Taylor Swift releases 'Speak Now' single: Like it?

Taylor Swift released the title song from her upcoming Oct. 25 album Speak Now earlier today. It promptly sped to the top of the iTunes Music Store chart, where it has remained all afternoon. There’s a good reason for that: This is one of her best tunes yet.

“Speak Now” is an expertly catchy pop composition whose twangy, up-and-down hooks might remind you of “You Belong With Me.” Like that hit, it’s a classic Swift story song. Our narrator is at a wedding that she feels compelled to interrupt because she inconveniently loves the groom. (Her very own “I’ma let you finish, but…” moment!) Swift fleshes out this sketch with sharply observed details: the bride’s “snotty little family all dressed in pastel,” a bridesmaid’s “gown shaped like a pastry,” a church organ playing “a song that sounds like a death march,” and so on. Her expressive delivery of the lyrics makes up for any shortcomings as a technical vocalist: Check out how her voice falls on the last two words of “You wish it was me, don’t you?” and rushes anxiously over “There’s a silence/There’s my last chance/I stand up with shaking hands,” both intentional choices that make the words feel more immediate.

I can’t stop replaying “Speak Now.” How about you? Which do you like better, this or “Mine”? Download “Speak Now” from iTunes, then let us know how you like it.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on The Music Mix:
Kanye West announces album title: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley will perform at CMA awards
John Lennon at 70: A major new reissue campaign for his solo years
Lady Gaga joins Yoko Ono onstage at Lennon tribute, wears something scandalous
Kanye West on SNL: How’d he do?
Yoko Ono: The Music Mix Q&A

Comments (230 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 7
  • chris

    sorry but americas sweetheart makes me wanna fall asleep. she is more boring than paint drying

    • mark

      agreed, I hate that surprised look she has on her face whenever she wins an award.

      • erin

        then y r u watching. get a life and stop hatin

      • exasperated

        agreed. they all sound the same and if you like her lyrics, you probably think that One Tree Hill has great dialogue as well. I have no problem with the fact that some people like her. But stop acting like she’s uber talented. If you are little cute blond white girl in this country, you’ve got it made….

      • kaloalo

        yea i hate that surprised face too

        i think that’s about the only time in her life where her eyebrows ever move

      • David

        Now we know why you’re hatin’. I bet it has something to do with “If you are little cute blond white girl in this country, you’ve got it made”. She has a talented voice and new to the game, give her a break.

      • LOL

        LOL sorry MARK! IF I EVER WIN AN AWARD, I WOULD BE SURPRISED TOO!!! I GUESS BEING NICE AND HUMBLE IS NOT ACCEPTED THESE DAYS AND THAT IS VERY RUDE FOR HER TO DO. GROW UP MAN!

      • Kadence

        Why are all of you being so mean to Taylor? I can’t believe all the hate she’s getting just for writing songs that move you. Why don’t all of you that are dissing her try writing your own songs and see how hard it is to do it. Don’t complain unless you can do better!

      • Jaden

        To posters saying all of Taylor’s songs sound the same. That’s called “signature branding”, and for those who don’t understand what that means ……….. it’s like when a brand new song comes out and you immediately know who’s singing the song instead of saying “I wonder who is singing this song”, so Taylor’s got it down pat if you can recognize any new song from her.

    • julie

      ditto. boring.

      • The Bob Loblaw Law Blog

        It might be a good song if an actual singer sang it.

      • LOL

        OMG BOB LOBLAW YOU’RE SO FUNNY, NOT! YOU JUST CAN’T HANDLE HER AWESOMENESS! AHAHA

    • Jess

      Then why are you listening to her music???

      • merabelle

        They can’t help but listen. I’ve never understood why haters choose to listen to people they don’t like. Then they complain after listening and we have to read their same desperate complaints over and over again. And they call Taylor boring? What’s boring are her haters who just can’t simply stay away. But it looks like itunes has spoken and her true fans are having the last say on this. Second song in a row to top the itunes chart off her upcoming album. That’s pretty good.

