I know, I know. “How can you dislike Taylor Swift?” “Her music speaks to me!” “She’s such a sweetheart!” Yada yada yada. Look, Taylor Swift has been incredibly lauded (and ridiculously and inexplicably surprised every time she has been lauded) as a recording artist.
Because, let’s be honest, her voice is – at best, mind you – meh. She’s definitely a product of the recording studio (her multiple at-best pitchy, at-worst off-key live performances are showing of this). While I “drunk the Kool-Aid” after hearing her self-titled debut album, which had very infectious songs like “Tim McGraw” and “Picture to Burn”, I got tired of the perennially similar, ‘teen-love’ songs on Fearless like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me”; further, the live performances were just the last straw.
And another thing about “Love Story”: it does a great job of butchering both music and literature – changing the “Romeo and Juliet” story (spoiler alert: they get married) and using the Scarlet Letter allusion completely incorrectly. I thought that Swift’s English teacher would be pretty angry when she found out the song won BMI Country Song of the Year. But there’s a hitch: her English teacher…was her mother.
I mean, being home-schooled for two years doesn’t mean she isn’t totally clueless about high school life. But it does make the “it speaks to me!” argument a bit more dubious. Further, she keeps re-establishing these gender stereotypes (yeah, right, of course she wears the glasses in “You Belong with Me” and doesn’t still look gorgeous) and “boys, boys, boys” attitude girls are “supposed” to have, which really help no one.
It simply annoys me that Taylor Swift, with her so-so voice, her constantly similar lyrics and themes, and unhealthy views on gender among youths, gets radio play, while folks like Sugarland don’t.