Taylor Swift parties, and yearns, like it's '1989'

October 23, 2014 6:40 PM

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If you are not aware that Taylor Swift has a new album out Monday, it's certainly not her fault, or ours. The rollout for 1989 (***½ out of four stars) named for the superstar's birth year, has been as meticulous and as eagerly pored over as a presidential campaign, and its ascent on the pop charts is as certain as death and taxes — and likely anticipated with as much dread by some folks.

Never mind the haters, though. Swift's genius — or part of it, anyway — has been to turn the same mix of unabashed neediness and cunning that can make her tough to defend as a celebrity into rock-solid musical assets. On 1989, she matches deceptively simple, irresistibly catchy melodies with lyrics ...

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