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TAYLOR SWIFT!! By Alivia Wagner

So, I discovered this small artist this year that I have been supporting. Her name is Taylor Swift, I recommend listening to her and helping small artists grow. Taylor Swift is my favorite artist of all time! You should all consider yourselves lucky to be alive at the same time as Taylor!


In an article by Fast Company titled “How A Complete Flop Became the Most Popular Playinn America,” Taylor Swift was mentioned! The writer of Almost, Maine, John Cariani, said in the interview, “One girl came up to me and said, ‘I like you like I like Taylor Swift.’ And that is one of the best things anybody’s ever said to me. The plays are kind of Taylor Swift-y, you know? She is so good at writing about romance and heartbreak and the pain of love, and that’s kind of what Almost, Maine is about.” If Almost, Maine is being compared to Taylor Swift, the cast and audience may want some background! If you have never listened to Taylor Swift, then it is time to start. And I have some tips to help you.


First off Taylor Swift has so many different styles/genres that can appeal to many different people. So, if you do not think you like Taylor Swift, you are probably wrong and just have to find the right album. Let us break it down:

In 2006 when she was just 17, she released her debut album which is titled Taylor Swift. She began as a small country artist from Pennsylvania. She spent 2006-2008 promoting her album and gaining recognition by touring and opening for very notable country artists. Some worth mentioning include George Strait, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. The best songs I recommend from this album are “Tim McGraw,” “Picture to Burn,” “Our Song,” and “Should’ve Said No.”


Now we enter the Fearless era. This was in 2008 when Taylor began her first genre shift to pop. But this album is in between pop and country. Taylor was 19 when she released this. If you are not into country that’s okay! This album might still appeal to you. Some songs I recommend on this album are “Fearless,” “Fifteen,” “Hey Stephen,” and “The Way I Loved You.” NOW HERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE! Taylor has been re-recording her albums since 2021. This is because the copyrights to her first six albums (Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and Reputation) were stolen by a man named Scooter Braun. However, Taylor still owns the publishing rights and so in order to have full ownership, she is re-recording them and calling them “Taylor’s Version.” With each re-record she puts out vault songs. This means, songs that she wrote for the album but, in the end, did not get recorded. She chooses ones she likes to record and adds to the Taylor’s Version. WE DO NOT LISTEN TO STOLEN VERSION, ONLY TAYLOR’S VERSION. So here are vault songs from Fearless (Taylor’s Version) that I recommend, “Mr. Perfectly Fine” and “Bye Bye Baby.” Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was her first re-record, it came out in 2021.


Let’s pause and talk about a main question people ask. “So, what’s different about Taylor’s Version?” First off, Taylor is older and her voice aged very well! Secondly, they generally have higher energy scores and sometimes a volume increase. She also will occasionally add instruments where she sees fit.


Next, we have Speak Now (original in 2010 and Taylor’s Version in 2023). Speak Now was a full genre shift and Taylor Swift was officially no longer country. Song recommendations are “Dear John,” “Never Grow Up,” “Long Live,” “Enchanted,” and “Better Than Revenge.”


Next, we have Red (original in 2012 and Taylor’s Version in 2021). Song recommendations are “Everything Has Changed,” “State of Grace,” “Better Man” and “All Too Well 10 Minute Version.”


Next, we have 1989 (original in 2014 and Taylor’s Version comes out October 27th, 2023). I hate to admit I am not a huge 1989 fan but if it is something you want to explore, I recommend, “Out of the woods,” “This Love,” “I know Places” and “Clean.”


After 1989, she fully owns all of her music so there will be no more re-records past the first six albums.


Taylor then disappeared for two years with no sightings or contact with anyone because of some bad press she was getting and hate from the world. This is also directly reacted to what was still going around about what Kanye West did to 19-year-old Taylor at the 2009 VMAs. She returned in 2017 with an album called Reputation. I recommend this entire album as a whole and cannot possibly pick songs.


She put out Lover next in 2017. This is an amazing album! I recommend “Cruel Summer,” “Lover,” “The Man,” “The Archer,” “Cornelia Street” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts.”

Taylor then put out two albums that she and Swifties define as more folk and indie, rather than pop. These are folklore (2020) and evermore (2020). These are both very beautiful albums. From folklore I recommend “the 1,” “this is me trying,” “illicit affairs,” and “my tears ricochet.” From evermore I recommend “champagne problems,” “tolerate it,” “marjorie” and “no body, no crime (feat. HAIM).”


Then in 2022 she released Midnights. This is back to a more pop style, or it is sometimes called soft rock. I recommend “Anti-Hero,” “Mastermind,” and “Lavender Haze.” Now, Taylor did small extensions on these albums where she made two more versions adding some songs to each. These are Midnights (3am Edition) and Midnights (The Til Dawn Edition). From these I recommend “Dear Reader” and “The Great War.”


I get asked all the time, “why do you like Taylor Swift so much, she’s so basic, she only sings about her boyfriends.” To that I say Taylor Swift is a lot more than just basic music to me. And she simply writes about her life as all artists do. And so many artists write about their love life, Ed Sheeran? Harry Styles? Why hate on Taylor for writing about her life and feelings just the same? I like Taylor and listen to her music because, for me, she is an empowering woman who speaks out for what is right and fights back when there is injustice. She inspires me to not sit in silence when I know what is right and to stand up for myself and use my voice. She’s a genuinely good person who is a huge advocate for feminism and voting.


Taylor Swift and Almost, Maine both write about love and all that comes with it, joy and pain. (Though Taylor Swift writes about more than just love). So, if you’re looking for some music to listen to as you get excited to come see Almost, Maine here you are!




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