“1989” is Taylor Swift’s best business decision

Gillian Allen, Writer

Critics wasted no time in attacking mega-star Taylor Swift’s fifth album “1989” that was released on Oct. 27. Unfortunately, these critiques will find themselves lost amongst a sea of praise and approval from the teenage generation.

Swift has come a long way from writing songs about the heartbreakers and mean girls of high school and has developed a deeper insight into love and human relationships in general. “1989” is a statement of the star’s maturity: she has grown up from the world of fairytales and princess gowns and recognizes that band-aids don’t fix bullet holes, and sometimes you have to walk away. However, there has been an obvious shift from the from the country-singing, girl-next-door to the synthesized characteristic of pop music, and because of this critics are scolding Swift for conforming to the dreaded mainstream genre of pop music.

For any Swift fan who’s loved her since her “Teardrops on My Guitar” days, it is clear that she’s been traveling farther away from her Nashville roots and shaping her style into a more contemporary pop one. With her 2012 album “Red,” Swift experimented with dubstep and dance pop with tracks “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22.” However, “Red” was her best selling album before “1989” with first-week sales of 1.21 million copies. Despite the fact that this album was clearly more pop than her previous ones, it managed to sell significantly more copies in the first week than all of her other albums. With these numbers, how can anyone argue that Swift’s transition into pop is worth shaming?

Swift’s business strategies are admirable: she knows what her audience wants and she gives it to them. “1989,” Swift’s most pop album yet, has already sold thousands of copies, and it has only been out for a few days. It is bound to be more successful as time goes on. Swift has realized that pop music has the largest audience and sells the best, therefore this album is the best business decision the singer could have made. She might be conforming to the mainstream style of radio pop, but isn’t that the goal of the music industry, to make songs that a wide audience can enjoy and spend money on?

The teenage generation grew up with Taylor Swift just as she grew up in her career. Many teens have been listening to Swift since her first album was released when she was 17 and grew up watching Swift blossom as an artist on the path to success. Swift has also grown significantly from the 17-year-old, acoustic-strumming, girl-next-door to the 24-year-old adult playing shows for millions of fans on world tours. Maybe the transition to pop music was part of her growing up because she finally realized that this could bring her the most success. She became a strategic businesswoman with a net worth of about $200 million. Obviously, Swift must be doing something right, and she deserves to make whatever kind of music she wants, even if it resembles the more mainstream pop we’re accustomed to hearing.