Tuning into Static: Red

By Maggie Devereux
22 years old, a song titled “22”, 22 tracks on the deluxe CD and released on Oct. 22nd. Two years since the release of Speak Now, Taylor Swift finally released her fourth album, Red.
Yet this much anticipated album has a lot to live up to. Speak Now sold over one million copies in the first week. “We Are Never Getting Back Together”– the first single released off Red– went to number one on iTunes in less than a day.
According to the facts,  Red has more than lived up to Swift’s past. The day Red released, it went to the number one selling album spot on iTunes and 19 songs were in the top 50. According to Entertainment Weekly, Red sold over 500,000 copies in its first day.
What was unique was the amount of singles released as teasers before the entire album even launched. 5 singles, “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Begin Again,” “Red,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “State of Grace,” gave listeners a glimpse of how different Red was going to be.
And different it was. As a fan of Swift since her self-titled debut in 2006, I lean towards her early, country sounding work. However I don’t think she should be confined to a certain genre. Is she country? Is she pop? Well, Red is neither.
The album starts with “State of Grace,” which has almost a U2, rock quality to it.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” is fast, loud and wait for it… she tries dubstep? Yes, she does.
And as if to celebrate growing up, the most fun song on the album is “22.
“It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters/ And make fun of our exes/ It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight/ To fall in love with strangers/ We’re happy free confused and lonely at the same time/ It’s miserable and magical oh yeah.”
Even with all the success, it seems Swift wants to portray she still wants to simply have fun. While I don’t see any 22 years old blasting this out of their cars, I do picture plenty of teenagers doing so (Guilty).
My favorite song is “Treacherous,” because of both the country sound and the lyrics. “This love is Treacherous/ This path is reckless/ This love is Treacherous/ And I, I, I like it.” Every girl can relate to love that is stupid, but worth it at the same time. And that goes for almost every song on the album. Swift writes songs about relationships because it works. Music touches people, especially when it’s something they’ve experienced.
The only song on the album I don’t like is “Stay, Stay, Stay.” It’s repetitive and sounds a little childish. “Stay, stay, stay/ I’ve been lovin’ you for quite some time, time, time/ You think that it’s funny when I’m mad, mad, mad.” Over and over again. Surrounded by sophisticated sounds, it seems out of place, as if she needed one more song and plopped it in.
To be honest, I can’t even decide what genre some of the songs are. They all have a unique sound and Red truly brings something different. If you loved her first two albums, Taylor Swift and Fearless, then you won’t think it sounds country enough. If you really liked Speak Now, then this won’t sound as pop-like.
But if you just like Swift’s albums because of her voice and the story-like quality to her lyrics, then Red is exactly what you want. She doesn’t lose her ability to connect with people through universal feeling of love, rejection, loss and pain. She just portrays those showing versatility that people didn’t expect.