Say what you want about Taylor Swift, the girl knows how to sell records. Debuting her fourth album, “Red”, Taylor Swift came out strong with over a million record sales in the first week. It’s been two years since her last record “Speak Now” was released and fans were anxiously awaiting a new album from the country-crossover-pop princess. With 16 songs featured on “Red”, 22 on the deluxe album, Taylor Swift delivers on many levels.
Her first single released, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” proved to be a catchy pop tune as it quickly rose to the top of the charts. However country fans shouldn’t completely write Taylor Swift off the list yet. “Begin Again” and “All Too Well” are both slower ballads that are sure to please country fans. “Stay Stay Stay” reminds me of the earlier Taylor Swift songs with a more upbeat country feel.
“Red” seems to appeal to a much broader audience than her previous records, mixing all sort of genres throughout. With duets featuring Ed Sheeran (“The A Team”) and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Swift puts forth a more contemporary blend. “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22” are both pop songs you can’t help but sing along to.
Taylor Swift has also done an excellent job of promoting her new album in unique ways. She released sneak song previews on “Good Morning America” several weeks in a row and then proceeded to release the full version of the song the next day. Also, her album is available for purchase virtually everywhere from locations like Starbucks to Walgreens. Her album cover was even on my pizza box last week.
It is safe to say that Taylor Swift has evolved from a young country musician to a pop star, but I think this transition has been in the making for some time. Whether you love or hate how her music has evolved, you must admire her catchy tunes and her impressive songwriting skills. She has the ability to sell records and reach different types of audiences, a goal I think most artists can appreciate.
The Verdict: “Red” is definitely one of my favorite albums I have heard from Swift, and since I have a feeling she is going to be around for a while, I suggest you turn on the radio and see if she fits into any of your musical molds.
Date released: October 22, 2012
Label: Big Machine Records
Collaborators: Gary Lightbody and Ed Sheeran