Whether or not you are a Taylor Swift fan, you have likely realized that Taylor Swift’s name has been unusually absent from the news lately. You may also have noticed that it has been a while since Taylor’s last album was released, and yet there seems to be no new music from her on iTunes. 1989, Taylor’s latest album, was released in late 2014, making it over two years since Taylor has released new music. As per her tradition of releasing a new album every two years, Taylor should have released a new album in the fall of 2016, which of course, she did not.
After her worldwide 1989 tour, Taylor announced that she would be taking time off, which is why we have not heard any new music from her. According to Colin Stutz from Billboard, she felt that both she and her fans needed a break, and she also expressed her concern that her next album would not be as big a hit as 1989 had been. Taylor said, “How could the next one be as big? Maybe the next album will be a bridge to somewhere else. Or maybe I’ll just go ahead and change everything.” She did not, however, specify how much time she would be taking off or if she would ever release another album. Taylor Swift fans are likely wondering what Taylor was referring to when she said “a bridge to somewhere else” and what change she is going to make in her music. What is the most troubling to fans is not just their own uncertainty but the uncertainty of Taylor herself regarding her future: “I think I should take some time off. I think people might need a break from me. I’m going to… I don’t know. Hang out with my friends. Write new music. Maybe not write new music. I don’t know.” If Taylor herself does not know what comes next for her, then what are her fans supposed to think or expect?
Furthermore, what happened that made Taylor feel that she needed to take a break? She had released four albums in the past, and never before had she expressed this kind of uncertainty. Her fans knew that they could depend on her to release an album every two years, and as a Taylor Swift fan myself, I know that this is something that fans looked forward to. Did her breakup with Calvin Harris have anything to do with her need to recharge? Did the incredible success of 1989 put too much pressure on her as one of America’s most famous artists? Did she feel that fans’ expectations would be too high for her next album? Whatever happened with Taylor, I think that we can be sure that if she does release a new album, it will be different from all the ones she has released before. What we cannot be sure of, however, is how it will be different or when the public will hear new music from one of the fastest-rising stars of all time.