The Harbinger Online

Taylor Swift Still Deserves Recognition

Let’s be honest. The music that’s popular amongst our generation is crappy. Most of the music doesn’t even have real instruments, just noise made by hitting random buttons in the studio. Women are portrayed as sex objects, drinking is glorified by sweaty people in clubs and waking up the next morning with no memories of the night before is depicted as the norm.

But you see, this is where Taylor Swift comes in.

Miss Swift — who I’ve loved since the seventh grade — writes her own music, plays her own instruments, can hold a note and manages her behavior well. There haven’t been any photos of her looking wasted or high with smudged makeup and ratty hair. She doesn’t grind on married men or get naked and swing on wrecking balls.

It’s true, Taylor does focus on singing about boys and love and revenge and breakups and all other sorts of tragedies. However, she also has the ability to write about a young teenager being bullied in middle school, or about a four-year-old boy name Ronan who died of cancer. That’s one of my favorite things about Taylor Swift: she creates music, not to win awards, but to tell stories. She can make a girl in Kansas feel for a grieving mother who she’s never met, or remind that girl of the bullies in middle school. None of that stripper-booty-club-red solo cup crap.

That’s what separates Taylor from other talent these days. She’s an artist, not a singer. Her music is her own. She writes it, she promotes it, she performs it and she feels it. This is how she’s won seven Grammys. She doesn’t sift through a list of songs handed to her by her agent and make one her single, but writes about her personal experiences.

Although anybody with a brain might see this as pure and inspiring, there are some who despise Taylor Swift. Since the release of her last album “Red”, she’s been criticized for crossing more over into the pop genre, and apparently that’s something artists aren’t allowed to do. At least, that’s what the critics seem to think. Though her sound changed, the messages are the same. She has no interest in writing a song with drugs or hangovers, which is another example of how she is a wonderful artist. It’s okay if Taylor wants to break away from the country genre and try different types of music. Telling Taylor to selectively create country music is like telling Troy Bolton he can play only basketball, and not sing in the musical with Gabriella.

Taylor has also dropped in popularity amongst the general public simply because she’s doing what every other young person on the planet Earth loves to do — date. She’s been made fun of and criticized for having a personal life, while her list of past boyfriends include musicians John Mayer and Harry Styles. These two names alone should prove my point. Both of these men have had multiple girlfriends, ranging all over the age spectrum. However, the public didn’t respond with nearly as much venom as they’ve treated Taylor with.

Though I do love and respect Taylor for being one of the reasons pop music isn’t completely hopeless, I have no problem pointing out her flaws. Fame has gotten to her head, like it does to every celebrity, and it shows.

For starters, her concerts. I’ve been to four Taylor Swift concerts, the first one as a 13-year-old and the last one this past August. Miss Swift’s concerts consist of a two tiered stage, a suspended platform, a revolving mini-stage, bungee cords, acrobats, ballerinas, nine costume changes (I counted), a dramatic staircase and an even more dramatic piano. What frustrates me is that I’ve watched Taylor perform acoustic versions of her music on YouTube and at previous concerts, but with her “Red” tour she seems to think that the only way to perform is through a never ending supply of props.

Second, her dancing. I’m not entirely sure that what she does on stage is called dancing, but more of a spasmodic movement of her hips and shoulders. She also tends to stand still at the end of a song and just bask in the applause audience members hurl at her. She could probably squeeze in two more songs if she would stop standing there. Also her shorts are too short.

Though there are those few idiosyncrasies I can’t stand about TayTay, I still think she’s an extremely talented musician. I can still remember the first time I heard “Teardrops on My Guitar”. I didn’t even know her name then, but by the time I was at one of Westwood Views’ skate parties in the sixth grade and “Our Song” came on, I was a loyal fan.

Taylor has produced album after album, each one selling more and more copies. So what if she’s friendly and likes to date? She has not one Grammy, but seven, and if dating inspires her music, then she would be doing everyone a favor by going out as much as possible. Like I said, Taylor is not perfect. But I will love her until I die. Unless she starts strutting around in rubber underwear with her tongue hanging out. That is where I draw the line.

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