Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fearless - Taylor Swfit

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May I just point out that I reviewed Taylor Swift's debut album in March 2007. Apologies if that confuses anybody who has merely happened upon this site and doesn't know me but I hope there's some out there who get my point...

Anyway, since then quite a lot has happened in the world of Taylor Swift, not least this album becoming America's biggest seller of 2008. Not bad for a record that the Guardian labelled as "dull pop-rock". But then again, when did the Guardian know anything? (And to be fair, Q Magazine did give it even more of a slating). I'm not attempting a review to redress the balance mind you, I'm just catching up after a long absence from this site.

Lead single in the UK, Love Story, managed the double whammy of Radio 1 airplay and neat top-of-the-chart status and it's not difficult to see why. You could argue it's nothing mind-blowing but it's a catchy pop tune with sentimental lyrics that nevertheless are never cloying. And therein lies Swift's appeal. Writing (or co-writing) all her own lyrics, Swift certainly seems more of an authoritative voice of the teenage world than many of her "peers" who have all their stuff written for them. So whilst it may not always hit the spot with us oldies, it's difficult not to fall for her sentiments, however naive they may seem on occasions.

Fifteen, for instance, manages to be both authentically "age-specific" to her teenage years, but is remarkably wide-ranging too. The lyrics could well be written by a woman twice her age.

It's "Country" sound will no doubt put a lot of people off, but Fearless is nowhere near as "Nashville" as her debut was and no matter what you try to pigeon-hole a track like The Best Day as, it's so sweet and simple, but genuinely uplifting, that it shouldn't matter what you label it with. And at her best, Taylor Swift cuts through everything else and just comes up with a knockout song.

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