwriting aloof isn’t there. The verses are vacuous, the blame accept no teeth, and aloof aback the accomplished affair seems to be arch up to a gigantic redemptive chorus, aback pop! The air goes out of it and we’re larboard with a cheeky Adapted Said Fred advertence — the agreeable agnate of affairs a Looney Tunes gag on the listener. Added Swift songs accept clunkier rhymes, or worse assembly values, but none of them accept such a broad aperture at the center. (I do dig the blithe “Cuz she’s dead!” though.)
123. “Umbrella,” iTunes Alive From Soho (2008): Swift has recorded affluence of covers in her career, and none are beneath capital than this 90-second adjustment of the Rihanna hit recorded at the aiguille of the song’s popularity. It’s accurate college-campus coffeehouse.
122. “Christmas Charge Beggarly Article More,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): One of two originals on Swift’s early-career Christmas album, “Something More” is a appeal to put the Christ aback in Christmas. Or as she puts it: “What if beatitude came in a agenda box? / Afresh I anticipate there is article we all forgot.” In the future, Swift would get bigger at captivation assimilate some affinity aback she was casting a analytical eye at the asinine things bodies affliction about; here, the vibe is judgmental in a way that will be accustomed to anyone who’s anytime reread their boyish diary.
121. “Better Than Revenge,” Speak Now (2010): A awful little song that has not age-old well. Whether a aboveboard apery of Avril Lavigne’s actualization or an aboriginal attack at “Blank Space”–style self-satirization, the barbs never go aloft bratty. (As in “Look What You Fabricated Me Do,” the animus turns out to be the song itself, which feels hollow.) Best accepted now for the bandage about “the things she does on the mattress,” which I doubtable has been cited in blog posts added times than the song itself has been listened to lately.
120. “American Girl,” Non-album agenda distinct (2009): Why would you awning this song and accomplish it slower?
119. “I Appetite You Back,” Speak Now World Tour – Alive (2011): Addition 90-second awning of a pop song that does not decidedly annual from a stripped-down arrangement.
118. “Santa Baby,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): Afore Ariana Grande’s “Santa Acquaint Me,” there was abandoned one anniversary song about falling in adulation with Santa, and for some reason, we spent decades authoritative all our boyish changeable singers awning it. Swift’s adaptation leans out of the amateurishness by aptitude into the materialism; she puts best of her articulate emphasis on the nice presents she hopes Santa will accompany her. (The accord seems to be adequately quid pro quo: She’ll accept in him if he gives her adequate ability — alike at this aboriginal stage, Swift bedevilled a adeptness business sense.) Otherwise, this is a by-the-numbers anniversary cover, complete with sleigh accretion in the mix.
117. “Sweet Escape,” Speak Now World Tour – Live; Target copy DVD (2011): Swift’s sedate awning of the 2006 Gwen Stefani hit — those “ooh-ooh”s are pitched way bottomward from Akon’s falsetto in the aboriginal — invests the song with a apricot vibe, admitting like anyone who’s anytime approved the song at karaoke, she stumbles on the accelerated triplets in the aboriginal verse.
116. “Silent Night,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): Swift’s awning of the Christmas archetypal veers decidedly abroad from Franz Xaver Gruber’s aboriginal melody, and alike gives it a Big Taylor Swift Finale. Credibility for ambition, but sometimes you aloof appetite to apprehend the old standards the way you bethink them.
115. “The Aftermost Time,” Red (2012): Red is Swift’s arch album, but it suffers a bit from pacing issues: The aback bisected is abounding of boring ballads that you’ve got to advance through to get to the end. Affliction of all is this affiliation with po-faced Ulsterman Gary Lightbody, which feels about ten annual long.
114. “Invisible,” Taylor Swift: Appropriate Copy (2006): A benefit clue from the admission that plays like a proto–”You Belong With Me.” The “show you” / “know you” rhymes mark this as an aboriginal effort.
113. “…Ready for It?,” Reputation (2017): The additional beeline abort off the Reputation rollout, this one sees Swift try her duke at rapping, with some brash confined about Elizabeth Taylor and a breeze she adopted from Jay-Z. (Try to rap “Younger than my exes” afterwards spilling into “rest in peace, Bob Marley.”) Bumped up a atom or two for the chorus, a big Swift angle that sounds aloof like her best assignment — in this case, because it bites heavily from “Wildest Dreams.”
112. “I Affection ?,” Admirable Eyes EP (2008): Swift code-switches like a champ on this affably bank country song, which comes from the Walmart-exclusive EP she appear amid her aboriginal two albums. Her vocals get ambrosial asperous in the chorus, but at atomic we’re larboard with the adorable line, “Wake up and aroma the breakup.”
111. “Bad Blood,” 1989 (2014): Aback Swift teamed up with Max Martin and Shellback, the alliance of their aphotic eldritch songcraft about bankrupt the pop charts. But aback they misfire, the after-effects can be brutal. The lyric actuality indulges the affliction habits of late-period Swift — an alacrity to comedy the victim, a slight abridgement of affinity to annihilation aing complete activity — absorbed to a schoolyard-chant melody that will never leave your head, alike aback you may appetite it to. The remix hollows out the assembly and replaces Swift’s verses with two from Kendrick Lamar; it’s beneath awkward than the original, which does not accomplish it added memorable.
110. “White Christmas,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): The best bluegrass of Swift’s Christmas tunes, this affable adjustment sees Swift’s vocals abalienate centermost date to the mandolin and fiddle.
109. “Crazier,” Hannah Montana: The Cine soundtrack (2009): Aback approached by the filmmakers about accidental a song to the Hannah Montana movie, Swift beatific in this track, acutely a holdover from the Fearless sessions. In an admirable bit of dedication, she additionally showed up to comedy it in the film’s climax. It’s affectionate of a catnap on its own, but compared to the added songs on the soundtrack, alike Swift’s assortment shine.
108. “I’d Lie,” Taylor Swift (2006): A benefit clue abandoned accessible to bodies who bought Swift’s admission at Best Buy. It’s as admirable as a study-hall MASH game, and aloof as calmly disposable.
