An Ode To Miss Swift’s Songcraft

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Talking about music, it has been a part of my morning rituals listening to some favourites beside a cup of coffee. I’m easy, I listen to any genres as long as its sweet and easy listening (mostly pop, of course, heavy metal? perhaps the only genre I won’t bother to listen to). According to my true self ~ this may sound overrated ~ I’m more into Ed Sheeran’s music. I just love how he creates songs that could touch any souls (Divide is my fav album of him, so far). I’m not going to write about Sheeran on this post but praising Miss Swift. If you read the reason behind all my online accounts named Ayiswift here, Swift isn’t really for Taylor Swift yet perhaps this time around, I won’t bother if it does just to show how much I adore her talent on songwriting. I don’t read celebrity news anymore (I did, ages ago) but from Twitter, I do read some flash news about popular human beings sometimes. Miss Swift, from the snake emoji from wellknown worldwide feud until giant snakes appeared everywhere on her Reputation tour, she shows us how to cleverly build a castle from the bricks they threw at you.

I have a playlist in my iPhone called “Taylor’s Masterpieces” where I gather 5 top songs from her each album and some released singles. I have no idea how often I play them in the air because truly, she is an amazing singer and songwriter. I have all her albums in my iPhone excluding her first debut, well I actually can put more than 5 songs from each album right?

Before I share which album is the best, in my opinion, I’d love to start with thirteen top songs she has ever released till date (why thirteen? isn’t her lucky number is 13? That’s what I know from social media. This list is inspired by an article by Rob Sheffield on Rolling Stone)

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Lasst uns beginnen!

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13  //  I’m a Nightmare Dressed Like a Daydream

We could count that particular lyric as a triumph of songwriting as most of the credible music critics praised Blank Space. Well, you must agree that nothing beats Miss Swift for her creativity on this song even though Thinking Out Loud took the trophy as Song Of The Year at Grammy, the same night when she became the first woman won Album Of The Year twice. That was a crazy night. She won the highest trophy when she was in country music and got one again when she created a pop album.


12  //  We Never Go Out of Style

Without mentioning how artistic the clip is, Style never fails to lift my mood up in the morning. It is such a perfect sophisticated song dedicated to imagining a dream of passing the California endless coast in an open vintage car in summer with a style when the sun disappears below the horizon.


11  //  No, There is Nothing Good Starts in a Getaway Car

All of her fans were wondering why she didn’t release Getaway Car as a single in reputation, most of them have been asking for a music video too, to complete the epic story behind one of the best tracks in the record. She built a cheating love story in a very smart and classy way along with Jack Antonoff. As I admire how both of them came out with the damn-I-love bridge on a creative writing session, I also admire how dark Getaway Car sounds from the intro.


10  //  Remember When We Couldn’t Take The Heat?

It’s weird but genius. I also love the idea behind the music video directed by Joseph Khan. I must admit the first time I listened to Out Of The Woods I didn’t really like the song, I was still trying to figure out how clever the idea behind the songwriting, how the chaotic love story was. But in the end, I must admit this particular song ages like wine. The best live version? when she performed with piano at Grammy Museum, it was deep, it was fragile. It was a magical version indeed which made me realised how her genius brain could turn the same song into a deeper love song.


9  //  I Love The Riddles that You Speak

Ours is a kind of simple romantic song yet cleverly done. The strength is on the lyrics, only an acoustic guitar is enough to let it resonance beautifully in the air. Ours teaches you that people throw rocks on the thing that shines which makes love looks hard but in the end, they can’t judge just because they have no clue how beautiful your love actually is.


8  //  My Thoughts Will Echo Your Name, Until I See You Again

Enchanted is definitely my favourite track in her self-written album, Speak Now. It’s romantic, charming, and sweet. I fall in love with the bridge as she never fails writing beautiful song bridges indeed.


