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Taylor Swift is a 22 year old American music artist who is already on her fourth album (Red) which came out this week. I love her new one but I will review it once I've had a chance to listen to it even more. Speak Now which I am reviewing now is her third album and came out in 2010.
--- A bit about Taylor Swift ---
I really like Taylor Swift because she is clearly very naturally talented and she always comes across as a lovely person in interviews etc. She sees music as a way to tell stories and her music is very honest and personal, with her lyrics usually having a basis in her own life and relationships. She is known as a country singer but don't let that put you off if you don't think you like country. She is very poppy and at times a bit rocky. Basically she just does infectious and easily listenable songs with strong stories running through them.
--- Speak Now ---
One of the main things to bear in mind with this album is that it is all completely Taylor's own work, with no co writers or any collaboration. This is impressive for someone her age and also makes it very personal to her and it has some very emotional songs.
--- Track List ---
Back To December
The Story of Us
Never Grow Up
Better Than Revenge
--- My Opinion On The Songs ---
Mine is a great way to kick off the album. It is a catchy song about love, running into difficulties with a relationship but sticking with it as both realise how good what they have found is. It has a young and naive charm to it with lyrics like "Do you remember sitting there by the water, you put your arms around me for the first time". The vocals are strong and confident. Taylor's lyrics generally remain quite "clean" throughout this album and I would definitely say there is no problem with young kids listening to her music as it is not overly sexualised.
Sparks Fly is another one about love, about being attracted to someone even if it's a bad idea just because the spark is there. I like the vivid images in the lyrics of it and you can really hear the feeling in lines like "drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain". It has a country vibe to it but is also pretty poppy with an extremely catchy hook.
Back To December brings a change of pace to the album as it is a ballad which is slower and more thoughtful. Taylor sings of regret of breaking up with a boyfriend (almost certainly Taylor Lautner but she generally does not confirm or deny who songs are about). Though it is a ballad it is not dirgey and is very powerful and builds up to a heartfelt chorus which contains an "apology" to her ex: "this is me swallowing my pride standing her in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night". The vocals are full of emotion and it's easy to identify with thinking you know what you want, then doubting your decision. Lines like "it turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you" are simple but effective.
Speak Now is another song I love. This is a definite story song with a clear narrative about a girl at a wedding, "I'm not the kind of girl who should be barging in on a white veil occasion but you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl". She is thinking of what she would say to object and then works up her courage to get up when they say "speak now". It is quite a fun song with some humorous lyrics like "gown shaped like a pastry" and is not completely serious. It is a feel good, catchy, infectious poppy song. I often get it stuck in my head.
Dear John is a slower, sadder song and this one is definitely about John Mayer who Taylor was dating a few years ago. She comes across a bit bitter in this song as she sings about how he messed her around and played mind games with her. She sings about how she was warned off by her friends but she couldn't see how wrong it was until she was out of it and asks "don't you think I was too young to be messed with?" (she was 19 when she was with him). The song is a bit more repetitive and I do like it but it is not a favourite on the album for me really.
Mean is a great anthemic song which is perfect for anyone who is bullied or dealing with people trying to bring them down. It is used in an episode of Glee for this purpose! It has a county twang to it, more so than most of her songs, and is very catchy and positive "some day I'll be living in a big old city but all you're ever gonna be is mean".
The Story of Us is the story of a relationship as it progresses from the first spark to fizzling out. It is another up tempo catchy poppy number, which has lyrics continuing the "story" theme throughout with words such as "next chapter", "which page you're on" and "the story of us looks like a tragedy now". It is another solid track.
Never Grow Up is a slower, quieter song showing unsure feelings about growing up. It goes through the ages and portrays the feeling of life being simple when you're young and life is simple, going to some more conflicted feelings in teens and young adulthood. Some of the lyrics are quite sad, like "I just realised everything I have is some day gonna be gone" and "I wish I'd never grown up" but the atmosphere in general is more soft and tender than full on depressing.
