On the surface, it might seem silly to consider any of Taylor Swift’s songs underrated – after all, she’s an incredibly beloved, iconic artist whose passionate fans know every note of her catalogue inside out. But, given that she’s so prolific, there are plenty of great songs in her oeuvre that have flown under the radar or not had their chance to shine. Here are our picks for Taylor Swift’s most underrated songs – dig in.
Despite how much she’s written about relationships and love, it’s rare that Taylor deep dives into lust. ‘Dress’, though, is different, the pop star turning the titular clothing into a flirtatious piece of imagery. Among ‘Reputation’’s glittering pop gems, this one deserved much more attention.
‘Bye Bye Baby’ (‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’)
Until 2021, this gently dizzying lullaby was a true deep cut – an outtake from Swift’s second album, and previously known as ‘One Thing’. When it finally got a proper release, thanks to the ‘Taylor’s Version’ of ‘Fearless’, it gave the world another example of the evocative storyteller teen Taylor was.
When Tay’s first surprise album ‘folklore’ dropped in mid-2020, many dismissed ‘Epiphany’ as monotonous and “dreary”. Pay attention to the lyrics, though, and the song is a devastating ode to support systems, those who put their own lives on the line to help others, and more.
‘Last Kiss’ (‘Speak Now’)
Taylor’s back catalogue has a huge wealth of songs to delve into when you’re going through a break-up, whether you’re ready to move on or pissed at how things have turned out. ‘Speak Now’’s ‘Last Kiss’, though, approaches things more sorrowfully, capturing the youthful sentiment of thinking your relationship is forever.
Alice In Wonderland has long been a popular cultural touchstone to describe surreal and wild experiences. But on ‘Wonderland’, Swift used the classic story as a setting for a toxic relationship, detailing the highs and lows that came part and parcel of that. It might have been relegated to bonus track status, but its infectious hook and slabs of sparkling synths make it a pop gem that deserved better.
‘Starlight’ (‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’)
As a whole, ‘Red’ bottled the dizzying feeling of young love and the rush of new crushes, but ‘Starlight’ especially excelled at this. “It was the best night, never would forget how he moved” is the kind of simple-but-effective lyric that nails that sense of hazy morning-after euphoria perfectly.
‘You’re Not Sorry’ (‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’)
In her early years, young Swifty might have been heavily associated with country-pop, but that wasn’t the only string on her bow. ‘You’re Not Sorry’ saw her stepping into rockier territory – but still with that Nashville twang to it – hinting at the eclecticism that would unfold through her future releases.
‘Tied Together With A Smile’ (‘Taylor Swift’)
Millions upon millions of fans have taken comfort from Taylor’s work over the years, and the overlooked ‘Tied Together With A Smile’ is a prime example of the support her music can lend. In it, she lends a shoulder to a friend struggling with an eating disorder, acknowledging their feelings but assuring them of their worth.
‘It’s Time To Go’ (‘evermore’)
Although it’s hard to find underrated tracks in Swift’s most recent work, given the almost universal clamour around each release, but ‘evermore’ bonus track ‘It’s Time To Go’ didn’t get the recognition it deserved – largely because it was originally only available on the deluxe physical version of the record. It’s a shame – it’s a beautiful track about different kinds of relationships running their course and the pain that comes with each ending.
‘I Think He Knows’ (‘Lover’)
‘Lover’’s ‘I Think He Knows’ presented Taylor in a way that she’d not really been heard before – singing in isolation over a clicking beat and minimal, rumbling bassline. As the song progressed, more lines got added – with a bright chorus led by layers of her vocals – all combining into a cool, crisp electro-tinged jewel that erupts at the final beat drop. Perfection.