These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Broken Base: Big time! At the moment, she has fans who will only listen to her first album (since it's her lone "pure country" record), fans who will only listen to her first two albums, fans who will only listen to her first three albums, fans who like all of her music in equal measures, fans who prefer her current pop style over her former country style, and fans who just want her stuff back on Spotify.
The latter has proved to be extraordinary divisive, whether it's just Taylor and the record label asserting their right to distribute and market her music the way she pleases, or a money-grubbing move trying to milk every dollar possible from the album's popularity and one that encourages even more internet piracy.
Cliché Storm: "You Belong With Me", "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", "Shake it Off", "Welcome To New York".
Covered Up: Not many people realize that "Untouchable" from Fearless: Platinum Edition is actually a cover of a song by the Nashville rock band Luna Halo. And then there's her cover of "Last Christmas" by Wham!, which is so wildly different in instrumentation and tempo that it might as well be a different song.
Critical Dissonance: Despite being somewhat of a Base Breaker, Red is probably Taylor's most positively reviewed album yet. Not that she was ever "panned" by critics (she did, after all, earn an "Album Of The Year" Grammy in 2010 for Fearless), but the album seems to have gained her respect even from critics who previously dismissed her music as immature and generic.
"Swift's third album, Speak Now, is roughly twice as good as 2008's Fearless, which was roughly twice as good as her 2006 debut."
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "The Way I Loved You". All in all, the Aesop here is "Nice guys that respect you are boring, the best relationships are the ones that keep you up all night crying and cursing the other person." That's just a questionable message in general, but it's even worse when you consider that her biggest fans are teenagers. Also hypocritical considering how many of her other songs are about how she can't understand how her crush can pick the mean popular girl over the sweet, friendly, "nice girl" narrator.
"You Belong With Me". The Aesop this time is "You can endlessly stalk and pine over the guy you have a crush on without even approaching him, while endlessly moaning about how horrible his girlfriend is basing yourself only on your own biased POV and your hatred of girls who dare being girlier and more popular than you... but you will still get the guy handed to you on a silver plate despite how you never lifted a finger to get his love. And in the meantime, you will dress up as a super pretty girly girl after having bitched and whined all the time about how Beauty Is Bad and Popular Is Dumb!".
Interestingly, "Begin Again" from Red takes the direct opposite approach. Perhaps Swift herself had to learn this Aesop?
Newer country music fans who would like to see their genre have a return to public prominence if it means shedding some old bonds, versus traditional country music fans who would like to see her head on a stake. Taylor's clean sweep of the CMAs and AMAs in the fall of 2009, combined with the outpouring of support from the Kanye West incident and a critically praised Saturday Night Live hosting, have led to a massive backlash from the country music community at Taylor's media oversaturation.
Harsher in Hindsight: "Half of My Heart" considered that she and John had a real relationship and he treated her very badly, as the song suggests. Compare Mayer's "Half of my Heart" ("Half of my heart is a shotgun wedding to a bride with a paper ring/And half of my heart is the part of a man who's never truly loved anything") to Swift's "Dear John" ("Well, maybe itís me/And my blind optimism to blame/maybe itís you and your sick need/To give love and take it away").
Hollywood Homely: In the "You Belong With Me" video, she dons a pair of glasses and braids her hair in order to play the "ugly" girl.
Internet Backdraft: Compare her, Carrie Underwood and/or Kellie Pickler to each other in a thread related to any of the three. Fans of any individual artist will viciously state that "their" artist is superior to the other two.
Taylor's appearance at the 2013 Grammys, where she dissed a former boyfriend during her performance, outraged a lot of people. There's a good reason for that: that former boyfriend was Harry Styles from One Direction, and the people who got outraged were, of course, the Directioners.
And then there was Taylor at the 2013 MTV VMA's. While Harry Styles from One Direction was giving a speech at the podium and mentioned something about having the best fans, the camera zoomed in on Taylor for a reaction shot. She mouthed something looking very suspiciously similar to "Shut the fuck up".note Though the same could be said for "Sorry for my arm", as she removed her arm from around Selena Gomez' shoulders while saying it. Cue Directioner hate going off the charts.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Before 2012, she was either thought of as "Meh", or absolutely adored by her fanbase. But in 2012, this all changed. Since then, she has been ripped apart by comedians and celebrities, including Tina Fey, largely because of her much-publicized dating troubles.
"Shake it Off" is a very bright pop song, with jazz influence, and even a brief rap section with some Totally Radical speech, causing haters to complain about her losing her roots and resorting to corporate pandering. That was exactly the point, to make a song that would annoy her haters and please her fans. The biggest joke? The entire song is a Take That to her detractors. And it topped the charts!
"Blank Space" is a rather classy Take That to the media's portrayal of Swift as a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend. The song is sung by the character the media makes her out to be, and the video is an over-the-top visual parody of these claims. She reclaimed her negative press, and in doing so, kicked herself out of the #1 spot on the charts!
