Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated third album, “Red,” lacks any sort of maturity expected from the 22-year-old singer. Swift has grown away from her country roots from her earlier hits like, “Our Song” and “You Belong With Me” and has headed into a more eclectic style.
Without any cohesiveness, the album can only be considered pop/rock/indie/techno, fusing together banjo, guitar, ukulele and synthesized beats. Taylor Swift has expanded her repertoire into the realm of techno/dubstep with the song “I Knew You Were Trouble” and a duet with British singer Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed” offers a little treat for the indie and acoustic lovers out there.
However, some aspects of the singer’s style stay the same. In true Swift fashion, the lyrics and stories behind each song are simplistic and straight-forward. They leave no room for interpretation, unless the listener ponders over which celebrity ex-boyfriend the song is about. Swift shows no maturity with her writing or expansion of material and sticks to the same themes of love and loss.
The album lacks many slow, sad ballads that Swift is known for. The duet with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, “The Last Time” is a surprising match, but offers pretty piano and violin accompaniment and chilling harmonies.
That being said, Swift doesn’t disappoint on producing some new anthems for the teenage love-struck. Already a radio hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” has angry ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends everywhere shouting it from the top of their lungs. The slightly techno song “I Knew You Were Trouble”, will surely be the next Swift track to hit the radio because of it’s catchy chorus and dance beat.
A lot of Swift’s new songs have the same synthesized beats and very similar melodies throughout, like in “Holy Ground”, “Starlight” and “Girl at Home,” which don’t make for a lot of variety. The song “22” sounds more like something that came from Britney Spears’ first album “…Baby One More Time”. However, “Stay Stay Stay” has a light-hearted, pop sound as she ventures into her first song with the ukulele, similar to the likes of Ingrid Michaelson, which offers a bubbly and different sound.
For fans who are looking for the country pop sounds from her earlier albums, “Speak Now” and “Fearless, this is not the album. But if you need your Taylor fix and want something very pop-centric, this is your album.