Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Discography: Taylor Swift (Unreleased Material/Singles/Randomness)

If you go on to Youtube, you can find scads of unreleased Taylor Swift material. Why are these songs currently not legally available for our listening pleasure? Beats the hell out of me. I've tried my best to collect all the songs that are studio quality for this blog entry. I may have missed a few so forgive me. I also tried to avoid live performances from concerts. (You can find a few of those).

First is Taylor's demo CD which has 3 tracks. However, another source tells me there are 10 tracks. Here are all 10 to be safe, but just know tracks 4-10 may also be random unreleased songs.

1. Lucky You
Taylor's reported first ever written song is about a girl named Lucky who's "dances in spite of the fact that she's different and yet she's the same". The chorus is primarily made up of "do do do do do do..." so she had yet to fully thrive as a lyricist. The melody, especially the verses is promising though.

2. Smokey Black Nights
A love song that takes place on the beach. It's okay. It has a few good musical motifs, but the lyrics are weak and murky.

3. American Boy (acoustic version)
A song about, you guessed it, an American boy and his search for love. The recording of this is kind of shitty and the lyrics are still not all they could be.

4. Here You Come Again
A cover of Dolly Parton's classic 1977 hit. It sounds like pretty standard karaoke to me, so I don't think it was really part of the Demo. Taylor sounds about 12 or so and it's waaaaaaaaaay pitchy. Beware.

5. Hopelessly Devoted to You
This is a cover of the Olivia Newton-John song from Grease. Also sounds like karaoke recorded at age 12. However, she sings the song more convincingly than Olivia Newton-John.

6. Am I Ready For Love?
Lyrically, this song is stronger.  This is the first instance of the diary-esque internal type lyrics where Taylor wonders if the pain of love is worth it or if she's even ready. Although, personally, I was a smart ass and always thought I was ready for love. It's a pretty rhetorical question.

7. Can I Go With You?
Taylor doesn't want to see her father go to war and wants to go with him. This song is topical for the early 2000's. This song only works from a girl Taylor's age. Not bad.

8. One Way Ticket
Another cover song, this time it's LeAnn Rimes. It seems pretty ballsy to cover LeAnn Rimes. Too ballsy.

9. There's Your Trouble
This time Taylor covers the Dixie Chicks. Karaoke.

10. The Star Spangled Banner
Exactly what it says. And as bad as you think.

Youtube Limbo
Next are a few studio quality unreleased songs found on Youtube listed in alphabetical order.

American Girl
A cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker's American classic. It's popped out and way reminiscent of Britney Spears' covers of "The Beat Goes On" or "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". Unnecessary but not terrible.

I'd Lie
This is, hands down, one of the best Taylor Swift songs. It's a friend zone song. (Fourth by my count). Instead of being in love with a guy obsessed with another girl (girlfriend or not), this guy is a bit of commitment-phobe. But Taylor keeps her love a secret at all costs, even if she knows every random fact about him. This would be a guaranteed hit if it was ever released. Oh I love this song and if you ask me why, I'll lie.

Permanent Marker
Taylor hates her boyfriend's ex and crosses out her face in all the pictures he still has of her. This is the first instance of Taylor hating the "other woman". It's delightfully immature.

What to Wear
Taylor wonders what to wear before a first date. Very breezy and girly. This would be great as a bonus track.

You Don't Have To
This isn't even a whole song. It's a 40 second clip but it's a damn good clip. Where's the rest of the song?

Your Anything
This one is a little unsettling. Taylor talks about how badly she wants to be with this one guy that "I'd give everything to be your anything". I know it's a plucky play on words but this song is so desperate. It sends the wrong message, but it's honest.

Your Face
After a break up, Taylor doesn't want to forget the memory of her ex. This song is really heartfelt. Pitchy, but heartfelt. One of Taylor's first slow, sad songs.

Random Singles
From soundtracks and the like...

I didn't include Taylor's Live from SoHo live album on my EP blog because it's just live versions of songs from Taylor Swift. The album did include a country-fied slow cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella". It's shorter, a 1:30 and not too bad.

This slow song was featured in 2009's Hannah Montana: The Movie. I haven't seen it, but as far as I know, Taylor is singing in a dance hall while Miley/Hannah Montana is dancing with some dude. It's a simple but beautiful love song. The guy makes her crazier. Go figure.

Thug Story (feat. T-Pain)
In the opening sequence of the 2009 Country Music Awards, which Taylor co-host with Bill Engvall, she shares her various "dreams" of being in the new Star Trek movie and singing a song with auto-tune poster boy T-Pain. Then Taylor gets all Weird Al on us and parodies "Love Story by rapping about how "hardcore" she is even though she "ain't gotta gun, no I never really been in a club, still live with my parents but I'm still a thug!"

Today Was a Fairytale
Taylor's second single to be written for a movie. This time it's 2010's Valentine's Day in which she starred. Eh. Maybe if I saw the movie, I'd like the song more.

A song on the Hope for Haiti Now compilation.It was written by some dude named Kevin Griffin I have never heard of. She was a star at the time, so I'm not surprised she was a part of the telethon. But there had to be a better song for her to cover.

When Taylor sings with other artists...

Two is Better Than One - Boys Like Girls
I don't know who Boys Like Girls are or why they would want Taylor Swift on their song. I didn't really that this was that song I heard on the radio nor that it was Taylor doing the female lead. Wow, I am an ignorant fan. Not a bad song, though.

Half of My Heart - John Mayer
Never really did like John Mayer. Taylor sings the chorus with him. WHY?

Photograph, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Hysteria, When Love and Hate Collide - Def Leppard
This was a collaboration brought on by the CMT show, Crossroads where two unrelated artists join forces and sing each other's songs. It's fun to hear Taylor sing these old classics...and even funnier when they sing Taylor's.

Songs Written by Taylor
...but performed by others...

Best Days of Your Life - Kellie Pickler
This is one of those taunting your ex songs that are popular as of late. It's kind of like "Should've Said No" and "Picture to Burn" only better. Kellie taunts her boyfriend that his best days have past and now he's stuck with the floozy he cheated with. "I've got my pride and she's got you!" I'm kind of bummed that Taylor didn't keep this one for herself, even if she did sing useless back up vocals.

You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home - Miley Cyrus
No matter how famous you get...insert title here. Pretty mediocre song. No wonder she passed it along.

Well, there you go. That's a more than detailed description of all Taylor's songs. I hope this little journey through her discography has prepared you for the release of Speak Now which comes out next Tuesday, October25. As soon as I can, I will write a blog on her newest album and hopefully the bonus tracks. Stay tuned!

Common elements found in Taylor Swift's songs (For fun!)
Truck/Riding Shotgun/The Passenger Seat/Driving in general - 12
Blue Jeans - 4
Fake Smile - 4
That Girl/Her/The Other Woman in general -5
Eyes - 7
A marriage proposal - 2

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thug Story is easily one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs, though I have heard admittedly little of her material. Even if I were pretty familiar with her discography, though, I have a feeling that it'd still be near the top.