Taylor Swift is no longer a strictly country artist. Her new album “Red” has a spice of techno, dubstep and pop. The days when Swift would sing innocently about running away with Romeo are finished.
“Red” symbolizes the ups and downs in her past relationships. She describes the theme of the album as relationships that sped up too fast and then exploded while hitting the wall and falling apart. Devoting an entire album to relationships is a risky move.
This is to be expected though, as Swift is known for her terrible relationships. A colleague of mine shouted in the office saying, “I just want Swift to find a good guy.” Even though the songs are about breakups, they are surprisingly optimistic.
Swift swings back and forth between twang banjo songs and pop-club music.
A song I will expect to hear blasting in clubs soon is “I Knew You Were Trouble.” By the first minute or so, dubstep explodes through the speakers while Swift’s voice sounds auto-tuned, which in itself shows Swift has stooped to a new level. This song will definitely appeal to a particular type of audience of clubgoers, but they may not be the most devout of fans. Through the auto-tuned lyrics, it almost feels like Swift is looking for the bad boy, not for his charm, but for the sole purpose of writing a catchy song about him.
It makes sense for Swift to go in this direction because she has a team of producers who have Pink, Britney Spears and Kanye West albums on their resumes.
But, Swift’s songs are no longer lyrically driven, unlike her former songs “Enchanted” and “Never Grow Up” from the album “Speak Now.” One song titled “22” starts off with the lyrical verse “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.” The correlation between hipsters and making fun of exes doesn’t make too much sense, but the song has a lighthearted repetitive chorus that even a five year old could sing along to.
Don’t quote me on this, but the song ‘’Starlight’’ seems suspiciously similar to her recent rendezvous with Connor Kennedy. The lyrics “We snuck into a yacht club party/ Pretending to be a duchess and a prince” sounds like her recent wedding-crasher scandal that was publicized on TMZ. If this is true, Swift really lets her listeners into her personal life and shows she’s not ashamed of her past.
The best and most popular song thus far, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” can make any non-Swift believer dance. It’s on the radio every two seconds, so even if you don’t like it, you can’t get away from it. There are rumors this song is about Jake Gyllenhaal and, if this is true, I’m not entirely sure why anyone wouldn’t want to get back together with him. But, this is the one song completely relatable to young girls who have experienced a failing relationship. They can sing in unison to this song while laughing at the guy they leave behind.
When listening to the album for the first time, the songs can be lost, as the listeners may not feel the emotional connections that Swift has made so well in the past. Her listeners don’t leave feeling confident or heartbroken, but instead they are left feeling confused about whether she is still the same näive young woman the world fell in love. Swift no longer comes off as a victim of heartbreak, but as a hater who will ruin a man by singing about him.