7  //  They Took The Crown but It’s Alright

I’ve read what the co-writer behind Call It What You Want, Jack Antonoff, wrote when the song was just released, “Use your earpieces on midnight walk when listening to this song”. I tried once when I was walking back to my hostel in Hong Kong at 2 am. He was damn right, the song turned to be more magical.


6  //  I Don’t Wanna Miss You Like This

If you never know this song, it’s also written by Dan Wilson, the same magic hand behind Someone Like You performed by Adele. I find this song is vulnerable but in a very artsy way. It catches my attention first time the rhythm and the lines “Taxi cabs and busy streets, that never bring you back to me”, and “But you’re in London, and I break down, cause it is not fair that you are not around”. Although it’s never been released as a single from Red, it’s one of the best tracks from the deluxe version which she performed live for the very first time during the reputation world tour in Toronto, Canada, 2018.


5  //  Isn’t It? Isn’t It? Isn’t It?

Delicate’s one of the top tracks from reputation (I’ll be confused if you ask me which will I pick for the best between Delicate or Getaway Car). The music video is gorgeously executed even there was a rumour it looks similar to Kenzo ads. She’s well known for Easter eggs in every clip but the message behind Delicate is just stunning even without those eggs you need to find. My favourite part is the bridge, “Sometimes I wonder when you sleep, are you ever dreaming of me” , oh wait, this one too: “Sometimes when I look into your eyes, I pretend you’re mine all the damn time” I have one more: a whole song.


4  //  Everyday is Like A Battle, but Every Night with Us is Like A Dream

This one is also in my “Morning Booster” playlist. One of the best from 1989, I’ll repeat ONE OF THE BEST SONGS IN 1989, PERIODAAAAH. It’s the single and the way I love the music video which shows how magical attending her live stadium tour. You’d agree with me after looking at the endless ocean of crowds with those light sticks glittering. It must be an experience for everyone who has attended the tour, I hope I’ll get to attend at least once someday.


3  //  I Don’t Want Keep Secrets Just To Keep You, And I

I remember I once woke up in the sunny morning when Lover was officially released. I was still laying on the bed and my iPhone was automatically downloading the entire album as I did the pre-order. When it had finished, I reached my earphones and suddenly like, “THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE BEST!”, right after I listened to the first chorus. It’s an excellent bop from Taylor, Jack and St. Vincent which in my opinion I do not really need everyone’s approval to claim as the best song in her seventh album.


2  //  But On a Wednesday, in a Cafe I Watched it Begin Again

Okay, I admit it’s quite hard selecting her songs by how beautiful the lyrics are but my number two from her best would always be Begin Again. I mean, let me make it clearer. Paris, cafe, Leica, subtle morning sun, pastry and coffee in the music video, how could I love the whole scenes? How could you not love this timeless country song?


1  //  Cause I Remember it All, All, All

There is only one word to describe All Too Well: masterpiece. Everything about the song is perfect. The songcraft is something else, the details on the lyrics are brilliant. I didn’t know before that refrigerator light in the dark could be so romantic until I heard the line of “We’re dancing around the kitchen in a refrigerator light.” Only a genius could create that out-of-the-box lyric kind of. Every line shows the fragility of brokenhearted of losing someone in a very, really, I lost word to describe it any more.

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To understand Taylor Swift’s stardom, you have to start from a beautiful country track titled Tim McGraw from her first debut. I admit I started from Fearless, that was like ten years ago in a small office I worked as jewellery conceptor. There was one colleague of mine who loved to play You Belong With Me from a speaker placed at the corner of the room. I had no clue who Taylor Swift was until I copied a whole mp3 songs in Fearless from another colleague whose sister had a deluxe CD. Well, I wasn’t into country music then. It was just because I loved to have it for my music collection.

