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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

How Taylor Swift has evolved over the years

Photo courtesy of Stylecaster.com
Grammy award winning singer-song writer Taylor Swift has been in the music game since her debut in 2006. Swift has release 10 albums since her debut.

Taylor Swift. Blondie. Tay Tay. Whatever name you know her by, you’ve definitely heard of the 11-time Grammy winner and versatile artist Taylor Swift. She’s been climbing charts ever since her debut album in 2006 with familiar hits such as “Love Story,” “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space.” But, how did she go from a 16-year-old writing songs in her bedroom to a multi-award-winning artist?

2006: “Taylor Swift”
Although born in Wyomissing, PA, Swift eventually moved with her family to Hendersonville, TN to further her career. She released her self-titled debut country album at just 16, with “Our Song” staying at No. 1 for six weeks and earning a spot in the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Other notable songs on the album include “Teardrops On My Guitar,” “Picture To Burn” and “Tim McGraw.”

2008: “Fearless”
As an 18-year-old teen sensation, Swift released her sophomore album. Even today, “Fearless” remains the most awarded country album of all time. “Love Story” is the album’s hit song, with instantly recognizable opening lyrics and building guitar progressions that are widely adored by Swifties. The album captures the heartbreaks, passion and nostalgia of high school years.

2010: “Speak Now”
Swift’s third album includes several hits, including “Mine,” “Sparks Fly” and “Mean.” The album is composed of 14 songs that reflect her artistic maturity: for example, the album’s hit single, “Mine,” is a golden example of Swift’s master storytelling and unforgettable melody building. This was the album that originally got me hooked on Taylor. I remember unwrapping my Easter presents in kindergarten and screaming when I saw the purple dress-clad Swift on the plastic CD cover. So am I a little biased when it comes to this album? Maybe.

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2012: “Red”
Swift’s simply-titled fourth album is anything but, with red reflecting the complex whirlwind of emotions she felt during the album’s conception. The songs reflect “red” emotions with a healthy dose of good-for-the-soul breakup anthems. Swift’s vocals, storytelling and songwriting progression shine through in her powerful and vulnerable lyrics.

2014: “1989”
Swift made her sparkling pop debut with her fifth album, which is filled with driving-with-the-windows-down-screaming-the-words worthy songs such as “Style” and “Welcome to New York.” It earned Swift another three Grammys, including Album of the Year, making her the first woman to win the award twice and the first person to win the award in both pop and country.

2017: “Reputation”
This bold and cutthroat sixth album was a reinvention period for Swift that included hits such as “Ready For It?” and “Look What You Made Me Do.” The album rotates around themes of defiance and confidence and is chock-full of aggressive lyrics signaling Swift’s new attitude. Like many other women in the entertainment industry, Swift has battled all sorts of hate throughout her career; this album sets fire to each of these notions as an empowering symbol of rebirth and perseverance.

2019: “Lover”
Swift’s lucky number is 13, so it’s only fitting that “Lover,” released 13 years after her debut, is her most free-spirited and colorful album and reflects her full-circle growth. Songs throughout the album nod towards her flourishing into a more private lifestyle, fighting for LGBTQ+ and women’s rights and struggling with her mother’s battle with cancer. “Lover’s” songs serve as tender messages of solidarity and love.

2020: “folklore”
Written and recorded remotely in quarantine, “folklore” marks the most recent progression in Swift’s career. Breaking out of the pop genre, this was Swift’s strong debut to the alternative/folk world. The album won Swift her third Album of The Year at the Grammys, making her the first female artist and third artist to ever win this award three times. Swift’s storytelling skills shine through in the love-triangle narrative told in “cardigan,” “betty” and “august.”

2021: “evermore”
As if surprise-dropping one album during quarantine wasn’t enough, Swift hit us again five months later with “evermore,” the sister album to “folklore.” Following the same alt/folk style, her storytelling talent is clear in songs like “no Body, no Crime” and “champagne problems.” Her growth is evident in the album’s lyrics and vocals; after years of movement and obstacles, she’s finally found her niche in her work.

2021: “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”
Swift’s most recent album is a re-recording of her sophomore album that includes unreleased songs from the vault. Swift’s progress and maturity can be heard in the songs, a touching reflection on her career and discography. Though her several albums are all different, they share one common ground: growth is a long and personal process, and finding your passion and place is the endgame.

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About the Contributor
Catherine Prado
Catherine Prado, Print Feature Editor
Senior Catherine Prado is very excited for her first year working on the Pitch as a Print Feature Editor! Aside from writing, Catherine loves music, film, travel, and is attempting (attempting) to learn guitar.
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