Not many country singers transition well into rock, but T-Swift proves that it’s not only possible, but if done as it is on Red then let me just say that Jonathon Swift should’ve ended his blood line by following through with his modest proposal; now he’s doomed to be overshadowed by his loins.
State of Grace is first and it’s bold to steal the guitar rift and chord progression from Silversun Pickup’s track Lazy Eye. A bold maneuver only Swift could be courageous enough to take.
Then the titular song, Red proves you don’t need to know what an onomatopoeia is to write a song, instead you can use three colors in a chorus and simply discontinue that theme through the verses.
Treacherous is next and it’s an example of the slippery slope of teen love. It’s star-crossed lovers; Romeo & Juliet and Juliet was unaware that she was a rebound from Rosalind. That innocence and ignorance is what Swift mitigates phenomenally–truly Shakespeare couldn’t have done it better himself.
I Knew You Were Trouble is not a song, but a confession, letting young girls of all teen ages know that they can own their sexual mistakes and insecurities. See, even when you sleep with a bad boy because he looked attractive, you can always tell people afterwards that you knew he was bad from the start. It may beg the question, “why did you do it then?” But you don’t need an answer if you’ve been wounded deeply enough.
Oh boy, how many praises can I sing of this song?
It’s chorus has the brilliant rhyme scheme of “you” and then “to” and then “two,” now that’s a clever use of homophones. And the message, the message is one of the most honorable chants of all time–“forget about deadlines” hell, forget about being responsible, “everything will be all right if we just keep dancing like we’re 22.”
I tell you I blast this song whenever I see a homeless person just off the freeway, if that message doesn’t ring true for them– I don’t know what will.
I Almost Do really teaches girls that even when you’re not doing something, you can still brag about it and make sure everyone knows.
We are Never Ever Getting Back Together is a brilliant satire. The word “never” is obviously reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s the raven, but this song is from the raven’s perspective and reverses Poe’s intention. See, with a song, the word “never” must echo into the background, so the word sounds like “ever” but really it’s an echo of “never.” So, what Swift has strewdly done in this narrative is create a double negative–only literary masters are usually capable of this–so that, when the chorus rings, “we are never ever ever ever getting back together,” we know that indeed they will due to the quadruple negative. This artist breaks all conventions of grammar.
Stay, Stay, Stay comes across as light-hearted, but after the second verse, Swift stops singing and starts ordering, barking at the man to stay like a dog. And that’s really how you make love last, see when the chorus is “no one else is gonna love me when I get mad,” then yes, you should do whatever it takes to keep your current boyfriend.
Then there’s Last Time–which was the last track I reached before switching it off because it was just too much awesomeness to handle. It features the vocal talents from Snow Patrol (Gary Lightbody) and if you had any doubts of Swift’s abilities as a singer, you can finally put those apprehensive thoughts aside.
See, the song actually features snow patrol singing in proper keys, and Swift’s voice comes across as scratchy white noise by comparison, but this is purposeful for Swift’s hipster movement to be complete, see she doesn’t need to sound “good”–that’s old school–she needs to sound bad because it’s different. She sure showed me. Who knew after this song ended, you’d be left thinking of how sonorous John Lydon sounds by comparison.
As for me, Red is definitely the album that affects your life as Red will be catchy, pounding in your head, and pouring from the veins in your wrists.
The problem with T-Swift
It has nothing to do with T-Swift, frankly she’s been taken advantage of. Swift was a country singer with those curly, awkward locks. Country music is about writing in the present, forgoing flowery language and imagery and simply saying what happens. Hence all those songs about their Chevy pickup trucks and shotgun wielding blondes; these aren’t metaphors, they’re quite literal.
However, Swift’s curls have been straightened and instead of country, her singles have been spliced with dubstep–that newest form of music that combines rap with techno and makes speakers go Bzzzzt, VRAT VRAT VRAT VRAT VRAT, BZZZZT… CHNK!!! This is especially prominent in I knew you were trouble and 22.
Why is this alarming? Swift is being modified to be more marketable to more mainstream audiences. They’re losing the curls and country to grab more modern teens.
In many ways, Swift is a modern Britney Spears.
Britney Spears was made, not born–a classic example of nurture over nature. She was made into a sex symbol, making her one of the most tragic stories to date since she was simply a 15yo who wanted fame, to sing, and to dance. Swift is the exact same but a bit more subversive.
In interviews, Swift is clearly blown away by the sudden attention and fame scene. She is naive and innocent, but all her songs are about the notches she tallies on her belt. She’s a sex symbol but not the innocent school girl, just innocent country girl.
The sad part is, whereas Bob Dylan’s hits may be classic for generations to come, Swift cannot be singing these tunes when she’s 30, let alone 40.
Taylor Swift: Red (2012)
Label: Big Machine
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