      • u

        I can’t help it if the radio at my workplace is set to a station that regularly plays Taylor Swift and other crappy artists. Or that when I’m getting a ride from my friends, I have to endure the same crap. You honestly think that anyone in their right mind would CHOOSE to listen to Taylor?

      • SAUL

        U: YES, I WOULD PREFER LISTENING TO THE GIRL HAHAHA! SO PUT YOUR NEGATIVITY ELSE WHERE THANK YOU

      • u

        @ Saul:
        Note that I did say “who in their right mind“. And judging by your mature way of writing, obviously that excludes you.

      • SAUL

        U: YES I’M ON MY RIGHT MIND AHAHA HATERS GONNA HATE

      • Speak now

        i love it! its awesome, and if you don’t like, you don’t have to comment this.
        i like the build up the luckyness in this song :)

      • andrea

        ew can all the people hating just shut up, i dont see any of you singing and have a career as good as her

      • kaloalo

        hahah bravo u

        it’s called a lucky break andrea – she just got lucky with getting discovered
        there are in fact, lots of people who are a hell lot more talented than her who don’t have the means to pursue their dreams or aren’t as lucky or just don’t get exposure

        i admit she writes cute songs but the thing that bothers me is her live singing and the fact that people keep calling her country when most of her songs are so clearly poppy

    • erin

      if she obre you that much how about you get a life and not go threw all the trouble of writing that. she is amazing. you clearly have no brain

    • Justin

      It’s apparent that Taylor’s phenomenal success the past several years have created as many detractors as fanatics. Unless you’re an individual that can write better songs than her, one shouldn’t comment on her structured and successful formula for producing hit records. She’s the #1 digital artist since Soundscan started tracking sales back 8 years ago and she’s only been at it for the past 3 years. She’s accomplished more than artists that have been doing this for decades. Youngest Grammy winner of Album of the Year and the only Country artist to do so. Fearless is the only album in history to win Album of the Year at all the major award shows: Academy of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, and the Grammy.

      “Speak Now” is catchy as most of Taylor’s songs are, but it’s not as good as “You Belong With Me” as that one catches your attention immediately with the banjo riff into the bass section filtering into her vocals. Commercially speaking, “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” were steps elevated above everything she has done and that’s why they’ve done so well and you can’t expect her to produce megahits like that every time she writes a new song. For now, “Speak Now” substantiates her growing process as a singer and songwriter and it will do well along with all her other songs and her cd will continue her success.

      Taylor is artist of the young generation and it’ll be a long long time before someone else comes along and supplants her. You go girl, Taylor rocks!

      • LIVEITUP

        Well said!

      • exasperated

        some people think that success equals talent. some people are wrong. nothing wrong with liking the girl, but one can still use a critical ear and judge her music from a vantage point other than hero worship. the truth is her image is what makes her more than her actual writing or singing. newsflash- one can give someone credit for their accomplishments and also point out the fact that she is extremely lucky. people write songs- good ones- everyday and that does not automatically make them a star. And people, can we retire the use of the word “haters”? Most people use it incorrectly anyways. Criticizing a song or show or artist does not a hater make. the term implies that someone IRRATIONALLY hates or criticizes something. not if they have a logical and/or rational reason.

