Taylor Swift Is Louder Than AC/DC -- No, Really

Can you hear the difference?

Not all albums are mixed equally. No matter how loud you crank the volume on your iTunes, each and every song you listen to has a baseline volume, making it louder or quieter compared to other songs. And a new study points out that Taylor Swift's 1989 blows hard rock albums like AC/DC's Back in Black out of the water.

An infographic published by Ian Shepherd at compares a wide variety of albums based on their loudness and dynamics. Metallica and Skrillex top the loud list with their respective albums Death Magnetic and Recess, but Taylor comes in pretty high at number five—just above Oasis's What's the Story (Morning Glory) and several slots above Jack White's most recent album Lazaretto.

The Loudness Wars

Meanwhile, AC/DC, The Sex Pistols, Motorhead, and another album by Metallica take up the bottom half of the list, with high dynamics and low volume. This discrepancy comes from the fact that contemporary pop albums are deliberately mixed to be loud and grab attention. It's an ongoing trend in the music business, but it is funny to see Swift ranked higher than a score of bands who were known for being the noisiest in their heyday.

Can you hear the difference between Taylor Swift and AC/DC? Stream "Blank Space" and "Back in Black" below and see which one sounds louder.

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