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The force of nature that is Taylor Swift


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Three months ago, I couldn't name a song by her (honest!).  Today, I have become a fan, largely thanks to her two 2020 albums, Folklore and Evermore, both of which are tremendous.  Some of her pop stuff is quite good as well.  I can't get into to her early country stuff, but I get the appeal for others.  Maybe I am fanboying already, but it feels like a lot of the criticism thrown her way over the years is unfair (not all of it, but a lot of it).  She is a helluva lyricist, and seems to have a really good head on her shoulders.  And yes, she is very easy on the eyes, which never hurts :P , but she is the real deal when it comes to songwriting. 

Who else is a fan? 

Edited by Ghost Rider
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Saw her on her Reputation tour with second row seats.  One of the best live performances I’ve ever seen.  Had tickets to Lover Fest West, which just got cancelled.  But I also have a 16-year old daughter, so I have a legit excuse.

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She's incredible.  Can write a great song and can also collaborate with other song writers just as well.  Knows who to work with, what sounds to create.  A force in music that can bind different tastes and varied generations together.  That's hard to do. 

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45 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

Three months ago, I couldn't name a song by her (honest!).  Today, I have become a fan, largely thanks to her two 2020 albums, Folklore and Evermore, both of which are tremendous.  Some of her pop stuff is quite good as well.  I can't get into to her early country stuff, but I get the appeal for others.  Maybe I am fanboying already, but it feels like a lot of the criticism thrown her way over the years is unfair (not all of it, but a lot of it).  She is a helluva lyricist, and seems to have a really good head on her shoulders.  And yes, she is very easy on the eyes, which never hurts :P , but she is the real deal when it comes to songwriting. 

Who else is a fan? 

Who isn’t? (Well, I guess...other than Kanye?)

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8 hours ago, KGB said:

I honestly cant name a song.  link to great vids?

If you are willing to dig into her two new albums, which are pretty laid back and a bit folksy, try the below. Most of the songs feature her great storytelling lyrics. The hooks are not as immediate as her pop stuff, but they are there. Some incredible songwriting here. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5SQIECedTY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bdLTPNrlEg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc_2ZKB4LVc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s5xdY6MCeI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-a8s8OLBSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsEZmictANA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMpqCRF7TKg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_p_TBaHvos

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I'm a fan.  She's insanely talented and seems to be pretty damn smart too.  Took Mrs. Foos to the Reputation tour a couple years ago and it was a great show.

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8 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

other forces of nature:

sleet

rust

flatulence 

dust devils

calcification

idiocy

I saw Calcification on tour a couple of years ago.  Great but couldn't hold a candle to Taylor tbh.

-QG

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Took my daughters and their friends to a Swift concert at Ford Field in Detroit years ago.  Really did not care too much about the concert as I was just driving them all.  About halfway through I was really enjoying it and the energy the crowd brought.   Been a fan ever since.

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Two teenage daughters so know most of her stuff. One night my oldest walked past me when I had my earphones on with the music loud, stopped and turned to me and said "Are you listening to Tayler Swift by yourself?" Both of us were mildly horrified and we never speak of it. 

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 Will never forget walking at downtown disney and shake it off was playing through some of the fake stone speakers along the path. 

Two twenty something guys walking in front of us. One with all black on and dyed black hair, you know the look. I could see that he was casually doing a jazz hand with his right hand to the music. Made me crack up. Thinking that this song is so catchy that even that guy that probably hates everything couldnt fight off the music. 

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43 minutes ago, northern exposure said:

Who is more talented- Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?

Taylor Swift is a better songwriter for sure. Miley might have stronger pipes. They're both great.

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I don't have much to add . . . I like a bunch of Taylor songs and she is what she is (uber popular and pretty talented). But she can't really sing all that well. I know people in the music biz and they say her voice is HEAVILY processed and autotuned. People have posted her singing without autotune on YouTube before and it gets taken down in a heartbeat . . . way out of tune, even cringeworthy at times. That doesn't change that she writes catchy songs and many people love her.

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3 minutes ago, Northern Voice said:

Taylor Swift is 40 better songwriters for sure. Miley might have stronger pipes. They're both alive.

fyp

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2 minutes ago, Northern Voice said:

We get it dude, you're old.

must be why you tire me so easily... i happen to know 2 of the 40 is all

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1 minute ago, wikkidpissah said:

must be why you tire me so easily... i happen to know 2 of the 40 is all

Same M.O. in every music draft/thread, dump on anything new, derail, argue.

If memory serves, next there should be an anecdote about someone "better" you did drugs with in the 70s any time now.

