50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong debut album
If I had to describe Taylor Swift's self-titled debut, I would say it sounds a lot like a cross between Lila McCann and Leann Rimes. She has a very powerful voice, and exhibits a lot of range in her songs. Most of the songs on the album are very lighthearted and deal with typical high school issues - boys, falling in love, bad relationships, etc. Even though the themes...
Published on November 2, 2006 by Scott
29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't think I was the intended target audience
I find Taylor has a lovely voice and I like the acoustic stuff on her album a lot. I just think being a 40 something male, I may not have been the intended audience. Every song is some kind of boy/girl story as if the songs were written from pages of her diary. This being her first album and having at least two singles, she should be proud. But I felt the album could...
Published on September 23, 2007 by Mr Peabody
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong debut album,
If I had to describe Taylor Swift's self-titled debut, I would say it sounds a lot like a cross between Lila McCann and Leann Rimes. She has a very powerful voice, and exhibits a lot of range in her songs. Most of the songs on the album are very lighthearted and deal with typical high school issues - boys, falling in love, bad relationships, etc. Even though the themes are simple, the songs (all of which Taylor wrote or co-wrote) have some impressive lyrics and musical arrangement, which really gives her the ability to show off her voice. I bought the CD for "Tim McGraw," but as others have said, it is a mediocre song when compared to the rest of the album and I found myself moving it to the back of my play list to make room for new favorites such as "Picture to Burn," "May's Song," and "Our Song." Despite what you might expect from the song titles, most of the album is fast-paced and filled with catchy tunes, but still makes room for two or three "slower" songs like "Tim McGraw" and "Teardrops on my Guitar."
The album also comes with some disappointing "bonus media" in the form of the "Tim McGraw" video and Taylor's first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry singing the same song. The clips are quicktime and small resolution, and the Opry video doesn't even show her actual performance, but a few minutes of her arriving to the theater and getting ready. For anyone who's a fan of younger country female talent, I'd definitely recommend picking up "Taylor Swift."
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A special debut,
You can tell that Taylor Swift cares about the integrity of the music, and not just making money with the Nashville machine. Her voice has a wistfulness that reminds me of Deana Carter (though not with as much range on the higher notes yet,) and the arrangements avoid overproduction. Lyrically, "Tim McGraw" isn't even one of the better songs. This is a thoroughly charming debut - with youthful fun combined with a sophistication not expected.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty, brains, and heart,
This review is from: Taylor Swift (Audio CD)
I haven't bought an album in years. Just nothing on the radio seemed worth buying to hear over and over again. Then I hear "Teardrops On My Guitar", and I'm hooked. I investigate a little more online, and find myself liking all of her songs, not just the singles on the radio. She writes and plays all of her songs! This artist has substance. I'm totally captivated by the music videos that are feature film-quality displaying her expressive acting skills. I've never heard such purity and honesty conveyed by a human voice. Finally, an artist who really deserves my money and support! Such intelligent lyrics, and clever turns of phrase, it's poetry of the highest order. And then putting music to the lyrics with great hooks and guitar solos, that's just musical talent. The lesser known songs are just as good, if not even better than the singles! "A Place In This World", "Cold As You", "The Outside" (written when she was 12yo!), "Tied Together With A Smile", "Invisible". "Tim McGraw","Stay Beautiful" and "Mary's Song" just bring tears of joy to my eyes, they're such expressions of pure unselfish, love that they resemble benedictions in the form of songs. Even when she's angry: "Picture To Burn" and "Should've Said No", she's the voice of justice decrying bad behavior, selfishness, the lack of pure love; she's a force of nature you don't want to mess with. As other reviewers have noted, if these songs haven't made you fall in love with Taylor, just read the liner notes on the album. They'll bring more tears to your eyes. Taylor has a tendency to open up hearts that way. <3
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut...,
I first met Taylor at CMA Music Fest in June and I was instantly impressed by how sweet and down to earth she was. Soon after, I heard "Tim McGraw" on the radio for the first time and was hooked. I ran out right after work yesterday to pick up the album and only stopped listening to it long enough to sleep last night.
The songs on the album are impressive on their own, but even more so when you consider that Taylor wrote or co-wrote every single one AND she's only 16. I think I read somewhere that she wrote one of them when she was 12.
The music is honest and well produced, something that I think is rare these days in Nashville. Vocally, I think Taylor is superior to many of the top female artists out there. She is the real deal and I think she has a long and brilliant career to look forward to!
29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't think I was the intended target audience,
I find Taylor has a lovely voice and I like the acoustic stuff on her album a lot. I just think being a 40 something male, I may not have been the intended audience. Every song is some kind of boy/girl story as if the songs were written from pages of her diary. This being her first album and having at least two singles, she should be proud. But I felt the album could have been stronger overall. Maybe whoever packaged her was searching with this album, maybe there was pressure on her to sound like every other Pop Country dribble coming from Nashville these days. If they want Taylor to succeed give her the acoustic guitar and let her sing, take note from the songs that became singles. This girl has talent don't bury it under a bunch of cliche Nashville assembly line canned production template.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for Any Taylor Swift Fan - More Songs & Video DVD!,
Why the hell is this JJ (see above) bitching above something he didn't even buy, and reviewing an artist he doesn't care about!?!
