The use of Max Martin, the man behind the hit tunes from such pop stars as Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Katy Perry, was significant in Taylor shedding every last country gene she had for 1989
. Asked by Billboard
magazine why she went pop, the former country princess replied: "I think what made me decide to do that was that, looking back on my last album, Red
, when people would ask me, 'What's your favorite song?' I would always say, without hesitation, 'I Knew You Were Trouble
.' So when I went in the studio to start this album, I wanted to make sure that this album was different than anything I'd done before, and I was naturally gravitating toward those pop sensibilities and expanding that way."
"But it wasn't until about a year in that I admitted to myself and my team that this is a pop album," Taylor continued. "We can't call it country; that would be the most disingenuous thing we can do, and out of respect for a [genre] and a music town that I adore, I have to be honest. I think being upfront with people that you care about is the most honest way of going about your life and your decisions."