      • Justin

        Talent is a diffuse term and something that is a matter of opinion. What you deem talented (or not talented) may not be taken as such by someone else. There has to be a certain degree of talent for one to be successful. I think that can be universally agreed upon and it’s true that some gifted individuals never achieve the level of success that Taylor has seen. Luck has something to do with success as well as timing and it doesn’t hurt to have some sex appeal and charisma along with those prolific songwriting skills. Is there anything wrong with that? Should Taylor be punished for being glamorous and charming? No, I don’t think so. I beg to differ on your contention that Taylor being blonde and her image is responsible for making her popular beyond reproach. It’s her crafty and subtle approach in writing storyline songs penned with fantastic melodic accompaniment that has made her into what she is today. Luck? lol. Luck is having a fly by night one time wonder song and never be heard from again. No, luck has nothing whatsoever to do with Taylor’s success. She’s proven that by having the most Top 20 debuts in the HOT 100 in one calendar year. Not even Mariah or Beyoncé can attest to that historic record. She was Billboard’s Artist of the Year in 2009 and not many female vocalists can claim that fame. Her accolades are so immense, it would take up a whole page to list and in only 3 years of recording to boot. As far as the “hater” comment, I’ve always wondered why someone would read an article of an artist they don’t particularly care for and then proceed to make a disparing comment. I can’t speak for others, but if I don’t like an artist, I wouldn’t even bother to read the article or make a comment. It’s a normal response to not care about an artist that you don’t like, but so many flock to any subject concerning Taylor to give their 2 cents worth of negative vibe. I just find it fascinating and strange at the same time that posters would put energy into making a comment on Taylor when he/she doesn’t like her artistry. Find something positive to do like commenting on one of the artists you do care for instead of focusing negativity on those you don’t like. Just a suggestion.

        I don’t really think Taylor cares one way or another if there’s negative comments and by the looks of it, she’s getting a 10 to 1 ratio of positive comments versus negative ones. It’s apparent that Taylor’s going to be around for a long time because she is multi talented and “Speak Now” will be another #1 hit for her when it debuts on the 25th. Go Taylor!

      • fiasco

        @ Justin:
        Mariah Carey has sold 175 million records worldwide, has 18 #1s and is widely considered to be one of the greatest vocalists of all time… you let me know when Taylor achieves all that.

      • fiasco

        And another thing… Britney Spears has no talent, and she is one of the most successful artists ever. So yes, it is indeed possible to reach Taylor’s level of success with zero talent, luck and a marketable image is really all you need. And Taylor has both. But no real talent. Singing off-key and writing crappy lyrics isn’t talent, sorry.

      • Justin

        In reply to fiasco –

        I am well aware of ALL of Mariah Carey’s achievements as she received Artist of the Millenium award at the turn of the century and deemed the best selling female artist of all time. In fact, she is my favorite female vocalist of all time and I’ve seen her in concert more than you count with both hands. She has the Top ranking singles of BOTH the 90s “One Sweet Day” (16 weeks at #1) and also of the 2000s “We Belong Together” (14 weeks at #1). Anyhow, you misinterpreted my intention as I was NOT slamming Mariah or Beyoncé with my comment that Taylor made a historic achievement on the Billboard charts. I’m only saying that she is the only artist that have done so and that Mariah and Beyoncé had not charted TOP 20 debuts more than Taylor. That’s all. I know that Taylor does not even come close to Mariah’s achievements, but she’s only been on the recording scene for 3 years while Mariah has been doing this for 2 decades. Give Taylor time and not to take anything away from Mariah, but as much as I love her and as much as she has achieved with her 18 #1s, she has NEVER won Record of the Year or Album of the Year at the Grammys and Taylor has already won ALBUM OF THE YEAR Grammy in her short career.

        As far as Britney is concerned, you cannot compare her with either Taylor or Mariah. They’re all different types of artists and I don’t agree that Britney is not talented. She has achieved historic records on her own accord. She had the biggest jump to #1 with her song “Womanizer” until Kelly Clarkson came along several months later and grabbed back her record with “My Life Would Suck Without You”, and Britney can sure dance and put on a good show. Lastly, your opinion that Britney and Taylor have no talent is just that – your opinion – and you’re entitled to it, but according to the members of all the award shows (ACMs,CMAs,AMAs,Grammys)and Taylor’s fans, your assessment would be totally wrong. Taylor’s awards, achievements, and popularity have already been cemented in the music history books and nothing you or anybody that does not subscribe to Taylor’s artistry can change that. Sorry.

