Some day soon, I will not have work with those crazy awful retail customers and I will leave the hospital parking lot before the streets fill with fog and drunken assholes in gas guzzlers; or maybe I will just be prepared with a ready-to-go post. Until then, I will attempt to jot out short posts that, while not thoroughly thought through or edited, will still give you something more than just a sentence and a song.
Taylor Swift may not be for everyone but, regardless of your personal taste, her new album, Red, is amazing; there will be at least one song that you like. Between the time when her last album was released in 2010 and now, Swifty actually grew up, and her lyrics reflect that. Her album is no longer dripping with sickly sweet love songs and childish lash outs at different guys she has dated, but the lyrics sound as if she composed herself before just spewing forth her feelings, then wrote them in the way that would best be represented in a song (in the past, her lyrics have sounded more like something written to be a diary page or poem; it did not have that rhythm or lyrical manipulation that you need for a good song.).
"Holy Ground" and "Stay Stay Stay" are still dripping with that sound of the original Swifty albums, but if you listen to the lyrics, they are so much more mature. It makes the songs actually enjoyable as something more than a song to throw in when you know you're going to have to stay awake on a long car trip. Composition wise, these songs are a great mixture of the old and new Taylor Swift, while offering a great segue into the more mature Swifty sound.
"All Too Well" is just as wonderfully grown up as the rest of the songs on Red; it's refreshing. It kind of makes me want to cheer for Swifty and congratulate her on doing a good job; I promise not to make fun of Swifty for her "Teardrops On My Guitar" days as long as she swears not to bring them back. "Treacherous" and "I Almost Do" fall under this same category. They are both such great songs and sound so oddly, terrifically grown up coming from the Taylor Swift who has been, in the past, so well known for her teenage pop anthems.
There were a lot of people who seemed kind of enamored with "Begin Again," but I never really appreciated it; the lyrics sounded forced, to me. When I saw her CMA performance of the song, this was only further confirmed, because all of her facial emotions seemed fake and it felt like she was pandering to the crowd. It's not cool to lie to people Swifty, but props for making this song; in theory, it's a really slightly good song.
"Red" is just pure Swifty; it's a catchy break up song (though, listening to this album, Taylor Swift either had an inordinate amount of things to say to this one guy [and a lot of different emotions], or she has dated an amazing number of guys over her musical career; the only ones I can remember are Sharkboy and... and... Maybe I should start reading People; or watching E! News). Anyways, however many guys Swifty had to have an awful or great relationship with to produce this album, I am glad she dated them; the album is, as reiterated a myriad of times already, great.
Then, there are her two collaborations on the album. Her song, "The Last Time," with Lightbody gets better the longer you listen to it. I thought that the two artist's voices just did not mesh well together, but once you get about two and a half minutes in, you can hear where they hit their stride. The song is not bad, it's actually good and Lightbody supplies a wonderfully alternative background for the song (and you cannot deny that his voice does not have that 'haunting' quality that makes you listen), and the lyrics are actually good. Again though, about two and a half minutes in is when the song becomes really great, you can hear the vocalists actually working together to create a harmony and an amazing song. "Everything Has Changed" with Ed Sheeran is, surprisingly, great. Their voices work perfectly together; who would have thought? Of course, being with Sheeran, the lyrics are great and wonderfully mature and well written; and whomever thought of allowing the guitar to take precedence over the rest of the instruments, even if it is quiet, is a great artist. They do sound fantastic together and the lyrics are terrific in their simplicity.
"Sad Beautiful Tragic" is just that; it's simple and slightly heartbreaking, but the composition is fantastic. It is just so wonderfully grown up; I do not think I would be this astounded by the album's sound if it had come from anyone besides Swifty, but this is just a great turn around.
I actually really love "The Lucky One," a lot; apparently, Taylor Swift wrote it about her own fears for the future, and it turned out great. Just, the composition and the lyrics, it's great, all over. It is so blatantly true that it's amazing at the same time that it is completely heartbreaking. I mean, with how everything is run today, it's better to be young, doused in grief and, the warring, expectations, than to be old and full of experience and accomplishment.
"I Knew You Were Trouble" is just great, period. That song, along with "State of Grace" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" show that Swift has, finally found her footing in that gray area between country and pop, without wavering too far to one side (why did she not just underlay each song with country beats and, simultaneously, pop back beats from the beginning?). The songs are terrific and, while they do fall in that gray area of genre specifics, they do not sound like they are lost, jumping around and trying to find their place like so many of her previous album songs did.
Regardless of how 'pop-y' the song may sound, I just have to play "Starlight" on repeat sometimes, and "22" is growing on me, quickly. The songs are, while crazy upbeat, just sound so much better than her previous attempts at creating a pop anthem-esque song. When she says "we're happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way" it is kind of great. Swifty actually went back to her youth, dug up a 'story,' and made a fantastically mature song that you can love and, when she says "worrying so much about things you can't change" or "dream impossible dreams," it just makes me happy (the only time the song loses it for me is that whole line about getting married and having kids but, if you ignore that, it's great).
I just cannot get over how mature the lyrics are in each of these Red songs. Taylor Swift took some time off to mature, and came back with something amazing. So, congratulations to her; she actually deserved to win entertainer of the year at the CMA's this year because of this album (I mean, obviously she did not, but she deserved it). Buy Red (it was already leaked once, don't just steal her songs again) and play it on repeat, because, for once, the songs get better the more you listen to them.