This Taylor Swift Special Edition is a Must Have for every Taylor Swift fan as it has 3 new songs not on the first CD release, plus a new additional DVD video disc. The DVD contains Taylor first 3 music videos: Tim McGraw, Teardrops on my Guitar and Our Song. Plus it has the behind the scenes making of the music videos, personal Taylor home videos and interviews, and a really excellent GAC TV program about Taylor growing up and how she got started. Well worth it!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Edition,
When i first heard "Tim Mcgraw" i really liked the song but wasn't enough to buy her album and become her fan but after "Teardrops On My Guitar" she really got me! i really can relate with some of her songs and that's the reason why she's making so much sucess...people can relate with her songs and she's trying with sucess be a good role model to her young fans and that makes me adimire her a lot...
She's so successful now that they have this wonderful idea and made this deluxe ediition, a class A deluxe ediition.
They puted 3 extra songs and a great compilation of videos that will make all the fans more than happy.
I give her label props because they did a great job here and made a perfect Christmas gift for all her fans, this is more than i could ask for and i'm even more fan than before, Taylor has great skills, not only singing but acting too, all her music videos are great and she's more talented and pretty than all these pop singers, that's for sure.
Highly recommend for all Taylor fans and for all the people who like Taylor and still didn't bought the album.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Re-Release Is Even Better,
Taylor Swift offers up the perfect "new country album" with the (re)release of her self-titled debut. The new release contains three more tracks than the original album (the last three on the album). Overall, "Taylor Swift" is about being a young woman, optimistic and emotional, living through the ups and downs of her country/cosmopolitan life. Certainly meant more for the women in the crowd, Swift's songs range from slow with gooey romantic lyrics to quick-paced and free-spirited. Her performance is remarkably strong, especially for a newcomer on the scene. Having all the talent and charisma of Carrie Underwood, but with a warmer touch and perhaps a bit more depth, "Taylor Swift" is a must-listen for anyone who is a woman, or has a woman in his life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rare gem,
This review is from: Taylor Swift (Audio CD)
When I came back here and read my review, I realized I hadn't actually reviewed the music itself, simply explained why Taylor is an excellent artist and how she served as my bridge from ignorance into appreciation of the music industry. So I believe it would be fair to do a legitimate review of her songs (to which I am listening now).
Overall, Taylor Swift the album is stripped-down, acoustic and features almost entirely quiet vocals--a complete change from her recent pop-leaning smashes. I won't say either one is better, but I will admit that after a day of listening to sex-driven Korean pop, rowdy top 40 hits and a lot of Taylor's two more recent albums, going back to this quiet Taylor is somewhat refreshing.
TIM MCGRAW 5/5
This is a very sweet, laidback, quiet song that reminisces about a past summer relationship that has been presumably lost. This debut song opens with the gentle strumming of strings, before Taylor joins in vocally. The entire song is quiet and loaded with memory; it is meant to inspire thinking and recollection, not be throbbing, bass-laden junk called "music" that accompanies wild parties. A true beauty.
If you are into collecting Taylor's rare, unreleased songs as I used to be (I had to stop because my heavy course load prevented me from investing in more time to find others), you have probably listened to her two demos of Tim McGraw - the piano demo, titled When You Think Tim McGraw, and the simple acoustic demo. They make for very interesting comparisons and really show how the lyrics and instrumentation evolved to create her demo single. To collectors, I recommend listening to all three in chronological order so as to fully understand what went into making this song. :)
PICTURE TO BURN 4/5
This song is Better Than Revenge's granddaddy - the same emotions, anger and revenge, are featured here, but Taylor gives her age away by carefully avoiding saying rash things as she does much more easily in Better Than Revenge (i.e. "She's better known for the things that she does on the mattress"). The piece features louder guitars, a much louder Taylor and plenty of good riddance.
As is the case with Tim McGraw, there are several demos of Picture to Burn in the collections of the most dedicated Taylor fans. I only have one, which does make for a pretty cool comparison. Listen to the demos and then the song if you would like to hear the evolution of Picture to Burn.
TEARDROPS ON MY GUITAR 5/5
So countrified that it can be hard to realize this is the same girl who released Enchanted and Haunted, but that is absolutely not a bad thing. Although Taylor was only a freshman when she conceived this song, the theme of unrequited adoration (I'm a bit hesitant to call a freshman crush "love") is undoubtedly universal. Just listening to it is enough to feel the sadness Taylor experienced when Drew fell for another girl when they were such friends. A must-listen.
A PLACE IN THIS WORLD 5/5
The first piece on the album about something other than love. In this song's case, it is about a young girl (aka Taylor) trying to find her niche in a busy world that seems to have little time for her. The mood in this song ranges from realistic ("I'm alone, on my own and that's all I know") to optimistic ("Got the radio on, my old blue jeans/ Can you tell me what more do I need?"), a range much appreciated in an industry saturated with monotonal pop hits. This is a song that most undetermined college majors can relate to.
