Music Review: Taylor Swift “Speak Now”

Listening to Taylor Swift makes me feel like such a teenager. The love stories and break ups and friendships remind me so much of my high school years. Which makes sense of course, since Taylor Swift was not that long ago a teenager herself and writing songs about her teen-age experiences. She’s also writing for teenagers, or at least a good teen-age fan base. But as a 30-something, it just takes me back. Sometimes it’s the scenarios or the stories themselves but most often it’s the perspective. It’s very obvious to me that the song is written from a young perspective. Even the songs that look back on loves lost have a youthful slant.

Her new album — Speak Now— is delightfully fun. You can tell that Taylor’s been in love and been hurt and had people say bad things bad about her lately, and I love that she takes those emotions and feelings out on (or in) her music. Because I find writing so therapeutic I enjoy it when a musician uses music in the same way.

The title track may be my favorite on the album. It’s certainly the one I’ve listened to the most. It’s just fun, telling the story of a girl at a wedding of the guy she wants and what she’s seeing and experiencing as she waits for that “speak now or forever hold your peace” moment to speak up and tell him how she feels. “I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion, but you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl,” she sings. Favorite lines — describing the wedding dress as a gown shaped like a pastry and the bride’s walk down the aisle as the bride floating like a pageant queen. Can’t you just picture it? I can.

“Enchanted” reminds me of Swift’s “Love Story” from her previous album. It has a very romantic story and sound and conjures up images of strangers meeting at a ball, or some place fancy that. “It was enchanting to meet you,” Swift softly sings. Sounds like the kind of thing a lady says to a gentlemen, doesn’t it? My favorite part to sing is this backup singer part towards the end — “Please don’t be in love with someone else. Please don’t have somebody waiting for you.” Who hasn’t been there when meeting someone, wishing they’re not already taken.

“Back to December” is the track that’s all over the radio. Honestly — the song on it’s own is a fine song but for personal reasons the story in the song annoys me. The story is of a girl who ended a relationship in which she didn’t appreciate the boy who loved her and is now trying to get him back by meeting up with him months later and bringing to mind all the good times and saying she goes back to December (when she left him) all the time with regrets. Oh, and — she wants him back. Call me cruel but she had her chance, shoulda took it when she had it. Too late now; move on. “If the chain is on your door I understand.” Good. ’cause it is. Reportedly based on one of Taylor’s own relationships (as are a lot of her songs, if you believe what you read on Wikipedia), the song is eerily similar in timelines and actions to a relationship I know of that ended similarly. That kinda bugs me whenever I hear it because I can picture the girl in that relationship doing that exact same thing. In fact, I think she did, several times even. But, on a positive note, kudos to Taylor Swift for writing a song so personally relateable. That’s one of, if not the, trait I like most in a song — the ability of the song to be real and true, so at least there’s that.

I’m enjoying the album, but then I’m a Taylor Swift fan so no surprise. There are no bad tracks; I like them all. “Mean” is fun, as is “Better than Revenge” in which Swift rhymes actress with mattress (I love creative like-rhyme.). “Never Grow Up” makes me thing of my boys as well as myself being young and wishing to be older.

The Speak Now Target exclusive deluxe edition is worth the extra few bucks for four new songs and acoustic and mix versions of tracks from the album. I also like that the Target version is all Target-y — the photo from the regular album has been photoshopped to make the dress Target red!


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