107. “Highway Don’t Care,” Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Abandon (2013): Afterwards aing Big Machine, McGraw gave Swift an “and” acclaim actuality as a able courtesy. Admitting her abetment vocals are complete pleasant, this is 100 percent a Tim McGraw song.
106. “Superman,” Speak Now: Choice Copy (2010): A benefit clue that’s not gonna accomplish anyone balloon Five for Angry any time soon.
105. “Change,” Fearless (2008): A bit of paint-by-numbers afflatus that allegedly did its job of dispatch the 2008 U.S. Olympic aggregation to greatness. They won 36 gold medals!
104. “End Game,” Reputation (2017): Swift tries out her blaccent alongside Aing and Ed Sheeran, on a clue that sounds clearly like a Rihanna reject. The abandoned argent lining? She’s bigger at rapping actuality than on “…Ready for It?”
103. “The Lucky One,” Red (2012): A plight-of-fame carol from the aback bisected of Red, with capacity that never acceleration aloft cliché and a melody that borrows from the one Swift adapted up for “Untouchable.”
102. “A Abode in This World,” Taylor Swift (2006): Swift’s adaptation of “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” this one feels like it absent its adventitious to be the affair tune for an ABC Ancestors show.
101. “I Don’t Wanna Alive Forever,” Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack (2017): In Fifty Shades Darker, this wan affiliation soundtracks a arena area Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele go for a brilliant baiter ride while cutting aces sweaters. On brand!
100. “Last Christmas,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): Swift does George Michael appreciative with this adherent awning of the Wham! classic.
99. “Breathless,” Achievement for Haiti Now (2010): Swift covered this Bigger Than Ezra abysmal cut for the Achievement for Haiti telethon. With abandoned one booty to get it right, she did not let the bodies of Haiti down.
98. “Bette Davis Eyes,” Speak Now World Tour – Alive (2012): “There’s some astonishing music that has appear out of artists who are from L.A., did you apperceive that?” Swift asks the admirers at the alpha of this alive track. The crowd, not actuality idiots, responds with an agog yes. This awning loses the two best acclaimed genitalia of Kim Carnes’s aboriginal — the synths and Carnes’s bright commitment — but the acoustic adjustment and Swift’s affectionate vocals accompany out the best qualities of the tune.
97. “Eyes Open,” The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Aloft (2012): One of two songs Swift contributed to the aboriginal Hunger Amateur soundtrack. With guitars acutely ripped beeline out of 1998 alt-rock radio, this one’s best absorbing now as a examination of Swift’s Red sound.
96. “Beautiful Eyes,” Admirable Eyes EP (2008): The appellation clue of Swift’s early-career EP finds the boyish songwriter accepting a lot of breadth out of one distinct beat sound: Besides the eyes of the title, we’ve got I, why, fly, cry, lullaby, alike sometimes. A active articulate achievement in the outro saves the song from activity like homework.
95. “The Outside,” Taylor Swift (2006): If you anticipation you acquainted awe-inspiring anticipation songs by a high-schooler, here’s one by an complete sixth-grader. “The Outside” was the additional song Swift anytime wrote, and admitting the lyrics bend into self-pity at times, this is still allegedly the best song accounting by a 12-year-old aback Mozart’s “Symphony No. 7 in D Major.”
94. “SuperStar,” Fearless: Platinum Copy (2008): This benefit clue is a antique of an alien time aback Swift could conceivably be the less-famous actuality in a relationship.
93. “Starlight,” Red (2012): Never balloon that one of the best alarmingly acclaimed albums of 2012 contains a allotment of Ethel Kennedy fanfiction. The complete adventure of Bobby and Ethel has added asperous spots than you’ll acquisition in this advisedly rose-colored track, but that’s what happens aback you absorb a summer blind in Hyannis Port.
92. “Sad Admirable Tragic,” Red (2012): Addition glacially paced song from the aback bisected of Red that somehow pulls off balladry “magic” with “tragic.”
91. “Innocent,” Speak Now (2010): The disparate reactions to Kanye West stage-crashing Swift at the 2009 VMAs speaks to the Rorschachian attributes of Swift’s brilliant image. Was Swift a boyish babe whose moment was bankrupt by an earlier man who couldn’t ascendancy himself? Or was she a white woman arena the victim to demonize an abrupt atramentous man? Both are correct, which is why everyone’s spent so abundant time arguing about it. Unfortunately, Swift did herself no favors aback she premiered “Innocent” at the aing year’s VMAs, aperture with footage of the incident, which couldn’t advice but feel like she was bribery it. (Fairly or not, the allegory to West’s own aesthetic acknowledgment hardly earns any credibility in the song’s favor.) Stripped of all this context, “Innocent” is fine: Swift turns in a breakable articulate performance, admitting the lyrics could angle to be beneath patronizing.
90. “Girl at Home,” Red: Choice Copy (2012): This Red benefit clue offers a anxiety of Swift’s absorption in sparkly ’80s-style production. A singsongy melody accompanies a abundantly forgettable lyric, except for one hilariously edgeless line: “It would be a accomplished hypothesis … if I was a brainless girl.”
89. “A Altogether Adequate Heart,” Taylor Swift: Appropriate Copy (2006): A argumentation breakdown song with one analgesic about-face of byword and not abundant else.
88. “Mary’s Song (Oh My Oh My),” Taylor Swift (2006): This aboriginal clue was aggressive by Swift’s aged neighbors. Like “Starlight,” it’s a boyish person’s eyes of constant love, absence beeline from angle to old age.
87. “Come in With the Rain,” Fearless: Platinum Copy (2008): An ode to a long-lost lover that follows the Swift adjustment a tad too slavishly.
86. “Dancing With Our Easily Tied,” Reputation (2017): Reputation sags a bit in the middle, never added than on this forgettable ’80s-inspired track.
85. “Welcome to New York,” 1989 (2014): In retrospect, there could not accept been a song added altogether advised to beat off the actuality badge — didn’t Swift apperceive that complete New Yorkers backward up till 3 a.m. accomplishing drugs with Fabrizio Moretti in the bath of Mars Bar? I achievement you’re sitting bottomward aback I acquaint you this, but it’s accessible the antecedent acknowledgment to a Taylor Swift song ability accept been a little reactionary. Aback it’s not taken as a mission statement, “Welcome to New York” is actually tolerable, a adumbration armament throwaway with admirable synths.
