Ask almost any girl at Whitman who her favorite artist is, and she’ll respond enthusiastically: Taylor Swift. But as a member of the testosterone team, I’m not fervent about the country star who’s captivated our generation of double-x chromosomes.
Don’t get me wrong—I didn’t set out to write this review with the intention of hating on Swift, and of course, I haven’t listened to nearly enough of her music to reach a fair conclusion. But after seeing several of her performances at awards shows and listening to her most recent CD, “Speak Now,” at my editors’ request, I’m truly perplexed as to Swift’s popularity.
The Taylor Swift monsoon swept over me a few weeks ago when my freshman sister wouldn’t stop singing Swift’s recent hits, “Mine” and “Speak Now.” And, as if the omnipresent singing wasn’t enough for her poor brother to endure, my sister constantly begs to go to the country starlet’s concert.
So when my editors forcefully encouraged me to listen and review Swift’s latest album, I decided to examine the CD and stand up for us teenage males who aren’t head over cowboy-boot heels for it. Despite the critical success the album continues to receive, it’s filled with a repetitive country sound and overused motifs.
One problem with Swift’s latest album is its whiny, gossipy, shallow and overall weak themes. In the title track, Swift urges a boy to “run away” from his fiancé during his marriage ceremony to pursue her. The song seems trivial, considering the closest Swift ever got to marriage was a Jonas brother.
Another of the album’s setbacks was that all the songs have a common, trite motif: romance. While I don’t automatically hate a simple love song, Swift’s stories of love on virtually every track quickly become banal and meaningless.
But ultimately, I didn’t like Swift’s album because I just don’t think the music is that good. The sound becomes as repetitive as the themes, characterized by bright guitar chords and steady drumbeats. There’s nothing musically gripping or interesting; rather, most of the tracks serve only to rehash her older material.
Taylor Swift’s shallow lyrics and repetitive musical themes on “Speak Now” make it hard for me to understand what brought fame to the most popular singer of our generation.