Speak Now which was a great album was very pop in most spots. Did people forget about songs like "Better Than Revenge" and "Haunted"?? Those were not country songs at all. Many people praised her last album but some are really hating this one.
I heard long samples on iTunes and I must say that I want this album badly. Taylor has just ditched most of her country sound. Many of the songs still sound good though. So if you like pop music I'd say you'd be doing yourself a favor in picking this album up. Her lyrics still shine!
The only Taylor Swift album I truely "LOVE" is her first album. Even back then she wanted to go more toward "Pop' with songs like "The Outside".
"Fearless" I thought was probably her "best album" but then again, I thought it was going more toward pop.
Hated "Speak Now" and this new album.
Not suprised though - like you said - her last album had a LOT of pop elements. What really disappoints me the most is that she is not - how should I put it - "Expanding" on her lyrical topic.... love gone wrong.