Speak Now review by Taylor Swift

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  • Released: Oct 25, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (211 votes)
Taylor Swift: Speak Now
5

Sound — 8
Taylor Swift has carved out a cozy niche amongst the lovesick young (and probably more than a few adults out there) on her first two albums, and it's precisely that approach that she once again takes on the latest release Speak Now. Say what you will about her watered-down, innocence-driven pop/country, Swift handles it capably. There's certainly a heavy helping of the lovesick puppy vibe that vacates the 14 tracks (which were apparently all completely composed by Swift), and it may come across as nave and slightly annoying to the jaded ear. However, for the singer/songwriter's core youthful audience, that's precisely what sold them on her in the first place.

The opening track Mine follows in the tradition of past titles like You Belong With Me because of its rich storytelling and the Romeo-and-Juliet aspect. You could definitely track down a bit of a formula with Swift's writing (namely a descriptive story dealing with love in the verse; followed by the big emotional chorus), and it works for her. For someone so young, Swift does have a knack for writing endearing and clever lyrics, although the music for the most part doesn't stray too far from the low-key verse and built-up chorus.

One does have to give Swift credit for pulling out some interesting musical styles this time around. The main standout is Mean, which leans more toward bluegrass with its heavy use of the banjo. Innocent is your standard ballad, but it takes on a much more ethereal feel to it, particularly with the use of background vocals that are most likely tweaked by some haunting studio effect. Never Grow Up feels as much like a lullaby as a straightforward pop song, and that track also takes a slight break from the topic of heartache.

Will Taylor Swift to appeal to the death metal crowd? Well, one never knows, but she will be likely a little too immaculate to be considered interesting to that group. She's a fairly solid songwriter if you do enjoy pop music, but you also have to be on board for a whole bunch of talk about love including one track that may or may not (you be the judge) be an ode to her brief and unfortunate relationship with a much older John Mayer.

Lyrics — 8
If you can get past the squeaky clean topics, it's easy to realize that Swift's strong point is her ability to write engaging lyrics. One of her most enjoyable selections involves her desire to stop the wedding of a former love. That's actually a theme that a lot of us could relate to at one time or another. It's true that the bulk of the tracks revolve around love-gone-wrong, star-crossed lovers, or jealousy, but those have been the main topics in music for centuries. In the end, her lyrics aren't quite compelling, but they still will draw you in and get your attention.

Overall Impression — 8
The deluxe edition with which we were provided also includes three additional tracks, two acoustic versions, a remix, and alternate versions of Mine, "Back to December", and "The Story of Us. While it's always fascinating to see how different acoustic versions can be, for these particular selections (which were mellow anyway), there isn't a huge difference. On the whole Speak Now is an enjoyable listen, but you have to be open-minded to pop, country, and a time when things were just a little simpler if love ever was in life.

