By Laura Fouquette
At only 22 years old, six time Grammy winner Taylor Swift released her forth studio album entitled Red on October 22nd. After the release of four singles from the album during the month of September, many predicted that the album wouldn’t have much more to offer. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, however, as Red debuted at number one in 31 countries worldwide.
With her new album, Swift continues to either write or co-write every song and experiment with new genres and collaborations. Red displays a perfect mix of her old country sound with a new modern twist. Swift pushes the limits of her typical acoustic guitar with songs such as “I Knew You Were Trouble,” with its prominent bass drop at the end of the chorus. As the biggest crossover artist in the music business at the moment, Swift is pushing her music into new markets, potentially drawing in a new sector of fans. “Holy Ground” and “All Too Well” are tracks sure to appeal to Swift’s traditional country fans. Personal favorites include “Treacherous,” “22,” and “Everything Has Changed.” Listening to the album straight through brings the listener through a whirlwind of emotions, as one song with a loud beating bass drop soft is followed by a somber ballad contemplating the mistakes in a breakup.
There is surely something relatable on the album for everyone, especially with Swift’s collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. Swift and British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran wrote the song “Everything Has Changed,” which immediately shot to number 1 on the iTunes songs chart within five hours of its release. Both Snow Patrol and Sheeran’s rather large fan bases outside of Swift’s genre contributed to the album’s success. Many lyrics on this album possess a newfound emotional maturity not previously seen in her “You Belong With Me” teenage hits of the past.
Swift continues to be tight-lipped in interviews about the people her songs on her album are about, calling it her “only dignity left as a songwriter.” Despite this, countless articles and Tumblr posts analyze lyrics and speculate about the boy in each song. The rumored names floating around on this album include Jake Gyllenhaal, Conor Kennedy, Parachute singer Will Anderson, and One Direction’s Harry Styles.
Red will not disappoint long-time fans, and draws in a wider audience. The deluxe version of the album is available exclusively at Target for $14.99, including three bonus tracks and three remixes. Swift has recently announced that she will be going on a tour with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran whom she has a single with.