What Everyone Is Saying About Taylor Swift's '1989'

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 19:  Recording artist Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival at t
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 19: Recording artist Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Is this the first time we've ever actually anticipated a Monday? After reading the early reviews, we assume you'd rather bypass Saturday and Sunday so we can begin arguing the merits of Taylor Swift's new album. Because the reviews are mostly glowing. As in, this-is-the-second-coming glowing. Yes, it's going to be a long weekend. Try to enjoy it as much as possible. To make you even more envious, we've compiled the (mostly) wonderful things critics are saying about "1989" so far.

1. "By making pop with almost no contemporary references, Ms. Swift is aiming somewhere even higher, a mode of timelessness that few true pop stars — aside from, say, Adele, who has a vocal gift that demands such an approach — even bother aspiring to. Everyone else striving to sound like now will have to shift gears once the now sound changes. But not Ms. Swift, who’s waging, and winning, a new war, one she’d never admit to fighting." -- Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

2. "At her best (2010's 'Dear John,' 2012's 'All Too Well'), she's the most vivid songwriter of her generation, able to summon the storm clouds of every heartbreak you've ever had with one couplet and then sweep them away with another. But too often on '1989' she's trying to win at somebody else's game, whittling her words down to generic love stuff over flowy synthesizers. That's because pop, as a musical genre, is most precisely defined by what it isn't: not country, not rock, and not rap. Swift isn't any of those, but she isn't 100 percent pop, either — she's still too unique, too identifiably herself." -- Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly

3. "Executive-produced by Swift and [Max Martin], two of the all-time biggest hitmakers, the LP could have been an overstuffed Frankenstein of battling ideas. But instead it's Swift's best work -- a sophisticated pop tour de force that deserves to be as popular commercially as with Robyn-worshipping bloggers; an album that finds Swift meeting Katy and Miley and Pink on their home turf and staring them down." -- Jem Aswad, Billboard

4. "Swift breaks with the past, skirting victimhood and takedowns of maddening exes, critics and romantic competitors. Instead, there’s a newfound levity. Not only is Swift in on the joke; she also relishes it." -- Sam Lansky, TIME

5. "As a songwriter, Swift has a keen grasp both of her audience and of pop history. She avoids the usual hollow platitudes about self-empowerment and meaningless aspirational guff about the VIP area in the club in favor of Springsteenesque narratives of escape and the kind of doomed romantic fatalism in which 60s girl groups dealt." -- Alexis Petridis, The Guardian

6. "A mere seven weeks from her 25th birthday, Swift has put out an album that, in substance, seems more regressive, teenage and girlish than ever. However radio-savvy and hook-obsessed it may be, it’s her flightiest and least substantial work to date. Which is saying something." -- Jim Farber, New York Daily News

7. "'1989' is Swift's declaration of independence from the country music industry that inspired and nurtured her, but was never really a natural home. Always more of a pop singer/songwriter at heart, she teams with expert tunesmiths in that genre — in addition to Martin, Shellback, Ryan Tedder and Jack Antonoff — to craft songs that, as the title suggests, nod to a previous era, when the term electro-pop didn't evoke the R&B- and club-based grooves of EDM." -- Elysa Gardner, USA Today

8. "Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, '1989' sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she's ever tried before. And yes, she takes it to extremes. Are you surprised? This is Taylor Swift, remember?" -- Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

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