Enchanted is another one about love or romantic feelings where Taylor sings about the magic of the moment when you meet someone and immediately click with them and have some chemistry. It has quite a fairy tale vibe to it for me, with lyrics like "this night is sparkling, don't you let it go, I'm wonder struck, blushing all the way home". It is not too saccharine sweet as there is also uncertainty shown, with Taylor singing "please don't be in love with somebody else" showing some vulnerability as she doesn't know if anything will happen or if he is even available. I'm sure a lot of people can identify with this this song.
Better Than Revenge brings the pace back up and has quite a kick to it. I think the lyrics of this are great, with some quite inspired rhyming such as "she's not a saint and shes not what you think, she's an actress, shes better known for what she does on the mattress." The vocals include some slightly spoken or sneery bits like "she looks at me like I'm a trend and she's so over it". It is a contrast to some other songs where Taylor always come across as really sweet and harmless, so I like that about it too.
Innocent is a powerfully emotional song with the message that we shouldn't be defined by our mistakes and it's never to late to "be brand new". I like the sentiment of this and the vocals are clear and strong with feeling.
Haunted is an amazing song which has a huge string section and is full of intensity and drama. This is the most theatrical sounding one to me and I love it. It is about a relationship fading out but trying to pretend that it's not, "something keeps me holding on to nothing". It's another beautiful and honest song.
Last Kiss is a simple song about missing an ex. I think the simplicity of it definitely works well and is a contrast to Haunted, as Haunted is more about uncertainty and confusion whereas Last Kiss is just the acceptance that it is over and she will always somehow miss the person sometimes. The song goes through some memories and has a bittersweet atmosphere.
Long Live is a gorgeous song where Taylor reflects on her career and the feelings she has had performing, winning awards, with her team etc and acknowledges how amazing it all is and that she wants to remember it all. I think it's a good one to round off the album and I really enjoy this song as it has a great tune.
--- Overall ---
I love this whole album. Every song is really good and I don't skip any of them. I can often listen to this album back to back a few times in its entirety.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes strong female vocalists, honest lyrics, catchy songs with a hint of country to them.
Just a brilliant album and I will still carry on listening to it even though the new album Red will be getting more play from me at the moment.
Taylor Swift never fails to deliver, and with this latest instalment, 'Speak Now,' she shows the leaps and bounds forward she has made as an artist. All her work has shown she has true artistic musical ability, with her own song writing, powerful vocals and sweet tunes - but this time, she has matured, producing work of a standard that's well beyond her years. She writes and plays from the heart and that's what makes this album truly inspiring to listen to.
I've never been a big fan of country music, but I am of Taylor Swifts! Taylor produces pop music, but with the strong, heavy influence of country, giving it an original and unique feel. She has the ability to make you hang on to her every word. All the tracks on 'Speak Now' are re-listenable; it's the kind of album that you'll want to play often as it's a very creative piece, lyrically and musically.
She conveys exactly what she means, showing true musicianship. The music is honest, beautifully crafted and enjoyable, all the way throughout. All the tracks on this record are quite capable of being made into singles. In each and every song she communicates a story. She speaks from the soul and she speaks to her audience.
The catchiness is insatiable! All the tunes stand out on their own, offering unique, catchy sounds, which I find most pleasing. The whole thing is really stripped back, without being excessive; it's a girl with a voice, showcasing her writing ability and talent - no auto-tuning or anything of the sort! Her songs are mostly acoustic due to this - not any of this artificial, contrived tripe!
In particular, I love 'Never Grow Up,' - a song about how we should appreciate our family while we're growing up as we all go our own separate way and all we have left are memories - 'Enchanted' - everything from the rhythm to the lyrics are mesmerising; I find the song absolutely beautiful; it's simply about meeting the love of your life and all the feelings that come with it - and 'Superman' (from the deluxe version) which is about someone who you admire and love but they don't know or aren't yours.
The verses of her songs always build up to terrific choruses and there's always a point to what she writes; it's meaningful. She seems to have a knack for what makes a great song, and she's producing them by the dozen!