84. “Tied Calm With a Smile,” Taylor Swift (2006): Aback she was aloof a jailbait with a development deal, Swift absorbed up with adept Nashville songwriter Liz Rose. The two would coact on abundant of Swift’s aboriginal two albums. “We wrote and ample out that it actually worked. She ample out she could address Taylor Swift songs, and I wouldn’t get in the way,” Rose said later. “She’d say a bandage and I’d say, ‘What if we say it like this?’ It’s affectionate of like editing.” This aboriginal carol about a acquaintance with bulimia sees Swift and Rose experimenting with metaphor. Best of them work.
83. “King of My Heart,” Reputation (2017): Swift is addicted of adage that “songs are what you anticipate of on the drive home — you know, the Abundant Afterthought.” (She says it’s a Joni Mitchell quote, but I haven’t been able to acquisition it.) Anyway, I anticipate that’s why some of the adulation songs on Reputation don’t actually land: Swift is autograph about a accord from central of it, instead of with hindsight. It’s a altered skill, which could explain why the admirer actualization actuality is beneath vividly sketched than some of her added ones.
82. “Come Aback … Be Here,” Red: Choice Copy (2012): A accessible clue about long-distance love, with simple sentiments afflicted by absurd production.
81. “Breathe,” Fearless (2008): A Colbie Caillat accord that’s arresting mostly for actuality a attenuate Swift song about a acquaintance breakup. It’s like if “Bad Blood” independent complete animal emotions.
80. “Stay Beautiful,” Taylor Swift (2006): Nathan Chapman was a Nashville affair guitarist afore he started alive with Swift. He produced her aboriginal demos, and she fought for him to sit abaft the controls on her debut; the two would assignment calm on every Swift anthology until 1989, aback his role was abundantly taken over by Max Martin and Shellback. Here, he brings a active adjustment to Swift’s ode to an achingly attractive man.
79. “Nashville,” Speak Now World Tour – Live; Target copy DVD (2011): Swift gives some flash to singer-songwriter David Mead with a awning of his 2004 ballad. (Listen to the screams during the choir and try to assumption area this one was recorded.) She treats it with a aerial respect, like she’s administration her grandmother’s china.
78. “So It Goes,” Reputation (2017): Unfortunately not a Nick Lowe cover, this one comes and goes afterwards authoritative abundant of an impact, but if you don’t adulation that a “1-2-3,” I don’t apperceive what to acquaint you.
77. “You’re Not Sorry,” Fearless (2008): An brave adjournment song that got a gothic remix for Swift’s actualization as an blighted boyhood on CSI. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
76. “Drops of Jupiter,” Speak Now World Tour – Alive (2012): The best of the covers on the alive anthology sees Swift accomplish to the Train hit like she’d accounting it herself. If you had abandoned that this song came out in 2001, she keeps the bandage about Tae Bo.
75. “The Added Side of the Door,” Fearless: Platinum Copy (2008): A benefit clue adored from mediocrity by a d outro that hints that Swift, like any adequate millennial, was a big fan of “Semi-Charmed Life.”
74. “Gorgeous,” Reputation (2017): In the baseborn rollout for Reputation, “Gorgeous” righted the address by not actuality actually terrible. Max Martin and Shellback backpack the clue with all sorts of agreeable audio doodads, but the melody is a little too accumbent to stick, and the lyrics accept a draft of aboriginal abstract about them. (You’d be forgiven for preferring the complete aboriginal draft, which is hardly added accessible and real.)
73. “I Wish You Would,” 1989 (2014): Like “You Are in Love,” this one originated as a Jack Antonoff active track, and the accomplished adaptation retains his fingerprints. Perhaps too abundant — you get the faculty it ability assignment bigger as a Bleachers song.
72. “Cold As You,” Taylor Swift (2006): A dead-serious breakdown song that accepted the boyish Swift (with advice from Rose, who’s got a co-writing credit) could aftermath barbs bluff than best adults: “You appear abroad with a abundant little adventure / Of a blend of a dreamer with the assumption to admire you.” Jesus.
71. “Haunted,” Speak Now (2010): In which Swift tries her duke at Evanescence-style goth-rock. She about pulls it off, but at this point in Swift’s career her articulation wasn’t actually able abundant to accord the amoral achievement the song calls for.
70. “This Love,” 1989 (2014): Began activity as a composition afore evolving into an atmospheric 1989 abysmal cut. Like an abominably poached egg, it’s abnormal but still actually appetizing.
69. “Untouchable,” Fearless: Platinum Copy (2008): Technically a Luna Halo awning (don’t anguish about it), admitting Swift discards aggregate but the basic of the original. Her consecutive advance job is aces of HGTV: It’s about absurd to accept this was anytime not a Taylor Swift song.
68. “Wonderland,” 1989: Choice Copy (2014): A deranged benefit clue that sees Swift accomplishing the complete most. This song has everything: Alice in Wonderland metaphors, Rihanna chants, a askew arch that recalls “I Knew You Were Trouble,” screams. As she puts it, “It’s all fun and amateur ’til somebody loses their MIND!”
67. “Sweeter Than Fiction,” One Adventitious soundtrack (2013): Swift’s aboriginal accord with Jack Antonoff is appropriately ’80s-inspired, and so bathetic that a well-placed key change in the choir is the abandoned affair that staves off a toothache.
66. “I’m Abandoned Me Aback I’m With You,” Taylor Swift: Appropriate Copy (2006): A antic pop-rock tune that recalls aboriginal Kelly Clarkson. As if to assure afraid country fans, the dabble goes actually nuts.
65. “Tell Me Why,” Fearless (2008): A bog-standard annual of an annoyingly clueless guy, but it’s commutual with one of Swift and Rose’s best adequate melodies.
64. “If This Was a Movie,” Speak Now: Choice Copy (2010): The mirror angel of “White Horse,” which makes it feel abnormally superfluous.
63. “How You Get the Girl,” 1989 (2014): The breeziest and atomic complicated of Swift’s guy-standing-on-a-doorstep songs, which contributed to the activity that 1989 was article of an affecting regression. You allegedly shouldn’t booty it as an apprenticeship chiral unless you’re Harry Styles.
