Taylor Swift – “Clean”

Track #13 off of 1989, released 2014

The day Taylor Swift’s 1989 was released was a nice, cool fall day. It was sunny outside and I drove myself to Target to get a copy of it because back then I still bought physical CDs. My math class that night was even cancelled, so I sat on my balcony and listened to the album three times on repeat. I remember thinking how exciting the project was because while I can’t say the record was revolutionary when it came to pop music, it was revolutionary when it came to Taylor Swift’s career and was basically a reinvention of her as an artist. “Clean” is one prime example of that reinvention. The song is composed of a simple synthesizer hum and a heavier bass, with what I believe is a vibraphone to add a touch of lightness to the instrumental. It discusses the aftermath of a broken relationship and getting past the emotions associated with it, creating images of a thunderstorm washing them all away and creating a positive moment out of a rather dismal topic. This track, out of the entire track list, has some of the most emotional and lyrical depth, creating such dense and vivid imagery that just makes this entire breakup feel so much more real. Something like this, in terms of the smoothness in production, the overall bubbly but not overly pop saturated tone and the lyrical craftiness is what Taylor Swift is best at and these types of songs in her discography will forever be some of her most esteemed.

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