Taylor Swift's 'Red' breaks away from country genre
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 22:10
Taylor Swift has broken free of the country music genre in her fourth album, “Red.” Her third album, “Speak Now,” started to step in a different direction, but she held on. Almost every song on Red has a touch of pop. Her slow songs show the maturity of her voice. Swift’s songs are still autobiographical and based on boys, but she has stepped away from being obvious of who she is talking about.
Swift’s first single from “Red”, “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” set the tone for the album. It is extremely playful and sung in a conversational tone. This is the only conversational song on the album, but the upbeat music is carried throughout the album.
The title song, “Red,” is a fast yet emotional song. Swift discusses the auras that people give off when they are in love or heart broken. It takes the listener on a journey of the love she felt for a guy and how she felt when they broke up. Like many of her songs it is easy to relate.
Keeping true to herself, the majority of her songs were about past or current relationships, but she did manage to put two songs in about life.
“22” is self-explanatory; it is a song about going out, partying and feeling young. This song has a strong Ke$ha feel to it. “22” could easily be played in clubs or turned up loud in a car with a bunch of girls singing at the top of their lungs. Whether you are 22, younger or older this is the new girl party anthem. “The Lucky One,” voices the struggles of being famous and the toll it can have on some people. Swift tells the story of a famous person’s downfall and then Swift entering into the same scene. Although with a quick beat, it is a sad song about how cruel the tabloids can be.
“Treacherous” and “I Almost Do” were two of the seven slow songs on Swift’s album. “Treacherous,” tells of a sticky relationship that Swift doesn’t want to leave. She knows it is bad for her but she keeps getting dragged back into the “quicksand.” In “I Almost Do,” Swift is out of a relationship and having issues not going back into it. Both of the songs talk about the downs of relationships well.
“Stay, Stay, Stay,” is a cute upbeat story about things that Swift and her boyfriend like about each other. Like the title many words are repeated in the song. At the end of the song Swift laughs and says, “That was fun.” This adds character to the album and shows more of Swift’s personality. In “Holy Ground,” another fast song, Swift happily reminisces on a past relationship. She talks about the place they met as the “Holy Ground.” This shows that just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean that it was a bad one. “State of Grace” has a good beat to it, making it another great dancing song. Swift sings about a boy who changed her life.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” is the most pop oriented song on Swift’s album. Swift uses auto tuning to put more emphasis on the word “trouble.” Although auto-tune is frowned upon in the music business, Swift manages to put it in their artistically because the majority of the song is her voice. She didn’t do it because she can’t sing, which she can; she did it for emphasis.
“Starlight” is the only song that points directly to who she is singing about. Swift says in the song, “The night we snook into a yacht club party.” Swift and Conor Kennedy were busted for “crashing a wedding” even though it was for someone in Kennedy’s family. This points to the song being about Kennedy. Swift also repeatedly talks about being on a boat with the boy; Swift and Kennedy have been on boating trips. She does say they are seventeen but maybe this is her way of hiding it.
Swifts two duets were a disappointment. In “The Last Time,” featuring Gary Lightbody, his voice is too raspy and almost too high to compliment her voice. He also drowns out her voice when they sing together. “Everything has Changed,” featuring Ed Sheeran, shows their voices blend well but Swift overpowers Sheeran’s voice when they sing together. There needs to be a balance with a duet; both artists should be featured.
Swift has once again released a relatable album to girls of all ages. She covers every step of relationships and even touches on being young and free. We give this album four out of five paws.