Taylor Swift has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the music industry over the years. Her evolution from a country sweetheart to a bona fide pop superstar is marked by a slew of unforgettable hits. Among these, “Style” stands out as a near-perfect pop song that showcases Swift’s prowess as a songwriter and performer. Now that she has released her latest re-recording, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), it’s the perfect time to revisit this chart-topping gem.
When “Style” first arrived in 2014 as part of her original 1989 album, it immediately made an impact. The song’s infectious melody, clever lyrics, and Swift’s signature emotive delivery catapulted it toward the top of the charts. It peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received widespread acclaim from both critics and fans alike. Its success was further underscored by its impressive sales and streaming numbers, which have continued to expand as the years have passed.
What makes “Style” truly remarkable is its ability to encapsulate the essence of a fleeting, intense romance. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a passionate yet tumultuous love affair, and Swift’s vocals convey a sense of longing and nostalgia that resonates with listeners on a deeply personal level. It’s a testament to her songwriting skills that she can craft a narrative that feels both universal and intensely personal.
Musically, “Style” is a triumph of pop production. The song – produced by the powerful team of Max Martin, Shellback, and Ali Payami, who all count dozens of smashes to their credit — boasts a sleek, polished sound with its pulsating synths and hypnotic rhythm. The melody is catchy without being overly simplistic…but it’s also not too busy. The result is a track that is as timeless as it is contemporary, blending elements of ’80s synth-pop with modern pop sensibilities.
“Style” played a pivotal role in solidifying Swift’s status as a pop sensation. Prior to the release of 1989, Swift was primarily known as a country artist. However, this album marked a bold departure from her country roots, and “Style” was one of the standout tracks that showcased her seamless transition into the pop genre. The album itself was a commercial juggernaut, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawning several other hit singles, including “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.”
The reworked version of “Style,” known now as “Style (Taylor’s Version),” isn’t quite as magical as its predecessor. Perhaps that’s because a slight reworking can’t be as impressive as the original, which marked a shift for her, or perhaps the fact that the original producers didn’t return to try something a bit different can not only be heard, but felt.
That said, “Style” still remains one of the best pop songs in her discography. One can argue that it might not be the most heartbreaking, or the best vocal performance, or any number of other small criticisms, but listening to the new take on the modern classic from 1989 (Taylor’s Version) reminds many fans of the first time they heard what is still regarded by many as as perfect a pop song can be.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!