The first song, “State of Grace” was a pretty basic pop song. I didn’t think there was anything particularly special about it, but what I did notice was her outstanding vocals. Taylor Swift can sing, and I can really appreciate that in her songs. Her lyrics tend to be themed toward love and hate; relationship themes that most people can relate to.
In the song “Red,” there’s a part in the chorus where an electronica voice repeats “Red” over and over. This part caught my attention, as I thought it added flavor to an otherwise predictable song. I also enjoyed how the song ended quietly. Many of the songs, including “Treacherous,” “I Almost Do,” “Lucky One,” and “Begin Again,” I found boring and very similar to each other, with little distinctive qualities.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” was my favorite song out of the whole album. It was unique and it stood out from the rest of the songs. It was upbeat, and after a couple of slower songs, it caught my attention. The song switches from an upbeat pop verse to a dubstep style chorus.
Taylor Swift is the last person I would expect to hear anything even close to resembling dubstep from. This song was a pleasant surprise.
Swift goes back to her slower, more ballad-y roots in the next song, “All Too Well.” I did like the background guitar line, as it added a little more variation to the song. In this song, we start to see a lot of “red” imagery and themes.
The lyrics at the beginning of “22”, “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes,” caught my attention. I like the idea of this song, just going out and having fun. It’s a simple pop song, but it’s catchy and fun.
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was interesting in the fact that the music matched the lyrics incredibly well. The intro of the song was played in a very broken-up sort of way; then the lyrics jump in, saying “I remember when we broke up for the first time.” That aspect of the song was done perfectly.
“Stay Stay Stay” had a different style than the rest of the songs on the album; it had more of an indie feel. My criticism for it would be to make it shorter; it was a little on the long side, and it would have been better if it were cut to about 2 minutes long.
“Sad Beautiful Tragic” was also very long; at nearly five minutes, I didn’t think that it had enough variety to hold my attention for that amount of time. I did enjoy how she sang it though, with a quieter, whisper-like voice. Once again, my attention went to her vocals.
The two duets of the album, “The Last Time” and “Everything Has Changed,” were just alright to me. I liked “The Last Time” better, but both songs were pretty slow and not particularly interesting.
“Holy Ground” and “Starlight” both used a lot of lyrical themes involving dancing. Both were upbeat. I really think that Swift’s upbeat songs are much better than her slower ones. “Starlight” had an instrumental solo in it, which I didn’t occur often in the album.
Overall, I rate this album 2.5 out of 5 stars. Taylor Swift can sing very well, and I think if she stuck to more upbeat songs, I would like this album better. Many of her songs were repetitive and long, and I ended up being bored. So, she’s got the lyrical themes right and the vocals right, but the music itself is average.
Key Tracks: “I Knew You Were In Trouble,”