Blog: Taylor Swift: the queen of crossover
The clock strikes 12 a.m. After only 36 minutes, on Monday, Oct. 22, Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated Red tops iTunes’s Top Albums chart. By the end of the day, her new album has sold over 262,000 copies on iTunes alone and 13 of the album’s 16 songs have managed to make it onto iTunes’s Top Songs chart. The album is supposed to sell more than her 2010 album, Speak Now, which sold over one million copies. I could keep talking about big numbers and all of the records she’s predicted to break, but that would mean I wouldn’t be able to stop.
It’s no secret that Taylor Swift is adored by practically all of America and is able to tell the story of every hopelessly-romantic teenage girl’s life. Maybe this is why she’s so popular, but I think it’s mostly due to her abilities as an artist and songwriter. Since she released her debut album, Taylor Swift, in 2006, I’ve been a fan of Swift. I’ve always enjoyed her music and appreciated her work. Each of her four albums has a distinct sound, and if you listen to them in order, you’ll notice an evolution of her style. While I appreciate the fact that she isn’t afraid to try new things as an artist, some people seem to dislike the idea of this. Many people are frustrated that Swift has strayed from her country roots, but come on, people. That’s just silly.
First of all, Swift is 22 years old now. There’s no denying that her sound and look have changed, but we can’t expect her to be the same curly-headed, country-singing 16 year old she was when she first stepped onto the scene with her debut album. Her classification as a country artist has shifted more toward a country-pop genre, but I don’t think that makes her any less talented. I get the impression that people feel Swift is turning into another Hollywood clone losing her artistry by heading in a more pop direction. But this isn’t the case. Although her raw acoustic guitar sound has been pushed aside to make room for more synthetic beats and instruments, her voice still sounds just as good, she still writes all of her songs and she’s just as hardworking as she was before. Besides, Red proves that Swift hasn’t totally forgotten where she came from. Although the album does include several upbeat, pop songs such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22,” it also includes some songs that still hold onto that country feel. “Stay Stay Stay” reminds me of the upbeat country song “Mean” from Speak Now and songs like the slower “All Too Well” might be considered country as well. Swift brings something different with this album and the wide variety of songs, along with two collaborations (one with UK singer Ed Sheeran), make this album something wonderful to listen to.
In the end, she’s no different than any other human; she’s supposed to grow and change. And when you’re in the music industry, this is crucial. People get bored of the same thing after so long, which is probably why Swift has managed to stay on top by being the first person in the business to blaze the trail for the country-pop genre.