In her new album Red, Taylor Swift single-handedly saved the country music genre from certain death and helped to boost overall music sales. Her distinctive style that blends pop with country music usually leans tend to lean more heavily in the direction of pop music. She takes the heartbreak songs of country that drone on and on in the same monotone, and makes them humorous. Though sometimes she swings and misses and the song just doesn’t evoke interest or capture attention. “State of Grace,” and “Red,” the first two songs of her new album titled Red, are just that, a swing and a miss.
“State of Grace” is about the thrill ride of a relationship that had its up and downs but it’s put in a happy and satisfied context. Marching drums open the track, and is reminiscent of past anthems such as “Bitter Sweet Symphony” from the Verve. “State of Grace” gives listeners a taste of Swift’s entrance into new pop territory. However, the appeal is lost when it comes to the lyrics. The lyrics might look good on paper but she just doesn’t carry them, despite being the one who wrote them.
The title track “Red” is about a relationship that no longer is—the breakup included, and then the standard heart ache that comes along with it. In “Red” Swift ventures back into her roots in Country and gives dedicated her dedicated fans her classic sound.
Despite her venture into pop, just about the entire album has the following pattern: Get together, next song; break up, next song; get together, break up. Despite the fact that the pattern and message are predictable, some songs are downright catchy. For some songs on this album, catchy-ness is the only redeeming factor. They get stuck in the brain and listeners will find themselves singing, humming or whistling them.
Sometimes in order to get a feel of the entire album, one needs to load it onto an mp3 player, have patience and let the songs marinate. There are always catchy favorites that listeners play on repeat until they wear out their welcome (and that the radio has played them a million times), and then transition to other songs from the album. The other songs will start to grow on you slowly but surely.
Although there are songs that are rather lack luster and predictable, Red displays the musical growth for Taylor Swift and her ventures into uncharted genres.