America’s country sweetheart has officially grown up. The release of 1989 already has Taylor Swift pegged as the first artist to hit No. 1 in 2014, and it isn’t without reason. Since her debut self-titled release in 2006, Swift has been smashing the charts, putting out singles that shoot her straight to the top. 1989 has already seen “Shake It Off” at No. 1 worldwide, and that’s only the album’s first single. Such huge, popular tracks can dominate an album, leaving the lesser-known to be forgotten. This is a shame, since a lot of them are much more lyrically intricate than the singles. From country-classics to pure, unfiltered pop, here are the most underrated Taylor Swift album fillers:
“Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)”: From the days of innocent Tim McGraw loving Taylor Swift, this track is an adorable love story based on the relationship of her neighbours. A pretty, self-contained gem from her country days. “I’ll be 87 you’ll be 89, I’ll still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky, oh my my my.” Hold back the tears, everybody.
“Cold As You”: Angst. Angst. Angst. An example of the many melancholic tracks from her debut, “Cold As You” is full of the raw honesty you’d expect from a teenage song-writer. “So I start a fight ‘cause I need to feel something!” Lyrics like this make us wonder who dared to break 16-year-old Swift’s heart.
“Stay Beautiful”: One of the more uplifting Taylor Swift tracks, “Stay Beautiful” sees a young Swift pouring her heart out. It’s full of country tones, and is a thousand miles from the pop megastar who gave us 1989. Whoever “Corey” is, he’s a lucky man.
“The Other Side of the Door”: Taken from Swift’s sophomore album Fearless, this track is reminiscent of that first big fight with your partner. She really hits the nail on the head on how we all want it to end. “All I really want is you to stand outside my window throwing pebbles screaming ‘I’m in love with you!’” Swift is a talented story teller, and no track better illustrates it than this.
“Fearless”: Her second album’s namesake, “Fearless,” is another trip into the life of a love-struck teenager. It’s beautifully optimistic, telling the whimsical tale that became characteristic of Swift’s earlier work. But being released at the time when Swift was edging away from her Shania Twain influences, “Fearless” is more easily acknowledged as a pop track. “I don’t know how it gets better than this, you take my hand and drag me headfirst, fearless.”
“The Best Day”: A tribute to Swift’s mother, this track is incredibly nostalgic. It’s a narrative of growing up, and to anyone over the age of 18, it’s just a little too relatable. “I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall / I know you’re not scared of anything at all.” It has a very similar tone to her later release “Never Grow Up,” conveying the panic of getting older that anyone in their early 20s has been through.
“Long Live”: This is an anthem. A track dedicated to the people Swift worked with on tour and in the studio. It’s lyrically very powerful, creating an ode to those who never give up. “’Cause for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world.”
“Enchanted”: Speak Now was when Swift really started showing off her vocal abilities, and this track underlines it wonderfully. It’s back to the fairytale-esque love story, filled with ethereal lyrics, and no one call pull it off better than Taylor Swift. “I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew, I was enchanted to meet you.”
“Stay Stay Stay”: Comical and feel good, Swift really hit the mark with this one. It’s just as good as Red’s singles, with an undeniably catchy chorus that could have given “22” a run for its money. It really is a shame this one never got much radio play.
“State of Grace”: The opener to Swift’s 2012 release Red, this track is much more abstractly structured than anything we’ve seen before. “State of Grace” is dreamy, drum-powered, and extremely atypical of Swift’s previous work. It’s lyrically flawless, kicking off a much more pop-focused album with an indie inspired bang.
Bonus track: “Wonderland”: Although we can’t yet judge which 1989 tracks will be overlooked, let’s hope that “Wonderland” isn’t. Taking some inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, Swift sounds a little like her buddy Lorde in this track. It’s full of powerful vocals, thought-inspiring lyrics, and could very easily climb to the top of the charts.