Taylor Swift

cover image for Taylor Swift's album Speak Now

Swift, T.  (2008).  Love Story. On Fearless [mp3].  Nashville, TN : Big Machine.

Swift, T. (2010).  Back to December.  On Speak Now [mp3].  Nashville, TN : Big Machine.

Swift, T. (2010).  Speak Now.  On Speak Now [mp3].  Nashville, TN : Big Machine.

Review:

[I know nothing about music.  I listen to it, but I’ve never been an audiophile and I have no idea how to go about writing a review for music, so these music reviews are mostly going to be really random and informal.]

Not having heard anything by Swift before (er, not while knowing it was her, in any case)  I pretty much tried to pick the most popular songs of hers (according to iTunes) that stood out when I listened to the clips.  Even so, my first impressions of the first few songs were “bland” – with the exception of Speak Now, which was catchy from the start.   The other two started to grow on me some as I listened to them on repeat, the chorus in Back to December and ? in Love Story, but generally they still feel very forgettable.  Both the music and the lyrics of Back to December and Love Story seem rather typical to me (love, break-ups, loneliness, controlling parents, etc.).

Speak Now is a little more interesting, the tune is bouncier and while it’s again about love, it’s more specifically about Swift interrupting a wedding The Graduate style.  It’s a rather self-centered wish-fulfillment story with plenty of mean girl type lyrics about the bride.  Still, it’s definitely catchy – did I mention that? – and while it may not challenge some of the more harmful cultural attitudes, it’s hardly the worse perpetuation of them either.  Personally, I found the idea that Juliet should be saved from being told what to do by running away with Romeo to be more disturbing – how are you going to get away from being controlled by running to someone else, rather than standing up for yourself? Or, at the very least, running away simply because you need to, not because a boy is waiting for you?

I dunno that I’d ever recommend Swift to anyone, but I’d definitely make sure her albums were in my collection.  Younger tweens may still like the music, but the lyrics are unlikely to appeal to them, and they are going to be less able to criticize the unhealthier part of them.

Best for ages 13-16

Artist website: http://www.taylorswift.com/

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