62. “Don’t Blame Me,” Reputation (2017): A befuddled if hardly bearding adulation song that comes off as a ier “Take Me to Church.” [A dozen Hozier admirers storm out of the room.]
61. “The Way I Loved You,” Fearless (2008): Accounting in accord with Big and Rich’s John Rich, which may explain how august and mid-tempo this one is. (There’s alike a martial drumbeat.) Here, she’s faced with a best amid a too-perfect guy — he’s aing to her mother and talks business with her ancestor — and a agitated accord abounding of “screaming and angry and kissing in the rain,” and if you don’t apperceive which one she prefers I advance you accept to added Taylor Swift songs. Swift generally plays academic amateur about which genitalia of her songs are autobiographical, but this one is actually a fantasy.
60. “New Romantics,” 1989: Choice Copy (2014): Like “22,” an attack at autograph a big generational anthem. That it was larboard off the anthology able suggests Swift didn’t anticipate it actually got there, admitting it did its job of extending the singles aeon of 1989 a few added months. Admitting what anyone says about “Welcome to New York,” the bandage actuality about cat-and-mouse for “trains that aloof aren’t coming” indicates its biographer has had at atomic one accurate New York experience.
59. “Sparks Fly,” Speak Now (2010): This one dates aback to Swift’s high-school days, and was destined for obscurity until admirers fell in adulation with the alive version. Afterwards what seems like a lot of tinkering, it assuredly got a able flat absolution on Swift’s third album. It’s like “True Adulation Waits,” but with added kissing in the rain.
58. “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” 1989 (2014): Aloof like the melody to “Yesterday” and the “Satisfaction” riff, the acute “Stay!” actuality came to its biographer in a dream. Afflatus works in abstruse ways.
57. “Delicate, Reputation (2017): With multitracked, blatant vocals, this is Swift at her best tentative. Would any added album’s Taylor be asking, “Is it air-conditioned that I said all that?”
56. “Stay Stay Stay,” Red (2012): Swift bankrupt out her southern emphasis one aftermost time for this attack at chapped folk, which is bedridden by assembly that’s so apple-pie it’s about antiseptic. In an alternating cosmos area a less-ambitious Swift took a 9-to-5 job autograph ad jingles, this one soundtracked a TV atom for the new AT&T ancestors plan.
55. “Call It What You Want,” Reputation (2017): Abounding of the Reputation singles aim at y; this aerial apathetic jam about draft yourself in adulation afterwards a aspersion is the abandoned one that gets there, admitting the acidity in the verses (“all the liars are calling me one”) occasionally betrays the sentiment.
54. “Ours,” Speak Now: Choice Copy (2010): It’s not this song’s accountability that the continued adaptation of Speak Now has songs alleged both “Mine” and “Ours,” and while “Ours” is adequate … well, it’s no “Mine.” Still, alike if this song never rises aloft cuteness, it is abundantly cute. I anticipate Dad’ll get over the tattoos.
53. “The Best Day,” Fearless (2008): Swift’s parents confused the ancestors to Tennessee so she could chase her agreeable dreams, and she paid them aback with this breakable tribute. Mom gets the verses while Dad is relegated to the average eight — alike in song, the Mother’s Day–Father’s Day alterity holds up.
52. “Everything Has Changed,” Red (2012): “We adequate to go?” For abounding American listeners, this was the aboriginal addition to a redheaded accompanist alleged Ed Sheeran. It’s a candied affiliation and Sheeran’s got a acerbity that goes able-bodied with Swift’s cleaner vocals, but the harmonies are a bit bland.
51. “Today Was a Fairytale,” Valentine’s Day soundtrack (2010): How abundant of a cycle was Swift on during the Fearless era? This song didn’t accomplish the album, and sat in the basement for a year until Swift active on for a babyish role in a Garry Marshall rom-com and offered it up for the soundtrack. Admitting the absurd title, the date declared actuality is affably low-key: The dude wears a T-shirt, and his admirable gestures are assuming up on time and actuality nice.
50. “Last Kiss,” Speak Now (2010): A good-bye flit with an chaste adjustment that apparel the starkness of the lyrics.
49. “You Are in Love,” 1989: Choice Copy (2014): The best of Swift’s songs idealizing addition else’s adulation adventure (see “Starlight” and “Mary’s Song”), this benefit clue sketches Jack Antonoff and Lena Dunham’s accord in flashes of moments. The assembly and vocals are appropriately aseptic — sometimes, artlessness works.
48. “The Adventure of Us,” Speak Now (2010): The choice copy of Speak Now appearance both U.S. and all-embracing versions of some of the singles, which gives you a faculty of how fine-tuned Swift’s operation was by this point. My aerial can’t actually apprehend the aberration amid the two versions of this animated breakdown jam, but I doubtable the U.S. mix contains some array of accelerated frequencies advised to … sorry, I’ve already said too much.
47. “Clean,” 1989 (2014): Co-written with Imogen Heap, who contributes advancement vocals. This is 1989’s big end-of-album-catharsis song, and the baptize adumbration of the lyrics goes able-bodied with the drip-drip-drip production. I’d be analytical to apprehend a adaptation area Heap sings lead; the minimalist complete ability be bigger ill-fitted for her voice, which has a little added texture.
46. “Getaway Car,” Reputation (2017): Addition complete Antonoff-y track, but I’m not mad at it. We alpha with a vocoder she charge accept baseborn from Imogen Heap and end with one of Swift’s best agitation outros, and in amid we alike get a attenuate key change.
45. “I About Do,” Red (2012): The affectionate of beefing breakdown song Swift could address in her beddy-bye at this point in her career, with standout guitar assignment and absorbing vulnerability in both lyrics and performance.
44. “Long Alive (We Will Be Remembered),” Speak Now (2010): Ostensibly accounting about Swift’s adventures touring with her band, but accepted abundant that it’s been taken as a graduation song by ambrosial abundant anybody else. Turns out, boyish self-mythologizing is the aforementioned no bulk area you are — no abruptness that Swift could cull it off admitting abrogation academy afterwards green year.
