Are you even the slightest bit cynical? If so, please disregard this blog post entirely. This, much like Taylor Swift’s newest album Speak Now, was not meant for you. But if you find beauty in the sappy, or if you fell hard in love as a teenager, or if you are a teen girl in the most stereotypical way (I count myself in all three of these categories, by the way), then maybe you will understand.
On Speak Now, Taylor stays true to form. Her voice is still angelic, her lyrics are still reductive, and her subjects are still true to life. Once again, she’s most poignant and effective when she’s singing words I can relate to. On “Mean,” she tells the subject of the song, “All you are is mean / and a liar/ and pathetic / and alone in life / and mean.” Those words are perfect for someone whose heart is still smarting from a nasty breakup. Strangely enough, the banjo plucking in the first thirty seconds sounds like it could be an Iron & Wine song.
“Mine,” the first single, is another one of those songs that succeeds because I relate to the subject matter. She says, “You’re the best thing that’s ever been mine,” and I swear that I’ve said that to someone before.
This is why we listen to Taylor Swift. She makes money saying the things we wish we could say but cannot because we think we’re too cool, too educated or too ironic. We want to speak, but we won’t. But T. Swift disagrees. That’s the whole point of this album. “Speak now,” she says.