Taylor Swift has been chasing “two rabbits,” as she called the choices of country and pop music, since 2006. In an interview with USA Today, Swift said, among other things, that if two rabbit are chased, “at some point you end up losing them both.” So, at least for now, the Shake It Off singer has decided to pursue the “rabbit” of pop music.
With the release of 1989 on Monday, Taylor Swift’s first album that is entirely pop, she is issuing a statement to the rest of the pop world that she intends to dominate it just as she has dominated the country music genre with best-selling albums like Red. In the genre of country music, Swift has won seven Grammys, six ACM’s, and eleven AMA’s, among many others. This year, Swift was named Billboard Woman of the Year.
With some of the more pop-sounding songs on Red, Taylor Swift said in USA Today that she began “naturally gravitating toward this ’80s synth-pop-influenced sound.” She definitely continued chasing the “rabbit” of pop music with 1989.
According to fun.’s Jack Antonoff, when it came to making 1989, Taylor Swift was always about “taking chances” and “being unafraid.” Antonoff collaborated on two tracks with Swift from 1989, I Wish You Would and Out of the Woods.
The first song released off of 1989, the infectious ear-candy that is Shake It Off, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in August. According to Nielsen SoundScan, since then, it has sold 2.5 million downloads. The second song to debut off of the album, Out of the Woods, sold the most downloads last week. The third song off of the album, Welcome to New York, came out this week and will likely also follow suite in doing well with Swift’s legions of fans.
According to Billboard, 1989 might sell anywhere from 800,000 to 900,000 copies in its first week. The album could very well hit the 1 million mark in sales during its second week out of the gate. No album that has been released thus far in 2014 has come close to equaling that amount. The Frozen soundtrack, though, which was released in 2013, sold 3.5 million albums this year.
Taylor Swift does not see her move towards pop music as a forsaking of country music. However, she has stated that when her hit, I Knew You Were Trouble, was number one on the Billboard pop charts for six weeks, it should have served as “a bit of a signal flare,” to her fans that she was considering pursuing pop music to a greater extent in the near future.
Swift admitted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show (it will air Monday, Oct. 27), that she has two major fears, one being of sea urchins and the second of being framed for a crime like murder. She thinks of sea urchins as being “like a grenade” just sitting around, “waiting to completely injure you,” as she put it.
The Out of the Woods songstress believes that if the spines and barbs are not removed quickly enough, a person could lose a foot or a hand. She probably meant that is one possibility, if an infection sets in. Ellen tried to tell Swift that the worse thing that could happen would be that the spines might “cause swelling and redness,” if they punctured a person, but that did not lessen Swift’s fear towards sea urchins.
Taylor Swift also mentioned to Ellen how easy it would be for someone to set her up and frame her, resulting in her being sent to prison. She explained to Ellen that the fear might arise from the fact that the media makes up all sorts of stories about her and other celebs all of the time, and millions of people believe what they read. Her fear is that at least some fans might believe she committed murder, if the story reported in the media seemed to be plausible enough.
Both of Swift’s last two albums, Speak Now (2010) and Red (2012), sold more than 1 million copies during their first weeks out in stores. Assuming 1989 also sells over a million copies during its first week out, it will become Swift’s third album to have accomplished this feat since 1991, when SoundScan began keeping such records, according to Billboard.
Taylor Swift has stated that she will stick with pop music, though she has a record of two-year cycles when it comes to music. Swift seems to succeed at whatever musical genre she has tried, so perhaps she will eventually switch at some point in the future back to her country music roots. Or, maybe she might pursue an entirely different genre of music, just because she is Taylor Swift, and can.
Written By Douglas Cobb