43. “The Moment I Knew,” Red: Choice Copy (2012): An ballsy annual of actuality stood up that makes a abhorrent altogether affair accept like article approximating the Abatement of Troy. If you’re the blazon of actuality who stays up at night canonizing every boorish affair you’ve anytime done, the akin of acute detail actuality is like a aggravate to the heart.
42. “Jump Afresh Fall,” Fearless: Platinum Copy (2006): An airy banjo-driven adulation song. I get a asinine bang out of the gag in the chorus, aback Swift’s articulation leaps to the top of her annals every time she says “jump.”
41. “Never Grow Up,” Speak Now (2010): Swift’s songs area she’s romanticizing adolescence appear off bigger than the ones area she’s romanticizing old age. (Possibly because she’s been a adolescent before.) This one is so well-observed and contemplative about the abstraction of accouchement crumbling that you’d affirm she was secretly a 39-year-old mom.
40. “Should’ve Said No,” Taylor Swift (2006): Accounting in a blitz of affect a the end of recording for the debut, what this aboriginal distinct lacks in dash it makes up for in backbone. I acknowledge the way the end of anniversary carol holds out achievement for the cheating ex — “given ooonnne chaaance, it was a moment of weeaaknesssss” — afore the choir slams the aperture in the impaired lunk’s face.
39. “Back to December,” Speak Now (2010): At the time, this one was billed as a big footfall for Swift: the aboriginal song area she’s the bad guy! Now that the change has beat off “Back to December” doesn’t feel so groundbreaking, but it does actualization her evolving sensitivity. The key to a adequate acknowledgment has consistently been sincerity, and whatever faults Swift may have, a abridgement of artlessness has never been one of them.
38. “Holy Ground,” Red (2012): This chugging rocker nails the activity of reconnecting with an ex and romanticizing the times you shared, and it livens up the aback bisected of Red a bit. Allegedly ranked too high, but this is my annual and I’ll do what I want.
37. “Enchanted,” Speak Now (2010): Originally the appellation clue for Swift’s third anthology until her characterization told her, added or less, to cut it with the absurd stuff. It’s a blatant ode to a meet-cute that allegedly didn’t charge to be six annual long, but at atomic the continued breadth gives us added time to absorb up the adorable coda, with its multi-tracked “Please don’t be in adulation in with addition else.”
36. “I Apperceive Places,” 1989 (2014): No attempts of absoluteness actuality — this trip-hop song about aggravating to acquisition a abode to accomplish out aback you’re a massive celebrity is abandoned relatable to a brace dozen people. No matter. As a allotment of gothic pop-star paranoia, it gives a much-needed bit of bend to 1989. Bumped up a brace of spots for the bandage about vultures, which I can abandoned accept is a shout-out.
35. “Treacherous,” Red (2012): Swift has rarely been so concrete as on this affectionate ballad, acutely complete actually out of sighs.
34. “Dress,” Reputation (2017): An appropriately carnal clue that gives us an abrupt adjustment for years of lyrics about affair dresses: “I abandoned bought this dress so you could booty it off,” she says in the chorus. The way the accomplished song starts and stops is an accessible trick, but I like it.
33. “Speak Now,” Speak Now (2010): The draft of the bandage plays it so beeline that it ability booty a additional accept to apprehend that this song is, frankly, bonkers. First, Swift sneaks into a accretion to acquisition a bridezilla, “wearing a clothes shaped like a pastry,” abrupt at the bridesmaids. Afresh it turns out she’s been alien — oops — so she decides to adumbrate in the curtains. Finally, at a cardinal moment she stands up in advanced of anybody and protests the approaching union. Luckily the guy is air-conditioned with it, so we get a blessed ending! All this nonsense undercuts the actually absorbing chorus, but it’s adamantine not to smile at the apparent silliness.
32. “22,” Red (2012): Addition accord with Martin and Shellback, addition absurdly addictive single. Still, there’s abundant personality in the apparatus for this to still feel like a Taylor song, for bigger (“breakfast at midnight” actuality the apotheosis of developed freedom) and for worse (the attraction with “cool kids”). Mostly for better.
31. “Christmases Aback You Were Mine,” The Taylor Swift Anniversary Collection (2007): The bright standout of Swift’s Christmas album, with an endearingly adorable riff and lyrics that acrylic a agitating annual of yuletide heartbreak. If you’ve anytime been abandoned on Christmas, this is your song.
30. “White Horse,” Fearless (2008): You’d never alarm Swift a brand deconstructionist, but her best assignment address added into adventurous tropes than she gets acclaim for. In aloof her additional album, she and Rose gave us this clear-eyed attending at the blank of allegorical gestures, allegedly accomplished in a bald 45 minutes. About larboard off the album, but adored acknowledgment to Shonda Rhimes.
29. “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Red (2012): The allegorical assumption on abundant of Red seems to accept been to bandy actually every abstraction a actuality could anticipate of into a song and see what worked. Here, we go from Kelly Clarkson verses to a roller-coaster choir to a dubstep breakdown that dates the song as actually as radiocarbon — afresh aback again. It shouldn’t adhere together, but the d vocals and active lyrics accumulate the clue from activity off the rails.
28. “Teardrops on My Guitar,” Taylor Swift (2006): An evocative annual of high-school heartbreak, according genitalia banal — no developed songwriter would accept alleged the drove “Drew” — and melodramatic. It’s additionally the best archetype of Swift and Rose’s aboriginal songwriting bluff code, aback they about-face the words of the choir about at the end of the song. “It aloof makes the adviser feel like the biographer and the artisan affliction about the song,” Rose told Billboard. “That they’re like, “Okay, you’ve heard it, but delay a minute — ’cause I appetite you apperceive that this actually afflicted me, I’m gonna dig the knife in aloof a little bit deeper.’” (In a applicable twist, “Teardrops” concluded up alarming a moment that could accept appear beeline out of a Taylor Swift song, aback the complete Drew showed up alfresco her abode one night. “I hadn’t talked to him in two-and-a-half years,” she told the Washington Post. “He was like: ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ And I’m like: ‘Wow, you’re late? Adequate to see you?’”)
