And we hear they say change is good.
Multi-platinum artist Taylor Swift recently dropped her fourth studio album “Red” and although many were surprised about the sudden move into a new musical direction, the 16-track album could be Swift’s best album to date.
Confident—this is one word to describe Swift’s brand new sound. Over the years, a few albums ago, Swift has presented records that talked about young love and first crushes and various heartbreaks, as well as some stories about relationships that never happened, while other songs discussed her questions about growing up as a woman.
On “Red”, it’s obvious that the once mushy and giddy Taylor Swift is now a grown up woman who does not fear change, be it a change in music or a change of perspective.
The album’s best track All Too Well is probably Taylor’s most vulnerable song to date, tainted with a little bit of bitterness and uncertainty—a song you’d probably listen to when you’re inside your room, watching raindrops fall outside. Accompanied by her signature string-laden instrumental as well as a well-defined, bass-heavy drumbeat, Swift sings “You call me up again / Just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel / In the name of being honest,” and if you’re a fan, you’d break down with her.
But Red, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and 22 are the tracks that speak volumes about Swift’s new record. They’re new and confident, and everything that most fans and cynics never expected Taylor Swift to sound like. Sure, she has tried to saunter between country and pop with songs like Fearless, Mine, and The Story of Us but never had she tried pulling off a clapper or a Carly Rae Jepsen (with more depth and sincerity).
The fourth track I Knew You Were Trouble.could be a surprise for fans that love the curly-haired, guitar-playing girl from Nashville. Along with the aforementioned songs, these tracks are the statements that the album made: of Taylor Swift, stepping one foot off unicorns and romantic comedies into a new musical path, probably somewhere between the music of Joni Mitchell and the dubstep rhythms of Robyn or Katy Perry.
Swift bravely steps into the thin line that separates country, pop, and rock with the album opener State of Grace, along with the bonus track (included in the deluxe edition) Treacherous. They are—in equal parts—an upgrade of Swift’s musical maturity and a highlighter of her musical strengths.
Other songs such as I Almost Do, Holy Ground, and Starlight are some of the album’s weaker tracks. They sound a lot like a rip-off from her first few albums— just a little off the thematic substance of the entire album but reaches the shores of Swift’s brilliance in coming up with songs that would mostly be in your driving playlist… or the Wal-Mart playlist.
The best thing about Red is that it presented Taylor Swift’s daring move to change in sound, all while retaining the same-old country girl who never failed to amaze everybody with her well-written and brutally honest songs. Red, All Too Well, I Almost Do, State of Grace, and Sad Beautiful Tragic are the songs that showcased Swift’s lyrical ingenuity: honest, beautiful, and heartbreaking… all at the same time.
Red is a mixture of Coldplay, U2, Katy Perry, Robyn, and Max Martin all adding up to create a brand new Taylor Swift that everybody may or may not love but can finally, for once, claim a definite stand in the pop industry without letting go of her own post in the country scene. This is an album that put together pop, country, and lite-rock, just when some people thought it was impossible.
And just when you thought you’ve lost the Taylor Swift that started a guessing game because of Speak Now, she sings, loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street / faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly… and you just know that somewhere in this record lies the singer-songwriter who captured the world with her words.
There are those weak tracks, as has any other album and this album is a lot of things but it is not safe—that could be good or bad but with someone donning the name Taylor Swift, this album is burning red.
Recommended songs: All Too Well, State of Grace, Red
Rating: Four of five stars
ALL TOO WELL
STATE OF GRACE
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