The more I listen to 1989, the more I started to feel a sense of déjà vu. Not in the sense of the music, because this is definitely a brand new sound for Swift that she wielded masterfully. Instead, my sense of déjà vu struck when I started learning the lyrics. Don't get me wrong. As far as her albums go, the release of 1989 brought with it a brand new offering in terms of content and subject matter for Swift. There are more songs about heartbreak on the album than there are hopeful dreams about the future. However, if you compare 1989 to Swift's other albums, then you start to hear the sequel to a story. The album in particular I'm thinking of is Fearless.
Fearless was her second album and the album that launched her to mainstream stardom. It contained such hits as "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" and a whole lot of singing about relationships that either didn't work out or that could work out if only Swift was given the chance. 1989 was written while Swift was enjoying a long period of being awesomely single, but it can still be heard as a sequel to Fearless. In fact, way too many of the lyrics match up for it to be a coincidence.
I've found time can heal most anything. ("Fifteen")
1989: Time can heal, but this won't. ("Bad Blood")
It looks like Swift has decided that there's a time to forgive, a time to forget, and a time to immortalize a slight in song because you'll never forgive it anyway.
You be the prince and I'll be the princess. ("Love Story")
1989: You're the King baby and I'm your Queen. ("Blank Space")
She might have been a princess before, but even she knows she's now our Queen.
I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night. ("You Belong with Me")
1989: Standing there like a ghost shaking from the rain. She'll open up the door and say, "Are you insane?" ("How to Get the Girl")
I mean, driving to a girl's house in the middle of the night, particularly when it's raining, would elicit that response from most people. But you can't deny that 1989 Swift was way more likely to find that insane over romantic, unlike Fearless Swift.
You might think I'm bulletproof, but I'm not. ("Tell Me Why")
1989: They take their shots, but we're bulletproof. ("I Know Places")
It rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong. ("Forever & Always")
1989: So I punched a hole in the roof, let the flood carry away all my pictures of you. ("Clean")
This raining in your bedroom nonsense is, like, soooooo 2008.
You got your share of secrets and I'm tired of being the last to know. ("You're Not Sorry")
1989: Loose lips sink ships all the damn time. Not this time. ("I Know Places")
It appears that Swift's view on secrecy has taken a complete 180 from where it was during Fearless. As we now know, she likes to keep a few herself.
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet, lead her up the stairwell. ("White Horse")
1989: I say no one has to know what we do. His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room. ("Wildest Dreams")
I guess she is the one he sweeps off her feet and leads up the stairwell after all?
It's 2 A.M. and I'm cursing your name. ("The Way I Loved You")
1989: It's 2 A.M. in my room, headlights pass the window pane, I think of you. ("I Wish You Would")
If "I Wish You Would" in general isn't a sequel to "The Way I Loved You", then I don't know what is.
Music starts playing like the end of a sad movie. ("Breathe")
1989: It's like I got this music in my mind saying, "It's gonna be alright." ("Shake It Off")
The music Swift is playing has gotten a lot more pop and a lot more cheerful since she last mentioned it and that's a great relief. If 1989 is a sequel of sorts to Fearless, it's certainly the superior work.