Which Taylor era is truly her best? Our writers battle it out in the ultimate war!
Speak Now (2010)
Whip out your cowboy hat, boots and fiddle out because Taylor Swift’s Speak Now era screams “yeehaw”. Before I delve into the amazing artistry of this era, I want everyone to know that this album was written entirely by Swift, and that the album is about confessions; love and confessions.
Speak Now features the best love song of all time, ‘Mine’, which was later covered by Santana on Glee. The track is a story about a girl who is scared of falling in love due to her parents failed marriage, I truthfully cannot relate to the song in anyway shape or form but it still hurts my feelings and makes me cry. It’s definitely going to be my wedding song, it’s completely country and massively powerful.
Swift also rebirthed rock and roll in ‘Better Than Revenge’, a song which is rumoured to be about actress Camilla Belle, who stole Joe Jonas’ heart whilst he was with Swift. This song is reminiscent of 2000s teen movie soundtracks, its full of rage and aggression, it’s a different side to Swift that her other eras rarely tap into.
It feels generic saying it but we can’t deny that folklore is Taylor Swift at her music-writing heights. Written during the lockdown and possibly one of the most intimate and story-driven albums of her career, it was another reinvention that just shattered all previous conceptions of her. It showcased a maturity we’d never quite glimpsed before; it was Taylor Swift writing an album that felt like it wanted to explore and celebrate music as a whole. While tonally it was a refreshing break from Swift’s previous discography, at its heart was the Taylor Swift that we all know and love, just better than ever. Songs contained beautiful poignancy whether that be ‘exile or ‘my tears ricochet’, there’s some of that later Swift attitude no-nonsense approach in ‘mad woman’, ballads to serenade you through the night like ‘cardigan’ and ‘hoax’ and even more singer-songwriter pop classics in ‘the 1’ and ‘the last great american dynasty’. Basically, Swift took her extensive career and merged it all into one while branching out musically – it isn’t the black sheep of her discography, its the matriarch of her discography, and you don’t want to mess with folklore because of it.
Whether you love or hate Taylor Swift, deep down, even if known to no-one but yourself, you are a lover of Reputation. If an album could win a Nobel peace prize, Reputation would be first on the list for bringing together both lovers and haters of Miss Swift. Unless you’re a Kanye West fan that is (insert sick emoji). Swift quite literally defined pettiness with this album, taking a shady snake emojis subtweet from Kim Kardashian and turning it into a globally renowned pop revenge album. Aside from the behind-the-scenes drama, Reputation features some of Swift’s best work, she serves us rock and pop anthems with ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ to ‘Don’t Blame Me’, sexy songs such as ‘Dress’, and of course some romance in ‘Delicate’, ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘New Year’s Day’. It combines all the best aspects of Swift, and without it we wouldn’t have the Reputation Tour film, so I rest my case – Reputation is Taylor Swift’s most superior era.