COLD AS YOU 5/5
Taylor sings about a former relationship with an emotionally empty boy who turned his knowledge and understanding of her into a tool that he used to gain the upper hand. "When you take, you take the very best of me." Taylor vocally stretches herself a bit in the chorus, but throughout the song, vocal strain is at a minimum, which makes for a very pleasant listen.
THE OUTSIDE 5/5
Now isn't this a song so many people can understand? Though you wouldn't guess it by the success she enjoys now, Taylor evidently wasn't well-accepted when she was younger, and pours her feelings as an outcast into this song. If you cannot relate, either you are a psychopath or you WERE one of those nasty kids who were the reason others felt excluded. Shame on you!
Despite the lyrical sadness, the overall instrumentation is upbeat, with jovial guitars and Taylor's own voice singing in what would seem to be a cheery manner to one who does not understand English.
TIED TOGETHER WITH A SMILE 4/5
Although this song addresses bulimia, a very important topic, it loses a point for the repeated lines and instruments over and over and over again nearing the end. The rest of the song, however, has an appropriately somber/sympathetic feel, which seems to be what Taylor was aiming for.
STAY BEAUTIFUL 4/5
As in the case of Tied Together with a Smile, Stay Beautiful loses a point for repetition towards the end. However, the rest of the song is filled with notions of sunshine and brightness brought about by the yearning for an evidently attractive boy named Corey. Taylor's voice and instruments are bouncy, playful and very purely happy - and I can see why - even though she is not in a relationship with this boy. If Teardrops in My Guitar features all the tears of unrequited feelings, Stay Beautiful focuses on all the happiness.
SHOULD'VE SAID NO 5/5
Like Picture to Burn, but much more power-fueled, and in my opinion, contains a lot more substance. She was cheated on, and turned that fury into a song that hit the charts and became one of her singles from this album. This song features energetic guitars and some autotune, but a mostly natural voice. Love it!
MARY'S SONG (OH MY MY MY) 5/5
About Taylor's neighbors' relationship, which is super sweet! It has a very country yet modern feel, and makes you incapable of doing anything but hoping you might someday reach the level of happiness that these neighbors did with each other. Perfectly sweet, perfectly beautiful - if I believed in giving more than 100% ratings to songs, I would, to this one.
OUR SONG 5/5
Happiest song on the record, and the best way to end. It's about Taylor's happiness and satisfaction in a relationship, except for one pesky thing: she and her boyfriend don't have a song that defines them, so he assures her that their song only needs to consist of the sounds that already fill their relationship.
My original review:
This is truly a wonderful work of art for Taylor Swift - and the fact that it is her debut album makes it even more noteworthy. Before this self-titled CD had I'm Only Me When I'm With You, Invisible, Perfectly Good Heart and the pop version of Teardrops on My Guitar added to it, it had eleven tracks and slightly different lyrics in Picture to Burn and Teardrops on My Guitar. From that original CD, five of the eleven songs were released as singles. That shows this artist has talent!
When I first heard of Taylor Swift - about a year ago - I was a 13-year-old, a fresh teenager, who barely knew of any music. If you'd asked me who T.I. or Madonna was, I would not have known. However, when I picked up an October 2008 Fashion Edition of Us Weekly, I saw Taylor Swift featured along with Hillary Duff and Lauren Conrad. I'll be honest with you: I thought Taylor Swift was your typical celebrity - blonde, spoiled and with way too much money to know what to do with. I didn't give her another thought until, in a later Us Weekly, I saw her in an interview; she talked about how she wrote and recorded Forever & Always shortly before the album's release, and how she's always been honest with her fans. My opinion of her didn't change, but seeing her twice in the same type of magazine didn't let me forget her quickly. Later on youtube I searched her, found her channel and watched her video for Love Story. It was the first Taylor Swift song - first country song, for that matter - I've ever listened to. And I was intrigued and amazed by the pure beauty of the video, as well as her incredible talent. Needless to say, I became a huge Taylor Swift fan. The story doesn't end there; finding Taylor Swift made me explore the musical world more, and since then my iTunes library has grown to quite an impressive size. Thank you, Taylor Swift.
To Swift's critics, this album is pure country with the exception of the pop version of Teardrops on My Guitar. My favorite songs are all the singles released from it (Tim McGraw, Picture to Burn, Teardrops on My Guitar, Should've Said No, Our Song) - but I also adore all the others. From the later-added tracks I particularly adore I'm Only Me When I'm With You.
Unless you're into the completely opposite, like screamo and heavy metal, I definitely recommend buying this album. I am so glad I did.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talent to Burn,
Taylor Swift is incredibly talented. This CD is great fun, and takes me back to those crazy high school days. Both perky tunes and ballads are beautifully represented. I look forward to seeing how Taylor Swift develops as a talent over the years.
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