      • penny

        @JUSTIN – CAN I SAY YOU’RE MY HERO!
        @EXASPERATED – i agree success not = to talent. that is very true. but that differs with taylor, she is successful because she is talented. you can believe all you want. taylor is an album artist which i like cause she make solid albums that last on the charts years and years. people love her music and then they get to know her, then they even more loved her because of her personality. don’t know why is it wrong to be a talented person and to be a genuinely good person at the same time. you can’t changed the fact that she is like that. and —yes, a little bit of luck played with her success, but you think if she isn’t talented she would last years and years in the industry???? —-and as for ‘haters’ that’s with the people who comment here just to bash her and they don’t even know her and only heard a couple of songs and act like they know her. that what’s getting us mad.
        @fiasco – taylor has no real talent? crappy lyrics? omg, how many times. please don’t judge an artist if you heard a couple of songs from them okay?. please do yourself a favor and listen to her 2 albums (yes, every single one of them). before you comment because i’m sure that there are no crappy lyrics there. thank you

      • Christy

        @exasperated

        I’ve been in a professional choir for quite a few years now, so I can tell you what vocal talent is. Taylor has raw talent. She can be a bit pitchy and forward, but she has a signature sound that really works for her. She taught herself to play guitar, writes all her own music, and puts on amazing shows that really show her fans how much she cares about entertaining them. She is very, VERY talented.

      • Christy

        @fiasco:

        Mariah Carey has been around a LOT longer than Taylor, and Taylor has 10 million albums sold and 5 #1s in the few years she’s been big. Seems like she’s catching up pretty quickly to me.

    • uncleWalty

      yea. She’s safe and sort of bland, which is perfect for country music. But she’s cute enough and has the wholesome vibe going for her.

      • Kadence

        Your comment is an insult to every singer in Country music. Taylor brings the best of Country and Pop together and blends it into something that everyone likes. That’s why she an international star.

    • Cassandra

      You’re a bit confused. I think you must be talking about Carrie Underwood. Now there’s boring for you.

  • Gary

    Her voice didn’t fall in that last 2 words LOL it’s supposed to be like that. She has her own style. It’s a freaking brilliant song. Purchased it already!

    • Jess

      Exactly!! She has her own voice and her own style of creating her music. It is the perfect catchy tune to sing along to in the car.

    • Simon Vozick-Levinson

      Gary, I was highlighting the way she sings that line as a positive — I know that was intentional. Rephrased that sentence to make my meaning clearer.

  • Bee

    not even trying to be a hater here, but her vocals are TERRIBLE on this. like really bad. sounds like she’s struggling and her voice is so “breathy” and weak. the tune is different for sure. although i still don’t sense any real difference or growth in her music. replacing high school with college or singing about a wedding instead of prom or whatever doesn’t mean development as an artist. anyway, could’ve been a good song, but her vocals sound really bad to me here. i prefer mine over this.

    • Rich

      LOL that’s how she sounds. And I think she developed as an artist. She’s a rare artist today that can write relevant things than mainstream garbage today. It’s a good change than songs about sex and drugs :)

      • Bailey

        Thank you! I totally agree! At least hear songs are about something! As opposed to songs like Boom Boom pow, which are about onomatopoeia and any Eminem song which is about violence and drugs.

        Love this song, been on repeat since I bought it this morning(:

      • u

        There are lots of lesser-known female artists out there who write songs with real meaning, Taylor’s constant repetitive girly fairy-tale crap is hardly what I’d call “relevant”. Go look up Regina Spektor people, that’s a REAL songwriter. And Bailey, you clearly either don’t pay attention to Eminem’s songs or can’t decipher the meaning from them, because his songs go lot deeper than just violence and drugs. He doesn’t glamorize them, he’s merely speaking about real-life experiences. He grew up in a troubled home, he’s battled drug addiction, he’s had friends die, he’s had troubled relationships. He’s a very deep and compelling lyricist. But perhaps you’d like him more if he rapped about unicorns and princesses.

      • James

        U — you think taylor’s songs are all about fairytales? LOL listen to the full 2 albums. you don’t know what you’re talking about HAHA

      • u

        @ James: Why would I subject my ears to such torture just to find out if I’m right? She has released enough singles and has had enough chances to show any versatility she may have in her writing. Obviously, she possesses none.

