In honor of Swift’s release of Red (Taylor’s Version), please enjoy this official (and totally subjective) ranking of all of her albums.
9. Debut (2006)
Look, Taylor was only 16 years old when she released her debut album, so it still is an incredible feat. However, even with hits like Our Song and Teardrops on my Guitar, this album can’t hold its weight against her newer masterpieces.
8. Reputation (2017)
Reputation is Swift’s edgiest album, and it definitely served a purpose in enabling her to rebrand her image. However, the lyricism is simply not as complex or masterful as her other albums, therefore earning Reputation this 8th place spot.
7. Evermore (2020)
Don’t get me wrong - with songs like Champagne Problems and No Body No Crime, Evermore can certainly hold its own. However, I am forced to conclude that as a whole, Evermore is merely an inferior version of its sister album Folklore, and is consequently not an album I would choose to listen to on a regular basis.
6. Fearless (2008)
One listen to Fearless immediately transports Swift fans back to their childhoods with nostalgic tracks such as Love Story, Fifteen, and You Belong With Me. Not to mention that the Taylor’s Version rerecording is incredible. This album definitely deserves to be praised, and placing it this low is only a testimony to the genius of Taylor’s other works.
5. 1989 (2014)
1989 is an iconic masterpiece of pop. Marking the shift in Swift’s career from country-style music to hardcore pop, 1989 charted a record five top 10 billboard hits. I know that a lot of Taylor listeners might be angry at a seemingly low 5th place ranking, but the album is a little bit too overplayed to earn a higher spot on my list.
4. Lover (2019)
Lover is fun, Lover is uplifting, Lover is catchy. Now, you may be thinking - “well so is 1989!” However, what Lover possesses that 1989 doesn’t is a sleek, lyrical delicacy that intertwines with bouncy pop in an unprecedented fashion. This album is unique and masterful, and is deserving of more credit than it’s often given.
3. Red (2012)
I’m not going to lie to you, half the reason that Red is ranked so highly is because her best-ever song (in my opinion), All Too Well, finds its home on this album. However, other songs on the album, such as State of Grace, Treacherous, and Holy Ground are masterful as well, all equipped with a sleek, pop-y, lyrical touch. Taylor’s rerecording of this album made history with 90.8 million global opening-day Spotify streams, and the new 10-minute version of All Too Well is arguably one of the best songs of the decade.
2. Folklore (2020)
Folklore is truly a masterpiece of lyricism and poise. The release of this surprise album was truly a landmark in Taylor Swift’s career, introducing listeners to her new indie-folk era. Folklore’s slower, more lyrical style may not be for everyone, but the album’s brilliance and lyrical excellence shows her progression as a songwriter in a way that cannot be denied.
1. Speak Now (2010)
Speak Now doesn’t possess the lyrical genius of Folklore, nor the pop perfection of 1989 or melodic beauty of Red. However, Speak Now is still worthy of the top spot in this ranking not because it does any one thing the best, but because it does it all. Simultaneously, the album is lyrically masterful, fun and upbeat, melodramatic, tear-jerking, and representative of the versatility and timelessness of Taylor Swift as an artist. Speak Now is iconic, fun, and an ageless classic, with a special shout out to tracks such as Back to December, Better Than Revenge, and Enchanted. I predict that once Taylor rerecords this album, it will quickly claim the top spot in many other rankings as well.