Just a few amazing songs I felt deserved a mention!
Song 1. Mean <3
In this song, Taylor Swift sings a powerful song, expressing how she feels about people picking on her, and upsetting her. This song touched me because I was a bullied child, and she was really displaying her feelings and standing up for herself. The song describes a person who is generally a mean person and how she is bigger than that and that she won't let any pain or insults bring her down, as she knows she has talent! Taylor sings this song in a fast tempo, in a throaty voice, to a violin, banjo (I think!) Guitar and drums. The backing music works really well with the insightful lyrics. This song is one of the best on this album, making it's way into the top 100 at number 7/8 in the USA and UK.
Song 2. Sparks Fly <3
Sparks fly is a song about how Taylor is delicate, being mixed with the total opposite, moral of the song: Opposites attract. She speaks about her feelings of being with that true person. Speaking about how she wants to leave but she can't. because she loves him. She wants him to reciprocate her feelings of love and desire. She thinks he is a "Bad Idea!" but she can't run or hide, she is putty in his hands. The music for this song is very fast and typical country rock instrument line-up. This song is very good and is not overly well known because it wasn't released as a single, but if it was then it would be a success like many of her other songs. "I'm captivated" To quote Taylor, by this song and I recommend that if you havn't heard it already, you listen to it because your really missing out.
Song 3.Back to December <3 <3
Back to December is a song by TS explaining how she made mistakes in her life, and what consequenses that led to. She explains her sorrow for her actions and how she wishes she could change them. By going Back to December, she could change what she did and live on. She relives the moment over, and over again; causing her immense pain and regret. She expresses how much she loved that person, describing much about their personailty and memories they had together, a truly insightful song. These lyrics were written by Taylor, about a true incident that did change her life. The music for this song starts off calm, leading to an up-beat chorus and bridge, then the second verse is a similar rhythm to the first. I feel this shows how her life was normal and kept a similar rhythm until she made a mistake then it all went downhill and 'rocky' then she had no choice to pretend her life was normal again. HONESTLY, my favorite song in the album!
Song 4. Speak Now <3
Speak now is a song about a man who is marrying the wrong woman at the altar. She explains how amazing their love is, and how she is not the one he wants to be with, she is. She propositions him with a life of love, family and happiness is he left her. She sung about how she stopped the wedding, explaining to the priest how he cannot be married to someone he doesn't love, he belongs to her. This song is very bouncy and catchy, I find it one of the most country songs on this album (other than mean) and is a truly amazing song, which is my best one at the minute as I have it on replay!
Song 5. Mine <3
Mine is a song about how Taylor's childhood was ruined by her parents' divorce, she assumes that love is no good, until she finds someone so amazing she finds it hard to confide in him and truly allow herself to love is something which is inevitably bad. She explains how he convinced her lto love him, just by telling her he loved her, and replaying a memory of a holiday. She explains how she has to be careful and that she had nothing to call her own, until he came along. She eventually opened her heart to him and after a fight, she thought he'd leave (as her father did!) but he kissed her and told her they'd be together forever, overly changing her opinion of love and eventually admitting she is in love with him and that she doesn't care about what people think, she's happy. The music is so calm and relaxing, however it fits the song perfectly and I love this song so much.
Song 6. The Story Of Us <3
In this song, Taylor sings about the story of how she loved someone. She wants their story to be told as it'ss too good to be forgotten. She tries to avoid him as she wants to make him notice her, she feels nervous and (in love) around him. She wants him to admit how their love is amazing and that it should be reconciled as it's too good to let go. They don't need a tragedy, just a good old love story. Taylor expresses how love is a con test, who can act like they care less, but she doesn't want to fight with him, she loves him and doesn't want their story to end. The music for this song is very catchy, keeping a consistent rhythm all the way through. This song is very well known globally and has been accredited for it's awesomeness!
