A comprehensive ranking of every Taylor Swift album

Wherever you stand on Swift’s discography, her impact is undeniable.


"Taylor Swift 098" / GabboT /CC BY-SA 2.0

As Swift releases a new album, her past discography is ranked, examining the high and lows of her musical career.

Tonight, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album, “folklore.” Here is a comprehensive ranking of all of her previous albums, from her self-titled debut to 2019’s “Lover.”

7. “Reputation” 

A notoriously controversial record, “reputation” is easily her weakest album. Coming hot off the heels of her first mainstream pop album, “1989,” “reputation” radically changed her image once again, but not for the better. Despite a few gems, Swift sacrifices her songwriting talents here for beat drops and is ultimately medicore. 

Worst Track: “End Game”

Swift is at her best with her solo work, and the features that Future and Ed Sheeran bring make this song sound disjointed.

Best Track: “Getaway Car”

The strongest track on the album, “Getaway Car” echoes “1989”-level greatness.

Should’ve Been a Single: “Getaway Car”

This song’s lyrics showcase the perfect visuals for a music video, and the reason why it was not made a single may never be known.

6. “Taylor Swift”

Swift’s debut album has several of the most memorable songs from her discography — “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Picture to Burn,” and “Our Song,” — but it’s clear this was only the beginning. In the context of her age when she wrote this album, it is quite impressive, but other than a few tracks, the deep-cuts are forgettable.

Worst Track: “The Outside”

By the middle of the album, many of the tracks seem to blend together, and “The Outsider” is the perfect example of a song that fails to stand on its own.

Best Track: “Our Song”

If you haven’t sung along to this song in the car with your friends, you’re missing out on euphoria.

Should’ve Been a Single: “I’m Only Me When I’m With You”

From that very 2000s guitar intro, “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” oozes with single potential.

5. “Lover”

A return to form for Swift after “reputation,” the fun “Lover” delves deep into her relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. However, the album is overstuffed, and could benefit from being cut down by a few tracks. Otherwise, it is utterly fantastic, and so desperately needed after the wave of sad-pop music in the latter half of the decade. One of the tracks would even lend itself to the title of her documentary, “Miss Americana.

Worst Track: “Me!”

“Me!” was unfortunately released as the lead single of “Lover,” which was a perfect example of how childish lyrics can ruin a good melody.

Best Track: “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince”

Using high school as a backdrop to describe U.S. politics, “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” has clever lyrics and an exciting melody to boot.

Should’ve Been a Single: “Cruel Summer”

With Jack Antonoff’s quintessential production, “Cruel Summer” would’ve been a perfect song of the summer contender.

4. “1989”

Swift’s foray into pop music was an immediate success. Although one could go on about the risks of making a genre-switch in an already-established career, Swift pulls it off flawlessly. Every song is melodic while retaining her brilliant lyricism and creative genius. The only reason this album isn’t higher up on the list is because it lacks the depth of her other works.

Worst Track: “Bad Blood”

Although I am ironically a fan of the Kendrick Lamar remix, the verses on “Bad Blood” drag down the momentum of the chorus.

Best Track: “Wildest Dreams”

“Wildest Dreams” is a dreamy track perfect for beachside listening.

Should’ve Been a Single: “I Wish You Would”

This song’s second chorus starts within the first minute — if that doesn’t scream radio-friendly, I don’t know what does.

3. “Speak Now”

To-date, “Speak Now” has the longest runtime out of all of Swift’s standard edition albums. Although the album does have its slow moments, it unfolds beautifully, with some of Swift’s most gorgeous songs, including album-opener, “Mine,” and the ballad “Back to December.” My personal favorite, “Enchanted,” still sounds fresh in 2020. 

Worst Track: “Better Than Revenge”

“Better Than Revenge” feels out of place in her discography by contradicting Swift’s strong feminist image and resorting to misogynistic cliches in its lyrics.

Best Track: “Enchanted”

The melody during the chorus — “I was enchanted to meet you” — is one of Swift’s all-time strongest hooks.

Should’ve Been a Single: “Enchanted”

“Enchanted” deserves the attention that other Swift singles bring.

2. “Red”

“Red” is a fan-favorite from Swift’s discography, and it’s not hard to see why: The single choices were perfect, from the country-pop “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to the radio banger, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” However, it’s “All Too Well” that remains to be the best track of her career. Although it tends to erratically jump from bops to ballads, “Red” is still one of Swift’s best eras (if not her best album).

Worst Track: “Stay Stay Stay”

Shoved between “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and “The Last Time,” “Stay Stay Stay” is lost in the heat of the album.

Best Track: “All Too Well”

“All Too Well” is not only a song; it’s a vivid confession of all of the confusing emotions that come with love and heartbreak.

Should’ve Been a Single: “I Almost Do”

“I Almost Do” is a melancholy country ballad that showcases one of Swift’s strongest choruses.

1. “Fearless”

I maintain my belief that “Fearless” is Swift’s best album, and is well-deserving of the Grammy award for “Album of the Year.” Every track is a stand-out in my mind; the album recounts memories with her mother in “The Best Day,” her high school friendships in “Fifteen” and tells of a romance for the ages in “Love Story.” Even if you wouldn’t call yourself a Swiftie, you can’t deny the perfection of this album. 

Worst Track: “Hey Stephen”

Although there is no truly bad song on this album, “Hey Stephen” is the least memorable.

Best Track: “Love Story”

“Love Song” is a masterpiece from start-to-finish, and will be played at weddings for decades to come.

Should’ve Been a Single: “The Way I Loved You”

The roller-coaster rush of emotions this song induces is necessary for any 3 a.m. music binge.

Although Swift has had some misses in her discography, her talent is undeniable. As a long time fan of Swift, I am excited to see what “folklore” brings to the table.

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