Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is back with a new album. And since she broke up with her Kennedy, you can expect another one next week.
I kid, I kid, but seriously. She has a new album named “Red,” and it sold 1.2 million copies in its first week. This is a record, and coincidentally the last album that held the record was hers too. So say what you will, but the girl knows how to sell an album. Why?
It’s a little something I like to call the Adele effect. People like a breakup song. Women, specifically, love a good anthem to stick it to their ex, and Taylor always delivers one. Her last album had at least four of these breakup songs, and it was probably one of the most bitter things to enter my CD player since my sister and I made a mix of Evenescence and Kelly Clarkson songs in high school. “Red” is not quite as bitter. It definitely has a killer break up song in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but the album is more focused on the ups and downs of being in your 20’s and realizing life isn’t actually a fairy tale.
That is not to say this is a depressing album. Actually I think it’s one of her most upbeat yet. Much to the annoyance of many of my Scout co-workers, I’ve had “22” on repeat for a good week. “22” could be about a new guy, but I prefer to think of it in terms of friends, and it feels like a girls’ night out anthem. That is the beauty of a Taylor Swift song; she has this ability to relate to women’s lives no matter the situation. It can always be about you. She writes about personal feelings and, shocker music industry, that’s actually what her audience wants to hear: that they aren’t alone in their feelings.
Another fun upbeat track is “Stay Stay Stay,” a silly ballad about having a grown-up crush. It’s about the guy who carries her groceries, and makes her laugh, and gives her butterflies. She doesn’t try to turn this into some complicated sappy love song, which would be a train wreck. She embraces the fun aspect of it and even ends the song laughing.
Like most albums, this one has its flops buried in its radio hits. Swift collaborates with Ed Sheeran, attractive English musician and bad boy, and it is so far past lame. Now there are rumors that they are dating and I’m not surprised, considering this sappy mess of a song. Swift is particularly off key, and the lyrics are more packed in than usual. I love her, but the girl needs to keep her actual dates out of the studio.
Another train wreck compilation comes in the form of “The Last Time” with Gary Lightbody of Snowpatrol. It is depressing like a Snow Patrol song, boring and their voices do not blend well at all.
Despite the intermittent flops, I’d give this album a solid four stars for her fans. Tracks like “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Red” and “Begin Again” are destined to stick around as hits. It is a solid record, and her fans will have nothing to complain about. She will probably gain some new fans now that she’s no longer a country singer. However, the people who love to hate her won’t be won over by this album.