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Ranking Taylor Swift

 

Let's be real. Taylor Swift has enough songs for a full rankdown. But I'd get too mad when my favorite song wasn't a clear UNANIMOUS #1. Anyway, I have a thesis and a defense so I can't say that this is going to be timely or quick but you know might as well. She probably won't release a new album for another year. Probably. If she does well then. I'll have to amend this entire thing. 

 

Anyway, I used this sorter: https://jesseepinkman.tumblr.com/tswiftsong to rank all her songs. There are 142 of them according to it. So somehow if your favorite ends up not being here. Whelp. I don't know what to tell you. It didn't have her CATS songs so clearly I'll have to add those in. And a few others I think. But just if you wanted to do your own. And I love those sorter things and that was really comprehensive and I feel very good at reflecting what my real choices were. 

 

Anyway, I'll kick this off with an album ranking first. That's quick.

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Ranking the 8 Taylor Swift Albums

 

 

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8. Taylor Swift

It's got some bangers (Tim McGraw, Teardrops on My Guitar, Picture to Burn) but ultimately the weakest of Taylor's repertoire. Which is both absolutely expected and totally fine! She was only 16 when this album came out! But yet the things that make Taylor Swift Taylor Swift (the songwriting, the absolutely perfect burns) are all still here. I just think she does them all better later.

 

 

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7. Reputation

Ah, Reputation. It has some high highs (New Year's Day, Dress, Delicate) but some LOW lows (...Ready for It? and End Game). This is certainly Taylor at her...bravest? Her most adventurous album in terms of breaking out into a new sound (for goodness sake she has a track with FUTURE. LOL when I listened to that track for the first time I couldn't believe it so I had to get my Deluxe Target edition out to read the track listing to make sure). But unfortunately the outcome is Taylor sounding her most inauthentic. Which, when you are a singer that prides herself and makes herself known on her authenticity of her lyrics, that's not a great thing. This ends up just higher than Taylor Swift because of the incredibly high highs of this album.

 

 

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6. Lover

 

This is where we get into me LOVING pretty much every album and thinking it's great. This was such a welcome return to the pop sound that made 1989 so great and it has one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs of all time in "Cruel Summer." I am a HUGE St. Vincent fan so hearing that she had collabed with St. Vincent for this song THRILLED me. I feel I willed this to life so now I'm going to try and will a Taylor Swift/Phoebe Bridgers collab. And while I don't necessarily think that any other song hits the same high of "Cruel Summer," which was done dirty and absolutely should have been released as a single, I think overall this is a very solid album. Other faves on this album include: "Lover," "Cornelia Street," "The Archer," and "Soon You'll Get Better."

 

 

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5. Fearless

This album could have been absolutely SHIT and still be regarded as an all time great album because it has "Love Story." But thankfully it doesn't just have that one iconic song but other classics like "White Horse," "Fifteen," and the equally iconic "You Belong with Me." All fantastic songs. There are some that I'm not nearly into as much ("Forever & Always," and "Change") but overall just a really incredible album. Especially for her sophomore outing. This one ranks in the lower half simply because the top 4 are just incredible from top to bottom.

 

 

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4. Speak Now

Ranking Taylor Swift's albums from 2-4 is really difficult because it feels at any given time Speak Now could be #2. This is obviously the album where it felt Taylor Swift really grew up and the one where it was so immediately apparent that she was writing songs that felt more universal and more mature than the songs on Fearless. It helps that it leads off with the absolutely incredible "Mine" and includes other fantastic songs in "Mean," "Dear John," "Enchanted," "Back to December," and "Sparks Fly."

 

 

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3. 1989

Let's be real, 1989 has some truly awful tracks ("Welcome to New York" and "Bad Blood") but it's absolutely an example of an album coming together to be far more than the sum of its parts. I don't think there are as many standout tracks as there are on Speak Now but I think that 1989 is my preferred album to listen to all the way through. And the trio of "Blank Space," "Style," and "Out of the Woods," as tracks 2-4 is so brilliant and those are definitely the top tracks fo the album. And if she had just replaced "Bad Blood" with any of the three deluxe tracks it would definitely be a welcomed improvement. But ending with "I Know Places" and "Clean" was another perfect two decisions. 

 

 

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2. folklore

There's a chance that one day folklore jumps to #1 but Red has like 8 years on it. This is an album that feels like Taylor Swift wrote for me. I mean, how did she know that I LOVE The National. And it's her queerest album yet! I also feel again that it's Taylor maturing. I mean, I believe it's her first album with explicit labels because she swears! Love it! But this album really spoke to my quarantine depression and is really the perfect album to play in a dark room, sitting in an empty tub, illuminated only by candles, drinking a glass of wine while crying. Anyway, more than any other album that Taylor has this feels like there are no bad tracks which is incredible because Taylor not only loves to have a real clunker but she loves to release it as a single. Anyway, favorite tracks: "betty," "seven," "exile," "invisible string," "august."

