Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Taylor Swift

In no way would I label myself as a "country music fan" or aficionado, but I've listened to a fair amount in the comfort of my studio headphones with the bedroom door closed. It's not that I'm ashamed of the music, but it does come with a certain stigma. Then again, so does pretty much every type of music. The reason I've never been very taken by Country music is kind of the same reason I'm not taken by R&B or Reggae; it all pretty much sounds the same, there's nothing that really sticks out. I take pride in being able to hear something random and tell you who or what band it is, but with the aforementioned genres they meld together. If you listen to a whole album you feel like you've been listening to the same song for 50 minutes. So, for me to make the effort to listen to a the newest Nashville star took a little bit of time and steady convincing (eventually being swayed by a profile in Entertainment Weekly). Taylor Swift is probably one of the youngest huge popular music stars in the U.S. Being only 18 has made all of her success that much more incredible. She initially began singing from a very young age and writing songs when she was in her early teens. As she became more and more interested in singing, her parents took her down from her hometown of Wyomissing, PA to Nashville, TN for performances where she gave out demo tapes to every receptionist on Music Row. To make a short story shorter, she was signed by independent label Big Machine Records after the owner (Scott Borchetta) saw her perform at the famed Bluebird Café. Her first single, "Tim McGraw" was released in the summer of 2006 ahead of her debut album that came out in October of that year.

Taylor Swift is somewhat remarkable considering the singer only 16 when it was recorded. Not to mention the fact she wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. The subject matter she deals with is as old as time, but the maturity mixed with teenage naïveté is a blessing in disguise. You may think, "this little girl is so young and has no idea what heartbreak is" but then you listen to the songs and she convinces you that, in fact, maybe she does know. Her voice is both precocious and mature beyond her years. You can hear the girlishness but also the passion in her delivery that suggests she's only going to get better. If she's only going up from here the bar has officially been raised, since she is leaps and bounds beyond any other upstarts that may come along. As for the album as a whole, it definitely has standout moments, and others that are quite alright. Saying that she is just taking off is pretty naïve, but she's already a star having opened for the likes of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their joint tour, George Strait, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts. She has been nominated for AMAs, Grammys, and CMAs in the past 2 years. Her follow-up is due out later this year. And overall, the record was enjoyable and I can finally see what all the hype is about.

1 comment:

John said...

Glad you're loving this now... that godamn song is addictive.