Taylor Swift: Red

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Swifties everywhere have been lamenting the starlet’s move from a distinctly country sound to a broader pop appeal. Others are hailing a new pop sound that is more relevant than ever before.

The fact is, neither characterization is quite correct. Rather, with the release of her new album, Red, Taylor Swift has officially claimed a genre all her own.

From emotionally charged vocals to soft guitars, the singer’s sound is one of sentimental romance that is instantly recognizable as Taylor Swift. On Red, the title track is Swift’s best expression yet of her well-documented boy troubles, delivered in a series of color metaphors: “Losing him was blue like I’ve ever known / Missing him was dark gray all alone…”

Meanwhile, standout “All Too Well” is a memory-filled ballad that feels like classic Taylor Swift, yet at the same time is considerably more insightful and mature.

A notable new element on this album is Swift’s edgier persona. Red sees the emergence of a sassy Swift, a side of her that is most welcome. On certain tracks, the singer abandons her girlish innocence in favor of unabashed impudence.

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is an amusing example, where Swift decides she’s no longer having it from an ex-boyfriend. “I Knew You Were Trouble” is Swift’s edgiest and most rousing track to date, her vocals delivered with ample sass and flair.

Still, the cutesy moments remain with tracks like “Stay Stay Stay” and “Holy Ground” on which Swift professes her love in a sweet and sugary manner. And it’s most likely that such songs will continue to be a staple of Swift’s music.

Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that many Taylor Swift fans are eager for her to swap the hearts and sparkles for something with a little more bite.

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