Release Date: Oct 25, 2010
Record label: Mercury
Genre(s): Pop, Country, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Country
Taylor Swift's difficult third album presents the 20-year-old prodigy with an unusual dilemma. Her first two albums established her as a premier chronicler of small-town adolescence, a songwriter who could bring well-worn scenarios to vivid life without ever losing the value of their familiarity. Speak Now is a conscious attempt to move beyond those childish things while retaining her balance of maturity and relatability.
There will be a time when Taylor Swift isn’t considered a country musician. There will also be a time when the fact that her songs tackle youthful concerns can’t be used as a criticism or reason for dismissal. Speak Now might represent both of those times or it might not. Either way, we’re getting closer.
Review Summary: It's not about where you're going, it's about where you've been. Over 13 million in album sales, multiple Grammy awards, media saturation unheard of since Britney Spears’ heyday, and Taylor Swift still wants us to see her as the proverbial girl up the block. “We got bills to pay / we got nothing figured out,” Ms.
The music industry has no shortage of show ponies, but it doesn’t often find a unicorn like Taylor Swift. She is that rare commodity: a global superstar who somehow retains her naïf-next-door appeal; a one-girl empire of dear-diary reveries, dominating two genres with guileless (or so it seems) ease. That mix of fame, youth, and earnest transparency can often make listening to Speak Now, Swift’s third album, an exercise in name-that-celebrity Whac-a-Mole.
Go ahead and roll your eyes at Taylor Swift and her new album. Even as (arguably) the world’s biggest pop star, she’s lacking the usual qualifications. A more powerful voice, for starters. Or dance moves. Or the sex appeal of your favorite American Girl doll. It makes you wonder how she manages ….
Review Summary: If pop culture is the Wicked Witch of the East, then Taylor Swift would be the house that falls out of the whirlwind to crush it.For those who haven't been reading Todd VanDerWerff's weekly A.V. Club reviews of Glee, his analysis of the show essentially boils down to this: Glee is an incredibly messy show overall, but it is saved by the fact that it is able to deliver moment-to-moment with certain scenes that make us forget its flaws. VanDerWerff is as ready as anyone else to criticize the show, but he also recognizes that Glee hits it out of the park on a consistent basis despite its flaws in storytelling and pacing, which, on any other show, would be insurmountable problems, but Glee does it somehow.
A quick heads-up to Sugarland: This is how an ostensible country act makes a full-on pop album that sounds contemporary and relevant. That comparison may not be fair, given that Taylor Swift in one of the biggest stars in either pop or country at the moment. But Speak Now is an album of expertly crafted pop music that actually justifies at least some of the critical hyperbole and commercial clout that have characterized the last two years of Swift’s career.
Taylor Swift's fame is so indelibly intertwined with her music that it's hard to hear her third album through its tabloid-baiting backstory. If you've listened to the 20-year-old pop-country crossover artist's previous efforts, you'll be familiar with her predilection for confessional songwriting aimed at her supposed revolving door of famous boyfriends and acquaintances. [rssbreak] Celebrity aside, Speak Now is as hooky as its predecessors but differs in its often angry, spiteful tone.
The release of a new recording as a cultural event is pretty much a thing of the past. A new Eagles album used to be that type of thing; so was a long-awaited and hyped album from U2 in their prime. But it rarely happens these days, and certainly hasn’t happened for any Nashville acts lately. Except for one: Taylor Swift.
A sparky and affecting record, moving Swift on at a stately and assured pace. Matthew Horton 2010 They grow up so fast these days, don’t they? Having taken the lion’s share of the writing credits on 2008’s mammoth-selling Fearless, all of the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album are self-penned, betraying the sort of accomplishment that should keep her sitting pretty in the rock firmament for as long as she likes. Still only 20, that could be a mighty long time.Although Nathan Chapman is still in the producer’s chair, there’s a perceptible, sonic move away from Nashville; the shift had clearly begun on Fearless, managing the crossover to the global mainstream with ease, but Speak Now plugs a sturdy marker in the pop-rock soil.