Song 7. Never Grow Up
In this song, Taylor sings about how she wishes that growing up would stop. She describes the song as herself when she was younger, then how when she grew up she felt alone and scared. This song is very insightful to how life goes too fast, and that we should cherish the moments we have and remember the value of those little things that seem pointless. I personally love this song as it makes me feel, that's what a good song does, makes you draw emotions and I think this ssong actually made me cry once.
I won't go over all of the songs in the album as that would take up lots of space, but the above songs I feel are the most amazing songs in the album and Taylor sings them beautifully. In all of the songs Taylor's voice is calm and full of emotion. So many people who have seen Taylor live have said how amazing she is, and it is a shame that this album doesn't have a DVD of the concert as this would be just awesome. You can really feel the emotions and feelings in all of the songs on this album and I do recommend that if you need to look at life and see the beauty of music, turn to Taylor as you wont be disappointed, I know I definitely wasn't. I think that if you love a good country song, or even a good soppy song, then pick up this high quality, high value album for just £5.99 online or £7.99 in HMV. I bought my copy in HMV and bought some individual songs from the itunes store before I bought the album. Thank you for reading my review,I hope this has helped you to decide whether or not to buy this album (buy it!) X x x
Taylor Swift is without a doubt one of the biggest stars in the world. Her breezy melodies, instant choruses and bridging of the country and pop genres have helped her shift over 20 million albums worldwide. In the UK, she is not as enormous as in America, but has slowly built up a dedicated following. 'Speak Now' is the third studio album and marks her transition to womanhood. Not only are her songs themes slightly more mature, but Swift is the sole writer for every track on the collection - a testimony to her intense talent. What she has put together, is a very strong singer-songwriter album which has enough to appeal to fans of all genres and all ages.
The album kicks off with 'Mine' - an up-tempo, country-rock love song. "I was a flight risk, with a fear of falling" she sings in the first verse of a song that deals with the idea of running away from love. The song stays true to the country-tradition of telling a story in the lyrics, but undoubtedly, is one of the most pop tracks on the record. It has an addictively catchy chorus which is relentlessly cheerful, without ever being too saccharine. Swift's vocals are filled with emotion and really soar on the words: "You are the best thing, that's ever been mine". A fantastic way to commence the CD.
'Sparks Fly' is another feel-good track. I'm glad there are licks of violins and fiddles in the instrumentation, as I feel at times the song feels a little too much like the title track of her 'Fearless' album (in both lyrics and sound). The song has a cineamatic feel, like it should be the soundtrack to a big-budget Hollywood movie. "Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain/Kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain" she sings emotively in the chorus. I absolutely love the lyrics to the song and the melody. The way the violins interweave between the vocals and guitars really give the song a unique feel. I absolutely love everything about it.
'Back to December' is one of my favourite Taylor Swift songs in that it really stands out in terms of lyrical content. While most of her songs deal with heartbreak, the thrill of new love or unrequited crushes, this song is intensely apologetic, as she willingly labels herself as being in the wrong. Many argue it is about her relationship with Twilight star Taylor Lautner. "This is me swallowing my pride, standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night" she sings, with her voice croaking with emotion. The gentle melody and slight twang of steal guitars are really quite something. It's slow building in terms of tempo, and so the chorus never feels too gushing or clichéd. The song has a very melancholic feel to it, that stands out in her catalogue. A great track.
I like the comedic charm that the title track, 'Speak Now' has. The gentle acoustic production backs up the tale of a girl who crashes her ex's wedding, seeing the wife-to-be in a "gown that looks like a pastry" and daydreaming that she runs away with the groom. The lyrics are really clever, and I love the play on words with the title. "You need to hear me out, and they said 'speak now'" Taylor coyly explains. I love the light, breezy feel that the song has. It's definitely a summery track.
