Taylor Swift's Most Explicit Albums—Ranked!
Find out which of the pop star's albums have the most NSFW lyrics.
Whether you've been following superstar Taylor Swift for years, or are just now jumping on the bandwagon, it's no secret that the lyrics in her songs always hit hard. From feel-good dance bops to crying-in-the-shower ballads, the 33-year-old has been showing off her songwriting skills since her debut in 2006 when she was just 17. And as she's gotten older, her music has evolved as well.
It's clear to fans that the themes and messages of Swift's music have become more mature over the years. And as she explores more adult concepts, she's written lyrics more geared to older listeners. Wondering which of Swift's albums is the most adult? The team at language tutor company Preply has you covered. Doing a deep dive into her lyrics, they've determined which three records of the "Anti-Hero" singer's discography are the most explicit.
"We reviewed the lyrics to each song on 10 Taylor Swift albums, [and] if the album has a 'Taylor's Version,' [a re-recorded version] then we used that version of the album," says Krista Sinclair, a spokesperson for Preply. "We then used the Code Interpreter feature of ChatGPT to perform a sentiment analysis of the lyrical themes and emotions portrayed."
Read on to learn more about Swift's most explicit albums, in order of adult content, and to find out which records Preply determined to be the most positive and most negative.
The first of two surprise albums released by the artist in 2020, folklore takes the No. 3 spot when it comes to Swift's explicit lyrical moments. Out of the 17 tracks on the deluxe version, five of them feature curse words that may be inappropriate for younger listeners.
"The 1" uses the word "s***" twice, while "peace" uses it once. The word "b****" appears once in "the last great american dynasty," while "mad woman" and "betty" each have a couple uses of "f***." This record marked Swift's first time using swear words in her songs, and fans were here for the bolder vibes and more mature storytelling.
Released in December of 2020, and beloved for its melancholy, autumnal vibes, evermore comes in second in Preply's most explicit album ranking. The deluxe version of the album has 17 songs, just like its sister record folklore, including six with profanities: "champagne problems," "gold rush," "tolerate it," "happiness," "lvy," and "cowboy Like Me."
While some of these songs are tamer than others, using only "s***" or god****," Swift sings "f***" once in "cowboy like me" and "champagne problems" includes the fan-favorite lyric "what a shame she's f***** in the head."
Sinclair notes that Swift's songwriting has clearly evolved over time, and it seems that the more she writes, the less apologetic she'll be in future releases.
Swift's latest album, 2022's Midnights, places first as her most explicit album to date. The 3am edition features 20 tracks, six of which are marked as explicit. And with a song literally titled "Vigilante S***," it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that this album reigns in that category.
"Maroon," "Snow on the Beach," and "Question…?," all use some variation of "f***," with the curse word appearing multiple times in each song. "Lavender Haze" and "Karma" use "d*** and "god****" while "Vigilante S***" repeats the titular profanity each time the chorus comes back around.
Swift's three most positive albums
In addition to ranking the star's most explicit albums, Preply also put together a ranking of Swift's three most positive and three most negative albums. Sinclair explains that the team used the Code Interpreter feature of ChatGPT to perform a sentiment analysis of the lyrical themes and emotions portrayed in each set of songs. "The sentiment analysis determined the emotional tone behind a series of words, used to gain an understanding of the attitudes, opinions, and emotions expressed within the text, and in this instance it would be lyrics of each song," she tells Best Life.
Swift's top three positive albums are, in descending order, 2008's Fearless, 2006's Taylor Swift, and 2010's Speak Now. With love songs like "Love Story" (Fearless), "Our Song" (Taylor Swift) and "Sparks Fly" (Speak Now), as well as many other lighthearted hits, these albums bring the optimism. They are also the first three albums released by the artist, capturing a youthful innocence. Swift hadn't dealt with much industry drama or backlash at this point, and it showed in her music.
And her three most negative albums
When it comes to Swift's most negative albums, evermore takes the top spot with folklore in second place and 2014's 1989 in third. Based on the analysis, the emotional tone of these three records is definitely darker than that of her other music.
Swift brings out her moodier, more angsty side with these songs, including Evermore's "coney island," folklore's "illicit affairs," and 1989's "Bad Blood." While 1989 certainly has a pop feel to it, and a lot of the songs are upbeat, the lyrics are often in contrast to the music itself. Swift also had much more life experience under her belt when these albums were released as compare to her earlier work, and that's apparent in the tracks.
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