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."
on August 21, 2009
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
on October 24, 2006
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.
on October 25, 2006
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!
on November 5, 2007
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.
on September 23, 2007
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.
on August 17, 2012
The complaint here is that the jewel case for this CD arrived broken, with a small piece totally missing. Had it occurred during shipping the broken off piece would have been inside the padded envelope. Not so, which means an obviously damaged item was shipped to a customer. The CD itself was OK, so this situation is not worth the hassle of a return. I have many extra CD cases. It does indicate sloppy quality control to me. Otherwise, I would have rated this CD 5 stars, as I am a member of Taylor Nation, possibly the oldest.
This album was cut when she was 16 years old. She wrote all the songs, and I am sure did most of the arraignments, beginning her fast rise on the way to becoming a self-made millionaire. I read through some of the complaints here -- Hey, lighten up, whiners. What would you expect a 16 year old girl to write songs about, anyway? She is one of the great songwriters; her target audience distracts the unaware from how truly great her lyrics really are.
Kris Kristofferson said it all in an introduction at an award ceremony, her music speaks her truth. All you have to do is listen. Those critics of her voice itself should probably record themselves and publish on YouTube, so we'll all become enlightened.
My advice is, if you don't get it, don't get it.
on June 3, 2011
I actually bought this album after Fearless and Speak Now, and until I had it in my hands I had never heard all the songs, but I was very impressed with it. This is definitely the "country-est" album Taylor has released, and in my opinion it's a wonderful first album. The lyrics and music are filled with Taylor's feelings and stories, and the music and beats are really pleasant to hear. There are no fillers in this album. Now, about the Deluxe Edition that's quite expensive to get these days.... it is definitely worth the extra money! The lenticular cover is absolutely beautiful, and Taylor's first conversation with Tim McGraw is cool and funny to hear, they're both very funny. The DVD is very nice, too. There are images and videos that I bet you have never seen before, and Taylor is very humble and smart, it's very nice to listen to her talking. I say buy the Deluxe Edition if you have the chance, and don't be scared of the high price, it's an awesome purchase.
on March 31, 2016
I'm getting most of TS's CD's, but so far this is my favorite. The songs are well-written, catchy, and identifiable. I like both country and pop music, so that's not affecting my judgement. I'm not sure why the songs on this CD seem better to me than songs from many of her other CDs, but they do...
on February 5, 2012
Taylor Swift's albums 'Fearless' and 'Speak Now' are fantastic. This album, however, is really in a league of it's own.
A hidden gem, this - being her first album - is more raw and true, like a young child (oh, god, this is going to be a bad analogy) with creative impulses before he enters structured education, dictating where he ought to set himself. While the subsequent albums are still representative of Swift's country roots, they admittedly begin to tend towards mainstream taste, albeit ever so slightly.
'Taylor Swift' is fun largely because of how unrefined it is. One moment, you'll be listening to a song that sounds like a studio-produced track, both in empirical quality and lyrical content, and a few minutes later, you're listening to a song seemingly scribbled down in a fervor only a young girl whose spirits were just crushed could convey. and, impressively, Taylor Swift manages to express more than you would've thought possible through a single-sense medium.
Excuse the incoherency of this, as I'm presently listening to 'A Perfectly Good Heart' and sort of studying. The point still stands - if you like Taylor Swift, this album will provide that foundation, that missing definition of who she is as an artist. It's awesome.