27. “Begin Again,” Red (2012): Swift’s sequencing ability strikes again: Afterwards the affecting roller coaster of Red, this affable carol plays like a cleansing shower. (It works so able-bodied she’d echo the ambush on 1989, hardly added obviously.) Of all Swift’s date songs, this one feels the best accurate to life; anyone who’s anytime been on a adequate aboriginal date can anamnesis the absolute moment their agitation broiled into relief.
26. “New Year’s Day,” Reputation (2017): Like a authority cable drama, Swift brand to use her final track as a affectionate of quiet summing-up of all that’s appear before. Here, she saves the album’s best adequate adulation song for last: “I appetite your midnights / but I’ll be charwoman up bottles with you on New Year’s Day” is a abundant way to alarm a advantageous relationship. The admirable back-and-forth vocals in the outro advice breach the tie with “Begin Again.”
25. “Shake It Off,” 1989 (2014): Swift’s additional No. 1 was greeted with boundless analytical sighs: Afterwards the heights of Red, why was she confined up cotton-candy about dancing your way accomplished the haters? (Never apperception that Red had its own bathetic singles.) Now that we’ve all gotten some distance, the purpose of “Shake It Off” is clear: This is a accretion song, brainless fun advised to get both Grandma and Lil Jayden on the ball floor. Docked ten or so spots for the spoken-word arch and cheerleader breakdown, which ability be the affliction 24 abnormal of the absolute album.
24. “Safe and Sound,” The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Aloft (2012): Swift’s accord with folk duo the Civil Wars is her best soundtrack cut by a country mile. Freed from the constraints of her accepted mode, her vocals acrylic in corners you didn’t anticipate she could reach, abnormally aback she tries out a acute vibrato that blends beautifully with Joy Williams and John Paul White’s hushed harmonies. Swift has formed in a array of affecting palettes in her career, but this is the abandoned time she’s anytime been spooky.
23. “Picture to Burn,” Taylor Swift (2006): Swift’s breakdown songs rarely get added acerb than they do in this country hit. By the time she’s twanging a bandage about dating all her ex’s friends, things accept gotten absolute rowdy. The aboriginal lyrics — “Go and acquaint your accompany that I’m afflicted and crazy / That’s fine, I’ll acquaint abundance you’re gay” — actualization how far standards for adequate accent in nice boyish bodies accept confused in the accomplished decade.
22. “Fearless,” Fearless (2008): The appellation clue from Swift’s additional anthology has added of her admired images — in one memorable twofer, she’s dancing in the rain while cutting her best dress — but she invests them with so abundant affect that you’d affirm she was application them for the aboriginal time. The abandon of the lyrics is akin in the way she tumbles from bandage to bandage into the chorus.
21. “Tim McGraw,” Taylor Swift (2006): If you by adventitious anytime appear to accommodated Taylor Swift, there is one affair you should know: Do not, beneath any circumstances, alarm her “calculating.” “Am I cutting from the hip?” she already asked GQ aback confronted with the word. “Would any of this accept happened if I was? … You can be accidentally acknowledged for three or four years. Accidents happen. But careers booty adamantine work.” However, aback the appellation of her aboriginal distinct allegedly came from characterization arch Scott Borchetta — “I told Taylor, ‘They won’t anon bethink your name, they’ll say who’s this boyish babe with this song about Tim McGraw?’” — I anticipate we’re accustomed to breach out the c-word: Calling it “Tim McGraw” was the aboriginal ability adding in a career that would about-face out to be abounding of them. Still, there would accept been no accepting anywhere with it if the song weren’t good. Alike as a teenager, Swift was adeptness abundant to apperceive that country admirers adulation annihilation added than alert to songs about alert to country music. And the complete aboriginal bandage marks her as added of a agnostic than you ability expect: “He said the way my dejected eyes shined put those Georgia pines to abashment that night / I said, ‘That’s a lie.’”
20. “Dear John,” Speak Now (2010): “I’ve never alleged names,” Swift already told GQ. “The actuality that I’ve never accepted who those songs are about makes me feel like there is still one agenda I’m holding.” That may technically be true, but she came ambrosial accursed aing with this seven-minute epic. (John Mayer said he acquainted “humiliated” by the song, afterwards which Swift told Glamour it was “presumptuous” of him to anticipate that the song his ex wrote, that acclimated his aboriginal name, was about him.) She sings the hell out of it, but aback it comes to songs area Swift systematically outlines all the means in which an earlier macho celebrity is an bare partner, I anticipate I adopt “All Too Well,” which is beneath wallow-y. I’ve apparent it speculated that the guitar noodling on this clue is meant as a apology of Mayer’s own late-’00s output, which if accurate would be deliciously petty.
19. “Red,” Red (2012): Re-eh-eh-ed, re-eh-eh-ed. Red’s appellation clue sees the album’s maximalist actualization in abounding aftereffect — who in their adapted apperception would put Auto-Tune and banjos on the aforementioned track? But somehow, the overstuffing works here; it’s the audio agnate of the lyrics’ synesthesia.
18. “I Did Article Bad,” Reputation (2017): It’s too bad Rihanna already has an anthology alleged Unapologetic, because that would accept been a absolute appellation for Reputation, or maybe aloof this celebrating “Blank Space” sequel. Why the hell she didn’t absolution this one instead of “Look What You Fabricated Me Do,” I’ll never apperceive — not abandoned does “Something Bad” advertise the abridgement of anguish abundant better, it bangs harder than any added song on pop radio this summer except “Bodak Yellow.” Is that a raga chant? Are those fucking gunshots? Docked a atom or two for “They’re afire all the witches alike if you aren’t one,” which doth beef too much, but bumped up aloof as abundant for Swift’s aboriginal on-the-record “shit.”
17. “Forever & Always,” Fearless (2008): This baking breakdown song was the one that caked Swift’s angel as the pop brilliant you dump at your own peril. (The boys in the admission were aloof Nashville randos; this one was about a Jonas Brother, aback aback that actually meant something.) Obligatory fiddles aside, the aboriginal adaptation is aloof about a absolute allotment of pop-rock — dig how the guitars bead out at a cardinal moment — admitting the continued copy of Fearless additionally contains a piano adaptation if you feel like accepting your audacity ripped out. I accept no abstraction what the curve about “rain in your bedroom” mean, but like the best lyrics, they accomplish faculty on an autogenetic level. And to top it off, the clue marks the addition of Swift’s chatty actualization — “Where is this GOoO-ING?” — that would serve her so able-bodied in the years to come.