"Im'a let you finish, but..." followed by virtually anything, after Kanye West interrupted her.
Following a popular Mondegreen in the chorus of "Blank Space", the original line being "Got a long list of ex-lovers", which sounded to many like "Got along with Starbucks lovers", a humorous parody about fans of the coffee chain emerged.
Misaimed Marketing: A relatively mild example, but there are dolls of her out there, aimed at much the same demographic as Barbie. Granted, Swift is more than a little popular with prepubescent girls, but with such lovely revenge fics as "Picture to Burn" and "Better Than Revenge", some mild swearing in the debut album and "Sparks Fly", which is as close as Swift can get to Intercourse with You without inciting the wrath of the Moral Guardians, she's not exactly suited to the preschool set.
Dancing during Kendrick Lamar's performance of "m.A.A.d city" (a high tempo song about gang culture in Compton) is both kind of endearing and was very, very ridiculous.
Nightmare Fuel: The music video for "Blank Space", and the AMA performance of the same. While it's played partly for dark laughs, Taylor plays Ax-Crazy surprisingly well. "Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane" indeed.
Taylor is by far the most popular artist on the Big Machine label. But she was not the first artist to have a hit on it ó Jack Ingram hit #1 with the Big Machine-released "Wherever You Are" a few months before Taylor's debut single, and Danielle Peck had a couple minor singles on it too.
Pandering to the Base: She's been accused of this by some fans after Fearless, which, in stark contrast to her first album (which, for the most part, was startlingly mature and dark, but well-liked by listeners of all ages), is more decidedly geared towards teenagers. Let it not be ignored that the small majority of her first album's sales were from the teenage crowd.
So far, promotion of Red has done little to appeal to fans of her earlier, more country-inspired, work. All three of her poppy Max Martin collaborations have been released as singles, with only one more traditionally "country" song, "Begin Again", thrown in for good measure.
Some people suspect Shake It Off's rap verse near the end is just a corporate thing meant to appeal to the modern crowd- hell, some people accuse the whole song of being pandering to modern fans who only like synthetic music.
Periphery Demographic: Some of the older generation of country music singers, including at least two of The Oak Ridge Boys, have stated that they enjoy Taylor because of how well she knows her target audience.
She has many middle and senior aged fans, probably for the exact same reason.
She Really Can Sing: While she's getting further than ever away from her country roots, this is not an uncommon reaction to "Safe and Sound."
Strawman Has a Point: The video for "You Belong With Me" is cute as hell, but somewhat cliche. The video for "Single Ladies", on the other hand, is unlike anything anyone else was doing at the time. And logically, since "Single Ladies" was video of the year overall, shouldn't it also be female video of the year?
Tear Jerker: "Ronan", which Swift wrote after reading a blog written by a mother who lost her four-year-old son to cancer. And "Safe & Sound", which is from the soundtrack of The Hunger Games.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: One of her songs which didn't make it onto an album, "I'd Lie", had a very similar chorus melody to "Girl Next Door" by Saving Jane (which ironically, had the exact same premise as "You Belong With Me"), so for later live performances of it she had to sing it in a very odd key.
From 2006 to 2011, she was praised by a lot of people. However, in 2012, when she had changed her style, she began to be hated on by almost everybody, to the point of where every meme and person is making fun of her.
They Just Didn't Care: Dial Global's "Hot Country" format edits out most of the second verse of "Back to December", jumping straight from the first chorus to "And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind". Even though 4:54 is rather long for a single, you'd think they'd find someplace less egregious to trim the songÖ
Detractors have called the music video for "Shake It Off" has been called racist because Swift supposedly mocks black culture by twerking and breakdancing poorly.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Some people have assumed she's a children's musician because she's commonly associated with Disney (she's never worked for the company to begin with, but she's frequently played on Radio Disney and appeared on an episode of Take Two With Phineas and Ferb). Many little kids like her and don't know what she's talking about. Not to mention she has a squeaky-clean image- no tattoos or piercings (unless you count earrings), for starters. But have parents (or the kids) bothered looking at the lyrics to her songs, what with such lyrics as "That's fine, I'll tell mine you're gay" ("Picture to Burn"), "She's better known for the things that she does on the mattress" ("Better than Revenge"), "You touch me once and it's really something. You find I'm even better than you imagined I would be" ("Sparks Fly") and "I'll do anything you say if you say it with your hands" ("Treacherous")? Moreover, "Teardrops On My Guitar" and "Cold As You" both make use of "damn", while "The Way I Loved You" delivers a rather Family-Unfriendly Aesop and "Fifteen" hints at a friend's virginity loss.
Yoko Oh No: When she was dating Joe Jonas. Then Joe infamously dumped her via a phone callnote She was actually the one who hung up and the fans took her side. The fact Joe started dating Camilla Belle so soon after did not help matters (the popular opinion Joe and Camilla look creepily alike also didn't help).