In terms of sheer commercial heft, the release of Taylor Swift's 1989 is one of the stories of the year in music: Its first-week sales are expected to outstrip those of any album since Swift's last record, Red, in 2012. For the 24-year-old singer-songwriter, 1989 completes her transformation from country stardom to pop stardom; it's full of massively radio-friendly, synth-driven songs that are virtually guaranteed chart-topping ubiquity in the months and years to come.
But how's the music? I recently pulled my NPR Music colleague and desk-neighbor, editor and writer Jacob Ganz, into the studio for a Small Batch edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss the record. Spoiler alert: We like 1989 quite a bit, and are intrigued by its sound, its lyrics and its place in Swift's catalog. We also highly recommend this interview she did with NPR's Melissa Block last week.
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