The most controversial song on the album is 'Dear John', a song which shows the danger of being as famous as someone as Swift, and also as being as honest of a songwriter as her. Many believe it's about her failed relationship with John Mayer, with lyrics such as "I'll look back and regret how I ignored when they said run as fast as you can" presumably referring to the media criticism of their relationship. It's one of the slowest tracks on the album and is more a grower, due to it's length (over 5 minutes). However, with repeated listens, you really begin to feel the intensity of the lyrical content and appreciate the emotion in her voice. The bluesy tone to the production definitely adds a different dimension to the album, sonically.
'Mean' is probably the most country sounding song on the record, while also being the most juvenile. Juvenile in the sense that it would fit in really well on her first album (which was released when she was 15). It deals with the idea of being bullied as a teenager, but growing up to be more successful and more happy than any of the people who tried to bring you down. It's a fun song, with the banjo fitting in really well with the feel of the song. "Someday, I'll be living in a great big city and all you're ever going to be is mean" she sings in the chorus - not her best lyrics, basic but I suppose they get the job done.
I love the up-tempo sound of 'The Story of Us', which is much-needed after the past two tracks. "I used to think one day we'd tell the story of us, how we met, and the sparks flew instantly" she sings in the opening line of the song, subtley referencing several of her own lyrics. It has the same feel that 'You Belong With Me' had, in the sense that you just can't help but sing along at the top of your lungs. It's great to have a break-up track that isn't necessarily sad to listen to, as Taylor sounds more frustrated than heartbroken ("you held your pride when you should have held me"). I love the guitar solo too - it's simply the perfect country-pop track.
'Never Grow Up' is perhaps the only dip in quality on the album. I like the gentle guitar melody, but the lyrics about being a child and then reaching adolescence just feel a bit too much like tried and tested territory from her first two albums. I feel like Taylor was playing it far too safe when she wrote this. It's not a bad track by any means, but it's neither exceptional nor memorable in terms of chorus or lyrics.
'Enchanted' is a just a great love song, which actually reminds me of her big hit 'Love Story. I'd actually say that the tone of Taylor's voice in the song is probably the best I've ever heard it. You can tell she's definitely growing as a vocalist, particularly given that when she was younger her voice could be a bit shrill. The gradual building tempo from a gentle ballad to a soaring light-rock song, is seemless. I love the euphoric "please, don't be in love with someone else" background vocals which weave into the production half way through the song. A fantastic, mood-lifting track.
"Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did!" Taylor scolds at the start of the song before a ferocious guitar line punctuates the song. 'Better than Revenge' is the ultimate song to listen to if you ever feel scorned by a lover. "She took his faster than you could say sabotage," Taylor hisses with anger. I love the pounding drums and the fury behind the lyrics - she definitely delivers the song with more sass than anything she's ever done before. I just love the guitar solo in the middle of the track, it definitely fits in with the tone of the song and the slightly harder production. Amazing from start to finish.
'Innocent' has an amazing steel guitar and reverberation in the percussion. I love the lyrics, mourning the loss of innocence through experience ('Wasn't it easier in your lunchbox days?' Taylor asks) but its her vocals which really stand out. Her upper register in the first verse is gorgeous, and definitely makes the song stand-out despite not being as instant as the other cuts on this set.
'Haunted' is easily the most dramatic songs that Taylor has ever written. Frantic strings, crashing percussion and a demented, adrenaline filled set of verses quickly establish the mania of someone who has been cruelly heartbroken. "Come on, come on, don't leave me like this" she cries on the chorus, her voice brimming with emotion and communicating anguish amazingly to the listener. What I really love about the song is the orchestral feel that the production has, that really isn't like anything else Taylor has produced. While I adore her and respect that she writes and produces all her own songs, sometimes, it does create a limited set of sounds in terms of instrumentation, so this is much-needed to spice up the record.
Without a doubt, 'Last Kiss' is a hidden gem. The atmospheric and completely stripped-back feel of the track instantly strike you as being different. Again, a lower, more mature tone is in her voice as she explores her lower vocal register. The gorgeous piano, simple beat and quiet guitars are perhaps make this the most beautiful song she's ever written. "I still remember that look on your face, that bit through the darkness at 1:58/You told me you loved me, so why did you go?". The lyrics are gorgeous and absolutely heartbreaking, but don't have the self-indulgence of her youth. It definitely makes the song twice as powerful, now she has the maturity to deal with both sides of a breakup. Without a doubt, one of the best songs that Taylor has ever written.
