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For some one who in this album is attempting to make a crossover from country to pop music, she does a pretty darn good job. This album has clearly a lot of country influenced tracks, which appeals to that fanbase, such as title track 'Red', but with some other completely pop tracks, such as 'I Knew You Were Trouble' which became a huge success.
I think Taylor Swift does a good job on this album, particularly commendable is that all the tracks are written by her, something which you don't necessarily see in pop that much anymore. Admittedly, she doesn't have the best voice. It's nice and sweet, but not extremely powerful or with the nicest tone, but she does the best with the voice she has.
There are some great stand out tracks on this album. Some of my favourites include 'All Too Well' a slow tempo guitar heavy track, with some heartbreaking lyrics and absolutely fabulous vocals in the climax of the song, some of her best work. Particularly with this track, I love the honest nature of her lyrics and way you can relate to her songs, which is one of the reasons I think she is so popular.
In fact there are so many tracks worth mentioning, 'We Are Never Getting Back Together' another huge hit, 'The Last Time' a fabulous track with some killer harmonies, featuring Gary Lightbody and the popular 'Everything Has Changed' with British artist Ed Sheeran. '22' the fun upbeat song, celebrating life and a good old party.
Overall, if you love country and pop, this album is well worth the listen, really something that showcases Taylor's talent. Not just her singing, but her songwriting.
Red is the fourth studio album from 'Country / Pop Star' Taylor Swift. The album was released in the United Kingdom in October 2012 and so it is very recent.
~ * Track Listing * ~
1) State of Grace 2) Red 3) Treacherous 4) I Knew You Were Trouble 5) All Too Well 6) 22 7) I Almost Do 8) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together 9) Stay Stay Stay 10) The Last Time 11) Holy Ground 12) Sad Beautiful Tragic 13) The Lucky One 14) Everything Has Changed 15) Starlight 16) Begin Again
I will now give a brief review of some of the songs on this album!
~ * State of Grace * ~
First thing I noticed about this song, is that it takes a long time to get going; 40 seconds in fact. I don't really like this song. I expected it to be good what with all the guitars and drums. Although it doesn't really seem to go anywhere. It could be catchy but it isn't. I couldn't wait for this song to finish. Not a great start to the album as I was tempted to skip to the next one after a couple of minutes.
~ * Red * ~
This song is quite catchy. It's quite a rocky kind of song. Still not my cup of tea. Another song which has potential but doesn't go anywhere!! Oh dear...tempted to skip to the next song again after only a couple of minutes.
~ * Treacherous * ~
The album slows down with this song. An easy listening kind of song- the kind you could just have playing on in the background. I certainly wouldn't say 'put that song on again.
~ * I Knew You Were Trouble * ~
This song is so repetitive; the melody and both the lyrics are very repetitive, so much that it becomes really annoying. I like the chorus as it is very different. This isn't a fantastic song, but I like it. It is very 'current' and 'teenage-ery'.
~ * All Too Well * ~
The album slows down again with this song. Her voice sounds strange on this one; I'm not sure if that is how she really sounds or if they have put like a 'cartoon-y' effect on a voice as it sounds quite squeaky. Just when you think the song is going somewhere it goes back to being boring.
~ * 22 * ~
I think everyone can relate to this song. The lyrics are really interesting; speaking about how confusing it can be being young. Taylor is 22 years old and so I guess the song is named after her age. Unfortunately she is still going on about her 'exes' in this song! I just feel like saying 'oh get over it'.
~ * I Almost Do * ~
~ * We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together * ~
To be honest, when I first heard this song, I thought 'oh hear she is with another cringey and childish song'. However, since hearing it on a night out recently and having a good old boogie to it (everyone was singing along), I thought, actually this song is pretty good. It's really catchy and I just cannot resist singing along to it.
~ * So What Do I Think? * ~
I had never really taken much notice of Taylor Swift until recently when I heard her song 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' which I think that whilst it is really annoying, it is also really catchy. So I decided to buy her album after hearing this song.
I don't think that any of the songs are amazing!! They all sound the same and there is nothing that makes me go 'omg, wow!' as they are just 'simple' and 'average' little songs. I find the songs to be quite boring and she goes on about the same old thing (her ex etc.). So it would be nice to hear a few songs which weren't about heartbreak for a change.
