Taylor Swift is not one who abides by the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She’s sold over 20 million albums worldwide with her uniquely personal musical style that blends confessional lyrics with pop-tinged-yet-still-Nashville-friendly instrumentals, but seems committed to shaking things up on her fourth studio album, Red. The first single from the album, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (watch the video!), was a pretty stark departure from her past material in that it’s an unapologetic swing for the pop music fences. That collaboration with Swedish hit-making machines Max Martin (Katy Perry, Britney Spears) and Shellback (Maroon 5, Adam Lambert) resulted in her first career #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, but Taylor’s willingness to experiment didn’t stop with Top 40 friendly beats.
Recently, VH1 News’ own Lauren Smith caught up with Taylor Swift here at VH1 headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and asked her about the risky decision to embrace dubstep on her song “I Knew You Were Trouble” on Red. (See video above.)
Taylor Swift‘s new album Red dropped on Monday, and since then we’ve been obsessed with figuring out who each song is about. After all, Taylor is known for writing deeply autobiographically tunes, some more obvious than others (“Dear John,” for example). We dissected “All Too Well” and concluded that it’s 100% about her ex Jake Gyllenhaal, and we’ve read all about her coded messages in the liner notes and assume “Begin Again” is totally about Conor Kennedy. But according to Taylor herself, we could be way off. When we interviewed her last week, she said that us fans are often totally wrong when it comes to the Swiftie Song Guessing Game.
“There are songs that people play the guessing game with. It’s kind of the king that happens when I put out a record. Either blogs or fans will make guesses because I write really detailed songs. I always have and I just never wanted to change that aspect of writing. Because the magnifying glass is wider.
And so there are a lot of songs that people think is about this dude, but it’s really not, it’s actually about this guy you have no idea I even dated. Or you’ll sit there and go ‘that song was inspired by three different situations with three different people.’ And you don’t ever want to go out there and be like, ‘this song is about this guy, first name, last name,’ because it’s just the one piece of the puzzled I have just locked in. I never really talk about who my songs are about.”
Hmmmmm. So are we way off in our assumptions above? What songs are about three different dudes? And most importantly: who has Taylor dated that we have no idea about? Any guesses?
We are no Nate Silver, but probability seems to have it that Nicki Minaj will more often than not be on stage at the American Music Awards next month. Already up for four awards — Favorite Female Artist: Pop/Rock, Favorite Artist: Rap/Hip-Hop, Favorite Album: Rap/Hip-Hop as well as Favorite Album: Pop/Rock — the Young Money leading lady will, at some point between all that acceptance speech giving, also be called on to perform any one of her recentreleases. If there were one artist best suited to handle that sort of multitasking, though, we suspect she would be Miss Minaj.
Also joining her on the bill as performers are Favorite Female Artist: Country nominee Taylor Swift, Favorite Artist: Alternative Rock nominees Linkin Park and Christina Aguilera, as was previously announced. It should be a big night, so mark your calenders and set your DVRs: The American Music Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on November 18 at 8 PM ET.
While “Begin Again” is rumored to be about Taylor Swift‘s newest beau, Conor Kennedy, the video gives nothing away. Alas, there are no Cape Cod anchors or Kennedy clan references for us to pore over. Instead, Taylor explores the cobblestone streets of Paris — sipping espresso in a café and doodling pictures of architecture before being approached by a very handsome (Parisian?) beau. A Kennedy he is not, but it seems like he wants to take her photo and she naturally obliges. Ooh la la, c’est romantique!
If you’re looking for inspiration on throwing a French-style wedding, look no further. “Begin Again” is ripped straight from an Anthropologie catalog: complete with flowy violet silk and Taylor’s signature red lipstick. Will “Begin Again” send a slew of teens on a tour of Paris? Probably. Along with her newly-purchased Cape Cod mansion, this Taylor Swift Teen Tour we’re planning seems like it’ll be a lot of fun.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to the newest Taylor Swift album, Red, non-stop. It’s officially out as of yesterday, but Swifties (That’s code name for Taylor Swift fans) and music critics alike have been passing around .mp3s like they were contraband. One song that didn’t hit the web before it hit stores? “22″. An ode to being an adult yet NOT being an adult. An ode to friends (Taylor’s got Ashley Greene, Dianna Agron, Claire Callaway and Selena Gomez, apparently). An ode to spending too much time getting ready to go out. And ode to the effortless rhyming of practically anything to “twenty-two”. Meanwhile, Taylor herself was born in 1989, which makes her actually 22. And for obvious reasons, this makes the song even more potent.
