It’s been two years since the world last heard new music from Taylor Swift. In that time, she has toured countless states and countries for months in a row, turned the legal drinking age, and dated and dumped her fair share of guys. She was even linked to an 18-year-old Kennedy. All the while, she has been writing about it all.
The time has come for her fourth album release. After it’s release on October 22, Red sold over 1.2 million copies in its first week, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 charts and making her the highest album debut for the decade. Pretty impressive for a simple country girl from Reading, PA.
Swift fans had their doubts about the singer/songwriter when it was revealed her first single would be titled “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Usually, those titles are reserved for YouTube wannabes or Avril Lavigne. I have to admit that I cringed the first time I heard the song on the radio. I absolutely loved Swift’s last album, Speak Now. How could it be that the same person who wrote epic songs like “Mine,” “Back to December” and “Dear John” wrote such trivial lyrics such as “You go talk to your friends/Talk to my friends, talk to me/But we are never ever ever getting back together?”
To answer the rhetorical question, only Miss Taylor Swift. Her new album is full of the classic “relationships-suck and-this-is-why” ballads about the mystery men we wish had a name. But Swift – forever a lady – refuses to sing a song and tell the public whom it’s about. Luckily, she gives such detail that we can’t help but piece together her puzzle. So, if you’re looking for token sappy Swift songs, check out “All Too Well,” “I Almost Do,” and the tearjerker “Sad Beautiful Tragic.”
Red isn’t without its girl-powering anthems, though. The title track and “22” provide a healthy balance of energy within the album’s more somber feel. Swift might want to think about expanding her song selection when she undoubtedly starts compiling songs for her fifth release, though. Speak Now contained almost double light-hearted, happy-go-lucky tracks; Red focuses more on the somber, adult tracks.
Make sure to take a listen to the final song on the album, “Begin Again.” It tells the story of a girl who left a bad relationship only to discover that the next guy is her version of Prince Charming. Any girl that has ever been with the wrong guy, thinking she’ll never find a good one, but then is totally swept away when she does will fall in love with this track. This is Taylor Swift at her best.
This is not to say that Red is a bad album, but if you are a fan of Swift’s older work, this might not be the album for you. Fear not, because I’m sure on her upcoming 2013 world tour, she’ll be singing more than the inevitable “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
By Mary Pickett