157 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jesus_Dean
    In a time when even Aerosmith has people writing songs for them, I have to give props to a musician who does it her/himself.
    DifferentWorld
    Ultimate Guitar =/= Ultimate Exclusively Metal Guitar. The word 'guitar' might throw people off sometimes, but at the end of the day it's a 'music' website and they have every right to put a review here if they feel like it. I listen almost exclusively to metal - Bodom, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden etc etc, but Taylor Swift is cute, and she writes cute lyrics, and sometimes you want to forget that the world is a steaming shitpile for a couple minutes. Hating Taylor Swift because she's not exactly like you is kind of a dick move if you're a jaded, elitist music snob. For God's sakes, watch a damn Disney movie, the world doesn't have to be all suffering.
    raoooos
    So many people here giving UG a bad name. The girl can sing, play guitar, and write her own music. Therefore, why shouldn't her album be featured here? Frankly, she's better than the other band who's album has been reviewed today (Abigail Williams).
    kacper_j
    Live.Twilight wrote: For God's sake, Taylor Swift is an incredible singer and guitarist and in case you haven't noticed, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden are NOT in the charts, Taylor is. Why did you read this review if you didn't like her?
    I was gonna post an open minded, "its a guitar website, not a metal website" comment...until I saw this, frankly, retarded comment. In charts does not equal good.
    Gyoung1991
    DifferentWorld wrote: Ultimate Guitar =/= Ultimate Exclusively Metal Guitar. The word 'guitar' might throw people off sometimes, but at the end of the day it's a 'music' website and they have every right to put a review here if they feel like it. I listen almost exclusively to metal - Bodom, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden etc etc, but Taylor Swift is cute, and she writes cute lyrics, and sometimes you want to forget that the world is a steaming shitpile for a couple minutes. Hating Taylor Swift because she's not exactly like you is kind of a dick move if you're a jaded, elitist music snob. For God's sakes, watch a damn Disney movie, the world doesn't have to be all suffering.
    I need to point out the appropriateness of your comment given the maiden song you rep as your name.
    vans1170
    i'm all for different genres and such on this site, but i'm pretty sure she doesnt have that much of a fanbase here.
    explosionate
    SweepSDMF wrote: She has country roots (which includes guitar), and anyway, music is music, its called ultimate-guitar because they post tabs here (I assume). Also, as much as haters are gonna hate here, most of you (not all of you) are bashing her saying she isnt metal, when judging by half of your names and songs (yes i click profiles to clarify), your all A7X, disturbed, slipknot, and other pretend metal fans. How about go on 'tubes, listen to some real metal (LOG, Nevermore, Testament), and stop pretending to be this big metalhead.
    So according to your statement, metal that is popular to broad audiences is pretend metal. That's just silly. What is the point of getting bogged down in genres anyway? It's all music. I love The Faceless as much as I love Tom Waits. Not liking something does not make it universally inferior.
    Meelad360
    I for one will check out this CD some time in the future because it got a pretty good rating.
    Smokinjoerules1
    I agree with some ppl on here, this review does belong on this site, since she plays country music and guitar. Hey atleast this site has given me a xmas gift for my gf since she likes her, and tbh i dont mind her either
    lostinflames
    i cant believe someone paid attention to my post that there isn't any country music on ug. this and kws on the front page, and bon jovi cuz there practically country now... im sorry everyone, i think i brought this upon us all....
    PowerOfGlove
    metalmastar wrote: Taylor Swift on UG? THIS IS MADNESS!!!
    Madness? THIS. IS. SPAARRTAAA AARRRRR!!!!!
    thePTOD
    I really wasn't sure what to expect of this review when I clicked on this page. I really do not like taylor swift, she may write her own music, but from all I've heard, it's just 2 or 3 acoustic chords anybody could play. Plus, she's 20, and nearly all she writes is about love. I doubt she's actually been in love as much as she writes. Shouldn't a 20 year old have more going on than crying about their seventh grade 'love'?
    mtshark
    She's actually a pretty good singer, and if you listen to Better Than Revenge its actually more rock than country. (Its actually more like a Paramore song than it is a Taylor Swift song.)
    AnikaJonas
