By Lila Troum
Best known for her iconic pop music and prominence throughout the decade, Taylor Swift is a household name. Over the last fifteen years, she’s released nine albums and she’s undeniably changed the music industry and has paved the way for many current musicians today. One of the questions that Swifties everywhere debate: what is her Taylor’s best album? Obviously, there isn’t a real answer, but I’d like to give my unsolicited opinion and rank them:
9. Debut (2006)
This one was quite obvious for me, as I’m not a big country music fan. I haven’t listened to a whole lot of her debut, which is definitely why it’s earned its rank here. Hits like Our Song and Teardrops on my Guitar are the original fan favorites. However, this is just not an album I’d ever put on shuffle.
8. Fearless (2008)
Fearless is also quite difficult to place, as Swift was still somewhat in her country phase when this album was produced. This album does have hidden gems that are some of my all time favorites. However, I think the negative opinions I have regading this album outweigh the positives. This album is probably one of her better known ones though, as it’s home to Love Story and You Belong with Me, both songs that launched her career.
7. Reputation (2017)
For me, Reputation was more the attitude than the album itself. It dabbles in techno, and was Taylor’s last album produced by Big Machine Records. After her disappearance in 2016, Taylor surprised us with this album in late 2017 as somewhat of a comeback. I put this at 7 not really for the music, but for the whole drama that surrounded Reputation. Plus, the tour was phenomenal.
6. Red (2012)
Red will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the first concert of hers I ever saw live. With this album you could feel the transition from country to pop, and there was a little something of each within this album. This album also holds hits I Knew You Were Trouble and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, both popular hits in 2012.
5. Lover (2019)
Lover was released summer of 2019, and this album is definitely a perfect summer album. With this album, you have to look deep to find the better songs, as her lead singles Me! and You Need to Calm Down do not entirely represent what Lover is. Lover throws at you empowerment, the feeling of being in love, a plethora of emotions condensed into an hour. This is a superb album to put on in the car with your friends and enjoy.
4. Evermore (2020)
Her most recent album, Evermore, is, to put it simply, engaging. Along with Evermore’s sister album, Folklore, this was a surprise album that Swift released the day she’d announced it. Evermore holds beautiful songs that fall into the indie pop category. This album is a perfect track to listen to on a rainy day, or to put on in the background while getting work done, it’s calming and it’s an album with songs that hold significant value to me.
3. 1989 (2014)
When you think of Taylor Swift, you probably think of her 2014 hit, Shake it Off or other wondrous pop pieces that come from this album. 1989 has some of Taylor’s most popular work, and some of her most complex works, too, containing Wildest Dreams, a song that was produced with Taylor’s own heartbeat as a part of the bass line. This album was one of her highest achieving albums, too, having earned ten Grammy nominations in 2016.
2. Speak Now (2010)
In my mind, Speak Now was Taylor’s very first pop album. It’s got the country twang in a few songs, but, overall, is very poppy to me. This is what I’d call a ‘no-skip’ album, as this album is just a work of art. Taylor wrote the entire album on her own, and showed off the emotion she was capable of writing rather well, which is very evident in her goodbye to John Mayer, Dear John, and farewell to Joe Jonas in Last Kiss. Speak Now has songs you can scream at the top of your lungs and songs you can cry yourself to sleep to, it’s everything.
1. Folklore (2020)
Folklore is a masterpiece. To call it great would be an understatement, it’s spectacular. Like Evermore, it’s an indie pop album that was a result of quarantine boredom, though it’s, undoubtedly, one of the few positive things (in my life, at least) to come out of the pandemic. Folklore is jam packed with heartfelt, compassionate songs, and it’s evident Taylor really put a lot of effort into this. Within this album is a love triangle, a brief history lesson, and a sassy remark towards her previous label. Folklore is fantastic.
Despite what my list might make you think, all of Taylor Swift’s albums are phenomenal. There’s something there for everyone, and if you haven’t you should definitely check some of her music out!