Taylor Swift’s 1989—A Transformation into the World of Pop Music
By Maggie Cornejo
Taylor Swift’s newest album leaves many fans wondering—is she a country or a pop artist? While many wish that Swift would return to her country genre, others are pleasantly surprised with her new music. The album starts out with a catchy tune, “Welcome to New York,” which became a hit right when it was released, before the whole album hit stores. It is almost reminiscent to Madonna’s “I Like New York””, with an electronic sound. Some tracks on the album tend to be taken to the extreme in an attempt to distinguish her new sound of pop— like “Bad Blood” and “Out of the Woods.” The sound is different in that the album does not include as many slow and romantic songs, instead more upbeat and pop songs.
Since this is her first album that is completely pop, it is understandable that some tracks are a little too much for the genre, but there is only room for improvement—Swift is constantly working on new music. She did write all of the tracks on 1989, many with co-producers Max Martin and Shellback.
The new album also retains the sound of her old albums in the songs “Clean” and “This Love.” Her old sound did not feature as many catchy dance tunes, and are definitely not as long as previous albums. These are two songs that are not as full of pop and give old-school Swift fans some favorites about romance. The album 1989 is definitely a significant transformation, but Swift made a smooth one and still pleased fans with a mix of catchy beats, like “All You Had to Do Was Stay” and rebellious hits like “Blank Space.”
New Stefani Album Due in 2015
By Vanessa Bliss
After almost nine years, pop singer Gwen Stefani is finally releasing a new album in early 2015. The title of the album hasn’t been revealed yet, but the first single from it is called “Baby Don’t Lie”. It can now be purchased on iTunes and the music video can be seen on YouTube now. I was very excited when I found out about the song and album because I am huge fan of Gwen Stefani. I love both her solo work and No Doubt. She has the most amazing fashion empire. However, as much as I don’t want to say this, I was not very impressed with “Baby Don’t Lie”. I felt like the song did not have much to it, and it felt slightly repetitive to me.
One of the main reasons I love Gwen Stefani is that she is not afraid to take risks with her music. When No Doubt was big in the ’90s and early 2000s, Stefani was unusual in that there were not too many girls in the skate punk music scene. Something also very different that she did was in her hit single “Rich Girl” a part of a song from Fiddler on the Roof was sampled. With “Baby Don’t Lie,” however, it felt as if Stefani was playing it a little too safe, and it reminded me of something Jennifer Lopez or Shakira would sing. Not that either of those singers are bad, but I would like it better if Gwen Stefani put out a song that didn’t remind me of anyone else, something that I’d listen to that would make me say, “Only Gwen could pull that off.” With that being said, I still love Gwen Stefani, and I trust that all the other songs on her new album will be better than this one. At the very least, “Baby Don’t Lie” has a good beat that you can dance to.
Mary Lambert Is One to Watch
By Vanessa Bliss
Mary Lambert may be new to the pop scene, but she is definitely one to watch. She collaborated with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on the hit song “Same Love,” and she is performing in 94.7 Fresh FM’s “Not So Silent Night” w/ Train, Matt Nathanson at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Dec. 15. Her first song “Secrets” off her debut album Heart on My Sleeve proves that she will definitely become a huge star very soon. “Secrets” is a fun, feel good and honest song that is a nice breath of fresh air in a world where most hit songs are about drinking and partying. In the song, Mary Lambert lists different issues she has, like certain fears and even being bipolar, yet she keeps the mood of the song light and positive. I love this song’s message: that everyone has a battle they are fighting, yet it is nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t define you. It is the kind of song that all different kinds of people can relate to, which I really appreciate because that is a difficult thing to do with music. Overall, I cannot say enough good things about the song and Mary Lambert. Even if you are not very interested in pop music (much like myself, who pretty much only listens to punk rock), you will probably be able to appreciate the songs’ message and its upbeat feel will probably put you in a good mood.