The Evolution of One of America’s Most Beloved Pop Stars


Lucy, Editor-in-Chief

You recognize her by the flowy dresses, her loose blonde curls, and, of course, her catchy country hits: The Taylor Swift we all grew up loving. I remember spending hours in my room dancing to her “Our Song” and “Teardrops on my Guitar.” However, this Taylor is long gone. Today we see a different side of our once innocent country artist in her new album Reputation. On social media her evolution of music has sparked numerous tweets and comments, and most people are now wondering, what happened to the old Taylor Swift?

In 2006, Taylor’s career went soaring when she released her first hit “Tim McGraw” and the song eventually landed in the top 10 among country song charts. Shortly after this, she released the popular classic “Our Song,” which was featured in her first album, Taylor Swift along with “Tim McGraw.” Her next album was Fearless, which contained some of her oldest hits that are still loved by many today.

In fact, Madeline, an 8th grader (and Swift fanatic) states, “If I’d have to choose I would say her 2008 album Fearless is my most favorite. I like Fearless because of its innocence and honesty portrayed through the country music and lyrics, unlike the songs from Reputation.” She also states, “My all time favorite song by Taylor would have to be ‘Teardrops On My Guitar,’ which is also in the album Fearless. This song is meaningful and raw because she is expressing her feelings but not trying to fit into society’s pop culture.”

After this album, she went on to release another country album, Speak Now, and shortly after she released her first hints of pop music in the album Red. Her first full transition to pop was in her 2014 album, 1989. This album was a shocking twist to her normal country, but it was actually popular boosted by some very well known songs such as “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space.” All these amazing albums and songs from Swift has lead her to acquire the fan base she has today. However, with Reputation, everything is now changing.

Although her new album Reputation, has not been completely released, with just two songs out most people can already get an idea of the style of music comprising the album, and let me tell you, the Swift fans don’t seem quite happy. Her new album seems to be promoting a very dark and negative light. As Madeline states, “In addition to the music video where she crawls out of her own grave, the beginning of the song has an ominous vibe. Also, she mentions that the ‘Old Taylor’ is dead which seems creepy and unlike her.” In her first two song releases from the new album, “Look What you Made me Do” and “…Ready For It,” she talks about topics like death and is pictured in settings such as a graveyard. In reference to the two songs Madeline states, “I feel like ‘Look What you Made me Do’ and ‘…Ready for It’ are more rebellious approaches to pop and now I think she is trying too hard to keep her pop reputation alive. Overall, I feel confused and betrayed because of this ‘new’ Taylor who is trying to be rebellious and change her mojo.” There may be many different perspectives on Reputation, but one thing is for sure: this music isn’t the same Taylor Swift we first heard roughly 10 years ago.

Although there is nothing to do to change this new music she has put out for the world to see, the letdown fans can only hope for better songs in the rest of the album to come. Madeline concerningly states, “I’ve obviously never met her, but she seemed very sweet and innocent… Now with Reputation, I don’t know what to think.” Madeline went on to explain her overwhelming sadness she felt with this new music that was released, but she persists to be optimistic and hope for better things to come. Personally, I would tell Taylor to reevaluate who she is aiming to be and what kind of message she wants her music to send. When asked what she would say to the singer, Madeline stated, “I would tell her be careful; people are quick to judge.”

Now, despite all of the chaos over this new music, as a fan, try to remember how Taylor has paved her path to stardom. When asked about her original love for Swift, Madeline states, “She was so creative and one of a kind – at the time she became famous, there weren’t very many country stars who were as young as 15. I think a lot of girls looked up to her. Personally, I just really love her music. She will definitely be remembered as an icon of this decade and the last.” Taylor has been an inspiration for so many young girls, and her music has always been a stronghold for so many people, including myself. Furthermore, although there are lots of new changes in the music coming from Taylor, let’s not forget about the artist we all know and love. We never know what is yet to come, so all we can do now is wait for Taylor’s next surprise.


“Taylor Swift’s Career Timeline: From ‘Tim McGraw’ to ‘1989’” Billboard, Billboard. 4, September, 2014.

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