Track #04: Out Of The Woods
This is THE song of the ‘1989′ album by Taylor Swift. ‘Out Of The Woods’ was released as the second single of the album about two weeks prior to the official release date of the album. It was an instant hit. It rose to #01 on iTunes and #18 on Billboard Hot 100 song charts. ‘Out Of The Woods’ is claimed as one of the best works of ‘1989’ album as well as Taylor Swift’s career. The song was co-written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff.
I believe this song has an interesting meaning. It talks about the ‘fragility of relationships’ as per Taylor Swift. However there are also elements of love, fear and doubt in the lyrics. Taylor keeps a perfect low pitch throughout the song to give a massive emotional effect.
‘Out Of The Woods’ starts with a happy note:
Looking at it now, it all seems so simple
We were lying on your couch, I remember
You took a Polaroid of us
Then discovered (then discovered)
The rest of the world was black and white
But we were in screaming color”
It was a simple relationship back then. Everything was perfect and relaxing. They take a picture of them and compare it with the world. The couple is in an extreme joyous point of their relationship (‘screaming colors’), as is how it is in the beginning stages of every relationship. Everything they do is magic. Everything is so vibrant and colorful. Whereas the rest of the world was dull and boring compared to them. It was a good start to the relationship. This is the height of the relationship.
But then the song takes a drastic change; the drums take a low beat and Taylor’s voice pitches down.
“Are we out of the woods yet? -///
Are we in the clear yet? -///”
The two sentences repeat for four times, and then makes another full circle. This emphasizes how tedious, dull and unbearable the relationship has become. Obviously this is a wrongly matched couple. They are stuck in a rut. The world is against them. The future is unclear surrounded by dense ‘woods’.
Then the song goes back in time….
“Looking at it now, Last December
we were built to fall apart, then fall back together”
The song gives us a phrase ‘Last December’, which could be a reference to her hit song ‘Back To December’, which too speaks about a heartbreaking relationship. However Taylor says this relationship was meant to break apart and then back together–referencing to the ‘fragility’ she pointed out before.
Now comes the fall out…
“Remember when we couldn’t take the heat
I walked out, I said, I’m setting you free
But the monsters turned out to be just trees
When the sun came up”
A point has come when the ‘heat’ or pressure from everyone around was too much to handle and causes them to break apart. But when ‘light’ shines on the darkness, they realize there were no real monsters, it was just their imagination. It makes sense though. When your relationship is stuck in a rut, everything seems go against you. But in truth, it’s just your inner demons.
I believe this is a beautifully composed song, perfect popsynth and perfect melody. Kudos!!!