Review Summary: Taylor should never, ever, ever co-write, like ever.
I don’t know about you, but I am also feeling 22, and the long road of life ahead seems so damn sweet – and that is exactly what you see as the major goal with Taylor Swifts Red
, she is seeking variety to lengthen her already hugely successful career. Red
is Swift showing an ambition to seek further success in a substance of pop that she has never shown before. Yet, through the experimentation, Red
shows frailties in its diverse attempts to cover all basis that are a plethora of styling’s.
So what the heck draws me to this teeny pop goddess of the modern era? Well at first, Taylor Swift was a write off in my eyes when her self-titled debut and sophomore Fearless
came out. Her ‘goody goody’ princess image (eerily similar to the Pure Tour of Entourage fame), with the country twang to her production was just too shiny for me. Then Speak Now
happened, and shi
t, I was completely wonderstruck at the pop brilliance that Swift had written, and that was the sticking point for my enjoyment of Speak Now
– it was solely written by Swift herself. Her cohesive song structure and obvious, yet intriguing hooks got you – even the break up lyrics seemed connectable for this 22 year old male. Within this strength of Speak Now
’s structure you find one of the major downfalls in Red
. The co-writes. In Speak Now
Swift had created her most popular and successful album to date, so why not head in the same direction with her 4th LP? Because she needed to expand her stylistic variety and with Red
she employed the help of songwriter/producer Max Martin to do so. Martin has written hits for N’SYNC, Brittany, The Backstreet Boys and many others but Swift is not the type of upfront pop that the aforementioned groups were/are, and with Martin’s influence, Red
was going to go in any sort of direction. Martin has successfully crafted a pop aspect to Swifts music with already two no. 1 hits in the infectiously catchy “Trouble” and “We Are Never” – Yet, somehow “22” slipped through the cracks. “22” is infectious in the way HIV is. It is lyrically dumb, for example: “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters / and make fun of our exes / … I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 / Everything will be alright, if you keep me next to you / You don’t know about me, but I bet you want to / Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we are 22”
What? Swift’s lyrics here are bland, unfulfilling and childish. At 22, I was definitely not eating “breakfast at midnight.
, unless I have been out for a couple too many beers than needed.
Now compare “22” to “Back To December” from the album Speak Now
“So this is me swallowing my pride standing in front of you saying I’m sorry for that night / And I go Back to December all the time / It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing wishing that I realised what I had when you were mine / I go Back to December turn around and make it all right, I go Back to December all the time.”
This is the Swift the world fell in love with, being honest and up front with her audience and actually giving some substance with her song writing instead of a nothing but cherry soda pop wank that is “22.” While “22” is just one song off Red
that is not 100% Swift, it still feels like we are being short changed from her ability to write great songs such as the tremendous “Begin Again” which makes you feels like Swift has actually put time into her writing instead of re-writing every pop song ever.
There are other glaringly obvious flaws with Red
: the ridiculous length of the album and its lacking consistency, the way the songs are placed throughout and the all too familiar break up anthems that Ms Swift sings about so passionately yet are delivered slightly poorer this time round. But ignoring these flaws, Swift grew to her huge success due to her ability to write honest, catchy and personal songs, and within Red
, we continue to gain the stories, yet in a different format of musicality – even if some of these songs have 3rd parties influencing the direction they take. Exemplify the catchiness of “Red,” the indie/pop perfection found in, “State of Grace” the gorgeous Speak Now-esque, “Begin Again,” and the movingly beautiful “All Too Well.”
I want to really love Red
, I really do, as my enjoyment for Taylor’s product has grown ever since the discovery of Speak Now
. Though the way she has conveyed herself within Red
has come out as a less mature Taylor Swift, instead of attempting the projection of a more grown up and pop based songstress at the elderly age of 22, she seems more teeny than ever. A change in style did have to be made for the case of longevity in Swift’s career, so Red
should be seen as her offering to the straight-up pop world, which could enhance longevity of her livelihood in the music industry, so more dramatic changes of style in the future shouldn’t be as big as a deal as the changes found in Red
. Honestly, there is more to like within Red
then hate – most songs are extremely catchy, though the lacking consistency strung throughout that is staunchly comforted by the horrendous duets and co-written pieces , yet these flaws don’t make the album bad, they just make it painfully similar to any pop album on the market currently, which is something Swift has never been before.
Maybe I should try breakfast at midnight? #yolo