1989 is the year that Taylor Swift was born and it's also the name of the Wyomissing, Pa. raised no-longer-country pop star's fifth album, which is due Oct. 27 on the Big Machine label.
The world learned as much this when Swift made the announcement during a Yahoo livestream event Monday afternoon. The single sends a message that the 24 year old songwriter is all-in on the pop end, with production handled by producers Max Martin and Shellback, and a harmless (though sure to attract lots of attention) rap bridge attached to the kicky beat and catchy chorus. Swift's spoken part calling attention to the song's "sick beat" is cringe-worthy, but it's still a sure fire hit.
The song's 'players gonna play, haters gonna hate' lyric strikes a defensive posture. It's another disappointing example of a pop superstar with a seemingly picture perfect existence moaning about how 'people' are always talking trash about her. It's a tried and true strategy to rally fans, though, and the not-to-be-underestimated Swift sure has a lot of them. Her last album, 2012's Red, sold 7 million copies, an almost unheard of number in these depleted days of physical or even downloadable product.
1989 is so named not only because it's her birth year, but also because Swift is smitten by that particular pop era. In the Yahoo event, she said she was inspired by "a lot of late '80s pop" because she loved "the chances they were taking ... I loved how bold it was. I loved how ahead of its time it was," calling the period a time of "limitless potential and the idea that you can do what you want, be who you want, wear what you want and love who you want, and you get to decide where your life is going."
The late breaking album mght not have enough time to attain Swift's usual biggest-seller-of-the-year status, but it's certainly the release expected to do the biggest business of the 4th quarter of 2014.
The Polaroid photo album cover is above. Below is the Mark Romanek-directed "Shake It Off" video, which features Swift playing dress up in many goofy outfits, including late 1980s hip-hop gear accompanied by twerking dancers. It has already drawn criticism for "perpetuating black stereotypes," from Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt on Twitter, even though he admitted: "haven't watched the taylor swift video and don't need to watch it to tell you it's inherently offensive and ultimately harmful."