Taylor has an ok voice; she sounds very American which I like. She can sing and she writes her own songs which is good, even if they aren't songs that I like! To be honest, I find this album so childish!! It's so cheesy and I think that it is aimed at teenagers as all she talks about is love in a teenage way. I find it really annoying and don't like it at all! I can see why teenagers find it inspiring though; as her songs give hope to teenagers that everything will turn out fine in the end.
So all in all, do I like this album? NO I DO NOT! I hate to sound mean, but I think that this is one of the worst albums I have every listened to! Sorry Taylor!! Unless you like Taylor Swift in general, I wouldn't recommend this album!
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
Taylor Swift is an American singer, song writer and musician who at the age of 22 has already established a massively successful career with 6 Grammys and various other awards. Red is her fourth album and came out on Oct 22nd, only a few days ago. It is looking like she will hit a million sales in the first week.
Taylor is best known for singing songs about her relationships and break ups which cause everyone to speculate which of her famous exes she is referring to. There is more of that in Red, but this album definitely can't be described as "more of the same". What I find so interesting about this album is how different it is from her previous three, and how much variety there is from one song to the next on here. It is quite a big departure from her country roots. Taylor's latest single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (her first number one) showed an out and out pop style and there are a few songs in this vein, as well as some sad songs with a much more mature sound, and even a bit of dubstep - yes, really! The variety on this album is partly due to the fact that Taylor collaborated with different people here, such as Max Martin (Swedish pop producer who worked with people from Britney and N Sync to Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson) and Ed Sheeran.
Although there are a lot of surprises on this album, in my opinion there is still a thread tying it all together and making it one coherent whole, and that is the general theme of relationships and emotions.
The standard version contains 16 songs, which is pretty generous, but the deluxe version which I have includes a massive 22 tracks! I paid £11.99 for this from iTunes.
I will talk about all the tracks individually because I love this album so much and could easily talk loads about it, but feel free to skip the extra detail if the general bit above is enough for you, as it will be quite long!
--- The Tracks ---
State of Grace is the perfect opener to the album. It has great lyrics which really set out the theme of the whole album, such as "I never saw you coming and I'll never be the same", showing how each relationship changes you. Taylor has said she feels the line "love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right" really sums up the album, as it has songs about the hurt when it's not done right, and some songs about love that works. Musically it is very strong and has more of a rock sound.
Red, the title track, comes up next. This is a song which I loved from the first listen and I have had it on repeat quite a lot! It is really catchy. The lyrics equate emotions to different colours, which is simple but really effective. Taylor has said that this album is mainly about all the emotions which she sees as red i.e. the really intense ones ranging from love and attraction to frustration and hurt, which is how the album got its name.
Treacherous is a beautiful song which is slow, delicate and honest. It is about progressing in a relationship where there is the danger of getting hurt, and knowing that risk, but wanting to go on. Some of the lyrics are lovely "two headlights shine through the sleepless night and I will get you, get you alone, your name has echoed through my mind and I just think you should know that nothing safe is worth the drive..."
I Knew You Were Trouble takes the album in a completely new direction with a more chaotic atmosphere and a dancy vibe even featuring some dubstep drops. It is about seeing the red flags with someone but ignoring them and getting involved anyway, then when it all goes wrong Taylor sings "I knew you were trouble... So shame on me", taking the blame for it herself as she has knowingly let herself get hurt. Most people will think this is about John Mayer and I have to agree. I see this song as kind of a follow up to Dear John from Speak Now (where she also talks about being warned and says she should have known, but she is more blaming him in Dear John).
All Too Well is my favourite song on Red. It gorgeous, emotional, with great lyrics and a beautiful melody. It is looking back on the story of a relationship from start to finish, very likely that with Jake Gyllenhaal as you can tell from various clues in the lyrics. I love the imagery in these lyrics as Taylor manages to show perfect moments such as "here we are again in the middle of the night, we're dancing round the kitchen in the refrigerator light, down the stairs I was there I remember it all too well" remembering the good in the relationship even though she is obviously very hurt by it and it has all gone wrong, "you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest". Just an all round lovely song which I definitely recommend.
