HNS picks Taylor Swift’s best songs from each album

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I think we can all agree that the best part of 2020 was Taylor Swift. With Taylor releasing not one, but TWO albums this year, it has made us think back to all the past masterpieces she’s written.

Miranda and Madeline take a look at all nine albums from Taylor Swift and pick their favorite song from each album.

Taylor Swift

Madeline: “Picture to Burn”

There’s something about “Picture to Burn” that just makes you want to turn up the radio in your car and jam. While this is a breakup song, this song is also classic Taylor Swift. Elementary school-me was really jamming to this breakup song — honestly, I probably had no clue what the song was actually about.

Miranda: “Should’ve Said No”

When I think of this song, I can’t help but reminisce to little teenage Taylor just starting out. I remember her iconic rain performance of this song at the ACM Awards back in 2008. To anyone who has ever been cheated on, this is the perfect anthem. 

Fearless

Madeline: “You Belong With Me”

This was the official song for when you had a crush on someone. Or, the song that you would sing to the poster of your celebrity crush in your room. In all seriousness, this song is so cute, and I just love the emotional depth of it all.

Miranda: “Forever & Always”

Yet another great break-up song from Taylor, and this time the title is the perfect, ironic nod. I love how this is still an upbeat song despite the angry and sad lyrics. It definitely makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs while slashing around your room. There’s also an underlying empowerment tone to the song, and it’s a song where you feel like though Taylor is sad about the break-up, she comes out ahead and will be just fine.

Speak Now

Madeline: “Mean”

This song really holds a special place in my heart. Taylor Swift songs always have a way of resonating with you when you’re not feeling the best or when you’re feeling happy. For me, “Mean” helped me through the years I was bullied in school. I remember listening to it and feeling inspired to rise above all the people who were being mean. Therefore, this song will always be my all-time favorite Taylor song.

Miranda: “Last Kiss”

I so distinctly remember listening to this song repeatedly after going through a bad break-up. The thing about Last Kiss is that it’s perfect when the main emotion you’re feeling is sadness. There’s a time (and Taylor song!) for all the other emotions like madness, confusion, betrayal, etc. felt after a break-up, but this song is all about when your emotion is just sad. The lyrics are all derived from your life not turning out the way you’d imagined, and that you’re just completely overcome by that feeling of sorrow.

Red

Madeline: “Treacherous”

SO. UNDERRATED. Everything about this song is perfection, down to the lyrics and the tempo. Every time this song comes on, I have to sing it out loud.

Miranda: “All Too Well”

Never has a Taylor Swift song gotten me more in my feels than All Too Well. It’s a major fan favorite, and rightfully so. The way she so expertly describes the feelings of loss, longing, and reminiscing in this song just really feels like a punch in the gut. It’s one of Taylor’s most vulnerable songs, and I think I speak for all my fellow Swifties when I say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE US THE 9-MINUTE VERSION WHEN YOU RE-RECORD, TAYLOR! 

1989

Madeline: “Shake It Off”

Gah, I had to save this pick for last because I could not choose! Ultimately, I had to go with the song I immediately thought of. Sure, it might be a little basic, but it’s also a song that makes me want to sing at the top of my lungs and dance. Not only that, this song is the anthem for not taking crap from anyone, and I just love that. Also, this song is so quotable, and it even made a quote appearance on one of my favorite shows, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Miranda: “This Love”

Perhaps it’s the hopeless romantic in me, but who hasn’t ever dreamed of having someone fight to win your love back after a devastating break-up? I think probably every girl has fantasized about a love coming back to you after you broke up and the relationship felt unfinished. I love Taylor’s soft vocals and the whimsy vibes this song has. The lyrics are romantic and hopeful and the sound of the song matches the lyrics.

Reputation

Madeline: “…Ready For It?”

This album had so many great hits, and it was hard to choose just one. However, I will never forget the beginning of the “Reputation Stadium Tour” and hearing the first sounds of this song blasting from the arena. It was a week before my college graduation, and it was kind of symbolic, like Taylor Swift was asking me if I was ready to leave my education behind and start being a real adult. I’ll never forget the excited fangirl/boy screams I heard from all around the arena as she stepped onto the stage to sing this song.

Miranda: “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

When I think of this song, I hear two versions (both equally amazing) in my head. There’s the original version that immediately puts you in a fun, crowded club feel where you are dancing carefree surrounded by people. This song could easily be played at Coachella with an insane crowd – a girl can dream! Then there’s also the expertly stripped down, acoustic version that Taylor performed at the Reputation Stadium Tour. This brought out a whole new feel to the song, beautifully executed by Taylor, and I just so vividly remember her smiling along as she played and got super into playing it on the guitar.

Lover

Madeline: “Lover”

Again, sooo many amazing songs on this album. As a hopeless romantic and avid watcher of Hallmark movies, how could this song not be my favorite? It’s such a sweet and romantic song that can be enjoyed by single people and those in a relationship alike. It’s a love you dream about, and I think Taylor really portrays a storybook love in this song.

Miranda: “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince”

This song is layered with so many metaphors and hidden messages, it’s like a giant puzzle filled with clues and hidden contexts, and a strong political undertone. Deciphering clues is something us Swifties are experts at, and it was so fun for me to piece it all together. It’s a sad song but also an optimistic song at the same time. Taylor takes her experiences and the media’s influence and speculation on her life, and sets the song/ characters in high school. The untrained eye and non-Swifties probably won’t get this song, because they don’t understand her songwriting, but that’s what makes this song so brilliant. The genius of Taylor’s songwriting knows no bounds.

folklore

Madeline: “mad woman”

I remember during the summer, when the album had just dropped, that I was instantly in awe with this song. It has such an angsty sound, and I love the instruments throughout the song. It’s so haunting but beautiful, and I can’t explain why I love it, but I do. It’s definitely my top favorites of all time.

Miranda: “exile”

Oh man the the deep emotions felt in this song. It literally took my breath away the first time I heard it. When Taylor and Bon Iver started going back and forth with the dialogue between the two estranged lovers, it just took the song to the next level. And the way their voices meshed together was just *chefs kiss.* 

evermore

Madeline: “willow”

I was torn between choosing this song or “no body, no crime.” Obviously, both of them are masterpieces, but I am drawn to “willow.” This might be the hopeless romantic side of me coming out, but there’s something about this song that makes you feel like you’re experiencing the happiness of having a new crush. The whole song instantly makes you feel happy and light.

Miranda: “champagne problems”

I love how emotionally complex this song is and how specific the lyrics are that ultimately convey exactly what those feelings manifest into. It showcases the unfortunate but realistic portrayal of how two people can be in a relationship, but think that relationship is in two totally different places. There’s such a devastation to that, and the devastation is on both people, which a lot of people don’t realize. Both sides get hurt. Taylor perfectly conveys that here.

Picking only one song from each of Taylor Swift’s nine albums is tricky! However, with so many hit songs, there is always that one song on each album that you immediately go to when you need to sing and dance or yell. What’s your favorite song from each album?