Review Summary: A mere blip on the radar compared to Swift's other releases that contains decent attempts at refining her sound
Believe it or not, Taylor Swift wasn’t always the media juggernaut that she is today. Although she was popular and found a crossover hit with “Teardrops on my Guitar” it didn’t appear as if she would ever progress past anything but a precocious teen with a knack for writing decent hooks. Apparently Big Machine Records thought the same thing because just after her first nationwide tour, her label made her crank out another EP of songs both new and re-mastered. The entire goal was to keep insatiable fans’ appetites whetted until her proper follow-up album, and it’s obvious that the EP is obviously of lesser quality than her previous material. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this a money grab, but Swift is obviously oblivious, writing catchy new material and providing new looks on some of her previously released hits.
Swift obviously still had a lot of figuring out to do when she recorded this record and it shows. Her songs still show a unique balance between pop and country but she is still unable to straddle the line while excelling equally at both. Even on Taylor Swift it was apparent that Swift’s music was more accessible and refined when it contained a pop edge rather than just country instruments. However, perhaps in an effort not to alienate Swift’s biggest market at the time, Beautiful Eyes is still a half-and-half collection of both straightforward pop cuts and country accented anthems for the Shania Twain crowd. The most evidently country influenced song, “I Heart ?” is also the least appealing and interesting song to be found here. And, unfortunately, half of the songs that are found here aren’t original tracks. These songs prove to be useless as they’re just alternate versions of the songs that her fans already adore. Had she included new material, such as non-album track “I’d Lie” the album this EP could’ve been a significant addition to her catalogue. As it stands, however, it’s pretty unnecessary for anyone outside of a die-hard to own.
The previously unheard material is vintage Swift with her innocence prevailing over her future bitterness and anger. At the ripe age of 17, it appears as if she still has hope of finding love and allows herself to be caught off guard by boys with beautiful eyes and nice smiles. Claims like “I’ve got an I heart question mark/ written on the back of my hand” seem brazen and vengeful compared to the rest of the material on here while if she said that today, nobody would bat an eyelash. One thing that can be said about this EP is that it’s the first, and only, time that Swift allows herself to be happy and devoid of anxiety. Her persona on the EP is her at her most human; she really does sound like she might be the shy girl with the locker next to yours that writes poetry in her free time. If nothing else, this release succeeds in making Swift even more relatable than ever before and accomplishes this not with revenge fantasies but by her letting her guard down and revealing that she really is just like the rest of us.
Review is solid mate, but to be completely honest with you the first sentence is quite a big dud. I'm sure everyone can figure out (and believe) that Taylor Swift was once a nobody...it's virtually equivalent to saying to a friend "Hey buddy, believe it or not I was actually only three feet tall once..."
You sound a tad disheartened...sorry I may have been a bit too harsh =( Um, anyways...yeah intros are really hard to do. The sucky part is that they're really important - in fact, I'd argue that they might be of equal importance to the arguments you raise with regards to the goodness/badness of a given album.
When writing a review, I usually spend most of my time just trying to get the intro right. I find what helps is picking an abstract idea and gradually tying it in to the body of my review. In addition, finding out how the pros (Staff, Contrib) do it also helps. In fact, I often open up a review just to see how it starts. Now I'm not exactly the best writer to be getting tips from, but that's what I do =) Hope it helps. Cheers!
I don't think the first sentence is that much of a dud, it's just saying that at one time, Swift didn't seem to be headed for superstardom. Some artists you can tell right away, but with Taylor it was more of an unexpectedly meteroic rise with the release of Fearless.
I didn't know this exists, guess I'll have to look into it.
My thoughts on your writing itself is, interestingly enough, that you could use more commas.
Of course, different people learn different techniques, so I'm not quite sure how you learned your grammar, but where I learned it, if you have two independent clauses joined by a conjunction, there must be a comma preceding the conjunction.
Swift obviously still had a lot of figuring out to do when she recorded this record and it shows
Grammar rules are just guidelines, and I think this is fine because you're indicating there's no pause (it's just one continuous thought). But the next sentence could use a comma. Likewise, sometimes you have a dependent clause followed by the independent clause (a periodic sentence) that could use a comma at your own discretion, which you seem to ignore fully.
But petty grammatical issues aside, I do like your writing. My biggest problem with it (if I'm being hypercritical) is the overuse of linking verbs and other elementary verbs like "had." Then again, this is a fucking music review, so I don't think it really matters that much.
Thanks toxin. I basically taught myself grammar because it isn't at our school so I just go by what feels right. I'd say this is the least punctuated of my reviews too, I was going for a less formal feel.
Yeah, that's totally acceptable. Some people (read: me) are really rigid about grammar, which is good for school but not good for creative writing (e.g., using a fragment is grammatically incorrect but has its uses.
And I definitely couldn't tell you taught yourself grammar. Is English not your native language?