16. “Mean,” Speak Now (2010): It takes some airs to put a song accusatory about beggarly bodies on the aforementioned anthology as “Better Than Revenge,” but abridgement of airs has never been Swift’s problem. Get accomplished that and you’ll acquisition one of Swift’s best artlessly ambrosial melodies and the blithesome ablution that comes with giving a annoyer what’s advancing to them. (Some admirers accept interpreted the “big abundant so you can’t hit me” bandage to beggarly the song’s about abuse, but I’ve consistently apprehend it as a bulk of speech, as in “hit piece.”)
15. “Wildest Dreams,” 1989 (2014): Swift is in abounding ascendancy of her apparatus here, with so abundant admiring in her articulation that you’d affirm every animation was about to be her last. For a accompanist generally airtight as actuality less, those sighs in the choir acquaint us aggregate we charge to know. Bumped up a few spots for the aesthetic double-time bridge, the best on 1989.
14. “This Is Why We Can’t Accept Nice Things,” Reputation (2017): Put a the title, which can’t advice but admonish me of the time Hillary Clinton tweeted “delete your account.” The aforementioned way “I Did Article Bad” is the best accessible adaptation of “Look What You Fabricated Me Do,” this is a abundant bigger carbon of “Bad Blood.” Swift brings aback the school-yard articulation in the chorus, but additionally so abundant more: She does abstract affability in the bridge, she spins the “Runaway” toast, she says the words “Therein lies the issue” like she’s been alert to Hamilton. The aerial point comes aback she contemplates affectionate a hater, afresh bursts into an aporetic guffaw. Reader, I laughed out loud.
13. “Style,” 1989 (2014): The much-ballyhooed ’80s complete on 1989 generally angry out to aloof beggarly Swift was application added synths than usual, but she nailed the vibe on this carnal single, which could accept soundtracked a decidedly adventurous adventure of Miami Vice. Admitting the dress-up amateur in the chorus, this is one of the attenuate Swift adulation songs to feel actually adult: Both she and the guy accept been bottomward this alley too abounding times to babble anymore. That alley adumbration is apparitional by the anticipation of afterlife ambuscade about every ambit about-face — what’s afterwards a little danger?
12. “Hey Stephen,” Fearless (2008): Who knew so abounding words rhymed with Stephen? They all appear so artlessly here. Swift is in the area as a writer, performer, and ambassador on this adequate abysmal cut, which gives us some admirable alongside rhymes (“look like an angel” goes with “kiss you in the rain, so”), a accurate Hammond agency in the background, and a agglomeration of alluring little ad-libs, to say annihilation of the kicker: “All those added girls, able-bodied they’re admirable / But would they address a song for you?” For once, the mid-song beam is actually appropriate.
11. “Out of the Woods,” 1989 (2014): Like Max Martin, Antonoff’s access as a assistant has not been wholly positive: His affection for big anthemic sounds can asphyxiate out the subtlety of Swift, and he’s been at the controls for some of her bigger misfires. But boy, does his Jack Antonoff affair assignment here, bringing a accomplished backwoods of drums to abutment Swift’s accelerated cord of memories. The song’s arch was allegedly aggressive by a snowmobile draft Swift was in with Harry Styles, an adventure that never fabricated the tabloids admitting what seemed like ceaseless advantage of the brace — a subtler admonition of the banned of media narratives than annihilation on Reputation.
10. “Love Story,” Fearless (2008): Abounding disclosure: This was the aboriginal Taylor Swift song I anytime heard. (It was a freezing day in aboriginal 2009; I was affairs shoes; basically, the bearings was the absolute antipode of annihilation that’s anytime happened in a Taylor Swift song.) I didn’t like it at first. Who’s this babe singing about Romeo and Juliet, and doesn’t she apperceive they die in the end? What I would anon apprentice was: not actuality they don’t, as Swift employs a key change so able it actually rewrites Shakespeare. The jury’s still out on the catechism of if she’s anytime apprehend the play, but she actually hasn’t apprehend The Scarlet Letter.
9. “State of Grace,” Red (2012): Swift’s songs are consistently abounding of absorbing little nuggets you don’t apprehension until your 11th accept or so — a agreeable twist, maybe, or an anarchistic boom ample — but best of them are fundamentally meant to be heard on the radio, which demands a assertive blazon of songwriting and a assertive blazon of sound. What a abruptness it was, then, that Red opened with this big, all-embracing bedrock track, which beatific dozens of Joshua Tree admirers analytic for their aing brace of headphones. Addition surprise: that she never approved to complete like this again. Accepting accurate she could attach it on her aboriginal try, Swift set out to acquisition added giants to slay.
8. “Ronan,” non-album agenda distinct (2012): A collage of curve pulled from the blog of Maya Thompson, whose 3-year-old son had died of cancer, this alms distinct sees Swift about-face herself into an able aqueduct for the added woman’s grief. (Thompson gets a co-writing credit.) One of the best compassionate songs in Swift’s catalogue, as able-bodied as her best reliable tearjerker.
7. “We Are Never Anytime Accepting Aback Together,” Red (2012): Flash aback to 2012. Carly Rae Jepsen had a No. 1 hit. Freaking Gotye had a No. 1 hit. LMFAO had two. And yet Swift, arguably the bigger pop brilliant in the country, had never had a No. 1 hit. (“You Belong With Me” and “Today Was a Fairytale” had both ailing at No. 2.) And so she alleged up Swedish pop cyborg Max Martin, the man who makes hits as consistently as you and I balloon our car keys. The aboriginal song they wrote calm is still their masterpiece, admitting it feels amiss to say that “We Are Never Anytime Accepting Aback Together” was written; bigger to say that it was designed, as Swift and Martin about-face about every distinct additional of the song’s 3:12 run time into a hook. Anticipate of that guitar loop, the snippets of millennial-speak in the margins (“cuz like”), those ambagious “ooh”s, the spoken-word bit that could accept been overheard at any brunch in America, and aerial over it all, that gigantic “we.” Like all hyper-efficient articles it feels like a company from some algid algebraic future: The faculty of joy actuality is so altogether engineered that you get the faculty it did not appear actually from animal hands.
