Ranking Taylor Swift’s Albums

Claire Macellaio

From her first self-titled album released in 2006, to her most recent album, Folklore, released earlier this year in July, Taylor Swift has produced eight distinct and impressive albums throughout her successful career. A defining characteristic of Taylor Swift and her music career is that she reinvents her image with every album she puts out. Each album has its own unique aesthetic, style of music, and overarching themes. Below, I have ranked all eight albums based on my own music preferences.  


Taylor Swift - Lover - Amazon.com Music

  1. Lover

In last place we have Lover. Released in 2019, Lover has a notably upbeat and whimsical vibe, featuring many synthetic-pop tracks with lighthearted lyrics. Although Swift’s lyrics are generally emotionally mature, vulnerable, and of course, very well-written, I do not enjoy the overly-happy, synthetic beats. Specifically, the songs You Need To Calm Down and ME! feel overproduced and formulated to cater to a younger audience. Despite being my least favorite album of hers, Lover, has some great tracks, my favorites being Afterglow and The Archer, both of which feature themes of personal growth and emotional awakenings.

Taylor Swift - Fearless [Enhanced] - Amazon.com Music

  1. Fearless

In seventh place is Taylor Swift’s second studio album released in 2008, titled Fearless. Although this country album has some absolute classic Taylor Swift Songs, such as Love Story, White Horse, and You Belong With Me, it is generally not anything spectacular. I honestly do not have much to say about this album because there isn’t really anything super distinctive or special about it. Don’t get me wrong— Fearless is nostalgic, and Taylor does an incredible job portraying what it is like to be young and in love, and she does so in a very poised way. Moreover, she is super emotionally vulnerable with her songwriting in this album, which I think is super respectable and impressive for it being only her second album and her being at such a young age.


Taylor Swift - reputation - Amazon.com Music

  1. Reputation

Next up is Reputation, which was released in 2017. Overall, I think Reputation was a great album and I must applaud Taylor on branching out into more intense, controversial themes. Moreover, she truly reinvented herself with the release of Reputation, completely abandoning her former country, girl-next-door persona and proving to the music industry and her fans that her capabilities are much more far-reaching than what people expect. The overall vibe of Reputation is edgy, scandalous, and unapologetic, but also highlights self reflection, independence, and intimacy. Although it is a pop album, it carries undertones of both electronic and rap music, which creates a very unique intersection of multiple genres. Some of my favorite tracks include Delicate, Don’t Blame Me, and Getaway Car.

Red (Taylor Swift album) - Wikipedia

  1. Red

In fifth place is Red, released in 2012. This album signifies a time of change for Taylor Swift as many of the songs in the album focus on new beginnings and leaving the past (and past lovers) behind. I think she does a really good job fusing country and pop music seamlessly. Similar to Fearless, although this album isn’t full of great songs across the board, it has so many classic, nostalgic songs on it, including Everything Has Changed, 22, and Red. I really like this album because it almost feels as though it was a breaking point for Taylor in many different ways— it was her first album heavily influenced by pop, written as she is finally entering adulthood and garnering more and more fame, and expresses her experiences moving on from many ex-boyfriends. Essentially, Red is full of pent-up frustration, break-ups, and self-actualization due to these negative feelings, and truly does a good job expressing these angry feelings in a beautiful way, most notably in the songs All Too Well and The Last Time.


Speak Now - Wikipedia

  1. Speak Now

Next is Speak Now, which is full of amazing tracks from start to finish. Released in 2010, and being only her third studio album, it features an amazing range of emotions. I really don’t have much to say about this album except for that there is a song for every mood, which is something that many artists can’t achieve as well as Taylor Swift can. Speak Now is somehow the perfect mix of whimsical, depressing, exciting, all while being relatable. Anyway, I really don’t have anything negative to say about this album, so here are some must listen to songs: Mine, Sparks Fly, Back to December, Speak Now, Dear John, and Better than Revenge.


1989 (Taylor Swift album) - Wikipedia

  1. 1989

In third place is Taylor Swift’s first all pop album, released in 2014: 1989. Similar to Speak Now, 1989 has so many amazon tracks that all convey unique and wide-ranging emotions and themes. This was my favorite album back in elementary school, so I will admit that I have some nostalgia-formed bias. 1989 signified a new era for Taylor Swift— it was her officially leaving country Taylor behind. I feel like this album was when she truly reinvented herself, which can be seen through bolder and more powerful lyrics and crafting a whole new image for herself with the release of the album; she went from the underdog to an incredibly influential pop artist. Moreover, along with the emotionally vulnerable and self aware lyrics, every song on the album features so much imagery. My top songs on the album are Welcome to New York, Style, Out of the Woods, Wildest Dreams and Bad Blood. 


Taylor Swift (album) - Wikipedia

  1. Taylor Swift

This may come as a surprise to many, but in second place on my list is Taylor Swift’s very first self titled album released in 2006. Taylor Swift is ranked so high because every single track in the album is written so well, which is incredibly impressive as she was only seventeen years old. Being her first album, I think Taylor Swift really set the standard for the rest of her albums. It feels so fresh and innocent, but at the same time, it also has some really sad and emotionally mature parts that mean a lot from a seventeen year old. I understand that country isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I do enjoy it and I love Taylor’s take on it, and it overall just feels so original and unique to her. I’ve definitely noticed that in today’s music industry so many songs are mass produced with vague lyrics and themes, and I love that this album feels so personal and unique to Taylor and conveys a feeling unlike any other album. My top songs are Teardrops On My Guitar, Our Song, Should’ve Said No, Picture to Burn, and Cold As You.

Folklore (Taylor Swift album) - Wikipedia

  1. Folklore

Finally, in first place is Folklore. This is one of my all time favorite albums, and if you haven’t listened to it, I definitely recommend it. Firstly, this album has by far been the most organic and honest album that she has ever put out. As I mentioned, I noticed that some songs, especially in Lover, get to a point where they feel overproduced and impersonal, and Folklore is the exact opposite. Taylor announced the album out of nowhere, noting that she wanted it to feel as honest and organic to her as possible. I must warn you that it’s really sad and isn’t made for every mood. However, not taking into consideration the lyrics, the songs are so beautiful and audibly appealing. The whole album’s theme is very simple, nature-y, calm, and muted. As I have mentioned, Taylor consistently writes songs with emotionally aware lyrics that reflect a vulnerable and self-reflective mood. Folklore continues this, but it does so in such a more mature and relatable way that she’s never done before. In a way, the songs almost feel nostalgic because they are so reflective and they force you to think about all of your past experiences. I am honestly so impressed with this album and I would list all of my favorite songs on it, but then I would just list the whole album.