The Musical Evolution of Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift is a household name known for her iconic hits such as “22” and “Shake It Off” and record-shattering achievements including 3 Albums of the Year at the Grammys. However, many critics and fans do not fully appreciate the amount of effort and thought that has gone into sustaining her 15-year-long career.

“Women in entertainment are discarded in an elephant graveyard at 35,” Swift said in her documentary “Miss Americana.” “Constantly having to reinvent, constantly finding new facets of yourself that people find to be shiny.”

This quote epitomizes Swift’s career. She first emerged into the country music scene in 2006 with long blonde curls and simple guitar melodies. Her country music albums, “Taylor Swift,” “Fearless,” and “Speak Now”, are defined by her twangy accent and lovesick lyrics. However, Swift did not plan on dwelling in one genre for long.

“I have this formula for music. If I continue to write songs about my life, and my life is always changing, then my music will always be changing,” Swift said in an interview with USA Today.

Swift’s fourth album “Red” marked her entrance into the popular music world. With a sleeker, shorter hairstyle and red lipstick, she quickly settled into the pop star role. The production on her songs became more nuanced as she began singing about true heartbreak and messy love stories. Two polar opposite albums came next: “reputation,” a darker electropop album dedicated to the people who wronged her, and “Lover,” an album that chased a cotton candy pink aesthetic.

Over the pandemic, Swift released sister folk albums: “folklore” and “evermore.” These albums showcased Swift’s best lyricism yet and cemented her as not only a commercial success but also an artistic legend. Furthermore, Swift strayed away from the autobiographical lyrics that had helped her rise to fame and instead wrote about fictional stories. These albums also bypassed her usual extensive promotions, instead being surprise releases announced one day before the drop.

It seems that Swift has finally become the person she has always wanted to be: an artist creating art, without any artificial intrusions.