I told you this one would be different from the last ones.
Let’s just get this out of the way early: Taylor Swift was 16 years old when her debut album released. She wrote or co-wrote every one of the 15 songs that comprise the album’s 53 minute runtime in her freshman year of high school. It isn’t the best country album ever, it isn’t Taylor’s best work, it isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but considering the 4 albums we’ve just listened to and the 2 albums we’re about to engage with (oh yeah get ready) I think that this album is exactly where it needs to be.
Taylor certainly left an impression with this one. It’s all so exactly what it needs to be. Every song is easy to listen to, the vocals are great, the instrumentals and production quality compliment the vocal tracks without distracting from them as the focal point, and the lyrics are simple and sing-along-able. Taylor gives us some country songs that kind of blend in with most, but they’re all good for a fun listen, but the few stand out tracks really shine. “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “Mary’s Song”, and “Our Song” specifically are essential country Taylor tracks. However, like I said before, there isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking. The album might get repetitive at times, the simple country kind of gets lost in the pack of radio country, and the lyrics don’t exactly open your eyes to anything or make you think quite like a Bob Dylan or 2Pac song might (yeah I used Dylan and Pac together, so what) but that’s alright. In this first album Taylor proves that she is a more than capable songwriter and an excellent singer and it provided the perfect starting block for her career. If anyone cares to criticize her for this I have 2 points for you: 1- She was 16 and this shit is damn good for someone who can barely drive and 2- plenty of all time greats started out as radio friendly entertainment acts (The Beatles, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, etc.). The refreshing, easy to listen to and enjoy, highly accessible brand of country that makes up the entire runtime of this album 100% has its place in any music library. As much as I have pushed for big art this week, you can’t just listen to deep, powerful records all the time. This album being placed here is equivalent to watching “Meet the Parents” in the middle of a De Niro movie marathon. It’s as necessary as it is welcome.
What wins this album? Its Taylor’s vocals, easy money. I mean honestly, this isn’t a Pink Floyd album, nobody enjoys this for the instrumentals. The lyrics aren’t really anything special, although they certainly get the job done. The fact of the matter is that Taylor Swift is a great singer, has always been a great singer, and her singing ability makes the lyrics work, not the other way around. But yeah, that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Damn, this one was easy. Thanks Taylor!
Admittedly there isn’t a whole lot to say about this album, it’s just a fun and simple listen to get your spirits up and your toes tapping. I’m already listening to it writing this blog and I’m sure looking forward to hearing it again on day 5 of the MTP. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do, if not more.
Stay beautiful, Benny out.