Taylor is “22″, but once she was “Fifteen” — also the title of a popular song off her first album, Fearless. “Fifteen” spoke of high school drama, first love and was so personal to Taylor that it “gets her every time” (thanks Wikipedia). It’s about her freshman year of high school, where she and her BFF Abigail Anderson encountered heartbreak. “Fifteen” is, in fact, written in retrospect – Fearless came out in 2008, and Taylor’s advice to her younger self encapsulated her own high school experience.
So how do the two compare? Has Taylor actually grown up from “Fifteen” to “22″? Does it mean anything that “Fifteen” is written out and “22″ isn’t? Would Selena Gomez have hung out with Taylor in high school?
It’s only Tuesday, but already Taylor Swift has had the best week ever. Her brand new album, Red, hit record stores yesterday and a sizable portion of those record buyers put on something red and swarmed to Times Square to celebrate with Taylor on Good Morning America early this morning.
For her part, Taylor wore all black and her hair down so that her her celebratory red lipstick and matching red mic really popped. After warming up with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” — cute dance moves and goofy asides and all, to really start the day right — she slung a red guitar over her shoulder and performed “Red” for the first time live. Mostly gone are Taylor’s cute and ponytail swinging country princess days, and the way she pretended to played some of the guitar solos during this performance was a good reminder of that. Read more…
Taylor Swift‘s new album Red comes out on Monday, and yes – we will be buying it. But it also leaked online this week and the songs are now all over the web, and yes – we’ve been listening (and loving it). Our favorite song is “All Too Well,” which reflects on a relationship that is no longer. Taylor recently told VH1 that fans are often way off about who her songs are about, saying, “There are a lot of songs that people think is about this dude, but it’s really not. It’s actually about this guy you have no idea I even dated. Or you’ll sit there and go ‘that song was inspired by three different situations with three different people.” But still, we’re pretty confident “All Too Well” is 100% about Jake Gyllenhaal, and we’ve got evidence that matches the lyrics as hardcore proof. Get out your magnifying glasses, Swifties!
LYRIC:“I walked through the door with you. The air was cold, but something ’bout it felt like home somehow and I left my scarf there at your sister’s house and you still got it in your drawer even now.” EVIDENCE:
How are you feeling today? Each year, GLAAD sets aside a day called Spirit Day for speaking out extra-loud against bullying and to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. This year, that day is today; and so to celebrate, we have got eight of our favorite anti-bully anthems. Each should remind you that you are strong and beautiful, even when maybe you don’t feel it and no matter what they say. Won’t you listen with us?
Taylor Swift hugged me, and somehow I have lived to tell about it. And yes, being embraced by the woman with the most digital record sales of all-timeIS like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street: exhilarating and emotional, a split second of life on the edge. The most magical moment of my life went down Monday afternoon, right before the singer took the stage in front of a room full of college students for her VH1 Storytellers performance. That too was awe-inspiring and uplifting, complete with lots of “I love yous!” from Taylor to the crowd as she strummed a sparkly guitar.
If it sounds like I’m gushing, I am. The woman completely won me over.
Did you ever wonder what “falling in love in an epic way” really sounds like to Taylor Swift? You might think that something like “Enchanted” sounds pretty close, but Taylor assures us that Red‘s dreamy opener, “State of Grace,” is actually it. Previewing the song yesterday on Good Morning America, she explained that, “I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone — the possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.” But not a story about falling in love just to breakup like all the rest of her love songs, rather this song lavishes the feelings that come with all that with sweeping guitars and a hopeful chorus. And her “State of Grace” and be yours, as well.
“State of Grace” splits the difference between her poppy “Never Ever” and the guitar-plucked “Begin Again.” She keeps the uptempo drum from the former, but layers on reverb-drenched guitars to make it gauzy like a melodramatic nineties rock hit. And like the effort might actually slow down time, she carefully draws out her vowels when the chorus hits and she sings: “I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same.” She admits during the song’s breakdown that it wasn’t all so perfect — “You were never a saint, and I love the shades of wrong” — before coming to the sweeping conclusion at the song’s end that: “Love is a ruthless game, unless you are playing good and right.” And so opens the album. Seven days, and the game is on!
Have a listen here, and let us know: what do you think?