Think about the most recent Taylor Swift album you listened to. Come on! We know you listen to a lot of Taylor Swift! If you’re like me and maintain some sort of vague interest in all things remotely pop music-oriented, you already know that Swift’s albums are all about her life. The recipe for a Taylor Swift disc calls for a break-up here, a romance there, a dash of Kanye West award stealing for flavor… oh, just let this Vogue profile of Swift tell you what you really need to know:
Swift has famously dated some famous boys—Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal. When she was eighteen, Jonas notoriously broke up with her over the phone—in a call that lasted 27 seconds—an experience that fueled her songwriting. She wrote a damning song about Mayer called “Dear John.” She dated Gyllenhaal through the fall of 2010 (he broke up with her around the Christmas holidays).
Basically, part of the fun of a Taylor Swift album is listening to it and figuring out which songs are about which boys—in addition to being named for her ex John Mayer, for example, Swift’s “Dear John” subtly parodies Mayer’s doofy blue-eyed blues guitar affectations.
Swift is working on her fourth album: “There’s just been this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak,” she says, “and that will turn out to be what the next album is about. The only way that I can feel better about myself—pull myself out of that awful pain of losing someone—is writing songs about it to get some sort of clarity.”
So yeah. Who is Taylor Swift’s new album going to be about? It won’t be fun if we can’t figure it out.