I remember that sunny Friday afternoon like it was yesterday. I had just heard on the radio that Taylor Swift had just dropped her 5th studio album. Funny enough, I had just re-downloaded her 4th studio album Red and had been vibing to it days leading up to her official release of 1989. She had released “Shake It Off” as a lead single, which had given fans and critics alike a taste of what seemed to be a genre shift for the sweet songstress from Nashville. I had listened to Shake It Off” with an air of uncertainty, as I wasn’t really sure if I was ready for the new Taylor as one thing was evident, she was about to break out of a space that had been a comfort zone for her for almost a decade. Country music had been her comfort zone - to good effect - for years. She had grown to embody what the genre stands for as she had seen the likes of Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood clear out the path perfectly for her. Young Taylor faced almost no direct competition there as she had a genre that embraces success. This made her breakout decision a brave one as she delved into a whole new genre, albeit a seemingly saturated one. Pop stars like Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber and a whole lot more had already built a niche for themselves as leading pop singers and Taylor Swift might just be about to battle her way into the circle. No album could possibly signify Taylor’s shift away from the innocent young naive country singer who was rattled on stage by Kanye West’s infamous antics years ago than the body of music that is 1989. The album seems a far cry from the Taylor Swift whose heartbreaking sojourns with the likes of Harry Styles and John Mayer led to smash hits like “Dear John”, this was a woman who was coming into her own with a new found confidence. 1989 was released through Big Machine Records, and its official first single “Shake It Off”, opened with a No. 1 ranking in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Popular music producer Max Martin co-produced nine tracks of the 13-song album after he had worked with Swift on her 2012 album Red, in which he co-produced the album’s first single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. The album has an 80’s sought of vibe around it, with its sound totally different to what fans of Taylor had been used to. It proved to be a successful transition from country to pop for the lovable girl from Nashville and what other way could she talk about her transition than by opening the album with “Welcome To New York.” The first track off the album typifies what it would feel like eventually gaining freedom. Having dreamt about the big city before finally taking the leap, it was only natural that Miss Swift pay an ode to a city she now calls home; I mean, she has multi-million dollar real estate investments in the city now. The song has a high-tempo sound that will have you move your body to the rhythm of heavy 80’s beats but offers not so much beyond that. A total deviation from the old Taylor style and a representative of a whole lot more to come in the album. Although “Wildest Dreams” reeks of Lana Del Rey all over it, but boy isn’t it beautiful? What the song lacked in content, it more than made up for in sound and beautiful vocals that Taylor pulled off pretty well. “Style” that portrays Taylor in all of the maturity she now basks in. The sound is fire, the lyrics you’ve got that James Dean daydream look in your eyes is one that just won’t be leaving your head anytime soon. This woman is making the transition to pop look pretty easy. “Shake It Off” earned her 3 Grammy nominations in 2015; Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance of the Year. While in 2016, the album was nominated in 3 different categories. It won Best Pop Vocal Album, against Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece, James Taylor’s Before This World, Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special, and Florence and the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. It also won Album of the year ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, and The Weeknd’s Beauty behind the Madness. “Blank Spaces” also garnered 3 nominations at the 2016 Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. Although it didn’t win any of the nominations, it up her nominations to 7 (including “Bad Blood” remix, a single after the album) and 3 awards from the 7 nominations.