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.
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