With the song 22 the album goes in another direction again. This is the poppiest song on the album and is an anthem to youth with Taylor singing "I don't know about you, but Im feeling 22!" The sound is fun and very sugary sweet and has a sort of Glee vibe to me, or I wouldn't have been surprised to hear it from the likes of Katy Perry or Kesha, but at the same time, there is a bitter sweet tinge to the lyrics as she actually sings "we're happy free confused and lonely at the same time". This song makes me feel a bit nostalgic as 22 is now long gone for me!
Almost Do slows the pace back down again and is a heartfelt song with more of a slightly country edge. It is about thinking of someone and wanting to call them, but knowing you can't as you can't risk getting hurt again. This is one which is quite easy to identify with and I like it.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (WANEGBT) is a song which I'm sure most people will have heard as it has been such a big hit, reaching number one with its catchy pure pop sound. It's a really fun song which gets stuck in my head and makes me want to sing along. It's another one that lots of people will identify with. I think it shows a fun, confident side to Taylor where she shows she is not letting herself be pushed around and is not always just being dumped and crying as some people seem to think!
Stay Stay Stay is a massive contrast in theme to WANEGBT as this one is about an (imagined) good relationship that is worth staying in despite the fact there are fights sometimes and they do get mad and annoy each other. It seems to acknowledge the fact that the fairy tale type of love she was singing about on some of her earlier songs when she was younger is not reality, and that love in real life is not perfect but is worth it if you find someone you just want to hang out with your whole life. It has a fun, upbeat, country beat to it and it makes me smile.
The Last Time is a duet with Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. It does not sound typical Taylor at all to me, but nor does it really sound like a typical Snow Patrol song as I would say it is a little bit more subdued. It can come across slightly boring on the first listen but it has grown on me with each listen. It's not my favourite track but I do really like it. It is about a couple who keep splitting up and getting back together, and the guy comes back and promises it is the last time and he won't leave her again, whereas the girl says its the last she will take him back. I like the story element of it.
Holy Ground is a bit more uptempo and has a pulsing beat. It has some lyrics which I really like, like "Spinning like a girl in a brand new dress we had this big wide city all to ourselves" which just give a feeling of being young and alive. The story of the song is looking back on an old relationship and now the the pain has healed being able to see that it was good and enjoy the memories again. Apparently this one is about Joe Jonas and was inspired after she bumped into him at one of her shows.
Sad Beautiful Tragic is a pretty song which I really enjoy but hasn't really stood out to me as a favourite as its so low key. It has a bitter sweet atmosphere and is a slow, thoughtful track. It is stripped back and the vocals are quite exposed, but they sound good. There is a vulnerability to Taylor's voice in this.
The Lucky One is my least favourite song on the album and is the only one which I sometimes skip. Something about it slightly grates on me at the beginning. I find that if I continue with it I start to like it more but the vocals at the start are not a favourite of mine. It is a song about fame and reflects Taylor's fear of how it could be when she doesn't enjoy it anymore. Some have suggested it is about Joni Mitchell retiring out of the spotlight. The chorus is catchy but I find some of the rest a bit whiny, sorry to say.
Everything Has Changed is a duet with Ed Sheeran and was also jointly written with him. It is about the potential of new beginnings, meeting someone who you like and those first feelings. "I just wanna know you better" they sing, along with some slightly cliched lyrics of "your eyes looked like coming home". I do like the song but I feel that it's not as original as a lot of her others and it doesn't feel like as much of an honest insight into her feelings as it is a bit more generic. Apparently they have written some other songs together and he is going with her on her US tour for Red which she has just announced so I am curious how the others will be.
Starlight is a fun, sparkling, imaginative song which was inspired by Taylor seeing a photo of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy when they were younger in the 1940s (they are the grandparents of her (now apparently ex?) boyfriend Conor Kennedy (relatives of JFK). The music is poppy and fun and the lyrics make me smile, as she tries to make it sound like what they might have said in those days as she sings from Ethel's persepective, "I said o my, what a marvellous tune..."
