“Are we out of the woods yet?” is more than just the catchy hook that leads Taylor Swift’s latest release from the highly anticipated 1989, it resonates as the biggest question on her lips right now. After the apparent shock-horror that was ‘Shake It Off’, is Swift out of the woods when it comes to the controversial rebranding of her image and sound? ‘Swifties’ across the globe have been trying to come to terms with Swift’s recent bombshell that she is abandoning her beloved Country roots in favour of a more distinctively Pop sound, because, in her words, “if you chase two rabbits, you lose them both”. And after witnessing the aftermath of the immensely successful, sassy, ironic-self-deprecating, supremely catchy ‘Shake It Off’, it’s clear to see that Swift has not done herself a disservice in deciding to put all of her eggs in to one basket.
Out of The Woods is, as anticipated, keeping to Swift’s desire to incorporate 80s Pop influences into her fifth album. We have already experienced dubstep in Swift’s music so surely this is taking a comfortable step back? The shock factor has been and gone and now Swift can finally settle into her own sound without the pressure of what she set up to be expected of her since 2006. After putting up with mountains of gratuitous criticism about her habit of writing songs about relationships (name an artist who isn’t writing about relationships), Swift has declared that this new era she is stepping in to will be one rooted in happiness and self-awareness rather than devastating heartbreak. However, she is not completely abandoning the autobiographical love songs. Out of The Woods is a reminiscent track about not knowing where you stand in a relationship and the anxieties that come alongside that. The track is built on a strong foundation of classic punchy 80s gated reverb drums and buzzing synths. The chorus is simple and repetitive but is infectious and memorable. Be prepared to have “areweoutofthewoodsyetareweoutofthewoodsyetareweoutofthewoodsyet” running rings in your head all day. Despite this new sound, the verses and bridge revert back to Swift’s emblematic autobiographical song-writing style, and dish details which help point fingers in the right direction to who the song is about. In this case, it’s the infamous Harry Styles- a familiar subject of Swift’s songs. She has subsequently been criticised by people such as Olly Murs who urged her to stop writing about Harry, but unfortunately, Taylor couldn’t hear Olly over the noise of having dropped all seven of her grammys.
1989 is out on the 28th October.