      • James

        U—HAHA that’s why your comments are irrelevant HAHA. because if the singles are well-written then the non-singles are more clever, mature and well-written than that. HAHA judging her without even researching. she’s a mature songwriter. and obviously the trait that you don’t posses.

      • Karl

        Agreed, Rich. I would take Miss Swift ANYDAY over that nonsensical, garbage-spewing Ke$ha.

      • u

        @ James:
        Her singles suck. All of them. Her songwriting skills are at the level of a 7th grader taking poetry classes. So I don’t expect the non-singles to be better. And if you call that “mature songwriting”, then you need to explore more music.

      • santana

        I don’t have a real problem with Taylor Swift or anything but I really get tired of people telling me what a great songwriter she is. She really isn’t. Almost all of her songs are about a similar subject, and many of them sound pretty similar. As for this new song, it’s not so bad. I think it’s pretty catchy and it’s better then “Mine”.

      • James

        U- LOL her songwriting skills are a level of a 7th grade? you’re kidding right? and this is why i hate commenting with people who do not know what they are talking about. you cannot comment on how immature songwriter she is because you don’t know all of her songs. and how about try to become an open-minded person. please for god sake, listen and understand her lyrics please and listen to every song of hers. thank you very much.

        she is the only mainstream artist that i like and the rest that i like are indie music so don’t tell me i need to explore on music.

      • Kadence

        So many drinking hatorade where Taylor’s concerned. Try to do better than her before passing judgment!

  • Kelly

    I love this song. It is very catchy and hits me in the heart. THis song explains how I felt when a guy who I was in love with and dated for three years got married to a girl with my exact same name three months after we broke up. I felt betrayed and yes I wanted to storm the church and interupt her perfect moment. I however backed away and I am now with the perfect guy. Thanks Taylor. I love your music and I cannot wait for your new album.

  • Oliver

    I love the new song and I cannot wait for her new album. I really wish it was October 25. I need some new Swifty tunes.

  • Eric

    Again swift dominates!!! Haters gonna hate!! Eff 25th come faster!!!!!!

    • Jess

      Ditto my friend. I wish October 25 was here now.

  • musictomyears

    What is wrong with this girl? Why is she so needy? Are all girls at her age so desperate for a man? Miss Swift is single handedly setting the women’s movement back by leaps and bounds. A man does not define who a women is!
    Her me me me, mine, mine,mine lyrics shouldn’t be the message young girls hear.

    • rocker

      Youre right young girls should listen to all the booty shaking, use ya and lose ya crap out out there *sarcasm*. Taylor is a 20 year old girl that is living her dream and doesnt let anyone or anything tell her who she is or what she should do. Umm what was the point of the womens movement? But youre right girls shouldnt speak out of turn like that.* Idiot.

      • Anna

        Why do people talk about her like she is a disney character. “Living out her dream” in the magical fairytale world waiting for prince to come on his white horse to rescue her from the big bad Kanye Monster. She is adult and I’m sick people encouraging her childlike image of innocence to fulfil their unrealistic fantasy of what women should be. I’m glad she is not sexualized, but she has gone to another extreme of being infantilized.

      • Anna

        An example, a lot of people feel the need to give her a gold star when they criticize her weak singing by praising her very average song writing. Best not hurt the weak innocent’s feeling.

      • True Blue

        @ rocker:
        What you said made zero sense. Try again, sweetie.

      • santana

        There are plenty of other artists out there who write their own songs too. Songs that are not about booty shaking, partying, or brushing ones teeth with a bottle of jack. They may not always be as popular but many of them do exist. And many of them are better song writers then Taylor Swift. And when it comes to pop, I like my songs about booty shaking because when I’m listening to pop thats often what I’m doing.