    Okay, first of all i would like to say that just cause you are not a TS fan, doesnt mean that there are not millions out there that arent either (Her Fearless album didnt go 6 times platinum for no reason)and if you dont like her then oh well. you cant force others not to love her by saying that shes crap cause everyone has their opinion. And also, for the people that are questioning why her tabs are being posted on UG, the title of this website is Ultimate-Guitar, not Ultimate-RockorMetal-Guitar and i know for a fact that everyone of her songs has guitar in it and most of them are just mainly her playing guitar and singing. There are people like me and many others who love her music and love the fact that we can play along and love the fact that we can relate to her lyrics. and if you cant then oh well. Im not saying you have to love her or that you cant post a comment on this but she has 3 Albums out, writes all of her own songs, is a multi-millionaire and is only 20 for christs sake! give the girl a damn break! Thank you.
    MonsterOfRock
    Taylor, I'm happy for you and all, and I'ma let you finish, but we don't give a rat's bottom about you in UG. *shrugs*
    castintheTele
    I do have to say that the girl can write lyrics well, she just can't sing them worth shit.
    Gary.Blizzard
    lol'in at these comments. Best first reply too. I think my grandma likes this Tayler Swift guy.
    guitard00d13
    mercury23 wrote: DifferentWorld wrote: Ultimate Guitar =/= Ultimate Exclusively Metal Guitar. The word 'guitar' might throw people off sometimes, but at the end of the day it's a 'music' website and they have every right to put a review here if they feel like it. I listen almost exclusively to metal - Bodom, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden etc etc, but Taylor Swift is cute, and she writes cute lyrics, and sometimes you want to forget that the world is a steaming shitpile for a couple minutes. Hating Taylor Swift because she's not exactly like you is kind of a dick move if you're a jaded, elitist music snob. For God's sakes, watch a damn Disney movie, the world doesn't have to be all suffering. Agree 100% brother!
    agreed^
    nianoniano92
    Ultimate Guitar =/= Ultimate Exclusively Metal Guitar. The word 'guitar' might throw people off sometimes, but at the end of the day it's a 'music' website and they have every right to put a review here if they feel like it. I listen almost exclusively to metal - Bodom, Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden etc etc, but Taylor Swift is cute, and she writes cute lyrics, and sometimes you want to forget that the world is a steaming shitpile for a couple minutes. Hating Taylor Swift because she's not exactly like you is kind of a dick move if you're a jaded, elitist music snob. For God's sakes, watch a damn Disney movie, the world doesn't have to be all suffering.
    we don't expect everything to be metal, we just expect music of quality not shitty mainstream disney bands
    transplants182
    Um guys, she's really not that good. I think you're just pretending to like her just to seem open-minded. If you legitmately do like her though, I highly recommend you listen to Jewel. They're kind of similar only Jewel can sing much better, play guitar much better, and writes much, much, much better songs in my opinion.
    theogonia777
    transplants182 wrote: Um guys, she's really not that good. I think you're just pretending to like her just to seem open-minded. If you legitmately do like her though, I highly recommend you listen to Jewel. They're kind of similar only Jewel can sing much better, play guitar much better, and writes much, much, much better songs in my opinion.
    +1
    RATMRUSH
    cristy♥twilight wrote: Taylor Swift has 458 tabs/chords on here. I think she deserves a review of her new album that she WROTE completely 100% BY HERSELF. You gotta give her props for that alone.
    A lot of people can write songs 100% by themselves...
    joe295159
    I have no problem with her being evaluated here on UG. What I have a problem with is you giving her a ****ing 8. I mean, I think I'd accept an 8 overall(even though I'd never agree with it) but she clearly doesn't deserve an 8 for her stupid 12 years old lyrics.
    tubbsy5
    ok first of all they are only "saying" she wrote it all by herself to gain more fans or at least respect...second of all whoever reviewed it said she writes captivating lyrics...my ass...anybody could go through a day of high school and write that...im not even a metal head...love alternative rock and indie, u know, the stuff that has creative music, creative lyrics...not lyrics where almost every word is "the" and "is" and "you"....i have respect for her cuz she can play sum guitar and atleast sing...but the music is bad..sorry everybody, im not trying to piss nebody off....but jus cuz sumones can catch ur attention doesnt mean they deserve an 8!..... idk if uve noticed but achy breaky heart caught our attention and that had to be the most bullshit song of our entire lifetime!!
    tubbsy5
