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Movie Reviews

Every Taylor Swift Album, Ranked According To Metacritic

Taylor Swift has dominated both country and pop charts for years. Most recently, her single “Carolina” was written specifically for the film Where The Crawdads Sing, and given Swift’s success rate, it seems likely that the song’s popularity will long outlast the film itself.

Fans are eagerly awaiting new music from the singer, with many taking guesses at which re-recorded album will be released next. On Metacritic, Swift’s recorded albums were favored by critics and reviewers, even outranking some of her studio albums.

Taylor Swift’s debut album doesn’t feature on Metacritic. However, based on reviews from critics, it seems that it would rank high on the list.

The album was praised for its mainstream sensibility and Swift’s songwriting at a young age. It topped the country charts, and some believe shaped country music as a whole. In a mixed review for PopMatters, Roger Holland said: “It’s to be hoped that when she finds both her place and her full grown voice, she’s able to find an accommodation between the country tradition and her very obvious pop sensibilities,” a comment that unknowingly predicted Swift’s future career trajectory.

reputation is Swift’s most decisive album, with fans usually either loving or hating it. It saw Swift move away from country pop and try new sounds, including Electropop and R&B. Most songs are a direct response to the media and its unrelenting focus on her personal life.

RELATED: The Best Taylor Swift Original Songs Written For Movies, Including Where The Crawdads SingCritics applauded her for the aesthetic, songwriting, and consistent theme of the album, but found issues with the brash sound. To this day, fans still debate its overall ranking out of all of Swift’s albums.

Following her debut album, Fearless focused heavily on country pop. It featured multiple traditional country instruments, including banjos, fiddles, and acoustic guitars. It focused on the theme of heartbreak, specifically Swift’s own teenage love and consequent heartache. Some of her biggest singles, including “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me”, came from this album.

It was a hit with critics and fans alike, who liked the lyrics and were beginning to note Swift’s talent for songwriting, even this early on in her career.

1989 saw Swift pivot fully into pop music after dominating country for so long. The album was named after her birth year to signify her artistic rebirth and her new direction with her career and music.

The album was both a commercial and critical success, winning Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2016 Grammys. Critics have since agreed that 1989 was essential for Swift’s hugely successful career as a pop icon, however, her artistic integrity was slightly damaged due to the intense media pressure around this album.

Regarded as her most emotional and raw album, Red saw Swift try new things with both lyrics and sound. It focused on her emotional turmoil after a heartbreak and the healing that comes after a breakup.

RELATED: Stranger Things Relationships As Taylor Swift SongsWith singles such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, the album presented itself as much more pop based on the lead singles. However, the final product was a mix of pop, country, rock, and folk, with songs ranging in length from a few minutes to longer ones hitting the 5-minute mark.

Speak Now perfectly captured Swift’s transition from teenager into young adult, with the songs dealing with more serious subjects than her previous albums.

It was the first album where Swift commented on her increasing public image and media scrutiny, something that she would later speak about in public. Critics found the album radio-friendly, albeit a little predictable with the melodies and sound. Retrospectively, it was the start of Swift’s difficult relationship with the media and the public eye.

Released after reputation, Lover was a big shift both visually and with the sound of the album. It focused heavily on Swift’s personal feelings about love, and the positive side of relationships. This was something entirely new to fans.

It was also Swift’s first time writing anything political, with songs such as “You Need To Calm Down” and “The Man”. While most critics praised the album for its emotional maturity, some found issue with the inconsistent sounds and message throughout the album.

Fearless was Swift’s first re-recorded album after the public dispute regarding the ownership of her masters. Swift has since announced that she plans to re-record all six of her previous albums to obtain full control of the works.

RELATED: 10 Rom-Coms As Taylor Swift SongsShe also released six bonus “from the Vault” songs that were excluded from the original release. Critics commented on its nostalgic feeling and Swift’s growth in vocal maturity since the original release of the album. It became the first ever re-recorded album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

evermore was Swift’s ninth studio album. Released as a surprise sister album to folklore, it focused on Swift’s exploration of lyrical storytelling based on tales and experiences that weren’t her own.

The album has been described as escapist, cottagecore-inspired, and was written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sound was also much different to her earlier albums, relying heavily on string instruments and pianos. It was acclaimed for its character studies and storytelling and was regarded as a worthy sequel to folklore.

folklore was a surprise studio album from Swift, one that she regarded as her quarantine project.

It saw a pivot away from her usual sound and lyric concepts. Instead of focusing on her own love life, she instead took inspiration from fictional characters and stories.

The album broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day on Spotify for a female act. Both fans and critics loved it, specifically citing its emotional weight, relaxed pace, and lyricism as being perfect for the time of its release in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Red (Taylor’s Version) was her second re-recorded album, and upon time of writing, her latest album release. It was much longer than the original release, coming in at 30 tracks, with 10 being previously unreleased. Much to fans’ anticipation, this album featured the 10-minute version of Swift’s international hit, “All Too Well,” which was also accompanied by a short film.

As with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), critics praised her for her vocals, maturity, and ability to capture the same essence of the album, even all these years later.

NEXT: 10 Best Easter Eggs In Taylor Swift Music Videos

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