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Speak Now - Taylor Swift
Member Name: helenc72
Speak Now - Taylor Swift
Date: 24/10/12, updated on 25/10/12 (62 review reads)
Advantages: Honest lyrics, great vocals, catchy, no weak songs
Disadvantages: Nothing for me
--- 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.
Summary: I love Taylor Swift