Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Buy On
  1. 91
    1989 isn’t a “crossover” success. It’s the album every subsequent blockbuster must now reckon with.
  2. Oct 31, 2014
    90
    The true appeal of 1989, in its perfect evocation of our hugest, most teenage feelings, isn’t the socio-political purity so many critics seem to begrudge Swift for failing to embody, its an aesthetic purity--the purity of feeling, the life-affirming way pop music like hers can force us to drop our pretenses of sophistication for the length of an album and feel on a visceral, unfiltered level
  3. Oct 28, 2014
    86
    What truly puts Swift’s fifth full-length in its own class is the combination of brilliant songwriting and incredible production. Those two strengths come together throughout 1989, but no track showcases it better than “Out of the Woods.”
  4. 85
    There's evolution with purpose in every fibre of 1989, and far from jettisoning her integrity in this drastic lunge, she's proved in her bold, risky decision that she's got courage in her convictions to pull it off and faith in her fans to accept the new direction.
  5. Taylor still crams an awful lot of herself into these verses and choruses, to the point where most of these songs hit a new sound, but are still unmistakably her.
  6. Oct 28, 2014
    83
    Swift’s never going to be as bleak as Del Rey or as sexually frank as Madonna, but, on 1989, she’s figured out how to be an adult once and for all.
  7. Dec 1, 2014
    80
    With 1989 she has succeeded in leveraging the most cordial and familiar of pop music outpourings to something that feels like a statement, a work of note and the sinew of some kind of emotional connective tissue–binding tastemakers, rock critics, guys I work with and my 12 year old cousin; irrevocably and unexpectedly.
  8. Nov 3, 2014
    80
    While not completely successful in showcasing in her transition into pure pop, 1989 is a great listen for those refuse to believe both the hype and the haters.
  9. Oct 27, 2014
    80
    Swift’s fifth record is a bold, gossipy confection that plays to her strengths--strengths which pretty much define modern pop, with its obsession with the private lives of celebrities and its premium on heightened emotion.
  10. Oct 26, 2014
    80
    Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she's ever tried before. And yes, she takes it to extremes.
  11. Oct 24, 2014
    80
    With 1989, she expertly sets up the next chapter of what is now even more likely to be a very long career.
  12. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    The really striking thing about 1989 is how completely Taylor Swift dominates the album: Martin, Kurstin et al make umpteen highly polished pop records every year, but they’re seldom as clever or as sharp or as perfectly attuned as this, which suggests those qualities were brought to the project by the woman whose name is on the cover.
  13. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Sharp observation and emotional engagement raise her material above the level of celebrity Twitter spat.
  14. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Full of expertly constructed, slightly neutered songs about heartbreak, 1989, which is to be released on Monday, doesn’t announce itself as oppositional. But there is an implicit enemy on this breezily effective album: the rest of mainstream pop, which 1989 has almost nothing in common with.
  15. 75
    Swift’s songwriting is as consistently razor-sharp as it’s ever been.
  16. 75
    In some small-minded circles, country has a junior-varsity rep, while pop is the Olympics. And Swift wants us to know she’s ready for her shot at an all-around gold medal. With 1989, she should earn at least a silver.
  17. Oct 30, 2014
    70
    The emphasis put on the soundscapes for these songs--unprecedented for the singer/songwriter--results in her lyrics occasionally getting buried under the synth swooshes, but for the first time in a long time, the majority of Taylor's lyrics don't really demand your attention anyway.
  18. Oct 30, 2014
    70
    Taylor Swift may not be challenging societal norms in the same way as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and my own band CHRIST ALIVE are, but she’s relatable and that counts for a lot. I spent a surprising amount of 1989 rooting for its protagonist and sharing in her triumph.
  19. Oct 30, 2014
    70
    On 1989, she makes mountains out of molehills, but this approach feels one part the ironic distance of the digital generation, one part sincere embracing of the impact of life’s speedbumps. Nothing could be more 2014.
  20. 70
    Barring a late collapse into soft-rock mush on the drifting ‘This Love’ and weepy ‘Clean’, Swift’s plunge into pop is a success.