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9 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

I don't have much to add . . . I like a bunch of Taylor songs and she is what she is (uber popular and pretty talented). But she can't really sing all that well. I know people in the music biz and they say her voice is HEAVILY processed and autotuned. People have posted her singing without autotune on YouTube before and it gets taken down in a heartbeat . . . way out of tune, even cringeworthy at times. That doesn't change that she writes catchy songs and many people love her.

Is she canadian, too?

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Anyway, back to the appreciation, 

New Romantics kind of went underrated as a bonus track on 1989  but it's up there with the other singles on the album. A throwback to the early 80s - In case you wondered what it would be like if Taylor Swift was lead singer for The Pet Shop Boys.

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3 minutes ago, Northern Voice said:

Same M.O. in every music draft/thread, dump on anything new, derail, argue.

If memory serves, next there should be an anecdote about someone "better" you did drugs with in the 70s any time now.

not quite sure what is new about 15 years of "i'm in my room, thinkin' 'bout a boy. call Team Songpiercer & make sum outta this", but you have a nice day.

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3 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

I just hope she's smart enough to stay off his lawn.

especially now, cuz Geoff Muldaur is passed out there. here's what happened....

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10 hours ago, FairWarning said:

Pop and classic are two words i have a hard time using in a sentence.

It's actually quite simple.  Here is an example,

 

I much prefer the classic version of the pop Coca-Cola.

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17 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Literally all I know about Taylor Swift is that she's hugely popular and apparently really likes cardigans.  I've never heard any of her songs that I know of.

You could start with cardigan. It's not the best song on Folklore but it seems most appropriate here.

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Skinny girls love long cardigans, short skirts and Catholic school girl socks. Or they wear K Swiss or Stan Smiths with them, an outfit centered around white short shorts. Maybe beige socks and shoes with Daisy Dukes. Or even...a pair of tight jeans with some truly worn out knees. Maybe even...nerd cat eye glasses with some slacks.

Anyone ever think of that?

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I spent some time listening to her two 2020 records based on strong recommendations from trusted sources, some on this board.  Its not for me. Not saying she is not supremely talented or that her music sucks, but its just not my personal taste in music.  I am a lifelong fan of American folk music and bluegrass/country music and was interested in the stuff I read indicating she is doing more country or folk style music. I would just say these two records are not what I consider to be folk music and there's no country in there as far as I could hear, but I suppose that is a vaguely-defined thing.

 

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6 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I spent some time listening to her two 2020 records based on strong recommendations from trusted sources, some on this board.  Its not for me. Not saying she is not supremely talented or that her music sucks, but its just not my personal taste in music.  I am a lifelong fan of American folk music and bluegrass/country music and was interested in the stuff I read indicating she is doing more country or folk style music. I would just say these two records are not what I consider to be folk music and there's no country in there as far as I could hear, but I suppose that is a vaguely-defined thing.

 

She hasn't been doing anything remotely approaching country in about eight-ten years or so. I'm not cutting on you, just saying the expectations may have been a little off given her history. She's purely pop/indie now.

Not my thing, either, as far as music goes, though I have picked her in the music drafts where appropriate. Not sure of the reevaluation she's getting. That's just me. She was more fun as a critical underdog singing lines like "with your way too cool indie record" than as someone having her way too cool indie friends produce them.

That's solamente my opinion, though.

eta* She's more fun as a pop star than as a songstress making a point. We all need a little foppery in our lives. We also need room to grow. I just prefer her foppery a little better than her growth. 

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13 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I spent some time listening to her two 2020 records based on strong recommendations from trusted sources, some on this board.  Its not for me. Not saying she is not supremely talented or that her music sucks, but its just not my personal taste in music.  I am a lifelong fan of American folk music and bluegrass/country music and was interested in the stuff I read indicating she is doing more country or folk style music. I would just say these two records are not what I consider to be folk music and there's no country in there as far as I could hear, but I suppose that is a vaguely-defined thing.

 

She's straight up indie rock now and the last two albums are STRONGLY influenced by Aaron Dessner (The National). I think Taylor's piano-pop sensibilities on top of The National's indie rock production is a sound that really works but it's not for everyone and yeah it's not really in the same arena as country/bluegrass, there's some folk influence in parts but it's pop-rock production.

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11 minutes ago, rockaction said:

eta* She's more fun as a pop star than as a songstress making a point. We all need a little foppery in our lives. We also need room to grow. I just prefer her foppery a little better than her growth. 

She's also undeniably calculated in terms of her career (if you watch her Netflix documentary, you see a lot of behind the scenes drama about her "image", as it relates to her politics and southern/country music heritage...) and why not, being that she's now had massive hits in the pop-country, pop, pop-rock and indie rock spheres. She has an incredibly loyal fan base.

