Having officially shaken off her ‘country’ tag while simultaneously continuing to dominate the world of music, Taylor’s back with yet another collection of songs you’re unlikely to get out of your head for a while. With her recently completed move to the Big Apple, ‘Welcome To New York’ is a suitable opening ditty, though it’s the music and the beat itself rather than the lyrics most likely to get peoples’ attention. ‘Blank Space’ meanwhile is more stripped back but introduces a chorus just begging huge crowds to sing along to therefore being perfect for her upcoming tour dates, but things don’t really pick up until ‘Out Of The Woods’ kicks in so it’s a shame such a good song runs straight into the filler that is ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay’. Thankfully, the lull doesn’t last and ‘Shake It Off’ will have listeners dancing and singing into their hairbrushes or whatever they have to hand in seconds.
As hard as it tries, ‘I Wish You Would’ fails to maintain the high standard of its preceding track, though it’s sure to have a few toes tapping. Seizing the opportunity to slow things down a little, ‘Wildest Dreams’ is much softer, more balladesque and rather beautiful, and then ‘How You Get The Girl’ is a welcome return to the more catchy pop pieces Taylor is without question getting better at creating. In stark contrast, ‘This Love’ is virtually acoustic, so laid back is the music accompanying it, and in a single spotlight on a stage, it should work well, but if feels a little out of place here but the album is rescued a little by ‘I Know Places’ and most definitely by ‘Clean’, which, despite being rather laid back, is a great sing-along number and an ideal future single.