So if you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably heard of Taylor Swift and seen that she's been having an amazing year professionally. For those of you who have heard her sing live or with someone (Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, etc.) you might have asked yourself, "how the heck did she get a record deal? The girl can't sing!" Well, yes and no.
The girl can sing, though she doesn't have a strong voice, and when they clean up her voice in the studio, she sounds SO much better. She's much better at harmonizing with people than singing live, alone. Now, with all that said, yes there are better singers out there, but we should all know by now that with the exception of a fluke like Susan Boyle it takes more than talent to be in show business.
You have to be a total package, looks, talent, marketability, versatility, etc. This is why Taylor Swift is currently so successful. She is unquestionably beautiful, she writes or co-writes all of her songs, and they are definitely good, catchy tunes with universal themes we can relate to. If you caught her on Saturday Night Live you will have noted some impressive comedic ability, and on top of all that, she's got this contagious, quirky sense of humor where she doesn't take herself or her boyfriends too seriously. Here are 3 clips from when she hosted SNL not too long ago:
So now on to the music. Her mega hit album this past year was called Fearless, and not only did it make a lot of music critics' best of 2009 lists, to their great surprise, I've been listening to it and have been very impressed that this kind of music and lyric writing have come from someone so young.
A good example of one of her more bubblegum pop efforts is "You belong with me." Take a look at the music video:
You will have noticed she played both the girlfriend and the neighbor girl. It's a universal theme for teenagers, and some adults. You want someone who's already taken, but you just know you're better for that person than who they are currently with. It also has the fairytale happy ending to go with the catchy tune.
Then she has songs that are so observant, self-aware, that you're taken aback and for myself personally, I wonder why it took me until my 30s to achieve selflessness, and awareness of others around me. Two of her songs from Fearless demonstrate this well. The first is a tribute to her mom, in "Best Day," and the other is "At 15."
I like "15" because she covers all the stuff we remember from the early teens, the pain, the worry, and is close enough to remember it all afresh, yet at the same time, she is just far enough past it and has the maturity to realize the choices that are made, are carried with you and really, those early experiences help form the adult you will become, so good or bad, take them with you on your journey, learn from them and hey, maybe write a song for other teens to help them make it through.
All in all, I _really_ like this album. Most of the music is simple and catchy, the lyrics range from simple to deep to really smart ass. There's a lot of good in this album and I highly recommend it. Also, for some added entertainment, if you get the album, take note of all the odd capitalized letters, some say there's a hidden message in there, not to mention the smart ass message to all her former boyfriends, that she did warn them...
Taylor Swift YouTube Channel