As I prepare to start promoting my album “It’s My Time” in the United Kingdom, which has a drop date of 2/22/10, I thought I should study up on the “competition” otherwise known as those artists who are selling. I really want to understand their sound and evaluate, for myself, why their music is at the top of the charts in the UK and in the USA (Billboard).
I am late in the game to be purchasing Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” album, but none the less it was one of three I bought a few nights ago for my iphone.
As I took my daily walk in Sagaponack to the beach (which opens right next to Billy Joe’s home for sale) I found myself listening to Taylor Swift. I am not sure what I expected to hear. My niece had introduced me to Taylor a few years back, insisting I listen to her CD while on a car ride in Belton, Texas. She was raving and singing the songs word for word.
The first song on the album, had a traditional country feel, and I felt that right away it was something a small town girl in Texas could relate to. I had spent a significant number of years in a small town and Belton, Texas was as small as it gets..you know the kind, one school, one dentist, one florist and one stop light.
As I listened to Taylor Swift work her magic in her lyrics, I found myself thinking back to those years I spent in Belton, Texas. I was there for part of elementary school, junior high school and the 9th grade of high school. Those are formidable years for any young child. I don’t know if I was typical, as I was really a military child, having moved off the base of Fort Hood, Texas (where I had been born) onto a nearby small town. I was heavily involved in piano lessons, Girls Scouts, and a proud member of the Central Texas Girls Choir, which was a program run out of the University of Mary Hardin Baylor at the time.
So, back to Taylor Swift. The song Fearless is a nice lead in to the next song Fifteen. I was already well aware of Fifteen, as it had already been a top single and had been played around a lot, but somehow, hearing it now it was fresh. It was timeless. It put into words that moment of awakening..when you experience a kick in the gut and the realization that life is not exactly a series of fantasies come true and that there is no Santa Clause. It was a universal experience, one I had been through and sort of forgotten about. Taylor Swift reminded me what it felt like to have reality kick down the door of a fantasy but at an age when you learn from it rather than become bitter…that’s something adults do.
Love Story is one of the only videos I have seen of Taylor Swift. Sort of the next phase of growing up and being able to sort out a more mature view of relationships and where boys fit into the overall picture. It was good to hear the song without the visual…it was more powerful. Taylor Swift voices a timeless moment of self-awareness but this time, it’s the type of awareness you are not afraid to voice and share.
I won’t review every song on this album. It’s enough to say that what Taylor Swift has been able to do is capture universal truths of young women everywhere from small to large towns, who are coming of age and are ready to let the world know this is how they feel and that is how it felt.
Taylor Swift has made serious what Britney Spears jokes about…the life and times of young women coming into their own.
Taylor Swift deserves to be just where she is – on the Top of the charts!
By: Jennie Walker (www.jenniewalker.com)