Taylor Swift is one of the biggest stars in modern country music and it is easy to see why. Her distinctive voice, emotive lyrics and likeable character have made her a massive hit despite her relative youth. She has taken her rightful place at the top of not only the country charts, but also the Billboard 100 and numerous other national singles charts across the world.
She is not just a commercial success as her numerous awards and accolades also attest to her critical popularity she has won six Grammys and ten American Music Awards. Her music is largely hook-driven and the lyrics often consist of stories about her experiences as a teenager and young adult. Her often poignant delivery has earned her the role of America`s sweetheart.
On 22nd October 2012, Taylor Swift will release her fourth studio album, called Red. This follows the meteoric success of her previous three albums: her self-titled debut in 2006; the follow-up, Fearless, in 2008; and another major success, Speak Now, in 2010. She has explained the new album`s title as relating to the strong emotional content of the music, saying that she perceives many of the key emotions involved passionate love, intense frustration, jealousy and so on as the color red, as opposed to something blander such as beige. Much of the music on this album, as with many of her previous works, is based on experience and this record focuses on tumultuous and `semi-toxic` relationships that she has been involved in over the last two years.
The lead single on Red is `We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together`, which was released in mid-August and rocketed to the top of the charts in numerous countries. It stands out for its catchy pop lyrics about Swift`s frustration with an ex-lover who wishes to rekindle an old romance. It marks a commercial success that will be echoed by the album. The second single is `Begin Again`, which follows the tone of the album and has received much praise, being called a `cleansing breath` and a `well-crafted love story` by country-music critics. It focuses on the vulnerability experienced after a break-up and overcoming that when embarking on a new relationship. Elsewhere on the album are tracks entitled `Holy Ground` and `State of Grace` as well as `Everything is Changed`, which features a duet with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Red is set to repeat the success of Taylor Swift`s previous albums as she has once again found a winning combination of powerfully emotive yet thoroughly real lyrics combined with country charm and pop hooks. The former is best demonstrated on singles such as `Begin Again` while the latter can be found in abundance on `We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together`, which in itself shows both the breadth and depth of her talent. Red showcases plenty of new tricks, but doesn`t get rid of what has worked before, such as the subtle touches of acoustic guitar or her carefully crafted, intimately personal lyrics. In short, Red will keep Taylor Swift on the top of the charts and in the hearts of America`s country and pop music fans.