At 6:00am on October 22nd, I groggily turned off the alarm on my phone and hopped out of bed. I logged onto my laptop and immediately opened up iTunes. Few things have the ability to get me out of bed before 10 in the morning, and Taylor Swift’s newest album, Red, is one of them. Being in France this semester puts me six hours ahead, so Red’s midnight release meant that I would be getting up bright and early. “Tu es folle!” my host mom told me when I explained why I was awake at such a horrible hour. “You are crazy.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve been given grief for loving Taylor Swift. As I gushed about the new album to a friend here in France, she looked at me with a strange expression. “It’s weird, you like really good music but then you’re also obsessed with Taylor Swift,” she told me. Apparently for some, Taylor Swift does not constitute good music. Still, I stand strong in my belief that Taylor is pretty much perfect.
I’ve loved Taylor Swift’s music since her first album when she began her ascent into fame. Last summer, I was lucky enough to go to her concert at Gillette Stadium as part of her “Speak Now” tour. Now, with her latest album, it’s evident how far she has come. There are indisputably catchy songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” soft ballads such as “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” and she even plays with some semblance of dubstep in “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
Although she has been criticized for writing songs about her failed relationships, who can argue that they can’t relate to her songs? Whether you’re in the midst of a perfect relationship, coping with the aftermath of a heart-wrenching breakup, or simply feeling nostalgic for simpler times, Taylor’s lyrics will speak to you. Some might argue that her words are simple and don’t qualify as great songwriting, but I’m going to have to disagree. In her new song, “All Too Well,” I’m obsessed with the line “You call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest.” Tell me that isn’t even a little poetic.
Even if Taylor’s music isn’t your style, you have to admit that she is a great role model. I’m grateful for every time I babysit and the girls start singing Taylor’s songs instead of “Boys Boys Boys” by Lady Gaga or one of Ke$ha’s songs about glitter and partying. (Don’t get me wrong, I like those, too – just not for young kids.) Not only is she stunningly beautiful with great clothes, but she’s classy. She’s the kind of girl that I wish I could be best friends with. Sure, I don’t actually know what she’s like at all, but Taylor Swift seems to have stayed much more normal under the pressure of fame than many other celebs.
If I still haven’t convinced you, listen to the songs that Taylor recorded for “The Hunger Games” movies. They’re different from her typical songs about relationships and they show that she does, in fact, have talent. Better yet, watch her performance of “Ronan.” This song was written about a little boy who died of cancer and I’m moved to tears each time I watch it. I’m already looking forward to more music from Taylor but until then, I’m happy with playing Red on repeat.