Taylor Swift; when she's good, she's really good. When she's not...
This young country star made her debut with Tim McGraw, the song that really put her in the spotlight. The soul-filled melodies and deep lyrics of this song really worked well for the young artist, and I believe this type of song is more Taylor's style. I bet a lot of people were shocked (I know I was!) when they purchased Taylor's debut album and heard some of her more upbeat tracks; the difference in styles was staggering.
Here is an album review for Taylor's self-titled album. While much of it may sound negative, I want to say I am a big fan of Taylor's music, and feel she has a lot of potential. However, I think a lot of the tracks on this album were forced or just simply thrown together. Since Taylor wrote or co-wrote all the lyrics herself (which is admirable, I believe), all of the songs are geared toward an audience of teenage girls; while some of her lyrics are deep and thoughtful, some may seem too much like typical high school drama. In the end, I think Taylor is very much a "love her or hate her" kind of artist, with her vocals being the deciding factor.
Anyway, here's the review.
Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift
1. Tim McGraw - her first, and one of her best, for sure. The vocals in this song are pure and not forced, which is more than can be said about later tracks. This song of summer love & loss hit home for a lot of teenage girls out there; just a great track.
2. Picture To Burn - not my favorite. I believe the lyrics are immature (so go and tell your friends that I'm obsessive and crazy /
that's fine; I'll tell mine you're gay) and she definantly forced a country sound into her vocals that doesn't come naturally, and at points her voice gets pitchy. On a plus side, it does have a catchy beat, if you like that real country sound.
3. Teardrops On My Guitar - Without a doubt her best song to date. This song is just absolutely beautiful. The lyrics are so powerful, and the melodies & harmonies are gorgeous. It is obvious that Taylor's voice is more natural in this track than in others. My favorite of her songs, by far.
4. A Place In This World - good, but not greats. I like the lyrics, which speak of a young woman, well, trying to find her place in the world. Taylor's vocals arn't 100% in this track, but nothing stands out as being terrible. A pretty decent song, really.
5. Cold As You - another one of my favorites. I really like the melody, and Taylor's vocals arn't bad either. I think the vocals in this song are powerful as well. Taylor's vocals come naturally in this track as well.
6. The Outside - unlike a lot of her more upbeat songs, Taylor actually pulls this one off without her voice getting too pitchy. It's a shame she couldn't get the best of both worlds; great lyrics & vocals in one song. While the lyrics of this song may not be as powerful, it's not enough to completelly ruin the track.
7. Tied Together With A Smile - beautiful, powerful lyrics make this song amazing. Taylor's vocals are nice in this song as well, and while some people may not enjoy the true country sound of this track's melodies, I think it adds an element to this heartbreaking song.
8. Stay Beautiful - I was actually dissapointed by this track. I read the lyrics online and expected it to be a slow, deep song like some of her others. Instead, this track turned out be be fast-paced, with Taylor's vocals sounding only slightly forced. I think the lyrics of this song are really what saved it; they're the only reason I still listen to it on occasion.
9. Should've Said No - a surprisingly good track. The only "angry" track on Taylor's album, the young artist actually pulled off the mood remarkably well. At points her voice gets slightly pitchy, but for the most part, this is a very nice song. I really love the melody.
10. Mary's Song (Oh My My My) - I havn't actually listened to this track all that much, quite simply because it just didn't appeal to me at first. I think this is a song that could grow on you with time, but isn't a stand-out. I do like Taylor's voice on this track, and the lyrics are pretty deep too.
11. Our Song - this track is just now making its debut on the local radio stations, mostly by request. It isn't a bad song; the lyrics are alright and the melody isn't bad either. It kind of falls apart at the very end, when Taylor forces a very specific sound onto her voice in the last chorus (when we're on the phone and he talks real slow / 'cause it's late and his momma don't know). Other than that one part, the song is pretty tolerable, overall.
If you're interested in Taylor's first album, here are some links that you may want to check out.
The lyrics to all the songs on Taylor's debut album can be found here.
I will also post the music video for what I believe is Taylor's best song; Teardrops On My Guitar. Not only is this a beautiful song, but the music video is fantastic as well.
Taylor Swift - Teardrops On My Guitar Video