Begin Again is another lovely one and is coming out as the next single. It is a slower song, again about relationships, and has a great strong melody. It is about moving on from a failed relationship, picking yourself up and trying again. " I've been spending the last eight months thinking that all love does is break and burn and end, but on a wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again". It also has a really nice video in Paris.
That brings the main album to a close.
On the deluxe album, the next song is The Moment I Knew which is the best of the extra ones by far in my opinion. It is a sad song about being stood up on her birthday with a soaring chorus and reminds me a lot of the Swedish singer Lisa Miskovsky. Come Back... Be Here is another extra one which is also good and is about missing someone due to long distances. The third extra song Girl At Home is my least favourite and is basically Taylor telling off a guy for trying it on with her when he has a girlfriend. There are also different versions of Treacherous, Red and State of Grace. These are nice enough but I prefer the main album versions of them.
--- In Conclusion ---
In case you couldn't tell by how much I have talked about each song, I love this album, have been playing it loads and will definitely continue to play it. I really like Taylor's voice, the variety on Red, the honest and emotional lyrics which are easy to relate to and often poetic and beautiful. It is something completely different and I recommend it!
Taylor Swift's fourth album, titled 'Red', tells of the extreme emotions she has experienced in relationships, summed up by the intense colour. Following her record breaking album 'Speak Now' which she wrote mainly by herself, she seeked to collaborate with as many people as she could on the follow up, working with Ed Sheeran and smash-hit maker Max Martin.
The cover shows much of Swift enveloped by shadow but her bright red lips are shown, a sign of womanhood, sexuality and innocence. It is a simple but beautiful and sophisticated cover, which reflects the change of her artistry in these two years.
The album contains sixteen brand new tracks:
1. State Of Grace 5/5
The opening track to 'Red' as well as the song with the most intriguing title, 'State of Grace' is a dreamy yet powerful track about falling in love. A positive departure from the traditional Swift sound, the song is exciting and will hook you from the start.
2. Red 5/5
As one of the early release preview tracks, the title track has easily become one of my favourites already. The catchy riffs and the colourful lyrics are addictive but begin to show her development as an artist as she progresses from a teenager to a young woman.
3. Treacherous 3.5/5
After two insane lead tracks, 'Treacherous' is rather subdued and more of a ballad, but grows in power towards the end. A music video would just make this song, and it has great potential to grow on you.
4. I Knew You Were Trouble 5/5
Back to another super catchy song with an awesome chorus. Here, Swift takes a jab at herself after falling for someone she 'knew was trouble' and creates wonderful music. The simple riffs are addictive and is very different to her previous music which I love.
5. All Too Well 4/5
Another quieter track but one which returns to Swift's roots, a more country sounding song, reminding us why we love her, but 'All too well' is definitely more grown up and builds up to an explosive climax.
6. 22 3/5
The title instantly reminds me of Adele's '21' but the song itself is the opposite in style, an upbeat celebration of growing up- formed of fun sounds and catchy beats that doesn't take things too seriously and might even make it onto a very cheesy dance floor.
7. I Almost Do 3.5/5
Another soft song with sweet lyrics- one for those rainy nights spent alone- but doesn't stand out amongst the rest of the album.
8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together 5/5
Whilst the lyrics aren't Taylor's best, this is undoubtedly one of the catchiest songs to be released this Summer, as the song rocketed to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Swift's first. If my play count of this song is anything to go by, this is a track for everyone and likely to get Swift new fans.
9. Stay Stay Stay 4/5
The intro is extremely fun and upbeat- a quirky country sounding track which is very different but still catchy and makes you want to jump around. Reminds me of 'Mean' musically.
10. The Last Time (ft. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol) 5/5
I've always thought Taylor Swift has that voice for great duets and as we kind of witnessed with B.O.B's 'Both of Us' but not to her full potential, this song is perfect. 'The Last Time' is a dreamy song which spans so many genres and I can just imagine it playing on every radio station. Beautiful.
11. Holy Ground 4.5/5
This was another song I was very intrigued about, and from the first few seconds, I'm already sold. The drum beat and the catchy lyrics make this pop out as a track to be remembered.
