Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taylor Swift: Genius?

Let's Get Together

Some people decry Taylor Swift as merely an opportunistic ingénue who shoves out girly-pop under the guise of being an actual country music star. Some people relish her wholesome, talent and professionalism, citing her immense popularity with her core demographic. As she releases her new album Red, this week, it is time for The Inky Jukebox to pick sides.

Let’s use a single from this album as a point of focus: the irrepressible “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Once you’ve heard this devastatingly catchy song once, you already know it. Its chorus is hook-city. It is jarringly up-tempo for a break-up song. It acknowledges the DRAMA of teenage dating into the fluff it is. It’s a pop song. There’s nothing explicitly country about it — something you can say about most of Swift’s work since her MySpace success with “Tim McGraw,” which is only country in that it references Tim McGraw. Swift claims she wrote it specifically to annoy the guy the song references, being everything he said he hates in music. The Inky Jukebox is not sure how well this maneuver is going to continue to work before people get pissed off about being dragged into Swift’s dating troubles. The fabric is already wearing thin.

But today, I walked into the lounge at a girl’s high school, and they were playing it and all singing heartily along, completely unconcerned about any of these things. This seems to trump all of the criticism being tossed back and forth at the end of the day. These girls are living through Swift vicariously, looking forward to the day they too can tell a guy goodbye without sounding so damn sad and broke-up about it. 

The Inky Jukebox will review Red later....

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