Taylor Swift's New Style: Love it or Hate it?
Taylor Swift’s abilities were clear from the very start of her career. After moving to Nashville to pursue her career, she became the youngest songwriter ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music publishing house. At just fourteen years of age, she was already showing incredible potential and her appeal was immediately obvious.
Considering her age and relative lack of life experience (and target audience), it’s not surprising that her songs were sweet and innocent. When her 2008 album, Fearless, produced hits “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story,” who could deny the romantic charm of her lyrics and melodies? Listening to one of her songs was almost like entering a four-minute fairytale. It made us being in destiny and soul mates again and who can fault the girl for giving us that kind of hope? She ended up winning four Grammy Awards for her efforts and became the youngest ever “Album of the Year” winner.
Her idyllic appeal continued to win over fans and critics with her 2010 album, Speak Now, but contained no major departure from her signature sound. And then she came out with Red and that changed everything.
When you’ve established yourself as a certain kind of artist, it’s a real gamble to tweak the formula and only a small few can actually pull it off (Rihanna is a great example). It’s true that the song and music video for “Safe and Sound” (with The Civil Wars from the Hunger Games soundtrack) was darker than what she normally does but it’s understandable when it’s for a film. Reinventing yourself almost entirely is a very different situation.
The album’s lead single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was an instant smash hit but so many people were surprised to find out that the strong vocals were being delivered by Taylor Swift but, despite some detractors, she has proven herself. Usually described as having a “soft and sweet” quality to her voice, Swift is known for her shaky live performances. This new, more forceful sound, seems a lot easier for her to control and it has shown when she’s taken the stage recently.
Still, the single was out before the rest of the album and we all wondered if “Never Ever” was just one of those novelty tracks but now she’s followed up with “I Knew You Were Trouble” which is, again, more mature, a lot edgier and even has a little dubstep action going on. Her performance at last night’s American Music Awards was the most entertaining, risqué thing she’s ever pulled off.
So the question remains – do you prefer Taylor Swift as the sweet, innocent girl or this new, tougher woman?
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