Being someone who’s never listened to a Taylor Swift album before, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect, but in all honesty had already decided that I probably wouldn’t like it very much.
That is quite an ignorant assumption to make, I know, but a few years ago I heard her song “Love Story” and harshly decided that this artist just wasn’t for me, so you can imagine I wasn’t really looking forward to writing this review.
That was until I started listening to Red and I was immediately bowled over by the opening track “State of grace.” I don’t know if I was more taken aback because I assumed I was going to hear something completely different, but I liked “State of Grace” so much I actually listened to it three more times before moving on.
“State of Grace” has such a beautiful morning rock feel to it; at times the guitar riffs reminded me of a song that Angels and Airwaves would craft, but don’t misunderstand me, I’m not comparing Taylor Swift to Angels and Airwaves; just parts of “State of Grace,” which share that ‘just woke up in a new world’ feel that AVA never fail to deliver.
The second track on Red, which shares its name with the album title, was also extremely uplifting and bold, seamlessly merging country and pop rock, or nu country as some might call it, blending together so well to make what is sure to be a chart hit.
The whole album seems to have a narrative swirling around the subject of boys, relationships and exes — the story of a girl who has grown up but is still making mistakes, in some cases willingly but overall appreciative of the never ending learning curve that is life.
One track that really stood out to me on this album is Swift’s duet with Ed Sheeran “Everything Has Changed” after listening to this you might just be hoping that these two make a duet album at some point, I definitely will be. The two artists compliment each other so well and Sheeran brings his much appreciated acoustic guitar melodies to the table, along with his soothing backing vocals which really adds a strong depth to the song. When Swift and Sheeran both sing “I just wanna know you better, know you better, know you better now,” there is such a lovely chemistry and harmony that they share which really brings this song to life and gives it an emotion that resonates wonderfully.
Overall this was a really good listen, and I am actually going to buy this album and then make sure I listen to her past albums as well because I’ve realized (yet again) that you just can’t judge an artist or her album on the lead single alone. However, although saying that if I had heard Red’s first single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” without hearing the rest of the album first, I might’ve made the same mistake again, not that the lead single isn’t good because it does do everything a lead single is supposed to do It just doesn’t give any hint to the kind of depth that is to be found on Red.
Finally, if you are open minded towards music then their will be something on Red which will satisfy you, and as for me, I can now say I like Taylor Swift!
Best Tracks: “State of Grace,” “Red,” “Treacherous,” “All Too Well,” “Stay Stay Stay,”,“The Last Time,” “Everything Has Changed,” and “Starlight”