 

 

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1. Red

This is the album that made me a Taylor Swift fan and made me take back every bad thing I'd ever said about Taylor Swift up until that point. Also the album that made me gay ("wow, Taylor Swift is really hot/beautiful on this album cover? the best she's ever looked right? you all don't listen to "treacherous" and dream about Taylor Swift . haha right me neither. definitely not"). Obviously, I'm exaggerating as things can't make you gay, but I had a lot of revelations in the year 2012 about myself. LOL. Anyway, my cousin and I were driving from San Diego to Arizona and played just this album the entire time. So I grew to love every track from Top to Bottom. And it's still probably one of my most played albums. There's not a bad song and just the emotional highs of this album are perfect. I'd list my favorite tracks but that's the entire album. Anyway, this album is so so so good. 

 

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I love all of her albums, but I would say that "Red" is also my favourite with probably the same Top 3 as you - I would have Lover rounding out my Top 4. 

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49 minutes ago, #jeah said:

Lover is underrated imo. Take out ME! and a few filler tracks and it’s fantastic

I love the album (I love all the top 6 albums I have) I just think that albums like Speak Now and Fearless (the only two I'd potentially rank Lover higher than) have just had more time to grow. Like we've had Lover for less than a year so it hasn't had time to sink in as much and then Taylor follows it up with folklore which feels so tailor-made to my tastes. "ME!" is bad and definitely weighs down the album and continues the Taylor Swift tradition of releasing a clunky awful song as a single! 

 

38 minutes ago, FunkyFrankie said:

Lover and 1989 are still my top favs

Both great albums! And definitely two albums that feel like they were made to go together in terms of sound. 

 

36 minutes ago, *Chris said:

I love all of her albums, but I would say that "Red" is also my favourite with probably the same Top 3 as you - I would have Lover rounding out my Top 4. 

Love that we have the same Top 3! ❤️ Red is so so good!

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As I'm still tinkering and tailoring with the final ranking and making sure I include all her songs (LOL well most of them. Cutting out all Christmas songs. She's not Kacey Musgraves who had a perfect Christmas Album released post the year 2000. If this year lasts until November, I'll rank all her Christmas songs), I'm going to rank all the songs off the albums. Chronologically! Up first Taylor Swift!

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Red is my favorite album as well. ❤️ I also  agree with your top 4. Although Fearless holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I became a fan of hers, she topped it with the 4 you ranked above it.

 

True that Taylor likes to release some of the worst songs as singles. :dead: 
 

I’m still upset Enchanted wasn’t made a single during the Speak Now era. :( 

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Just now, *Amanda said:

Red is my favorite album as well. ❤️ I also  agree with your top 4. Although Fearless holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I became a fan of hers, she topped it with the 4 you ranked above it.

 

True that Taylor likes to release some of the worst songs as singles. :dead: 
 

I’m still upset Enchanted wasn’t made a single during the Speak Now era. :( 

All the Red love ❤️ Fearless is where I reluctantly as like a 16 year old admitted that Taylor Swift made some amazing songs. But I wasn't really fully ready to become a "Swiftie" until Red. 

 

Thankfully every song from folklore is good so we won't have that issue with this album! Though I definitely wouldn't have chosen "cardigan" for the lead single. :haha:

 

What a mistake! It's so good!

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1 minute ago, totes4totes said:

What a mistake! It's so good!

I know!

 

She actually wanted it to be the title track for the album, but Scott Borchetta steered her away from that because he thought she shouldn’t be doing the “fairytales” thing again. :rolleyes:

 

She clearly loves the song though, as it was the inspiration for the name of her first fragrance.

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2 minutes ago, *Amanda said:

I know!

 

She actually wanted it to be the title track for the album, but Scott Borchetta steered her away from that because he thought she shouldn’t be doing the “fairytales” thing again. :rolleyes:

 

She clearly loves the song though, as it was the inspiration for the name of her first fragrance.

Scott Borchetta sucks! And the album cover with "Enchanted" would be so good!

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Also, 1000% here for a Taylor/Phoebe collab, that would be amazing. Something like Graceland Too please with lots of strings and banjos and harmonies!

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18 minutes ago, #jeah said:

Also, 1000% here for a Taylor/Phoebe collab, that would be amazing. Something like Graceland Too please with lots of strings and banjos and harmonies!

It'd be SO incredible. 

