Reviews: Taylor Swift

A Personal Favorite

Before I start, I guess it's only fair to mention I'm a pubescent female. Everyone I run into seems to think that plays a very big part in my liking Taylor Swift.

And who knows, it might. But that's beside the point.

I personally adore her voice and her style. I've recently all but fallen in love with it, in fact. I don't know how one formally judges a style or music to be good or any better than others. All I can say is I personally prefer it to some other singers who others say appeal to my demographic.

I prefer songs like "Innocent", "Mean", or "The Best Day", because they're so purely emotional or inspirational and easy to relate to "Never Grow Up" even manages to bring tears to my eyes because I can feel what she feels, as she so vividly describes the transition.

The more problematic songs, for lack of a better word, seem to be her break-up songs or songs were she uses a sort of double standard. I'm not going to deny that there is some double standards and shallow thinkings in some of her lyrics. And that's one of the things I like about it. Some people aren't always looking for music to teach them a lesson. Some people look to music as emotional release, something to relate to.

When you're absolutely livid, or envious, or heartbroken, you don't always think the best things. You're seeing it from your own eyes, clouded by hate. You see what you want to see, because you feel so down, you want someone to look down to, or you want to look up and hope for a miracle, hope that maybe it didn't all just happen. You want to think horrible things about the girl who took him or the guy who it didn't work out with.

You have a limited point of view. I remember being younger and being angry and being unable to see the whole picture. And that's why I think her songs are easy to relate to —they so clearly relay what we actually feel, in moments of weakness, of instability, etc.

This also helps me as an English nut, because I like to think "Love Story" calls attention to how little so many people know about such classic tales, just equating them to a love story. I've read both Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter. But most people think Romeo and Juliet is purely romantic and tragic. (Dunno about Scarlet Letter, really.)

So, it's just my opinion, but I feel she's so easy to relate to, and so talented.

So ridiculously sweet it hurts

As a life-long rock and metal fan, I nearly gave my friends an aneurysm when I admitted (albeit on a dare) to absolutely loving the music of Taylor Swift. Even moreso when I admitted that she was my Celebrity Crush. Listening to the progression throughout her albums - from 'Taylor Swift' all the way to the most recent 'Speak Now' (i.e. from more classic country towards pop-country) is just magical, though I'll also admit that I prefer her early country work. Her motifs (eyes, Tuesday night) are so adorable. I'm of the very sad, masochistic class that likes to imagine they are the one the singer is singing to, so listening to her adorable affected southern accent, which is ridiculously appealing to my very British ears, is like melted chocolate. Chocolate, which coincidentally comes out whenever I'm feeling particularly miserable, as do the Taylor Swift C Ds. It can't only be me that sobs uncontrollably whenever 'Mean' comes on? Or 'Teardrops on My Guitar'? Or even 'I'd Lie'? Or pretty much everything else? Just me? Oh... Taylor Swift herself is so Adorkable. There is literally nothing cuter except kittens in slippers. Even better when Taylor Swift enters the picture. Kittens + Taylor Swift = My Head Asplode.

The Special Snowflake of Female Purity

Taylor Swift has often been lauded as an "ideal role model for young girls," presumably because she is A) white, B) the angelic combination of blonde hair and blue eyes, and C) chaste (at least, publicly). But the troubling aspect of Taylor's appeal as a "role model" is her song lyrics, which often involve unchecked slutshaming and hypocrisy, the former of which should definitely not be encouraged, especially not by other women.

Let's examine the lyrics of "You Belong With Me." Swift praises herself as morally superior to Girlfriend of the latest Boy she's obsessing over and demonizes her for her attire and activities. After all, Swift wears "T-Shirts" and "sneakers" and sits "in the bleachers." And this Girlfriend tart wears "high heels" and "short skirts." How dare she dress in a manner that draws attention to her body! Hasn't she learned from "Abigail" of Swift's "Fifteen" that once a teenage girl embraces her sexuality, she's damaged goods for the rest of her life?

Well, what can you expect from "a girl like that"?

Swift continues, bashing Girlfriend for being cheerleading captain and for arguing with Boyfriend about a joke. So this Girl has interests beyond romance, and she has opinions she's willing to stand by when she might have found humor rude or insensitive. Swift acts like it's horrible that Girlfriend isn't lapping up Boyfriend's every word. Swift probably would do so, judging by how her life that seems to revolve entirely around this one guy. Why is it a bad thing that Girlfriend has a backbone? The Girlfriend has a personality beyond her significant other, unlike Swift, whose primary goal is snagging this Boyfriend for herself.

Amusingly enough, the music video audience is supposed to hate Girlfriend for wearing a revealing red dress, which obviously makes her a total whore. But it's Swift who not only spends the song infatuated with another girl's boyfriend but eventually steals him away from Girlfriend. The best part is, Swift never seems to realize the irony of these circumstances.

Apparently, wearing stilettos and short skirts makes you a skank, but convincing a boy to leave his girlfriend for you is A-OK, so long as you wear a virginal white dress. Thanks for that lesson in the Madonna Whore Complex, Swift.