Taylor Swift declared her country departure a little over a year ago, and we still haven’t fully recovered. While 2012’s Red certain encompasses a wide range of musical influences, from Coldplay pop-rock (“State of Grace”) to indie (“Everything Has Changed,” with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran) to full-fledged country (“Begin Again,” “All Too Well”) she is still one of the defining females of the modern country era.
Taylor’s roots were evident with her self-titled debut album, released in 2006, featuring her “Tim McGraw” ode, “Our Song” and “Teardrops on My Guitar.” But soon her interests were captivated by the bright lights of Hollywood, and on her follow-up Fearless, she began her crossover path, anchored by “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.” 2010’s Speak Now included her Grammy-winning “Mean,” but it didn’t quite capture the pop sphere as she had hoped. And so, Red was born and led with the plucky “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” kiss-off, which only further proved her mass commercial appeal. Since then, she hasn’t looked back, as she continues taking over the world with her first full-on pop record 1989 and its accompanying global tour.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss her more and more with each passing day.
1. 1989 contains some of her best lyrical constructs to-date! “Clean,” “Wildest Dreams” and “New Romantics” would sound great on country radio, especially if the likes of Sam Hunt can get airplay.
2. Her overall image has been wholesome and family-friendly, lining up with many of the traditions and expectations of the country format (particularly for women). In recent years, she’s glossed up her brand but in a completely classy, empowering way.
3. Taylor has a distinct voice with something interesting to say. It’s her grounded, diary-like songs that have connected so well. Her best, most engaging work includes: “Love Story,” “White Horse,” “Enchanted,” “Haunted” and “Starlight,” among countless others. Country music is far less appealing without her.
4. She’s the definition of a showman. Or, in this case, a show-woman. She commands the stage with sheer confidence and shakes off the haters with each shimmy and wave. Much like Shania Twain’s grandiose live shows, Taylor followed in her footsteps with putting on a larger-than-life production. At least we can claim we discovered her, right?
5. First off, what is even a country awards show without Taylor dancing in the audience?!? Secondly, and what about her classic shocked O-face when she wins an award (even though she already knew she was the winner)? Sure, we can watch the GRAMMYs or the VMAs, but it just isn’t the same.
Image Source: CMA