Looking Back at T. Swift’s Humble Beginnings: A Debut Album Review

May 16, 2023

Taylor Swift is a platinum award-winning artist in many genres, but to see the roots of her music, take a deep dive into her first album to see what was truly going on with young Taylor.

This is the cover for  Taylor Swift’s debut album “Taylor Swift.” Image by Dawn Shannon via Pinterest

Swift wrote all of these songs and debuted at the ripe age of 16. Looking at her first album, including songs from the “Beautiful Eyes” EP, it is clear that Swift has always had a way with music.

This album is one of four that do not have a Taylor’s Version. Taylor’s Version is in reference to the fact that she does not legally own the music from her first six albums. She is rerecording all of them and adding unreleased tracks to each version that are from the era of the album she is recording.

Track 1 – “Tim McGraw”

This is the cover for the debut single by artist Taylor Swift, entitled “Tim McGraw” Image by @padmesmirrorball via Pinterest

Rating: 10/10

Swift wrote this track to deal with the sadness and loss of her senior boyfriend, who is also written about at fifteen. This song is very beautiful and listeners can feel the emotion in her voice. This song is a favorite of Swifties across the globe.

Track 2 – “Picture to Burn”

Thid is the cover of the single from Taylor Swift’s debut album entitled “Picture to Burn.” Image by Discogs via Pinterest

Rating: 10/10

The second track of the album is written about Swift’s frustration with a boy she has just broken up with. A repeating theme of boy problems is becoming clear in the album’s songs. This song is a great choice for a single. I love it so much because of the anger in her voice and the way she sings it, and it is a standout.

Track 3 – “Teardrops On My Guitar”

This is the cover of the single from Taylor Swift’s debut album entitled “Teardrops on My Guitar.” Image by @MTTYOfficial via Pinterest

Rating: 10/10

Fitting the tone of being an outcast, of the album perfectly, this song was written about a boy who would constantly talk about other girls to Swift’s face when she had the biggest crush on him.. This track is another well-known hit and another 10/10 for all of her fans.

Track 4 – “A Place in This World”

Rating: 10/10

This underrated track was written about Swift’s struggle to find a purpose. Resonating with listeners from all different backgrounds, this song is worth every second. I wish the song was given more praise for its powerful themes. The way Swift sings this song is addicting and how she connects with her audience is amazing.

Track 5 – “Cold as You”

Rating: 11/10

Written about giving love to someone who cannot give the same feelings back and realizing that her effort is not worth it, this track is a great example of Swift’s sad songwriting. She really is able to convey her emotions well through this song. This song is flawless in all ways and is definitely one of the highlights of the album.

Track 6 – “The Outside”

Rating: 9/10

“The Outside” was written about Swift’s struggles of being an outcast at school and in general. The song’s meaning is very beautiful and shows how vulnerable Swift really was which is amazing to see considering her growth as an artist. However, the instruments are a tad bit weak at points.

Track 7 – “Tied Together With a Smile”

Rating: 10/10

The 7th track of the album is about putting on a facade for the people around you. Swift had written this after finding out one of her friends had an eating disorder. This song’s meaning is heartfelt, showing how Swift really cares about the people around her. She absolutely kills this track with her vocals. The track itself is stunning with no flaws to be found.

Track 8 – “Stay Beautiful”

Rating: 10/10

This song is written about a boy Swift very much admires and wants to know. This song is such a vibe for listeners and is so underrated.

Track 9 – “Should’ve Said No”

Rating: 10/10

Swift writes “Should’ve Said No” about a boy who made a wrong decision and cost them their relationship. There is so much passion in her voice in this song. I can not wait for Taylor’s Version.

Track 10 – “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)”

Rating: 10/10

Swift wrote this about growing up and growing old with the boy she is loved since she was a kid. This trope has always been so cute, especially to listen to in Swift’s voice, considering her voice is sweet and innocent. This album truly has zero skips.

Track 11 – “Our Song”

This is the cover from the final single from Taylor Swift’s debut entitled, “Our Song.” Image by Gwyenth G via Pinterest

Rating: 10/10

“Our Song” is about Swift’s absolute love for a boy in her life. This song is so cute and fun, reminding listeners of some of the best moments of their lives. I wish I could listen to this song for the first time again for the first impression that the listener feels with the lyrics of the music.

Track 12 – “I’m Only Me When I’m With You”

Rating: 9/10

This song, about Swift’s love for her friends and family, is amazing. It is such a cute rock-punk Y2K for a country album. I wish this song got more love because it deserves it for its vibe alone. However, I would give it a 9/10 because it can get a little annoying after a while.

Track 13 – “Invisible”

Rating: 8/10

“Invisible” is written about Swift wishing a guy would give her the same love she gives him, but he does not see her; she is invisible to him. With stunning lyrics and beautiful melodies, I wish debut Taylor was around again because I love everything about her original style. This song emphasizes the emotion in Swift’s writing and her ability to tell a story with her voice.

Track 14 – “A Perfectly Good Heart”

Rating: 9/10

The closing track of the album, which is about Swift’s heart being broken for the first time, just feels right for the closing track. Swift’s final piece feels as if she is pushing us out of this struggling journey and finally ending it with a sense of closure. and I can not wait for Taylor’s Version.

Moving onto the “Beautiful Eyes” EP

“Beautiful Eyes”

Rating: 10/10

This song, included on the “Beautiful Eyes” EP, is about being endlessly in love with someone. This song is so cute, and it is just really fun to listen to.

“I Heart ?”

Rating 10/10

This final song, written about a confusing breakup, is very entertaining and conveys anger, a refreshing break from sorrow and heartbreak. The way Swift sings is pure and full of emotion. Every second is worth listening to because of the way she sings.


Overall Album rating: 10/10

Taylor Swift’s debut album is incredibly overlooked and mistreated by her fans. It is considered her worst album by many, but I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement. It is fun, sad and takes you through many emotions. It really should be looked at with appreciation because if we did not have this album, we would not have the new and legendary Taylor and her style today.

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