12. Sad Beautiful Tragic 4/5
As the album begins to wind down, 'Sad Beautiful Tragic' is a soft ballad similar to 'Last Kiss', with melancholic lyrics.
13. The Lucky One 4.5/5
With a late 90's pop sound, 'The Lucky One' has interesting lyrics and again, a different sound to anything else we've heard before, giving an element of surprise at this late point in the album.
14. Everything Has Changed (ft. Ed Sheeran) 4/5
The collaboration that everyone has been waiting for. The one we've heard so much about. 'Everything Has Changed' was co-written by Ed Sheeran. It's a lovely duet but in my opinion not as powerful as 'The Last Time'- perhaps I expected a lot from this. It's still a very beautiful song and I'd love to see them perform this together.
15. Starlight 4/5
WOW. Looks like Taylor discovered some new technological toys to play with... it's certainly interesting. Tapping into Katy Perry territory, Starlight is a somewhat magical track with a mystical starry quality.
16. Begin Again 4.5/5
A perfect choice to finish the album with, 'Begin Again' is a soft pop break up song about finding love again. Lyrically, it reminds me of 'You Belong With Me', with the comparison between the two guys- but musically it is heartfelt and genuine. I love the chorus and the riff which just hooks you in.
DELUXE BONUS TRACKS:
1. The Moment I Knew 5/5
Why this isn't on the main album is beyond me. The first 'deluxe' track is the perfect mix of country/pop/ballad with a powerful chorus telling of a horrendous heartbreak, but making great music.
2. Come Back, Be Here 5/5
Wow... 'Come Back, Be Here' surprises again with such a sweet, upbeat and catchy song- again should really be on the main album. The lyrics are fun and cute.
3. Girl At Home 4.5/5
'Girl At Home' is a super fun track about not cheating, reminding the guy he has a 'girl at home'. This would make a super fun video and the song is so catchy.
4. Treacherous (Original Demo) 4/5
Doesn't sound too much different to the final track.
5. Red (Original Demo) 3.5/5
This has nothing on the album version- sounds a little strange to be honest.
6. State Of Grace (Acoustic Version) 4/5
This is a rather cute version, though softer, offers a different quality to the song which is still beautiful.
SONGS TO LOVE: State of Grace, Red, I Knew You Were Trouble, The Last Time, Begin Again, The Moment I Knew
SONGS TO SKIP: None
Taylor Swift's 'Red' is an experimental fourth album from the record breaking Country-pop star. With a strong strong addictive beginning, the album grabs you immediately with 'State of Grace' and the titled track 'Red'.
Whilst several subdued tracks are overshadowed by fun, upbeat and silly songs in the midst of the album, there is great variation and musical styles, a departure from what we'd expect, tapping into beat-filled rock, dance and the highly anticipated collaborative tracks.
With sixteen tracks on the standard edition, the generous but long album does begin to cloud. However, several musical surprises lie in store for us at the end such as 'The Lucky One' and 'Starlight', both of which keeps things interesting and stops you feeling bored. 'Begin Again' closes the album beautiful: musically soft, lyrically hopeful and opens a new chapter from heartbreak to new found love.
My favourite tracks are 'State of Grace', 'Red' and 'The Last Time'.
The deluxe bonus tracks are stunning. The three extra songs are all very fun, cute and upbeat, is extremely addictive and just grabs you from the first listen. They really should've made it into the final cut, but were maybe overruled to allow for more experimental sounds.
The lead single 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', gaining Swift's first Billboard #1 and the release of a new track every week (every single one topped the iTunes chart) leading up to the album launch gave the album much publicity. The signs show that this album is going to do phenomenally well, maybe even topping sales of 'Speak Now'.
'Red' is undeniably Taylor Swift's best album to date. She proves she can develop her sound and grow up with her audience. Whilst nothing on this album tops my love for Taylor's best song 'Haunted' (from Speak Now), there are a ridiculous amount of potential hit songs and she's only just 22!
What do YOU think of 'Red'?
UPDATE- Red has now topped the iTunes Chart in 32 countries and set a new Billboard record and for the most rapid accumulation of 50 Hot 100 hits in history!!