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Swift officially goes pop with "1989"

Monday, August 18, 2014 – Taylor Swift announced Monday that she was releasing a new album, "1989," on Oct. 27.

The album will be squarely in the pop category, Swift said in a live stream from the Empire State Building. The disc was produced by Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback. Swift also released a new single, "Shake It Off," which was firmly in the dance category.

Swift said she woke up every day, "Not wanting but needing to make a new style of music that I had never heard before. We made the most sonically cohesive album I've ever made. My favorite album I've ever made."

"This is my very first, official pop album," Swift told a select group of fans. The cover features the handwritten "T.S" and "1989" at the bottom in dark ink with a Polaroid of her face from below the eyes to her midsection wearing an outfit.

As for the single, Swift said, ""We wanted to make a song that sounded like nothing that Max and Johan had and nothing that I had done. I learned a pretty tough lesson in the last couple of years. People say whatever they want about us at any time. False rumors, yes. We cannot control that. The only thing we can control is our reaction to that."

Swift said the falsehoods "c an make you bitter, not trust people or descend into insanity if you want to. Option two is to just shake it off," she said with gestures of handwringing.

Swift released a video for "Shake It Off," featuring many professional dancers and fans. Swift appears throughout the video as a dancer, although not always one with a lot of skill. During the stream, Swift danced throughout the playing of "Shake It Off" with hand-picked fans in the small audience.

Swift about how the video evolved. "I've been thinking about life itself and who people actually are can be reflected in how you dance. I don't mean how good you are, but how willing you are to dance."

"I love the idea you can tell who someone is by how they dance. We basically decided we'd get this huge of professional dancers of all types of dance and throw me into the middle of them and see what happens," she said.

Swift will release a deluxe version of the album with three recordings she made into her cell phone - "voice memos from my phone. You'll hear me singing a melody, an idea...and then go to the record to see what it was when it was finished."

Swift said she was "working on an album for two years. I like to work on a n album for two years. (It) gives you a chance to change - what's influencing you, what's inspiring you." My music changed."

Swift said the release would include photo packets, 13 in each pack, with different packs in each of them.

When asked about the inspiration for the album was, Swift said, "I was listening to a lot of late '80s pop because I really loved the chances they were taking. I loved how bold it was, how ahead of its time was. I started delving into the late '80s and what period of time actually meant... It was apparently a time of just limitless potential. The idea that you can do what you want, be who you want, love who you want...bold chances, rebellion, the idea of that was so inspiring to me and the idea of endless possibility was a theme of the last year of my length."

"In thinking of how this album is a bit of a rebirth for me. I've never really made these kind of changes before," she said.

Swift revealed another secret - she said she would give out 1,000 tickets to her upcoming concert and 500 meet and greets with fans. Swift said she had been thinking of "new ways" to interact with fans. Details will be forthcoming at her web site.

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Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
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Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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