'Long Live' isn't the best track to end the album on. I love the lyrics, and the soaring chorus, but I feel that it's just a bit too formulaic. After twelve songs with similar production, the gentle guitars followed by a rousing chorus feels far too cookie-cutter for me. I definitely feel as if 'Last Kiss' would have been the perfect close for the CD.
Overall, this is a fantastic album. It has more of singer-songwriter vibe than a country-pop feel, possibly due to the fact it was only Taylor who wrote the album. It definitely gives it a broader appeal. With more mature lyrics and better vocals, you can tell she's definitely growing as an artist. The only thing that lets the album down is that some of the production feels a little samey and formulaic from track-to-track, so hopefully with next record she's experiment with a couple of producers and try and craft a new sound.
Without a doubt - buy this.
Speak now is Taylor Swift's third album and it was released October 25th 2010. It costs £6.99 from amazon, or £11.93 for the deluxe edition, but obviously prices vary depending on where you look. The genre is, like her other albums, pop/country but bordering on alternative rock in some songs. The cover shows Taylor looking pretty in a long purple dress. The deluxe edition is similar but she wears a red dress. The album features 14 songs, all completely composed by Taylor Swift herself. Many are based on her life and experiences, much like the songs on her last 2 albums.
The tracks are as follows:
This was the first song from the album to be released. Musically, It sounds very similar to Taylor's previous songs. Also, like some of her other songs, it tells a story. The track is similar to Love story in that it tells a story of meeting someone, falling in love, and ending in a happily ever after. In my opinion it's a great, heart-warming song but not the best on the album. 4/5
2. Sparks fly
This song is so catchy and you want to listen to it over and over again. It's about that feeling of being madly in love with someone and I think a lot of people could be able to relate to it. 4/5
3. Back to December
I love this song even though it's kind of sad. According to rumours it's about her relationship and break up with Taylor Lautner. The lyrics are great and the whole song sounds great. This has to be one of my favourites on the album. 5/5
4. Speak now
This is another song that tells a story, talking about bursting into a wedding, asking the groom to leave with her instead. It is a catchy, upbeat song that is great to listen to. Fortunately, I don't think this one is based on Taylor's own experiences ;) 5/5
5. Dear John
This song isn't as upbeat as some of the others, and lacks range in the music and lyrics. This song is rumoured to be Taylor's hate letter to John Mayer, and she clearly has a lot to say to him as the song is 6.46 long, the longest in the album. Some people think it is childish that she has written a song outlining her hate for him, but the more I have listened to it the more I have enjoyed the lyrics. 4/5
Another song that could be accused of being childish, talking about a bully who will always just be mean. On the other hand, it's fun to listen to, upbeat and catchy and I do like it but it's not a favourite. 4/5
7. The story of us
This song talks about seeing an ex boyfriend at some event. It is quite catchy and vocally it sounds a lot stronger than a lot of Taylor's other songs. 3.5/5
8. Never grow up
This song is another one that's quite sad. It's soft and lacks musical and vocal range but I love the lyrics and the general idea of the song. It talks about how much easier life was when you're little and looked after, and I think everyone could relate to it. 3.5/5
This song is soft at the start and I love the sound of the vocals, although the lyrics aren't the best in the album. The soft verse turns to a louder, catchy chorus. 3/5
10. Better than revenge
This song sounds more rock than country but it works really well. It tells a story of a girl stealing someone else's boyfriend but in a loud, upbeat way. It's really catchy and one of my favourites of the album. 5/5
Apparantley this song is based on the incident with Kanye West. However, it is similar to Never grow up in that parts of it also talk about how much easier life was when you were younger, lines like 'wasn't it easier in your lunch box days?'. The song has a nice sound to it but it isn't one of my favourites. On the other hand, it does have one of my favourite lines of the album: 'Lives change like the weather.' 3.5/5
The start of this song doesn't sound like a Taylor Swift song but I think it's good for her to do something a bit different. The song is more intense than her other songs and I have to say this isn't one of my favourites of her songs. 3/5
13. Last kiss
A soft, quiet song. It tells a sad story of love lost, and I think the lyrics are amazing, but it isn't a powerful song, it is a bit flat. 3.5/5
14. Long live
A great way to end the album in my opinion. A strong, catchy, powerful song with great lyrics. 4/5
Overall, this is my favourite Taylor Swift album. It has some very typical Taylor Swift songs, for example mine, but some which vary a bit such as better than revenge or haunted. It also has a good mix of upbeat songs and softer songs. If you like Taylor Swift this is definitely reccomended.
