Taylor Swift reinforces her status as the Queen of Breakups on her fourth album, “Red.” While she holds true to her diary entry style, she turns away from her country roots and heads toward a new, more pop-like sound. Even though I am unashamed to admit that I am a Taylor Swift fan, this new album began to annoy and ceased to impress me, aside from her unexpected change in sound. Her classic country style now just accents her new pop style, instead of the other way around.
With her album “Red,” it’s the same old Taylor Swift but with a new sound. She uncharacteristically uses dubstep and auto, specifically in “I Knew You Were Trouble,” with its synthesized chorus and the occasional bassdrop. Some songs, though, still feature just enough twangy banjo and/or acoustic guitar to have that country feel. Along with the album’s new electronic feel, Swift includes a more indie feel, similar to her earlier released song for the Hunger Games Movie “Safe and Sound.”
Featured artists on the album are Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. Neither of these artists sing any type of country music, which adds to the new sound of “Red” as Swift breaks away from her country roots.
After four albums about love, break-ups and generally sappy songs, I would expect Swift to realize she’s just beating a dead horse. I can’t understand how she manages to date and then be dumped by various guys, which makes me wonder, why is she so undatable? Does she purposefully date and then be dumped just for song ideas? At a certain point, after that many failed relationships the average person would stop and evaluate what’s wrong. Swift continues with the cycle of date, get dumped and then writes a hit song.
At 22-years-old, Swift has a multitude of songs about her heartbreaks, failed fairy tales and perpetually being friendzoned, which I have yet to have a bad enough breakup to understand.
In the six years since her first single, “Teardrops on My Guitar”, where a younger Swift longs for a boy who doesn’t know she exists, you can see her change in her newest hit single, “We are Never Getting Back Together,” where she very clearly affirms her separation from a former love interest.
The album illustrates a more reflective side of Swift, she’s looking back on her previous relationships — on the ups and downs, the mistakes and the occasional good moments, whereas her previous albums are about what’s happening to her at that moment.
Swift’s ability to turn every relationship she has had into a song and even a whole album has given way to numerous jokes about her apparent inability to express her feelings in other ways besides very public, very popular songs. Swift’s songs are coveted by teenage girls everywhere as the anthems of teenage relationship angst. Her popularity doesn’t just extend to the assumed demographic. Yes, boys, we know you love her just as much as us girls do.
The released singles from the album and Swift’s popularity causes certain songs to become quickly overplayed and worn out even before the album comes out. With continuous repetition in her songs, they are easy to memorize and then, just as easy to get annoyed with them.
“Red” undoubtedly will not be the last album that Swift will inform us all of her various attempts at finding that one true love to us. I mean, she just broke it off with her last boyfriend, so maybe by the end of the year there will be a whole new set of songs that I, without shame, will play at full volume. At least, until I can’t stand them anymore.