Released: Oct 25, 2010
Genre: Country pop
Label: Big Machine Records
Number Of Tracks: 14
With Taylor Swift sticking to her comfort zone - the themes of love, regret, and yearning fans of the pop/country singer will remain satisfied with her third record.
Speak NowFeatured review by: UG Team, on november 01, 2010 8 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 8
rubyangellove, on may 02, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I was so excited for the release of this CD and it didn't let me down. Full of songs about heartbreak and love this CD will delight true Taylor fans - maybe even recruiting some more. However Taylor seems to be leaning towards more poppy sounds, personally I would have preferred something very country, so maybe she'll do this for her fourth album. There was a very country song, "Mean", and a gentle rock ballad, "Innocent" - both of which stand out. All the songs are catchy though there are similarities to other artists hear and there, she gives a good, solid performance throughout. // 9
Lyrics: Swift wrote all the lyrics and melodies herself and she did wonderfully. Her song writing skills have vastly improved and they are amazing considering she wrote this when she was twenty. Yes, most of the songs our about her boyfriends (she must have had so many) but there are others which are not about her lovers, but about things that her younger fans can relate to, such as growing up and still feeling a little out of place in the world. Her singing has got much better and her voice has matured. // 10
Overall Impression: For me "Speak Now", is better than her last too, though it probably won't win album of the year like "Fearless", but she has done a good job, even if it is lacking her genre. It's difficult to place Swift in a genre because sometimes she's country and sometimes she's poppy. For me the best song on the album is "Long Live" which summarizes her incredible breakthrough. I also loved "Never Grow Up" and "Sparks Fly". "Last Kiss" is also very poignant. Her use of an orchestra for "Haunted" is effective. "The Story Of Us" and "Better Than Revenge" are lively and good for dancing to. I have two copies of this album and if it vanished I probably would buy it again because I listen to it all the time, but I want more country next time. // 9
Country_Lover44, on june 03, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Who knew that after two albums that have gotten so successful, the third album would be a wonder to be discovered? From her huge hit that started it to the song about a fairytale land love, Taylor proved she still had it. There is a different way each song is played. From the upbeat song Mean to the floaty, worldly feeling of "Haunted", Taylor sure has gotten better without a doubt. In the Target Exclusive Edition, she has six additions to the album in a separate disc. Which includes: "Ours", "If This Was A Movie", acoustic versions of "Back To December" and "Haunted", and a pop remix of "Mine". Each song has a different way of reaching out to fans as her fans reach out for her just so she can sing them a story that maybe they relate to. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics in each song is very dedicated in a very special way so there is no doubt why Taylor wrote all of the song of the entire album herself. Plus who knew she would write another song about Joe Jonas ("The Story Of Us") as well as songs written about Taylor Lautner ("Back To December") and John Mayer ("Dear John")? // 10
Overall Impression: I tell you, there are many reason why she is Country Music's best. She broke the record of most copies of an album sold in it's first week, she is the youngest artist to ever win Entertainer of the Year by the CMA's at 19, she is the youngest Country artist to win the BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year at 20, her album "Speak Now" hit the 20 million mark in worldwide sales. Who knew that she would come this far this fast? And watch out Taylor... Because you might end up with more success. // 10