in this thread, i am totally going to liveblog the new taylor swift album
just downloaded it from amazon for 4 bucks. i will convey my impressions in real time. a blab exclusive.
....in a little while. got some things to do around the house first. i just wanted to build anticipation.
I was so stoked for this, too, and now I'm going to miss the liveblogging 'cuz I gots to get some groceries after I finally vacate my office. If Itchy'll lend me four bucks, I could download it, too, and we could go head-to-head liveblog.
well, the thread'll still be here. open for anyone to liveblog the new taylor swift album.
so, here we go:
Track 1: "Mine"
this is a gimme, since i've been listening to it for weeks. i haven't gotten tired of it, tho. a good first single and a good lead-off track, in that it consciously signals that we are listening to a grown-up, with bills to pay and all that. "a careless man's careful daughter" remains a fine little piece of descriptive writing, a character in five words.
Track 2: "Sparks Fly"
man, she is straight out the gate with the hooks. this has two in the verse and another in the chorus. sounds like a pretty straightforward lust song -- "i see sparks fly every time you smile." oh man, the bridge! taylor swift can write a hell of a bridge. and she does her same old trick of dropping out the drums and guitar at the beginning of the last chorus, and it still works. ok, this song totally could have been a lead-off single too.
Track 3: "Back to December"
this one's been around for a few weeks too. the requisite slow burner, but it's really a good song. the moody strings-n-guitar arrangement suits the downbeat regret of the lyrics. "it turns out freedom ain't nothin but missin you" -- good country line there. and her phrasing on the punch of the chorus is really good, like she's banging her head against a wall. she's becoming a much more revealing singer whatever you think of her voice. "if your chain is on your door, i understand" -- real tear-jerker stuff here. and she can do it just as well as she can do the dizzy love stuff.
Track 4: "Speak Now"
the gauche title track, where she breaks up the wedding and drags the groom out of the church with her. it's like the girl from "you belong with me" making a last desperate move against the bride and her "snobby little family, all dressed in pastel." pretty nice tune, but the verses are hookier than the chorus. i like the tumble of words, and "the gown shaped like a pastry." and, "the organ starts to play a song that sounds like a death march." but ... it all sounds a little more psycho than i think she intends it to. does this guy really want her more than the bride? not entirely convinced. and at the end she repeats the gender-reversing trick from "mine" and "love story" where she puts the chorus in the guy's mouth, and three times in two albums is maybe one time too many for that.
Track 5: "Dear John"
the song to john mayer. "my mother accused me of losing my mind" -- it wasn't just your mother, anybody coulda told you the guy was a dick. "i lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules every day" -- yeah, see, he's a dick. "don't you think i was too young to be messed with" -- uh ... "i shoulda known" -- yes, you should have. i like this song, though. slow, a little bluesy, the chorus builds really nicely, and the way her voice breaks on his name -- Jo-ohn -- is a good move, sounds somewhere between hurt and sad and just pissed off. and another terrific bridge. i'm tellin you she could teach a master class in bridge-writing.
also, good little dig at the end: "the girl in the dress wrote you a song/ you shoulda known" -- fair warning to all would-be triflers: fuck with me, end up with your own dis track on the next record.
Last edited by jfm; 10-25-2010 at 09:36 PM.
Track 6: "Mean"
i like this one a lot. yet another fuck-you (this is really a pretty fuck-you record). to everyone who ever picked on her or froze her out or tried to shut her down. or, yeah, said she can't sing. great bouncy tune, i like the handclaps on the verses, and the chorus just kills. and of course it works as a comeback to any bully anywhere. "someday i'll be big enough so you can't hit me/ and all you're ever gonna be is mean." i think this is her most dixie-chicks sounding song, and they'd have been happy to get it.
Track 7: "The Story of Us"
a rocker. starts out with disco-y drums, like a Killers song or something. very emo-pop. jesus christ, another killer chorus. seriously, this is like avril lavigne singing a great jimmy eats world song or something. (which, to me, is a good thing.) nice arc-of-a-relationship narrative. "this is looking like a contest/ of who can act like they care less" -- that's a convincing line.
this song rules. huge hit sometime in the near future.
Track 8: "Never Grow Up"
sort of a lullaby, singing to a child. pretty. and i like the second verse where she tells the 14-year-old girl not to be mean to her mother: "don't make her drop you off around the block, remember she's getting older too." the feel for parent-child relationships and how they change reminds me of "the best day," and this is almost as much of a tearjerker as that. and of course it turns out she's really singing to herself, and she's right about what growing up means: "i just realized everything i have is someday gonna be gone." kinda heavy there, taylor. dang.