Review Summary: Every song has a gem in it.
Taylor Swift is one of the brightest stars in the planet today. She has four multi-platinum albums that serve as the building blocks of her country-pop music empire. But her eponymous debut album, Taylor Swift, is the one that launched her career and introduced her into the world. This album has been topping charts and pushing boundaries, mostly by incorporating country and pop music into a style that is definitely pleasant and smart.
One of the best things about this album is the songwriting itself. Taylor Swift has a knack for writing creative lyrics with enough depth in them. Every song has a gem in it. Her self-penned song, the rather charming “The Outside” which she wrote at the age of twelve, has become the anthem of wallflowers and outcasts everywhere (at least teens her age). Other songs like “Invisible” and “Teardrops on My Guitar” would make teenage girls say, “Yeah, this is like the soundtrack of my life right now…” which goes to show that Taylor Swift’s songwriting is deeply personal, yet relatable at the same time. People may think that it is “cheap songwriting” (ahem, John Mayer) but what is the basis of cheapness? Is it because of the lack of too much poetry in her lyrics, or she writes songs to get even, or she writes songs mostly about herself? Well, this album is not entirely self-centered, since she talks about someone else’s love story in “Mary’s Song (Oh My, My, My)” and a close friend of hers in “Tied Together with a Smile”.
However, the songwriting itself also contains one of the minor flaws on this album. Although it shows variety in terms of mood (from cloudy ballads "Cold as You" and "A Perfectly Good Heart" to sunny songs like "Stay Beautiful" and "I'm only Me when I'm With You"), Taylor Swift talks about boys almost all of the time. One might wonder if she is talking about the same guy or two different guys in the country-rock songs “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve said No”, or if “Our Song” is about the boy in “Tim McGraw”, or whatever connection people might come up with. It still adds to the charm of the album, making it even more relatable to fans, since the artist is a 16-year old girl-next-door who is “not the only one who thinks the way she does (“A Place in this World”).”
Another flaw in this album is Taylor Swift’s vocals. It’s girly and breathy at times, and some people think she is not a good singer. For me, the vocals is not the best, however, it works altogether in this album. The production is a bit too much sometimes, but it still provides a good atmosphere while listening to this album. It’s definitely not a chore to listen to, and although one might think that “this song is just filler” and “this one is so cheesy and corny”, it’s worth listening from start to finish. It’s an amazing debut, and it provides for a very strong base as she builds her country-pop empire.