To quote one of her own songs, loving Taylor Swift is red. One song can be so good you have it on repeat for days and the next has you wanting to rip your hair out when it plays on the radio. Yet whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny her music is catchy, relatable and extremely popular.
Swift’s newest and fourth record, Red, was released Oct. 22. According to iTunes, the album expresses Swift’s “taste for vengeance, her hot-blooded romantic streak, and the neon-lit pulse of a dance floor.” The girl known for releasing songs about past romances, good and bad, has done it again in a more grown-up and dangerous approach.
Her fourth album includes lyrics of confusion, love, danger, frustration and jealousy. Although the underlying theme of her lyrics is typically about love, her songs seem to have matured in their message. Songs like “The Last Time” and “Everything Has Changed”, featuring Ed Sheeran, give the listener this thought.
And then they hear “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
The danger in her lyrics comes through in songs like “Treacherous,” where she describes her love as quicksand: “this path is reckless, this slope is treacherous and I like it.” It seems Swift has gone looking for trouble. In the song “State of Grace” she sings of “walking fast through the traffic lights…We fall in love ’til it hurts or bleeds.” Not to mention the track “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which is all about falling in love with someone you know is bad from the beginning.
For those in college, the relatable lyrics in “22” express all of our thoughts as Swift sings, “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical, oh yeah.” For those of us feeling “22,” we can’t help but sing along in agreement.
Although her album is certainly not country despite its given genre, the music is a new sound for Swift. The upbeat pop songs range from dubstep in “I Knew You Were Trouble” to the slow and sultry sound of “Begin Again.”
Top-played songs like “Red” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” are undeniably pop. Swift’s new sound could be credited to Max Martin, one of the album’s producers and contributing songwriters known for working with pop superstars including Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Kelly Clarkson, Bon Jovi and Katy Perry.
Do I think Swift has the voice of our generation? No. Are her songs deep and meaningful? Not always. Will I still buy her CD and jam out in my car? Absolutely. So for those of you who want to argue Swift’s ability to perform or produce a well-rounded album, we are never ever going to agree.