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Sixteen-year-old Taylor Swift is at an age where most teenagers are only beginning to find their identity and lay tentative plans for the future. But theres never been much doubt in Taylors mind about her calling. Growing up on a farm in Wyomissing, Pa., music was ever-present in her home. Inspired by her maternal grandmother, a professional opera singer, Taylor took up singing early in life. At 10, she began performing around town at karaoke contests, festivals and county fairs. At age 11, she performed the national anthem at a Philadelphia 76ers NBA game in front of thousands of fans. But it wasnt until she picked up a guitar at age 12 and learned to write her own songs that Taylor discovered how readily she could channel the turbulent emotions of growing up into her music. Before long, she was spending every available moment playing and writing. Since relocating to Nashville with her family at age 13, Taylor has pulled double duty as a straight-A student and full-fledged recording artist. Taylor wrote or co-wrote every song on her debut album and it is produced by Nathan Chapman.
Three years ago, a 13-year old Taylor Swift set out to be a star and moved from Reading, Pennsylvania, to Nashville. By 14, she had a publishing deal, and by 15, a recording contract. In these days of Bianca Ryan (and before her, Tanya Tucker and LeAnn Rimes), many are called, but few are chosen. Swift, it appears, is one of the chosen ones. Her vocal talent is modest, though sweetly affecting, her style seemingly influenced by the radio hits of early Sheryl Crow and Michelle Branch, and perhaps Cyndi Thomson. And at times, her youthfulness shows--she encoded messages in the lyrics of her CD booklet, starting with the name of the boy who cheated on her from "Should've Said No" (the album's strongest offering). But in writing or co-writing all 11 songs on this debut, Swift demonstrates remarkable maturity, particularly in crafting a hooky, radio-ready chorus. Though she sounds ridiculous looking back from the perspective of an 87-year old woman on "Mary's Song," to her credit she mostly writes about what she knows--unrequited high-school crushes ("Teardrops on My Guitar"), teenage angst ("Tied Together with a Smile"), and complete immersion in starry-eyed romance (her breakout hit "Tim McGraw"). Swift has such wistful charm and tunefulness that only a curmudgeon could dismiss her, and in fact, more than 60,000 fans lined up to grab this CD the first month of release. No wonder Rascal Flatts and George Strait added her to their tours. Look out, Carrie Underwood--there's a new kid in town. --Alanna NashSee all Editorial Reviews
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She says that her guy friend call tell all his friends that she's obsessive, but that's okay, she'll tell all her friends that he's "gay".
What is the point of this? Is this a song well-suited for radio play or concert performance? She is at risk of alienating part of her fan base.
This is my second review. My first seems to have disappeared. I can only comment as a mother of an 11-year-old that I find this reference in her song offensive and unnecessary. I asked another mother if she had heard these lyrics since her daughter listens to this album, and she said that she hadn't picked up on this.
To top this off, I want to add that I since viewed Taylor Swift on the finale show of "America's Got Talent" performing a duet of "Teardrops on my Guitar" with finalist Julienne Irwin. Without studio production finishing touches, Taylor clearly came off as unpolished singing her own song when she sang side by side with 14-year-old Julienne. Taylor's voice was soft, twangy, and undeveloped with poor breath control.
Here's hoping that she looks to improve her self-image and performance skills and doesn't let platinum album status go to her head.
Added December 2009 - Taylor Swift is turning out to be quite an impressive young woman. I am hoping that her "gay" reference was a misstep as an inexperienced performer. I like most of her songs and I am a 40-something-year-old woman. I like all of her recent music.
In summary, Taylor Swift has made me remember how good music can be. Her debut album is like a good book that I hope never ends. This isn't pop candy. Each song deserves to be savored, and if you are anything like me, you won't be able to stop listening and singing along to the songs on this album for a long time.
This particular album has no target audience-in the sense of the age group per se. Many great songs,few sucky ones.
She used to be good. Now she sings songs to 13 year old screaming fangirls about breakups and adolescent forms of unrequited love.
Track by track:
Tim McGraw-can't remember this one(and I own the actual CD)
Picture to Burn-LOOOOOOOOOOVEEEE it. Just don't like the fact that it will-inevitably- get stuck in my head for days on end after one listen.
Teardrops on my guitar-Beautiful song. Worth its "hit" status.
Place in this world-Every girls anthem.Lets face it. Isn't this what we're all trying to do? If we aren't we have.Or maybe we're going to sometime in the future.
Cold as you-Perfect breakup song. Its objective make that particular male feel like crap.Make us females cry our eyes out.
The Outside/Tied Together with a smile/Stay Beautiful-can't remember these(and I own the actual CD)
Should've said no-the equivalent message of Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" in my opinion.
Mary's song(oh my my my)-can't remember this one(and I own the actual CD)
Our Song-The one song on this entire album that I actually don't like.Cute but...don't like it.
Can't remember any of the songs after that.
Have some of her newer songs on my ipod...BUT they're all covers.
All in all, I'm just another potential fan that she lost when she recorded the rest of her albums.
Most recent customer reviews
My 6 year old is going to be very happy on christmas.
Now she can listen to her music and I can listen to mine =)