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Taylor Swift: Musical Theme Evolution

Updated on December 27, 2014
One album. Two very different songs.
One album. Two very different songs.

Lyrical Diversification

Musicians constantly change the tone of their songs. There are many factors as to why this happens. In the case of Taylor Swift two of her songs, Shake It Off and Blank Space, are two songs she wrote with very different tones, and there are several reasons as to why she wrote her songs the way she did. Shake It Off, the more upbeat song, talks about how the singer will not let the criticisms of others get her down. Blank Space, the more somber song, talks about her love life. While both song are complete opposites of one another, it is interesting comparing both songs and how diverse Taylor Swift has become over the years.

Shake It Off

For lack of a better description, Shake It Off is a song where Taylor Swift sings about how she will picks herself up and moves on when life gets her down. This song, like some of Taylor's earlier work shows her embracing a less-than-mature mindset. Shake It Off shows Taylor singing a song about how one should not have to stop doing what they feel like doing just because "haters" are going to dislike what that person does. While that is a good lesson for people, like kids listening to Taylor Swift's song, to hear about, Shake It Off takes a slightly immature perspective. Certain parts in Shake It Off makes references about criticisms about Taylor Swift like her tendency to date and subsequently break-up with other guys. And while singing a song that says ignore "haters" is a good message for kids to hear, Taylor Swift mostly talks about her things through her perspective. Her being a celebrity then makes Shake It Off seem childish because while she is a celebrity and will get a big amount of criticism from people because she is a celebrity, normal people do not experience the same problem like her. Another aspect that makes Shake It Off seem like an immature song is the tone. It is song in Taylor Swift's happy and dorky voice, the lyrics do not sound like someone who should be taken seriously and lacks the maturity someone her age should have, and the rapping part in the song seems like an unnecessary addition. Overall Shake It Off lacks the musical maturity that Taylor Swift should have at the point of the song's conception.

Yes, this actually happens in the music video.
Yes, this actually happens in the music video.

Blank Space

Blank Space, compared to Shake It Off, is something else entirely. Blank Space also acknowledges Taylor Swift's reputation in regards to her failed relationships with boys. Basically Blank Space deals with some of the past issues that have happened in Taylor Swift's musical career, this song takes a more mature tone. For one thing all of the lyrics in Blank Space connect. Yes, Taylor Swift acknowledges her failings and actually confirms that yes, Taylor Swift does have an actual problems with boys. It takes a lot of maturity to say that you have a problem or a bad habit and Taylor Swift does it honestly in Blank Space. Coincidentally social media have images where Taylor looks to be maturing as a person. She makes analytical remarks about how males get to make songs about failed relationships and not suffer the criticisms she does, she talks about how she has grown as a person and how she has come to understand and accept ideas like feminism, and overall both the song and her real life shows that Taylor Swift has really grown up as a person.

Yes, this actually happens in the music video.
Yes, this actually happens in the music video.

Different Song. Different Ideas

Musicians always have points in their career where they want to do something different in their songs. Shake It Off and Blank Space are two songs made by Taylor Swift that have two different tones and reflect two different levels of Taylor Swift's career. Shake It Off reflects Taylor Swift's goofier side and shows Taylor doing random things that imply that she is incorporating some of the negatively popular antics of the music industry. Blank Space shows Taylor Swift maturely sing a song that shows that she is aware of her reputation and that she accepts it in a calm and mature manner. The change in tone and lyrics for her songs indicates that Taylor Swift is growing as a person and this is reflected in real life as well.


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    • Jake Peralta profile image

      Jake Michael Peralta 3 years ago from Indio, California

      Others on different Social Media sites made the same observations.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      You made some interesting observations about the singer as implied in her songs. Thanks for sharing this information I would not otherwise have.