      • exasperated

        Anna, i think i love you. look at the kanye debacle. while he was rude, people acted as if it was the end of the world and like she was a five year old who had just been criticized instead of an adult who has been working in the music biz for years and is a friggin millionaire with a huge fan base. i’m not a fan but don’t care if people are, i only wish people would stop overpraising the girl like proud parents at a school talent show…

      • Ellie

        @Anna – we are praising her because she deserved to be praised. sorry but please don’t bash her because you don’t know her. she is an inspiration with millions of people because she is really ‘living her dreams’. she worked her whole life to get where she is right now. she was in the business since she was 12 and after years of hard work, she became who she is right now. her success and fame didn’t just give it to her, she earned it. you can say all you want but nothing can change that she made her career. …we are not encouraging her childlike innocence because she is really like that. she’s a good person ‘you see is what you get’ she is nice and humble because she is really a nice humble person. people can’t handle that she is really a good person which also happens to be really successful….for the resord, she can sing, i heard her live many times and she can sing. and for her songwriting, she’s a mature songwriter and is very gifted at it….you can believe all you want …but please know her better before you comment like that. thank you

    • whatevs

      You’re right. Katy Perry’s lyrics about going to motels and Britney’s lyrics about threesomes are a lot better.

      • Jase

        And they really are

      • rawr

        Katy Perry has a song about going to a motel?

    • ProLif3

      I much rather a girl emulate Taylor Swift than Katy “no talent” Perry or Lady Gag Me, You sound like someone that can’t get a man.

      • True Blue

        Oh PLEASE, Lady Gaga has more talent and creativity in her finger than Taylor does in her whole body. Gaga can actually sing well, perform well, play an instrument, and write songs that are catchy but don’t make you cringe. She is real individual and marches to the beat of her own drum, and stands up for outcasts and downtrodden people, whereas Taylor is just a generic puppet. I’d much rather have my daughter emulate Gaga than Taylor. Taylor should be writing theme songs for children’s shows.

      • exasperated

        the sad thing is that you think it has to be either/or.. there are plenty of other artists to look to other than taylor swift and lady gaga. and your kids shouldn’t be emulating pop stars anyways. you should be your children’s role models, not some stranger..

      • yari

        TRUE BLUE: sorry but taylor is not a generic puppet. last time i checked, she writes her won music, who’s in charged with everything related with her name with it, play her won instruments, can sing and who’s in charge with all the decisions and her career. so tell me now if that’s a puppet. she’s an inspiration to millions of people. AND PLEASE, don’t drag lady gaga here bec. they’re both brilliant artist in their own way. you’re being biased with your opinion which is maddening. for me, i’m okay with taylor being the rolemodel of my future children well besides their parents.

    • Jaden

      musictomyears Tue 10/05/10 4:03 PMWhat is wrong with this girl? Why is she so needy? Are all girls at her age so desperate for a man? Miss Swift is single handedly setting the women’s movement back by leaps and bounds. A man does not define who a women is!
      Her me me me, mine, mine,mine lyrics shouldn’t be the message young girls hear.

      ******************

      Oh give me a break. Pathetic.

  • Gary Bacchus

    Tori Bacchus your dad loves you so much!

  • ISAAC DANIEL SHOFF

    R.W., IS YOU!

  • Torrence5

    really like the music – enjoy her sound & the songs are catchy & fortunately offer something different ( anf for me much more enjoyable ) than the urban & rapp sound that dominates radio today. Wish there was more Swift or “swift-like” music on the radio today

    • Jam

      Hell no. That means all that sesame street and kiddy music would dominate the radio hell no. Her music is okay but so kiddy and immature.

    • Kate

      yes torrence! true facts right there buddy! i love her music too

  • Abby

    I like the lyrics in this song, but for some reason the way she sings it sounds weird to me. Her voice is higher than usual and I don’t think I like it.

  • laura

    Love it. Love her. Its super catchy!

  • couchgrouch

    Simon, if that’s a classic Swift story song, yikes. I have nothing against the girl personally but that song is a musical Hostess yo-yo.

  • Jhiselle

    How could you help but Loving it? I mean it was awesome and the fact that there’s a story behind it makes it even better! I love her and am really exixted for the album in 20 days and counting!!!

  • brett

    dope

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