The great thing about the release week of a new Taylor Swift CD is that everyone — that includes mega-fans, “which famous ex-boyfriend is this one about?” decoders, and outright haters — wants to talk about it. That’s just how it works when you’re one of the biggest stars on the planet.
This fact is especially true for Red, Swift’s latest album, which dropped yesterday. The disc finds the pop-country vixen pushing her musical boundaries further than ever before, and it’s causing a ruckus in the industry. “Country radio has been a little taken aback by it because it is so obviously pop,” Scott Borchetta, the President of Big Machine Records, Swift’s label, tells EW. “[But] we haven’t’ been hiding behind what she’s been doing.” he says. “She wrote this record with Max Martin, and Shelback, and it’s a big pop record with some country leaning.”
“We’d be in the studio,” Borchetta remembers, “and I’d say, ‘This record wants to do more than what you’re doing to it, and she’d say, ‘What do you mean?’ and I’d say, ‘If it’s country, run toward it, if it’s pop, run toward it, if it’s rock, run toward it. You have artistic license to do your music. I want to encourage you to go to the edges.’”
And go to the edges she did. Red finds Swift flirting with U2-esque arena rock on “State of Grace,” dubstep on “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Katy Perry party-pop on “22,” handclap-happy piano celebration on “Stay Stay Stay,” and crooning alongside Brit Ed Sheeran on “Everything Has Changed.”
It’s a lot to digest on a first listen, but now that you’ve had a whole day to process Red, let’s talk about the songs that work and the ones that don’t: READ FULL STORY