So... It made a lot of sense during a pandemic to release a couple albums of bedroom indie pop but I'm guessing once things return to normal, we see probably a tour of these albums, just because they have sold at such high numbers, then a return to arena music of some sort. Who knows what the next iteration will be, maybe she'll team up with Win Butler and James Murphy and release the biggest arena indie album ever. Nothing would really surprise me.

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2 minutes ago, Northern Voice said:

She's also undeniably calculated in terms of her career

Sort of what I was getting at, actually. Not really that appealing, the image nor the drama behind it. In an era where even the uncalculated is calculated, though, I can't say I blame her too much. Just don't agree that it's great or outsider art by any stretch. There are consultants behind every philosophical step and movement, and it's carefully honed to a particular demographic, any message therein. It falls flat for me. What can I say? I'm barely a customer of hers anyway, so it really doesn't matter. I use Spotify (have they still got her?) rather than purchase her vinyl or songs as special packages, etc.

And I guess the above sentence is the rub. She has customers rather than people who would appreciate her art, because her main thing in going for crossover everything is to be on the pop side of things, meaning she'll always have an aura of disposability when it comes to her art rather than the fealty her image creates among women just a touch younger than her. I don't buy into the fealty for a myriad of reasons, largely because hers is the particular and branded, and mine is not really the target of that, at the very least.

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2 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

I don't have much to add . . . I like a bunch of Taylor songs and she is what she is (uber popular and pretty talented). But she can't really sing all that well. I know people in the music biz and they say her voice is HEAVILY processed and autotuned. People have posted her singing without autotune on YouTube before and it gets taken down in a heartbeat . . . way out of tune, even cringeworthy at times. That doesn't change that she writes catchy songs and many people love her.

Is this autotuned?

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12 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Sort of what I was getting at, actually. Not really that appealing, the image nor the drama behind it. In an era where even the uncalculated is calculated, though, I can't say I blame her too much. Just don't agree that it's great or outsider art by any stretch. There are consultants behind every philosophical step and movement, and it's carefully honed to a particular demographic, any message therein. It falls flat for me. What can I say? I'm barely a customer of hers anyway, so it really doesn't matter. I use Spotify (have they still got her?) rather than purchase her vinyl or songs as special packages, etc.

And I guess the above sentence is the rub. She has customers rather than people who would appreciate her art, because her main thing in going for crossover everything is to be on the pop side of things, meaning she'll always have an aura of disposability when it comes to her art rather than the fealty her image creates among women just a touch younger than her. I don't buy into the fealty for a myriad of reasons, largely because hers is the particular and branded, and mine is not really the target of that, at the very least.

I think you could apply a lot of the same criticisms to say David Bowie, who orchestrated a number of career moves and changes in the pop sphere, was hyper aware of imagery, ambitious, careerist, collaborated with literally everyone who was biggest in the zeitgeist of his multiple eras, swinging with the Fashions to ensure his Fame. Most importantly he had pop sensibilities to back it up... when did he get to switch from "manufactured/calculated" to "visionary".

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2 hours ago, Northern Voice said:

Taylor Swift is a better songwriter for sure. Miley might have stronger pipes. They're both great.

She doesn't write her own songs. Not solo writing anyway, most always a co-writer.

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4 minutes ago, Flash said:

She doesn't write her own songs. Not solo writing anyway, most always a co-writer.

I think the two most recent are strictly her, Aaron Dessner who I mentioned earlier and Jack Antonoff. I think at least the themes, stories, ideas are coming from her head, I don't particularly care if she has collaborators to bring them to life, it's not like it's a The National album with Taylor Swift singing it, it's completely different and it's a lot deeper than Miley is all I'm saying.

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15 hours ago, KGB said:

I honestly cant name a song.  link to great vids?

Here's a few I really enjoy - the songs, not so much the vids, but I'm linking what I found on a quick search.

State of Grace (Live)

Red (Live)

Exile ft. Bon Iver

Invisible String (Just a link to the song - my favorite off of Folklore)

Mean (this is a fun video - my daughter and I have watched this one countless times.  Great song, IMO)

Delicate (another cool video and a song I absolutely love)

 

That's a pretty good six-pack to get you started. 

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8 minutes ago, Northern Voice said:

I think you could apply a lot of the same criticisms to say David Bowie, who orchestrated a number of career moves and changes in the pop sphere, was hyper aware of imagery, ambitious, careerist, collaborated with literally everyone who was biggest in the zeitgeist of his multiple eras, swinging with the Fashions to ensure his Fame. Most importantly he had pop sensibilities to back it up... when did he get to switch from "manufactured/calculated" to "visionary".

I don't really know. Not really a Bowie aficionado. I leave the importance of fame to those who think fame is important. That's why my take is my take only.

Fame bores me, as does art about fame, as does famous art borne from fame. What can I say?

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