Taylor Swift's third album called "Speak now" has been highly anticipated. The album features fourteen tracks written by Swift herself, including lead single "Mine" (reaching No 1 on iTunes within hours) and "Innocent" which was debuted at the VMAs 2010. Three songs from this album was released recently as a countdown to the release of Speak Now (Speak Now, Back To December and Mean) and now we finally have the whole thing. Given that the deluxe edition was released on the same day as the regular and it was only a few quid more, I decided to go for that.
Swift is pictured wearing a fluid red dress and looking very princess like (the dress is purple in the regular version). Like the content of her previous albums, it's very much based on relationships and experiences Taylor has experienced herself, telling us her story through song- a fairytale perhaps. The album cover is sweet yet sophisticated, a step up from her previous covers.
The album contains 14 tracks on the first CD:
1. Mine 4/5
The start of "Mine" already sounds very similar to previous tracks from Taylor Swift, which continues throughout the song. Musically, it is like a cross between "Fearless" and "Forever and Always". It is a good song, but not the best we've seen from her. Lyrically, it goes through a rollercoaster ride of emotions and has a positive end like "Love Story" does, which is good!
2. Sparks Fly 5/5
An exciting intro precedes this song which has been performed live at concerts. Thankfully it has been recorded for this album as it is so fantastic, catchy and addictive! First FAV off the album.
3. Back To December 5/5
Apparently to do with her break up with Taylor Lautner, "Back to December" is an apologetic song with fantastic lyrics that is translated into an emotional yet catchy song that I just can't get out of my head. I think this is one of my favourite songs off the album!
4. Speak Now 4.5/5
The song has a beautiful and thoughtful story that flows very much like "Love Story" does as the song progresses. Whilst I am unsure as to how many weddings Taylor Swift herself ruined by "Speaking now" the song definitely have soundtrack qualities, and would be at the top of the list for any future rom coms. It is a fun and upbeat song that is addictive from the first play.
5. Dear John 3.5/5
I'm not too fond of the vibrato in the intro which doesn't quite go with the rest of the slow song. I would prefer if it wasn't there, but it does make it less moody and slightly more upbeat... Being the longest song on the album, the emotion does come through and the dramatics increase as it progresses which is nice.
6. Mean 3.5/5
Whilst this song maintains an upbeat and catchy rhythm, the overall sound of the song is too country for me, despite great lyrics... Not a favourite, but good nonetheless.
7. The Story of Us 4.5/5
Wow, the most dancey intro I have heard from a Taylor Swift song with a strong beat which continues throughout the song. The verse sounds quite like Avril Lavigne so I'll give her extra points for that. Whilst I'm not sure this style is completely relatable to Taylor Swift as her voice suits her best doing ballads and soft pop hits, this is a strong upbeat song that is relevant to today's music style. Plus its irresistably catchy!
8. Never Grow Up 2.5/5
"Never Grow Up" is a soft song that sounds like a lullaby... it doesn't get dynamic enough and compared to the other tracks will be forgettable and not one you can listen to for a long time. Whilst it may be good lyrically, this just isn't exciting enough.
