A Swift Change
Yes, she frequently sings about the same teenage angst. Yes, her love life is all over the tabloids. Yes, she is definitely not country anymore. Regardless of your feelings towards her, it cannot be denied that Taylor Swift has been musically killing it since 2006. With four multi-platinum albums and three sold-out international tours under her belt all before her 24th birthday, Swift has become a force to be reckoned with.
E! Online has confirmed that the work on Swift’s fifth studio album has been ongoing for the past six months. Swift is insisting that this album will be different from her four others, telling E!, “I think what I’m noticing about it so far is it’s definitely taking a different turn than anything I’ve done before.”
Although the album has clearly not made much significant progress so far, Swift is confident that she will express herself on this album as she never has before. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she said, “If you’re willing to become a different version of yourself, you can really go anywhere with it. And that’s kind of where I am. The kind of the laboratory experimental stage of really catching onto a new thing that I’m liking.”
It is clear how Swift is speaking of the album that she is determined to change her style. She told Rolling Stone, “I think that the idea of having a different approach to every single one of my albums is so exciting to me. I never want to make the same record twice.”
Really? Swift’s first three albums, released in 2006, 2008, and 2010, portray very similar feelings of heartache and the pressures of love. Although this is nothing less than expected from a girl of Swift’s age at the time of release, these albums do not necessarily represent this diversity she is speaking of. Her intentions are made clear, however, when listening to her latest album, Red, released in October 2012.
Red features Swift’s desire to change up her approach to what she is writing and singing about. She still croons about the ups and downs of love – I’m confident that will never change – but we can tell by the sophistication of the lyrics on this album that she is looking to be taken more seriously instead of falling victim to a certain ‘crybaby’ reputation. The lyrics on this particular album are deeper and more emotional than those on Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), and Speak Now (2010).
Also contributing to the changes featured on Red are the collaborations Swift integrated into the album. Recordings with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol as well as rising-star British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran were included in Red, something that Swift had never done before. She told Rolling Stone, “I really loved collaborating. You work with a lot of different people and you find the people you have this dream connection with in the studio.” Swift has also mentioned that there are many more artists that she is looking forward to working with.
Although she has not presented much of a variety with her music in the past, it is evident that Taylor Swift is now dead-set on switching up her style. After listening to Red, I have faith that Swift’s music will only effectively progress from here; her music is maturing as she is, and I am excited to hear what she has in store for her fifth album.