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1 hour ago, *Amanda said:

I’m still upset Enchanted wasn’t made a single during the Speak Now era. :( 

Ugh, what a flawless song too ❤️ 

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1 hour ago, totes4totes said:

As I'm still tinkering and tailoring with the final ranking and making sure I include all her songs (LOL well most of them. Cutting out all Christmas songs. She's not Kacey Musgraves who had a perfect Christmas Album released post the year 2000. If this year lasts until November, I'll rank all her Christmas songs), I'm going to rank all the songs off the albums. Chronologically! Up first Taylor Swift!

What about her Beautiful Eyes EP? ❤️ 

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1 minute ago, *Chris said:

What about her Beautiful Eyes EP? ❤️ 

Is that her Wal-Mart EP? I've never listened to it before I youtube'd the songs last night. Only "Beautiful Eyes" and "I Heart?" I believe don't show up anywhere else (because the rest I think are just mixes of songs off Taylor Swift). So they are included in the final total song ranking!

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Just now, totes4totes said:

Is that her Wal-Mart EP? I've never listened to it before I youtube'd the songs last night. Only "Beautiful Eyes" and "I Heart?" I believe don't show up anywhere else (because the rest I think are just mixes of songs off Taylor Swift). So they are included in the final total song ranking!

There's "I'm Only Me When I'm with You" but I believe it was added to another version of Taylor Swift too! 

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Just now, *Chris said:

There's "I'm Only Me When I'm with You" but I believe it was added to another version of Taylor Swift too! 

Yeah, the Spotify version of Taylor Swift has "I'm Only Me When I'm with You"! 

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My personal ranking of her albums would probably be something like this:

 

1. 1989 - this will always be my favorite Taylor album. It's just iconic and it's her most successful for a reason. From top to bottom it is perfection. I don't know why people hate so much on WTNY or Bad Blood. If anything Shake It Off is the weakest song because it was intentionally made to be a catchy radio hit and it's super repetitive. This album came out at a really positive time in my life, so that's a large reason why I love it as well.

 

2. RED - this is the album that made me a fan and I'll always love it. It's also perfection and such great writing.

 

3. Lover - the #3 position right now is hard for me to rank. It used to be Speak Now, it might even be folklore, but it's too new to really know for sure. I really enjoyed Lover though, despite the fact I think it's too disjointed. It's 18 songs, which is a little bit long, and there's so many different sounds and themes on it it doesn't sound cohesive. But I do enjoy the variety and yes Cruel Summer is the Getaway Car of this album! It's too bad Lover didn't get a proper era/cycle like her other albums. I really enjoyed the aesthetic of this era. We also have to appreciate the fact this is the first album she owns. I feel like this is the quintessential Taylor album, it sums up who she is as an artist and person, everything she loves. She's always been fascinated by love and writing about it. She once said in the prologue of RED "Maybe I'll write a whole album about that kind of love someday, if I ever find it." Ladies and gentlemen, that album IS Lover. It's a full circle moment for her and the fact she actually owns every song on it makes that even more special. If someone had never heard Taylor's music before and knew nothing about her as a person, I'd probably tell them to listen to this album since it sums her up as a person and artist so well.

 

4. folklore - as I said, this album is maybe still too fresh and new to really know for sure where it ranks. At first I really didn't care for this album, I thought it was too slow and boring and thought all the songs sounded too similar. But it's grown on me a lot with more listens. It easily has some of her greatest writing ever, which is saying a lot. The emotional maturity too. 

 

5. Speak Now - what has always been impressive about this album is that every song is self-written and she was only about 20 when she wrote it. Not every song is great, and that's to be expected when she's the only writer, but there are definitely some gems on here. It's an incredible, wonderful, magical album that I like to think of as her coming-of-age album where she begins toeing the line between high school fairytales and maturing into an adult living on her own for the first time. As incredibly well written as this album is, her later albums are even better, so they naturally rank higher. I will say regarding the original title, that even though I like Enchanted as a title better than Speak Now, I do think Scott was right about changing it. The album ISN'T all about high school fairytales anymore. Speak Now represented this overarching theme of the songs being like open letters to people, whereas Enchanted doesn't represent the real theme of the album nor does it represent her maturity and growth.

 

6.  reputation - I think this is a good album, but highly overrated. I will agree that it feels a bit disingenuous from her, she even said that some of the songs were like her playing a character as a defensive mechanism. That's how it comes across, like a teenage girl who just discovered what alcohol is and thinks she is some Instagram baddie lol The back half of the album is a lot better and showcases a more genuine side of Taylor, that hopeless romantic poetry side we all know and love. 

 

7. Fearless - as iconic as this album is, I think I kind of grew out of it some years ago. It was good for what it was then and will forever be an iconic part of her discography, but it definitely shows its age. She was in high school when she wrote this album and it shows. That's not to say it doesn't have incredible songs on it and it's easy to see why it won all those Grammys, but she just has so many better albums.

