Rich on Bad Relationships: Reviewing Taylor Swift's 'Red'
I've never been one of those people who enjoys waking at the crack of dawn to start exercising but having a playlist of good music helps me get onboard with the two hours of cardio. Nowadays, there does not seem to be a shortage of artists out there delivering good beats, computerized vocals and enough beat to successfully score a morning of intense workouts but few are able to burrow deep into your subconscious. I'm not sure when exactly Taylor Swift was able to sleep her way through Hollywood and onto my list of favourite artists but she is currently reigning supreme. My sister caught me humming We Are Never Getting Back Together before commenting, "Do you also skip to work with your hair in pigtails while swinging your Sailor Moon lunchbox? Or do you just worship T-Swizzle?"
We had an abrupt conversation about my Sailor Moon lunchbox before agreeing to have an impromptu Taylor Swift karaoke session. We even held serving spoons as we belted out the lyrics to Red and I Knew You Were Trouble, unfortunately my parents and dog were not impressed. What I like most about her new album is her mixing of genres and still producing music that keeps playing on your heartstrings.
Taylor Swift Discussing Her New Album 'Red'
Looking for Mood Music?
The Semi-Toxic Relationship
Red is the fourth studio album for Taylor Swift and boasts 16 tracks, she has been quoted saying this album, "is about the kind of tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I've experienced in the last two years" [Grady Smith, Entertainment Weekly] and, honestly, the listener really gets a taste of this confusion within the record.
There are several really great songs which play against Swift's previous characterless chorused work but doesn't seem completely able to stray far from her type. Songs like Red, I Knew You Were Trouble and We're Never Ever Getting Back Together have fantastic beats with lyrics which play more like tattoos than they do songs, yanking at something deep within you or scratches at an old emotional wound. You cannot help but commiserate with Swift on her failed relationships, doing all but toasting her with a glass of shiraz as you reflect on the relationships of your wayward youth.
These emotionally-charged songs are what Swift has built her career on but unfortunately, the twang of the country leaks into this new [commercialized as a completely fresh sounding] album. As much as I like Swift's songs and love her ability to capture a particularly feeling but her voice is not as strong as some of her musical compadres, such as Adele, Duffy and Lovato. Her voice is not made for powerhouse performances but instead, the melodies she weaves relying heavily on her guitar to strengthen the gaps where her voice is weak.
Take a listen to her new album and soak in the pain of the last year of her failed relationships, pray she has another year of tumultuous failed romance so I can work out in happiness next year.