Taylor Swift's latest studio album, "Red," debuted on Big Machine Records this past Monday.
While Swift came out as a pop singer disguised by twangy country on her first three albums, she has now virtually thrown off that disguise in "Red." The singer seems to have gone almost completely pop, although her country influence can be felt in songs such as "Treacherous" and "I Almost Do." Apart from a few songs on the 22 track deluxe album, Swift's style seems to be like that of any other current pop singer. Hints of some (surprisingly enough) dubstep can even be felt in songs like "I Knew You Were Trouble." The album has a lot of songs that are upbeat and will get stuck in your head.
For those who thought Swift had finally gotten it right and was now happy in all of her relationships, don't give up hope. Once again, song after song details relationships that seemed so perfect but came to an end for some reason or another. A great example of this can be found on one of the singles from the album, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
While the subjects of many of the songs can seem to be the same, Swift has matured in her vocal performance. In addition to phenomenal vocals, the song writing is on point. While Swift may have been thrown into the pop arena, she has a leg up on her competition: she wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. In a world where country or pop artists write very few of their own songs, it's refreshing to see that Swift writes most, if not all, of the lyrics for "Red."
Swift sings two duets on the album. One song is "The Last Time" with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. The two artists blend perfectly. The song could just as easily appear on a Snow Patrol album, that's how well Lightbody and Swift are able to blend their styles. The other song, "Everything Has Changed," features Ed Sheeran. The song has an intimate, acoustic feel. Sheeran provides great backup vocals for Swift and has a verse that also blends incredibly well with Swift's style.
"Red" features many emotional ups and downs. Songs like "22" and "Holy Ground" have up-tempo styles that will have listeners dancing. And just like that, Swift brings out "Sad Beautiful Tragic," detailing the downfall of a wonderful relationship that is dissolved because of distance.
Going over the CD for the first time, I didn't think much about "State of Grace." However, the acoustic version on the bonus CD is phenomenal. The song was written by Swift and is a perfect example of her vocal improvement, as well as her ability to write.
The only knock I have on the album is the subject of the songs, and even at that, the album is fantastic. The instrumentals, lyrics and vocal performances all lead to a very well put together album. The Hendersonville-native is at the top of her game and the release of "Red" only corroborates this notion.
I would never break your heart, T-Swift. Give me a chance?