On Oct. 25, Taylor Swift’s newest album, “Speak Now,” was met with great excitement and many critical reviews. The album, which “speaks” of her romantic ventures over the past year, endured much speculation prior to release, but Swift is quite used to the torrent of reviews and criticisms as she is an individual continually in the spotlight.
“Speak Now” starts off with the song “Mine,” which was the first single of the album. The single debuted on Oct. 19 and remains true to Swift’s typical theme-finding love. However, in comparison to Swift’s other songs, this one actually has a happy ending.
Songs, from her previous album, like “Tim McGraw” and “The Way I Loved You,” showed how she was ‘fooled’ into thinking her previous boyfriends were ‘perfect,’ but she soon realized that for some reason the relationship was not meant to be.
In “Mine,” Swift sings about a boy who “is the best thing that’s ever been mine.” In this song, she also discusses mature themes, such as living on your own or with someone and having bills to pay. This is a refresher from previous, almost immature, themes that were scattered throughout most of Swift’s songs.
“Back to December” is the third song on the album. This relives a moment where Swift actually apologizes for a relationship. In previous songs, such as “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No,” Swift places all the blame for a failed relationship on her male counterpart.
In “Back to December,” she “swallows her pride” and says, “I’m sorry for that night.” The media focused on this song predominantly when critiquing, along with a few others. They compared this song to her awkwardly- ending relationship with teen werewolf, Taylor Lautner.
This song has a great rhythm, despite its mellow tune, and is a refreshing change from Swift’s other rather edgy songs.
The fourth song, “Speak Now,” which is the title song of the album, tells the story of a wedding in which Swift “barges in on a white veil occasion.” She demands that he “not say a single vow,” and meet her “at the back door,” which insinuates how Swift feels she is the better choice over the “wrong girl.” This song, like “Mine,” does have a happy ending.
This song has a really catchy beat and a faster tempo than the rest of the songs in the album. As the title song of the album, it demonstrates how this album was an emotional release for Swift. “Speak Now” shows that after the past year’s frustrations, she has decided to let her emotions show.
“Dear John,” the tell-all story of what truly happened between Swift and John Mayer, is like an atomic bomb compared to her previous ego-slamming songs such as “Picture to Burn.” Despite its mellow tempo, the lyrics really explain her frustration and anger. She states that she “lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules every day, wondering what version I’d get of you tonight.”
This exemplifies the frustration she must have felt throughout the rather short relationship. This song has been a facet of media analysis for the few days surrounding the album’s release, creating much of the album’s hype. This song is an open book in which listeners can really relate to the heart-wrenching feelings of betrayal and resentment Swift illustrates in the song.
Another one of the more popular songs on the album, “Never Grow Up,” deals with the mature theme that Swift really pushed for throughout this album. Throughout the song, Swift asks of the little girl to “never grow up…just stay this little…it can stay this simple.”
Now that Swift is 20, she is dealing with the reality of being on her own and facing situations she would not have had to deal with when she first started out in the music industry. This song exemplifies how she wishes there was a way to “never grow up” so life could stay simple.
In an interview with USA Today, Swift admits that she wrote “Never Grow Up” for her parents. It is a song that discusses the acceptance of growing up and leaving the safety and security of your parents.
Listeners of all ages will really be able to relate to this song because of the mature theme, and because of the lullaby-like melody.
“Better Than Revenge” is the most diverse song on the album. It starts off with Swift speaking “Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did.” None of Swift’s previous songs have ever started out that way. Anyone who knows Swift’s music will be instantly struck by the edgy tone Swift produces.
The lyrics speak of how Swift really feels about this particular girl. She states that the girl “took him faster than you can say sabotage” and “never saw it coming.”
This tells the story of a girl who stole Swift’s man. Anyone who has gone through any type of breakup like this will truly relate to the anger and resentment she feels towards this female.
This song truly exemplifies the mature themes that Swift is displaying on this album, especially when she says, “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” She is insinuating something that she has never really sang about in any of her previous songs, attracting an older audience.
Despite the mature themes scattered throughout the album and the lack of rather upbeat songs, Swift’s album is a refreshing change from “Fearless.” This album has some of the same types of songs, but it definitely is what she is comfortable creating, which is not something an artist should be criticized for.
“Speak Now” is definitely a step in the right direction; moving away from the almost child-like themes of “Fearless” and her self-titled album “Taylor Swift” to more mature themes, without pulling a Britney Spears, in which her sexuality is blatantly thrown into the listener’s face.
This album displays great music and creativity. However, it is more of an album to listen to in its entirety when feeling particularly mellow or angry at an ex. “Speak Now” is recommend to any Taylor Swift or country fan.