Red by Taylor Swift is an eclectic pop album that happens to serve as Taylor Swift’s ascension to the top of pop. The album is a collection of singles so there’s not to be written about it as an album, unless I’m interested in retelling stories written about Taylor Swift’s move away from country or to the forefront of pop, which I’m not.
Instead, I’d rather offer up my opinion on which songs I think are the best on Red. Of course, the post title is me making fun of any blogger or musical journalist that thinks their opinion matters in any definitive way on such important things as Ms. Swift. You can buy Red on iTunes. Below are my rankings and YouTube videos to listen to the top two.
1146 miles is a part of a multi-blog playlist that was started a few weeks ago by Ben at metrojolt. I bring this up for two reasons; one, to promote it (it comes out Monday’s at metrojolt and I recommend that you check it out) and two, to explain that you won’t see a submission from me this week. There’s a two-part explanation for the latter, second thing. First, I’ve been busy and I haven’t been able to write/post as much as previously because of doing things in my life (this is a good thing) and second, because I’m not a big fan of this week’s theme. Not to give away the KFC recipe of this week’s playlist, but I don’t really have anything to offer a guilty pleasures theme.
That’s in part because I don’t feel ashamed of what I like. I’ve professed my love for Taylor Swift many times, I’ve featured a Britney Spears remix, and a song that samples Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. I know that destroys my credibility with some but quite frankly, I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t have a discerning ear, but I’m not big on dumping on people for their musical tastes. I believe that if you like something, you should enjoy it. I’ve never gotten why people feel the need to criticize people’s taste in music (especially in the case of music blogging and journalism). If you’re doing it for the love of music, why are you trying to destroy another’s love of music? I guess you can rationalize it but it’s not something that I aim to do.
I’m looking forward to seeing what others consider guilty pleasures. I’ll forgo the guilty part; I’m just looking for pleasures (I’ve played around with the wording but it doesn’t come out any way I arrange it haha). Plus, this gives me the opportunity to feature one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs. And it just sort of fits in my life right now and that’s part of the reason I blog. So enjoy Enchanted.
Part of me wishes that I was moving to Austin instead of Denver. I think it would be awesome to live in a place known for live music and the talented musicians that play it. It would allow me to go see artists like Ariel Abshire.
Ariel is an eighteen year old singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. But don’t let her youth fool you, she’s been singing at honky-tonks and dance halls since she was eleven. Plus, Ariel has been exposed to the great aforementioned Austin scene. To get to know her even better, go to her Facebook page (where she’s pretty active)–you probably should like her while you’re there. And here’s her website.
She’s working on the follow up to her highly regarded debut, Exclamation Love. Songs to check out off of that record include Goddamn New Mexico and Exclamation Love. Heck, just go buy that album from Darla Records. Her sophomore album will feature She’s On Your Mind among others.
I connected with She’s Own Your Mind instantly. I’m on record as to really enjoying Taylor Swift and this song reminds me of a Taylor Swift song, lyrically and in its arrangement. But honestly, I prefer Ariel’s voice. It’s got a mature depth to it that can trick us about her age. I think that’s why I’m crushing so hard on Ariel’s music. I kind of suggested that Ariel upload She’s Own Your Mind to Soundcloud and I was honestly surprised to see that it was unmastered version. Could have fooled me.
So I’ve compiled a list of my favorites songs from 2010. It was… an interesting year for me. If you can pick out a theme among the songs, you’re probably right about it. I know some were released in 2009 but they were more prominent this year. And yeah, some won’t be released until 2011 but it’s not that I can unhear them and unlike them. The world doesn’t function like Facebook.
Not to run off on some tangent, but I’m not sure what qualifies anyone to write a list and call the songs on it the best. So it might only be a slight semantic difference, but I’m not making that mistake here–this is a list of my favorites. Largehearted Boy has more year end lists to check out if you want.
I’ve included Soundcloud streams and links to some of the posts written throughout the year on the songs. It may take a second to load all the songs. Without further ado, here’s the list:
It’s been awhile since I’ve featured a country song. Today’s as good as any to focus on one that I recently heard and loved. Brantley Gilbert’s My Kind Of Crazy makes me want to find someone to love like that. In my opinion, outside of some slight country instrumentation and what radio stations are playing it, this song has a pretty universal appeal. Some might say it’s more pop than country. It’s certainly closer to Taylor Swift country than neotraditional.
As for the song itself, the listener leaves after listening in a more whimsical, happy place even though it’s got a ballad feel to it. Twenty years ago, it would’ve been a hair metal band singing this song. It’s got references to rock stars, Led Zeppelin, and turning up the music. Not any of George Jones or Strait or line dancing. Kinda shows the shift of the music scene, country-wise and at large.
I almost forgot to do this on Thursday again but no, I did remember. Quick overview Glee recap-style: Like A G6 is Billboard #6 smh. The Glee cast is taking over. Diana Agron picture. So it’s all good. But besides that, it’s just another Billboard.
Here is the current Billboard Hot 100 list. And here are some of my previous rankings.
25. Anything Like Me, Brad Paisley
24. Radioactive, Kings Of Leon
23. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love, Usher (Featuring Pitbull)
22. All I Want Is You, Miguel (Featuring J. Cole)
21. Stutter, Maroon 5
20. Love Like Woe, The Ready Set
19. Free, Zac Brown Band
18. Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer, Billy Currington
17. Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine
16. POWER, Kanye West
15. Magic, B.o.B Featuring Rivers Cuomo
14. We No Speak Americano, Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup
13. King Of Anything, Sara Bareilles
12. Little Lion Man, Mumford & Sons
11. F**k You, Cee Lo Green
10. Please Don’t Go, Mike Posner
9. If I Die Young, The Band Perry
8. Dynamite, Taio Cruz
7. Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
6. 2012 (It Ain’t The End), Jay Sean (Featuring Nicki Minaj)
5. Club Can’t Handle Me, Flo Rida (Featuring David Guetta)
4. Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars
3. Mine, Taylor Swift
2. Just A Dream, Nelly
1. I Like It, Enrique Iglesias (Featuring Pitbull)
Change of pace post. Sometimes I yearn for some of the older country stuff. I love Taylor Swift but I’m not enamored with many of her female contemporaries. Sure, Carrie Underwood is pretty but her songs are pretty bad in general. They either don’t have a tune or don’t make sense. And she’s one of the leading female country singers. I guess it’s because you could look at her all day if you’re deaf. But for me, when I hear something like Undo It on the radio, I pine for some of the older country artists. Something like You Can Feel Bad by Patty Loveless.
It’s not by happenstance that I chose this particular song or am sort of picking on Carrie Underwood. She once sang em>You Can Feel Bad as a demo. Since then, she did American Idol, became famous, and started singing some bad songs. But somewhere inside her, there’s song choices better than Last Name or Cowboy Casanova.
Patty Loveless, on the other head, has gained critical acclaim and increased her country bona fides as she has slipped away from the mainstream. It doesn’t seem right. So if only in my little musical world, there will be one more Patty Loveless song and not another Carrie Underwood one.