Monday, September 17, 2012

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together | Taylor Swift

Rating:  ★★★★★

I'm not afraid to admit it: I have a major soft-spot for Taylor Swift. When she was just starting her career with Taylor Swift and Fearless, I really tried to hide the fact that I really do adore Swift because of her gushy love songs, but by the time that Speak Now rolled around, I couldn't hide my admiration any longer. So when I heard she dropped a new single a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to hear it. After looking for the song on YouTube, and finally finding a video that wasn't blocked for copyright reasons, I finally got my first listen of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

So, I really don't know why so many people hate this song, especially people who are giants fans of Swift. Many have argued that the song signifies that Swift is "selling out" and becoming a pop artist. However, Taylor Swift hasn't been a country artist since her debut self-entitled album, and even then she was really pushing the definition of a country singer.

Fearless was a small move away from country and was just the beginning of Swift's transition to pop music. I always like to compare Fearless to Shania Twain's Come on Over, which was Twain's crossover album from country to both country and pop music. In fact, Taylor Swift has cited Shania Twain as one of her musical inspirations, according to the Wikipedia page about Swift. 

Getting back on track, Speak Now was an interesting album. Most of the songs had country-style instrumental tracks, but easily worked as pop songs, with most of the album's singles ("Mine," "Back to December," "The Story of Us," "Sparks Fly," and "Ours,") being very successful with pop music audiences. 

Looking back on Swift's move towards pop music, a song like "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was not surprising to me. The nearly-complete absence of any country music elements is what I think shocked people the most. The fact that "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was penned by Swift with Max Martin and Shellback (who have both worked with pop artists such as P!nk, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, and the Backstreet Boys,) could also contribute to the the drastic change in sound.

Now, onto the actual song. The lyrics and the meaning were what surprised me, not the song's style. For once, we see a Swift that isn't playing the heartbroken victim or love-struck teenage girl in high school. In the song, Swift is actually the one who is doing the heartbreaking, which is why I think I like the song so much. I must also mention that the hook of the song is hypnotizing. I could listen to the chorus of the song on a loop for hours on end, and would sing along the whole time.

The one complaint I do have about the song is the small portion of bridge where the lyrics are spoken. Britney Spears is also famous for randomly talking in the bridges of her songs, and it sounds tacky and unprofessional. I really hope Swift doesn't resort to doing this random little chats in the middle of her songs on a regular basis.

Minus the bridge problem, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is one of the best songs to be released by Swift. Commercially, it could easily be considered the strongest Taylor Swift single to date due to the amount of records it shattered, including one for the fastest-selling digital single.

I applaud Swift for her growth as an artist, and I really look forward to listening to and reviewing her next studio record, Red, when it is released next month.

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