9. Enchanted 5/5
The verse sounds like the quirky songs throughout "Juno" which leads onto a powerful and explosive chorus. It had instant appeal - Another FAV!
10. Better Than Revenge 5/5
The vocal intro will be annoying when this song is played in repeat, but loving the rock sound of this track which is very "Paramore"- ABSOLUTELY LOVE this song. I can't believe Taylor Swift is doing this in a good way. I wish she goes this rocky in all her future songs. This is phenomenal. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
11. Innocent 4/5
Performed at the VMAs this year, Taylor Swift unleashes her side of the Kanye West incident through this song. I love the vulnerability of Taylor in this song and the softness. The simple set up of this makes it that much better.
12. Haunted 5/5
When i first read that a song called "Haunted" would be on the album, I was extremely sceptical as to how a Taylor Swift sounding song could ever relate to this. Having heard some of the rockier tunes on this album, I now have full confidence in this, not to be failed by the haunting introduction! I love the intensity of the song and it is another smashing track. I LOVE IT
13. Last Kiss 3/5
Like Never Grow Up, this song is a bit flat due to its softness and I was listening to this in the background and completely phased out and forgot about it... doesn't stand out and is forgettable. For a song such as this, it needs much more power and originality.
14. Long Live 4/5
I'm glad Taylor ended the album with this, because it is a mix between the rocky stuff whilst maintains the Taylor sound we are used to. The normal version will have the fourteen tracks as above, and this is a strong end to the album- an exciting, catchy and upbeat track.
On the second CD, there are 8 tracks and 2 video clips:
1. Ours 3.5/5
Another soft song which compared to the rocky ones fail to shine. It has good elements and many will like this, but after fourteen strong tracks, this rightfully doesn't make the cut for the regular version of the album.
2. If This Was A Movie 4.5/5
I actually really like this song because of what it is about. I think this should be on the main album. It is catchy, fun and quirky, and lyrically fantastic. "If this was a move, you would be here by now".
3. Superman 4.5/5
Another fun song about Superman especially the chorus "I watched Superman fly away". I love the lyrics and again, this should be on the main album! It is upbeat and catchy though not rocky- still good though.
4. Back To December (acoustic) 4.5/5
This actually sounds very similar to the original... :P
5. Haunted (Acoustic) 5/5
I actually quite like this song being acoustic. Of course I love the edgier side of this, but hearing this also without everything else makes this somewhat more haunting.
The following "US Versions" sound exactly the same as the original to me..
6. Mine (US Version)
7. Back To December (US Version)
8. The Story Of Us (US Version)
The following video footage is not that great. I know Taylor Swift made a big deal about her video "Mine" and how she filmed it in her hometown and found her friends to be in the video and so on... I would've preferred the making of the album, interviews about Kanye Incident or even the Preview interviews and what the songs are about...
9. Behind The Scenes' Of The Mine Music Video (30 Minute Film)
10. Mine (Music Video)
SONGS TO LOVE: Back To December, Sparks Fly, The Story of Us, Enchanted, Better than Revenge, Haunted, If This was a Movie, Superman
SONGS TO SKIP: Never Grow Up, Last Kiss
The deluxe version costs just £12.99 from play.com and the normal regular version costs around £9 on Amazon and other online stores.
What shocked me about this album the most was the existence of rocky tracks, some resemble Avril Lavigne or Paramore. I did not expect this at all, and actually makes this album amazing because I love pop rock. That said, these tracks that I love (Better than Revenge, Haunted) really overshadow the softer tracks that I'd originally expect on this album. These latter tracks are by no means "bad", but being on this album with so many other songs, they are less memorable and quite easy to forget.
I would highly recommend this album as it definitely shows a new side to Taylor Swift, and even if you just get these "rockier" tracks it would be worth it. Personally, get the regular version and purchase the tracks you like from the extended version.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Sparks Fly
3 Back To December
4 Speak Now
5 Dear John
7 The Story Of Us
8 Never Grow Up
10 Better Than Revenge
13 Last Kiss
14 Long Live