    it just seems like some people just get on here to get mad at other people...her music is good to certain people, and nobody in here said one thing about her just being a female artist...durrrrr....i think her music sucks personally, but i am a songwriter of everything in my own music, even if she was for hers its just not that competant of music that considers to be creative, its just following in everybodys footsteps...theres not one original thing she is doing, just following the formula of her shitty genre fathers.....blah
    jetfuel495 wrote: HURR HURR LET'S ALL GET ANGRY BECAUSE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST WHO IS A FEMALE THAT PLAYS A GENRE OF MUSIC I DON'T LIEK HAD A REVIEW FEATURED ON THE FRONTPAGE OF UG. LET'S ALSO ASSUME SHE HAS ZERO TALENT SO WE CAN ALL FEEL BETTER ABOUT OURSELVES BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES THE MUSIC WE MAKE. Also. No sexual comments, please.
    Szef_Mtp
    skylerjames13 wrote: SweepSDMF wrote: She has country roots (which includes guitar), and anyway, music is music, its called ultimate-guitar because they post tabs here (I assume). Also, as much as haters are gonna hate here, most of you (not all of you) are bashing her saying she isnt metal, when judging by half of your names and songs (yes i click profiles to clarify), your all A7X, disturbed, slipknot, and other pretend metal fans. How about go on 'tubes, listen to some real metal (LOG, Nevermore, Testament), and stop pretending to be this big metalhead. Since when does A7X, Disturbed, and Slipknot 'pretend metal'? It's a different type of metal, get over yourself. Just cause people listen to different music then you. I happen to listen to those bands and enjoy them. Am I fake a metal head? No. I listen to Iron Maiden and Megadeth, and Metallica, etc. Does that make me a real metal head? No. I enjoy metal music. that's what makes me a metalhead.
    a7x is metal, disturbed is hard rock really, and slipknot is just pure shit. glad to help
    Megalomaniac46
    In all honesty, I don't think she's as good of a singer as people make her out to be. Her voice isn't strong at all imo.
    Alpha_Wolf
    I'm pretty sure that Taylor Swift is a badass, so don't hate.
    slaytanic666 wrote: Taylor Swift is metal as ****.
    This too.
    IommiPage
    In comparison to her contemporaries, she's actually not that bad. I'm not saying I'd go and pick up all her albums and listen to them religously, but she really isn't THAT bad. I can see the appeal with her more so than other pop artists out there right now.
    thePTOD
    v0odoo_child001 wrote: I wonder if John Mayer tapped her. They supposedly spent a night at a hotel room together after recording a song.
    that almost freaks me out a bit.
    Freunleven
    If there's room for Coldplay and Green Day on UG, there's room for Taylor Swift. It might not be the genre that most people here like, it might not be the vocal stylings that they care to hear . . . . but she's making a rather good living as a musician - something that 90% of the people who say she's a talentless hack are not currently doing. And if chart rankings and album sales don't mean anything - why do rock and metal bands try to get signed? So they can play bigger venues, sell more albums (thus moving up in the charts), and make more money. The fundamental difference between pop/rock acts and rock/metal acts is that the pop/rock acts are at least honest about being in it for the money. Now: Go buy my band's t-shirts! I've got a mortgage to pay!
    vanderb0b
    Berserker \,,/ wrote: Why the **** was this posted to this site.
    Yeah, totally. Why are there music reviews on a music site?
    Sylvanus
    She's good at what she does and I'd much rather listen to her music than Avenged sevenfold, Aerosmith and all those other crappy hard rock bands.
    Fearless(Times)
    Live.Twilight wrote: For God's sake, Taylor Swift is an incredible singer and guitarist and in case you haven't noticed, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden are NOT in the charts, Taylor is. Why did you read this review if you didn't like her?
    =_= She can not sing.
    theogonia777
    jetfuel495 wrote: HURR HURR LET'S ALL GET ANGRY BECAUSE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST WHO IS A FEMALE THAT PLAYS A GENRE OF MUSIC I DON'T LIEK HAD A REVIEW FEATURED ON THE FRONTPAGE OF UG. LET'S ALSO ASSUME SHE HAS ZERO TALENT SO WE CAN ALL FEEL BETTER ABOUT OURSELVES BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES THE MUSIC WE MAKE. Also. No sexual comments, please.
    jetfuel hits the nail on the head... again. i don't see what the big deal is, there is guitar on the album, therefore it belongs here. hell, there is a review for burzum's Daui Baldrs, and that doesn't even have any guitars. and she's really not that bad anyway.
    rockfreak611
    not a fan of her music in the slightest, but respect to her for actually writing, playing, and singing without autotune on her songs. Unfortunately it's come to the point where you have to respect an artist for doing what they're supposed to do to begin with...