As of today, I praise Fearless as one of the best country albums of all time. I love to see how her transformation grows in each era which is impressively conceptualised. After watching some of her world tour videos and interviews on YouTube, I came to realize that Miss Swift is such a hard-working artist, out of the box thinking person, always craves for something best, and she’s (this is just an honest opinion, you can’t trust what media said right?) such a super kind. I adore how she controls her creative license on music, her ideas on how people said bad things about her and turned to be something could slap them back with Grammys. Isn’t that cool?

Before I end this post, I’ll rank all of the released albums excluding her debut based on my preferred taste from 1 to 6. Also, seven top tracks in each album including the ones mentioned above.

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#1 Red

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1989 is no doubt an outstanding record, but my highest appraisal is dedicated to Red: stunning, monumental, a timeless record. I fell in love on how wide the love spectrum was captured in the album through different romantic states. And in my humble opinion, her best songwriting so far was in Red.

Best tracks from deluxe version: Come Back Be Here, Red, All Too Well, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Begin Again, The Moment I Knew, State Of Grace (Acoustic).

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#2 1989

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If everyone has the most favourite record of hers so far, mine is 1989 Deluxe. For me, the album is genius, classic, and chic. I love the fact that the world success of this album also made her as the first woman to receive Album of The Year twice at Grammy 2016. She definitely nailed everything in 1989 from the aesthetic till “Trust me, mine is better”.

Best tracks: Style, Blank Space, Clean, Out Of The Woods, New Romantics, Shake It Off, Wildest Dream.

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#3 reputation

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She showed us a bold statement, “Sit down and watch me” vibe, badass-side and the dark version of used-to-be-a-sweet-American-dream-girl in reputation. The world was shocked when she erased all her online platform and came back with Look What You Made Me Do. Most of the music critics didn’t really praise her songwriting in LWYMMD, but for me, it is a powerful come-back track which the longer you listen to it, the more you’ll understand she is not an average artist. She is big. She is powerful. She is unstoppable.

Best tracks: Delicate, Dancing With Our Hands Tied, Dress, I Did Something Bad, Getaway Car, Call It What You Want, End Game.

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#4 Fearless

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Her stardom raised in fame from Fearless, an important record in the country music history. Her success in this album with no doubt was because of her songcraft, her honest fairy love stories, and the fact that she successfully brought country music to the younger audience. A record with bunch of no-skip gems from the fragile Come In With The Rain until her sweetest lyrics in The Best Day, I put Fearless as one of my favorite country albums ever along with Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves.

Best tracks (platinum edition): Fearless, The Best Day, You Belong With Me, Love Story, Come In With The Rain, Untouchable, Forever & Always (piano version).

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#5 Lover

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People had different opinions when she dropped Me! as the lead single of Lover which most of them thought why in capital letters where there is Cruel Summer in it. You might think Me! sounds so childish and garish, don’t count Hey Kids! perhaps it makes it worse, but for me, it is a fun song. Lover is a romantic record where you could listen to her most-honest side, it’s raw in a certain point, plus one of the most beautiful bridges she has ever written in a song titled the same with the album– in my honest opinion –, Lover is a love celebration in every angle, from her shiny love story, her voice for the LGBT community, to a hint of Saint Tropez, it is her most mature record till date.

Best tracks: Cruel Summer, False God, Afterglow, Lover, The Man, Cornelia Street (the live version in Paris is something else!), London Boy.

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#6 Speak Now

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I had a fickle heart to choose Lover or Speak Now for the last one because there are bunch of favorite songs in an album where she wrote every single track by her own. I repeat, by her own a.k.a. Taylor Swift only. She is a genius human being who could turn mean critics to Grammy in which she has taught all of us that the best revenge to people who look down at us is our success. Period.

Best tracks: Sparks Fly, Enchanted, Back To December, Ours, Long Live, Mean, Mine.

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P.S. All Swift’s photographs were taken from different sources on Pinterest. Edited by me. Originally written and published on January 11, 2019. Being updated on June 19, 2020, as an addition to complete her latest album, Lover.

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