  21. Oct 27, 2014
    70
    1989's standout tracks retain the narrative detail and clever metaphor-building that distinguished Swift's early country songs, even amid the diversions wrought by the aggressive studio production on display throughout.
  22. Nov 6, 2014
    60
    What stands out more than the production is how consistently solid the album is, and how effective the lyrics and songwriting.
  23. Nov 6, 2014
    60
    1989 is full of cliches, but the truth is that we wouldn't expect them to not be present anyway.
  24. Nov 4, 2014
    60
    Swift’s vocals are triumphant, soaring, wild throughout--she is a fantastic singer, and 1989 does showcase her ability to attack a track of any style and claim it as her own, even if the ultimate results feel like a compromise had to be found to make the final cut.
  25. Oct 27, 2014
    60
    Undoubtedly, she has the charisma and chops to be convincing on both bubblegum and ballads but 1989 is something else entirely: a cold, somewhat distant celebration of all the transient transparencies of modern pop, undercut by its own desperate desire to be nothing but a sparkling soundtrack to an aspirational lifestyle.
  26. 60
    Produced mostly by Max Martin and Shellback, the settings blend twitchy electro riffs with skeletal, scudding beats and understated guitar parts, with occasional details hinting at 1980s influences.
  27. The new wave sound--anchored on brisk claps, cracks and booms--gives Swift’s new songs a certain breezy appeal. But her choruses tend to rest on a songwriter’s laziest fall-back: the repetitive, arena-mongering chant.
  28. Oct 28, 2014
    50
    The music is a bright, shiny, and bland pastiche of electronic pop and faint nods to new wave and R&B. And the songwriting feels generic, a departure from the personable details that have made her a unique voice.
  29. Oct 27, 2014
    50
    1989 is a deeply catchy, sleekly-produced pop record with the slightly juiceless quality of an authorized biography, a would-be tell-all bleached of the detailed insight she’s trained us to expect from her.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1529 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 27, 2014
    10
    I absolutely loved this album. I was already expecting to be good, but not on this level. This is a pop masterpiece. She not only brings a popI absolutely loved this album. I was already expecting to be good, but not on this level. This is a pop masterpiece. She not only brings a pop original, that has nothing to do with this mainstream pop out there, she brings ferocity in her work. The lyrics for this album are good, and it gets even better when you realize that this is a pop record and it's not full of **** lyrics. And it's perfectly produced as well. Her best work ever. Album of the year.

    Best ones: Style, Bad Blood, I Know Places, This Love, You Are In Love and New Romantics.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 27, 2014
    0
    Some albums are grossly overrated. Thus why I am giving this album a 0 although I believe it deserves about a 7. The albums is beingSome albums are grossly overrated. Thus why I am giving this album a 0 although I believe it deserves about a 7. The albums is being overrated, so I am going to underrate it. I know Taylor Swift fans are either excited about this release, or are upset by the genre transition that is evident in this release. Frankly, I'm not too concerned with the genre of the album, but the timeless value it presents. Every pop album released in the last decade has had several catchy hooks peppered throughout; so to simply have catchy hooks is not enough to call this album great. 1989 presents nothing new. It provides nothing for its listeners other than catchy hooks and new songs to bump with your girlfriends(or metro-sexual friends, as the case may be). The songs are nice and all; but its nothing ground breaking. I would like to see the critic score in the 60s and the user score around 7. Taylor just simply isn't an "artist," she's a singer--if you can even call her that. Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2014
    1
    So after hearing about how amazing this album was I decided to listen to it myself and boy was I surprised. Not only was it boring it wasSo after hearing about how amazing this album was I decided to listen to it myself and boy was I surprised. Not only was it boring it was bloated with pointless filler that felt like a chore to get through. I was just waiting to be impressed yet I wasn’t, Taylor obviously needs to work on creating better pop music. She brought nothing new to the table, even Prism had more depth, she should stick to her own lane. We already have enough half-baked pop albums coming out like clockwork, please Taylor don’t make us suffer more. Your lyrical content suffered massively while you attempted to be inspired by the dull and insipid beats supplied to you by pop music’s most generic producer. Don’t expect much from this album otherwise you’ll be sorely disappointed, but I’m sure her army of fans called the “swifties” will try to convince everyone this failed attempt was actually decent. Full Review »