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Taylor Swift: Is her album '1989' a successful move to pop?

Swift's new album won't be released until Oct. 27, but reviews are already coming in. Though many reviewers note that her previous work had more than a tinge of pop to it, the singer announced that '1989' is her official move to the genre from country.

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    Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2014.
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Taylor Swift’s new album “1989” isn’t coming out until Oct. 27, but fans have already heard some of the songs off the album and some critics have already weighed in. 

Songs such as “Shake It Off,” “Out of the Woods,” and “Welcome to New York” have already made their debut – the music video for “Shake” premiered as Swift announced her new album during a Yahoo livestream on Aug. 18. During the livestream, Swift called “1989” her “first documented, official pop album.”

The singer spoke more about the upcoming album recently in an interview with Billboard

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“This time I'm kind of just doing whatever I feel like,” Swift said. “I felt like making a pop album, so I did. I felt like being very honest and unapologetic about it, so I did… This album was made completely and solely on my terms, with no one else's opinion factoring in, no one else's agenda factoring in. I didn't feel that I was having to think too hard about the musical direction. In the past, I've always tried to make sure that I was maintaining a stronghold on two different genres, and this time I just had to think about one, which was creatively a relief. It was nice to be honest about what I was making.” 

The album is getting mainly positive reviews from the critics who have weighed in ahead of its release. Jon Caramanica of the New York Times wrote that “1989” is “full of expertly constructed, slightly neutered songs about heartbreak… breezily effective… ‘Welcome to New York’ [is] a shimmery, if slightly dim celebration of the freedom of getting lost in Gotham.” 

Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield wrote, “The best moments come toward the end [with] ‘How You Get the Girl’… ‘This Love’… [and] the killer finale, ‘Clean’… [it’s] deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic.”

USA Today critic Elysa Gardner awarded it three-and-a-half out of four stars.

“On 1989, she matches deceptively simple, irresistibly catchy melodies with lyrics that can seem by turns confessional and elusive, playful and aching,” she wrote.

However, Entertainment Weekly writer Adam Markovitz gave the new album a B, writing that “too often on 1989 [Swift is] trying to win at somebody else's game, whittling her words down to generic love stuff over flowy synthesizers” and found the song “Welcome to New York” to be “underripe,” though he called “Shake It Off” “kinetic” and wrote that “'’I Wish You Would’ and '’Out of the Woods’ [are] ballads with driving beats that complement her cinematic verses.”

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