Taylor Swift delivers another hit album in ‘Red’


Swift strays from country music but stays true to her love songs

By Stacey Stein, Editor-in-Chief

 From the opening lines of the title track of “Red,” Taylor Swift’s newest album, it is clear that Swift is experimenting with sounds other than the country beat that made her so famous. However, while some of her new tracks are a clear break from her old style, she stays true to her country roots.

Swift announced Red through a webchat Aug. 13 and debuted hit single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” She released a number of singles prior to the album’s release.

In her newest songs, Swift sticks to her usual topics: love, breakups, and heartbreaks are the overbearing themes. This formula proves to be successful, as Red quickly became the number one album on iTunes.

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the first single released, is a catchy pop tune rumored to be about Swift’s ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. Although this track is not the least bit country, it is irresistible and made even better by Swift’s sarcastic banter before the last chorus.

The next track released, “Begin Again,” is a stark contrast to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” This slow, country ballad is about Swift finding love again after a breakup. Its gentle tunes and lyrics make for pleasurable listening.

In “Red,” also rumored to be about Gyllenhaal, Swift mixes country and pop, creating another successful song. She declares “loving him was red,” while also passionately describing the sadness following their breakup.

While Swift’s experimentation with sounds was executed wonderfully in “Red,” she fails to deliver in “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Swift begins sounding more like a Disney pop princess than country superstar, then the song gradually moves to include dubstep. Although the lyrics and tune are catchy, the song is somewhat of a mess.

Other notable songs include “22,” a fun, bouncy song in which Swift simply sings about going out and acting her age. This song deviates from her many others about men, and its lighthearted lyrics are sure to make it a hit. Swift also teams up with Ed Sheeran to create “Everything Has Changed,” a flawless ballad supposedly about her feelings for current boyfriend Conor Kennedy.

In a 2010 interview with Ellen Degeneres, Swift declared that one of her goals was that no matter what level of success she reached, she wanted to remain the same songwriter. Despite forays into pop and a rock, she indeed stays true to writing songs that tell stories about her life.

Swift’s newest album proves that as she gets older, she is able to successfully transition to more mature-sounding songs. Yes, her sound is changing, but so is she­­—it has been six years since Swift’s first hit, “Tim McGraw,” and she is clearly no longer the girl she used to be. By sticking to her usual topics while exploring new sounds, Swift has created another successful album.