@JERRLIFE

Why I Gave Taylor Swift's Music A Chance


6-7 years ago I flipped the channel to the CMT station and saw this girl with too-Shirly-Temple hair awkwardly lying with a guitar and lighting that rivals only RuPaul's Drag Race. It was strange for many reasons. One, I couldn't stand country music then, so what possessed me? Two, it was glaringly obvious this was just Hollywood's latest creation; a country-singing Disney princess incarnate. However, I liked the song so much, I ignored all of that and watched the video in its entirety. And Youtubed it. Again. And again.

That was the strangest.

Until recently, I felt about her like most people who aren't fans of her: I listened/hate listened to her casually when her songs were on the radio. She doesn't have the best voice and doesn't really dance. I have a disconnect with her wholesomeness/perfection shtick. I might be in the minority, but I also didn't care for the media's stories on her latest rumoured boyfriend because who cares, it should be about the work, but I digress. 

Does airing dirty laundry that reeks of famous boy juices get you much farther?

However, I was increasingly curious about the people that do like Taylor Swift and how many more there are of them. The numbers don't lie: Speak Now(2010) sold over a million copies and consecutively, Red(2012) did the same. She is the only female (N'Snyc being the other) to have two albums sell 1 million copies in its first week and puts Red on the 6th spot for biggest first-week album sales. And let's be real here, the top 5 pre-dates music piracy which makes Swift's accomplishment to sell like it's Y2K exponentially more impressive. It's not like she can shake her jelly like Beyonce or milk the word 'baby' like Britney can. Does airing dirty laundry that reeks of famous boy juices get you much farther?

This year, I believe it was 20/20 I was watching one night and they were talking about Taylor Swift's career and her album Red. I discerningly watched it because they're always musigandas. The thing that stuck with me is when the interviewer asked, 'Is she a good writer?' and this man from Rolling Stones Magazine replied along the lines of (paraphrasing here), "She's one of the best song writers and if she wasn't a young, blonde, pop star she would get more credit for it."

I listened to Red and turns out he wasn't bullshitting me.

Behind her pop star persona, is a songwriter who crafts songs with just-right lyrics, that permeates deeper than a twerk or a mindless catchy chorus ever could - if you give it a chance.


I discovered Taylor Swift's massive appeal is that behind her pop star persona, is a songwriter who crafts songs with just-right lyrics, that permeates deeper than a twerk or a mindless catchy chorus ever could - if you give it a chance.  In the opening track State of Grace, she sings 'We fall in love till it hurts or bleeds or fades in time' and practically summarizes all love songs in one line and sings it with little annunciation that it hits you like a truck when you realize how potent and poignant those words are.


Yeah, there are catchy, fun songs in the album - that end up being singles - but most of Swift's music is more about the words than the sound. In the album titled track, Red, Swift makes bullseye metaphors for love. Her lyrics can also take you on a journey. In All Too Well, she narrates a love-gone-bad story so capably that by the time she sings 'You call me up again just to break me like a promise' you're compelled by the tragedy and maybe tear up a little...if you're human.  


Perhaps the biggest draw to Taylor Swift is her constant ability to kill listeners softly with her words, telling her listeners' lives with her words. It is an ultimate to have someone acknowledge your feelings exactly and Taylor does that to millions of people, multiple times in an album. In the track I Almost Do she sings lyrics like the first verse "I bet, this time of night you're still up...and sometimes, I hope you wonder about me" and although comprehensive (read: not generic), could still be sung by anyone and apply to anyone.

Majority of Taylor Swift hate is based on mob mentality and misogyny caused by the media.

For me, good music is anything that makes me feel. After listening to Red I feel cathartic and I'm disappointed I waited this long to give her a chance. You shouldn't. Ask yourself 'Why do you not listen to Taylor Swift?' and follow up with 'Why do you not like her?' Majority of Taylor Swift hate is based on mob mentality and misogyny caused by the media. I am guilty of that. Ideally, my likeness for an artist is based on the music and the artistry and not who they're dating and how they react when they win an award. When you get passed petty superficial crap like that, you might surprise yourself.

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