 

8. Taylor Swift - As OP said, this album is very good for being her debut and written at 16. It's not a bad album by any means, but it's easily the weakest in her discography pretty much by default. Again, her later albums are just better, so naturally this ranks at the bottom. It's still a solid album though.

 

Favorite song from each:

 

TS - Our Song

Fearless - Fearless

Speak Now - Long Live

RED - Red

1989 - Clean

reputation - Call It What You Want

Lover - Cruel Summer, though Daylight is a close second - that reference to Red gets me every time!

folklore - right now it's epiphany

 

 

 

 

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On 7/28/2020 at 5:08 PM, BogoGog24 said:

My personal ranking of her albums would probably be something like this:

 

1. 1989 - this will always be my favorite Taylor album. It's just iconic and it's her most successful for a reason. From top to bottom it is perfection. I don't know why people hate so much on WTNY or Bad Blood. If anything Shake It Off is the weakest song because it was intentionally made to be a catchy radio hit and it's super repetitive. This album came out at a really positive time in my life, so that's a large reason why I love it as well.

 

2. RED - this is the album that made me a fan and I'll always love it. It's also perfection and such great writing.

 

3. Lover - the #3 position right now is hard for me to rank. It used to be Speak Now, it might even be folklore, but it's too new to really know for sure. I really enjoyed Lover though, despite the fact I think it's too disjointed. It's 18 songs, which is a little bit long, and there's so many different sounds and themes on it it doesn't sound cohesive. But I do enjoy the variety and yes Cruel Summer is the Getaway Car of this album! It's too bad Lover didn't get a proper era/cycle like her other albums. I really enjoyed the aesthetic of this era. We also have to appreciate the fact this is the first album she owns. I feel like this is the quintessential Taylor album, it sums up who she is as an artist and person, everything she loves. She's always been fascinated by love and writing about it. She once said in the prologue of RED "Maybe I'll write a whole album about that kind of love someday, if I ever find it." Ladies and gentlemen, that album IS Lover. It's a full circle moment for her and the fact she actually owns every song on it makes that even more special. If someone had never heard Taylor's music before and knew nothing about her as a person, I'd probably tell them to listen to this album since it sums her up as a person and artist so well.

 

4. folklore - as I said, this album is maybe still too fresh and new to really know for sure where it ranks. At first I really didn't care for this album, I thought it was too slow and boring and thought all the songs sounded too similar. But it's grown on me a lot with more listens. It easily has some of her greatest writing ever, which is saying a lot. The emotional maturity too. 

 

5. Speak Now - what has always been impressive about this album is that every song is self-written and she was only about 20 when she wrote it. Not every song is great, and that's to be expected when she's the only writer, but there are definitely some gems on here. It's an incredible, wonderful, magical album that I like to think of as her coming-of-age album where she begins toeing the line between high school fairytales and maturing into an adult living on her own for the first time. As incredibly well written as this album is, her later albums are even better, so they naturally rank higher. I will say regarding the original title, that even though I like Enchanted as a title better than Speak Now, I do think Scott was right about changing it. The album ISN'T all about high school fairytales anymore. Speak Now represented this overarching theme of the songs being like open letters to people, whereas Enchanted doesn't represent the real theme of the album nor does it represent her maturity and growth.

 

6.  reputation - I think this is a good album, but highly overrated. I will agree that it feels a bit disingenuous from her, she even said that some of the songs were like her playing a character as a defensive mechanism. That's how it comes across, like a teenage girl who just discovered what alcohol is and thinks she is some Instagram baddie lol The back half of the album is a lot better and showcases a more genuine side of Taylor, that hopeless romantic poetry side we all know and love. 

 

7. Fearless - as iconic as this album is, I think I kind of grew out of it some years ago. It was good for what it was then and will forever be an iconic part of her discography, but it definitely shows its age. She was in high school when she wrote this album and it shows. That's not to say it doesn't have incredible songs on it and it's easy to see why it won all those Grammys, but she just has so many better albums.

 

8. Taylor Swift - As OP said, this album is very good for being her debut and written at 16. It's not a bad album by any means, but it's easily the weakest in her discography pretty much by default. Again, her later albums are just better, so naturally this ranks at the bottom. It's still a solid album though.

 

Favorite song from each:

 

TS - Our Song

Fearless - Fearless

Speak Now - Long Live

RED - Red

1989 - Clean

reputation - Call It What You Want

Lover - Cruel Summer, though Daylight is a close second - that reference to Red gets me every time!

folklore - right now it's epiphany

 

 

 

 

Thanks for all your comments! I love getting everybody's perspectives! Maybe I've been rating Lover too low. I'll have to listen to it more! I do think that aside from Lover we are kind of in agreement in the tiers of her albums.

 

A lot of those favorite songs are mine as well!

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