Well, I feel vindicated. For years I’ve been screaming that Taylor Swift is really “a pop powerhouse masquerading as a young country-music heroine” and now I finally have proof.
I’m a long-time believer in the the many talents of T-Swizzle. And while her gaggingly adorable IWearMyCoffeeShopOutfitWhenIGoToTheCoffeeShop-ness sometimes still makes me want to punch her, when it comes to the tunes my homegirl can do no wrong.
Her new single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a pop monster. It’s slick and big and catchy as a mofo– it’s everything a pop single should be. With a chorus that is best described as a piston-powered cheerleader chant, repetitive lyrics about a relatable subject and a play time of just over three minutes, this lil’ guy was clearly engineered for the radio. Its sing-along qualities mean that you can hear it once and then have it stuck in your head for hours, even if you hate it. To me, that is the mark of a great pop song. If this song is any indication of the sound on her forthcoming album, Red, her days as a “country” star are fading.
Many of you will listen and think What fresh hell is this? And I thought that, too, for about twenty seconds. At first I was annoyed by the over-simplified lyrics and the flow-ruining talking bits. I was like Aww, man. What is this mess? Girl, you are a grown-ass businesswoman– knock if off with the adolescent shit.
And then I realized something important: Taylor Swift is making fun of herself! She’s acknowledging what we all think of her and she’s also making fun of her dating history and her dumb girl emotions. T-Swizzle is totally in on the joke. What a relief.
Now be a good student of pop culture and listen to this song. Or give it a play just to get used to it because it’s never going to leave your head. A new contender for Best Summer Jam of 2012 has just arrived.
link: Riverfront Times
Taylor Swift Is Saving America
By Jaime Lees Fri., Aug. 12 2011
Categories: Haters Gon’ Hate
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I am not a teenybopper. Never was. As a kid I never liked Grease or New Kids on the Block or Dirty Dancing. Even now, I can’t give a crap about your Biebers or your Mileys. And how in the hell anybody likes Glee is beyond my comprehension. But, OMG, I totes hearts Taylor Swift, y’all.
Her whole damn thing is fabulous: She writes her own songs, she’s super-involved with her fans, she’s hilarious in the press, she never uses her sexuality to sell herself, she’s only 21 years old and she’s holding down a massive tour all by herself. (Eat shit, U2.)
And though her squeaky-clean image is a selling point for many a parent, it’s a turn-off for tons of potential fans. If you’re not used to dealing with cutesy pop stars, it can be kinda hard to get past her pretty, pretty princess act. Yes, she’s a product, but Superstar Swift is more than just a money-making business construct. I have no doubt that talent and ambition were key factors in getting her where she is today.
Because she is a hard working, song-writing, Grammy-award-winning, powerful young woman, Swift absolutely qualifies as a strong female role model. Yes, she’s a totally “safe” option when it comes to female empowerment, but hey, I’ll take it. I have little sisters and I’m stoked whenever there is any girl for them to look up to who is not a total trash whore.
So gag on her vanilla-ness all you want, but they can’t all be shit-disturbers. That isn’t something we look for in a tween idol and there haven’t been many popular options for this generation. Madonna is the longest standing icon, but she’s always been too wrapped up in controversy to get a parental pass. It wasn’t so long ago that the Spice girls were pushing prepackaged Girl Power, but they all had their tits out.
And the Riot Grrrls, though I loved them, were total potty mouths. Sure, I would prefer if it your young daughters were into Heart or Babes in Toyland or Patti Smith, but there’s plenty of time for that later when these kids enter their black eyeliner years. So for now, give the li’l princesses what they want. It’s totally okay this time.
- Riverfront Times – link
Taylor Swift: Critic’s Pick
Sat., August 13, 7:00pm, Sun., August 14, 7:00pm, Scottrade Center
Taylor Swift is a pop powerhouse masquerading as a young country music heroine. With Grammys, American Music Awards and countless other accolades behind her, Swift has experienced unprecedented crossover success, conquering multiple genres and enchanting both tweens and their parents. And while her image is sweet and lovable and parent-approved, Swift’s songwriting is the main reason that she has sold more than twenty million albums. She was hired by Sony/ATV publishing as a staff songwriter at age fourteen, and she’s been writing hits ever since. Her music ranges from simple folk songs to dark, orchestral ballads, but her lyrics concentrate on the universal subjects of love and heartbreak. And if there’s one thing that unites her young fan base, it’s boy problems. Preach on, sister Swift.
- Riverfront Times – link
Pazz & Jop 2010
38th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll
“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”
Our Song: In Defense of Taylor Swift
My favorite thing in 2009 has been teenage country cutie Taylor Swift. Normally my music radar sweeps shamefully closer to the underground, but it only took one encounter for me to fall in love with Swift’s undeniably hooky, magnetically charged songs.
Swift was hired by Sony/ATV at age fourteen as a staff songwriter, and since then her accomplishments and accolades have just kept on multiplying. The willowy powerhouse with blond tendrils has become the hottest thing to hit country music since Garth Brooks. True, the majority of Swift’s songs are hardly “traditional” country: Except for the occasional fiddle or lilt in her singing, she almost exclusively plays pop songs. And although her image is that of a young Faith Hill or Shania Twain, her talent is on par with classic artists such as Lucinda, Reba and Dolly.
Her stadium tours sell out months in advance, and she’s been nominated (and won) pretty much every music award possible. But don’t hate the playa, children. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s bad. (See: Nirvana, the Beatles.) Homegirl’s self-titled debut is the longest-charting record of this decade, and to date she’s sold more than 10 million albums. (Swifty even outsold Michael Jackson this year. Dang.) Songs such as “You Belong With Me,” “White Horse,” “Love Story,” “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Our Song” are freakin’ scary-good. Not good for a country star. Not good for a girl. Not good for someone her age. Just plain good.
Swift is also at least partially responsible for the greatest pop-culture moment of 2009: the Kanye West Interruption Incident from the MTV Video Music Awards. This misdirected outburst of attention-whoring introduced Taylor to a whole new group of fans she wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Miss Swift’s composure, grace and subsequent roof-blowing song performance was more than enough to silence any haters. Oh, snap. Don’t mess with her; I think she’s in it for the long haul. — Jaime Lees
Greatest Taylor Swift pop culture moments captured on video:
— TS and T-Pain, “Thug Story” – link
— TS speech, hugging Dave Grohl (start at 5:45) – link
— TS SNL musical monologue (La La La) – link
— TS pranked by Ellen DeGeneres – link
— TS being awesome (see 1:30) – link
— TS as Ace Frehley from KISS – link and link
— TS with Def Leppard, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” – link
— TS music video, “You Belong With Me” – link
— TS vs. Kanye West on MTV – link