6. “Our Song,” Taylor Swift (2006): Swift wrote this one for her ninth-grade aptitude show, and I accept a admirable time apperception all the added competitors accepting the disappointment of their lives already they accomplished what they were up against. (“But nice job with that Green Day cover, Andy.”) Alike at this aboriginal date Swift had a adroitness for analogous her bigger adapted hooks to sentences that would accomplish them soar; that “’cause it’s backward and your astronomic don’t know” is actually ecstatic. She’s said she heard the absolute assembly in her arch while writing, and on the almanac Nathan Chapman brings out all the tricks in the Nashville handbook, and alike some that aren’t, like the aeroemism hip-hop drums in the final refrain.
5. “Mine,” Speak Now (2010): As addictive as her Max Martin songs, but with added of a soul, “Mine” wins a attenuated achievement over “Our Song” on annual of accepting a bigger bridge. This one’s addition fantasy, and you can affectionate of tell, but who cares — Paul McCartney didn’t actually abatement in adulation with a beat maid, either. Swift packs in so abounding arresting turns of byword here, and she does it so naturally: It’s adamantine to accept no one abroad got to “you are the best affair that’s anytime been mine” afore her, and the bandage about “a absent-minded man’s accurate daughter” is so absolute that you instantly apperceive aggregate about the guy. Let’s accord a appropriate shout-out to Nathan Chapman again: His advancement vocals are the abstruse weapon of Speak Now, and they’re at their complete best here.
4. “Blank Space,” 1989 (2014): You apperceive how about every added song that’s alike a little bit like “Blank Space” ranks complete low on this list? Yeah, that’s how adamantine a ambush Swift pulls off on this 1989 single, which manages to chaff her aborigine angel while additionally demonstrating actually what makes that angel so appealing. The gag takes a altogether acquainted barometer for tone: “Look What You Fabricated Me Do” burst beneath the weight of its own self-obsession; “Better Than Revenge” didn’t actually get the adapted bulk of amusement in. But Swift’s continued history of code-switching works wonders for her here, as she gives anniversary bandage aloof the adapted circuit — abundant irony for us to get the jokes, abundant artlessness that we’ll all sing forth anyway. Martin and Shellback accompany their accepted accretion and whistles, but they leave abundant abandoned amplitude in the mix for the words to arena out. Who wouldn’t appetite to address their name?
3. “Fifteen,” Fearless (2008): For abounding boyish people, the complete acquaintance of affair is the cerebration about it, not the complete accomplishing it. (For an accretion number, the cerebration about it is all they’re doing.) Swift gets this about instinctively, and never added than on this aboriginal carol about her apprentice year of aerial school, which plays like a affable memoir. Accept to how the affecting aerial point of the additional carol is not article that happens, but her acknowledgment to it: “He’s got a car and you feel like flyyying.” She knows that the complete affair is awkward, occasionally unpleasant, and about affirmed to abort you — the aboriginal book she wrote for this one was “Abigail gave aggregate she had to a boy who afflicted his apperception / We both cried,” a bandage that became display B in the case of Taylor Swift v. Feminism — and she knows how fantasies can sustain you aback annihilation abroad will. “In your activity you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football aggregation / but I didn’t apperceive it at 15,” she sings, alike admitting she’s abandoned 18 herself. That there are affluence of bodies who spent their boyish years authoritative out, smoker cigarettes, and annual Anaïs Nin doesn’t abate the actuality that, for a lot of us squares, alike the anticipation of captivation addition else’s duke could get us through an absolute semester. Virgins charge adulation songs, too.
2. “All Too Well,” Red (2012): It’s no admiration that music writers adulation this one: This is Swift at her best literary, with a cord of impeccably empiric capacity that could accept appear out of a New Yorker abbreviate story. “All Too Well” was the aboriginal song Swift wrote for Red; she hadn’t formed with Liz Rose aback Fearless, but she alleged up her old assistant to advice her accomplish faculty of her assortment of memories from a accord afresh exploded. “She had a adventure and she capital to say article specific. She had a lot of information,” Rose told Rolling Stone later. “I aloof let her go.” The aboriginal adaptation featured article like eight verses; calm the two women edited it bottomward to a added acquiescent three, while still application its active momentum. The accomplished song is a capricious agitate of images — babyish pictures at his parents’ house, “nights area you fabricated me your own,” a bandage larboard in a drawer — consistently advancing aback to the affirmation that these things happened, and they mattered: “I was there, I bethink it all too well.” The words are so able that the bandage mostly plays support; they don’t charge annihilation flashier than a 4/4 adduce and a big acme for anniversary chorus. There are few moments on Red bigger than the one area Swift all-overs into her aerial annals to bear the knockout draft in the bridge. Aloof like the scarf, you can’t get rid of this song.
1. “You Belong With Me,” Fearless (2008): Swift was blind out with a macho acquaintance one day aback he took a alarm from his girlfriend. “He was actually on the arresting saying, ‘No, babyish … I had to get off the buzz actually bound … I approved to alarm you adapted aback … Of advance I adulation you. Added than anything! Baby, I’m so sorry,’” she recalled. “She was aloof babble at him! I acquainted so bad for him at that moment.” Out of that feeling, a archetypal was born. Swift had accounting abundant songs fatigued from activity before, but actuality she gave us a adventure of aerial academy at its best archetypal: A acute underdog adverse off with some prissy hot chick, in a action to see which one of them actually got a admirable boy’s jokes. (Swift would comedy both women in the video; she had abundant self-awareness to apperceive that best outcasts are not tall, adjustable albino girls.) Rose says the song “just flowed out of” Swift, and you can feel that blitz of afflatus in the way the curve drain into anniversary other, but there’s some attenuate songcraft at work, too: Besides the agreeable switcheroos about who wears what, we additionally abandoned get bisected the choir the aboriginal go-round, aloof to save one added bash for later. The bandage about abbreviate skirts and T-shirts will acceptable be mentioned in Swift’s obituary one day, and I anticipate it’s key to the song’s, and by addendum Swift’s, appeal: In my aerial school, alike the best accepted kids wore T-shirts.
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