A memory song of Taylor looking back on her first serious relationship. How is it serious? Well, “we’ve got bills to pay, we’ve got nothing figured out”. And despite being jaded from past loves and her dysfunctional parents, Taylor goes ahead with it all. Naturally, a big fight erupts and Taylor “braced myself for the goodbye, cause that’s all I’ve ever known” but lovey comes to the rescue and reminds her of their first romantic moment.
2. Sparks Fly
A couple of months ago, if I were to do this little Taylor Swift discography series, I would have included “Sparks Fly” on the random singles entry. For years it existed only in the Youtube realm, but now it’s full fledge album track. I can’t help but wonder, why this song? It’s basically like “Fearless”, an I’m So Happy To Be in Love song. Nothing special, but nothing bad.
3. Back to December
Remember how Taylor is always the victim? Well, this song subverts that. Taylor is reunited with the guy who’s heart she broke, apologizes and admits to regretting her decision. Reportedly, this song is about Taylor Lautner (the werewolf from Twilight). Now that Taylor is a public figure and having her heartbroken by other public figures and not just boys from her school, one can’t help but wonder if any of them will ever learn their lesson and stay the hell away from her.
4. Speak Now
If ever there was a subject for Taylor Swift to cover in song form, stopping a wedding is absolutely perfect. At first she imagines what it would be like to ruin the nuptials of her beloved and his Bridezilla and then she actually goes through with it. Of course, in Taylorland, the groom leaves his bride at the altar and all is right with the world.
5. Dear John
Ah, John Mayer. How I disliked you back in 2003, and how I dislike you now that you’ve broken Taylor Swift’s heart! (Okay, not really. But I never did like him much). Apparently, he is a big womanizer and Taylor fell for it anyway. Back to the victim. “Don’t you think 19’s too young to be played with?” she asks. Well no, 19 is an adult and you should know better. This song is also waaaaay long. Like six minutes long. And “Hey Jude” it ain’t.
Well, it’s catchy, I’ll say that. But calling someone “mean” just seems so juvenile! And a liar. And pathetic. And alone in life and mean. Ugh. However, Taylor does admit that people think she can’t sing. (Damn, I was wondering).
7. The Story of Us
An upbeat break up song reminiscent of “Forever & Always”. I like it a lot more. A whole lot more. Reportedly, this song is also about Joe Jonas when Taylor saw him at the CMT awards they ignored each other. (I’ll just pretend it’s not about him).
8. Never Grow Up
A song that starts from a mother’s perspective looking down at her baby. In the next verse, the baby is a teenager on her way to the movies and Taylor becomes the narrator. Finally, Taylor is a grown up on her own and in her own apartment. You know how I am with family songs and this one is like “The Best Day”. Is it better? I don’t know.
In true Romeo & Juliet fashion (or maybe “Love Story”?) Taylor’s eyes lock with a guy’s from across the room. They meet for a moment, but then part forever. She prays that he doesn’t have someone else waiting for him. I enjoyed this one because it echoes back to those unrequited songs from her early days. The ending is ambiguous, so it could go either way.
10. Better Than Revenge
Oh boy, is this song catchy! Is it country? Fuck. No. My friend Andrew, who likes pop punk and NOT country, liked this song for christssakes. One of Taylor’s guys is stolen by this girl who’s “not a saint, and she’s not what you think, she’s an actress/she’s better known for the things she does on the mattress.” And there we have the first ever sexual reference in a Taylor Swift song. Of course, it just perpetuates the myth that “good girls don’t” and sexual skill is equal to maneating. (Tsk, tsk).
So, Kanye West interrupted Taylor’s best female video award acceptance speech at the MTV awards. Everyone knows that. I feels trite repeating it here. Anyway, this is the song she wrote about the incident. These are some pretty murky lyrics. Is she saying Kanye did it because he was immature? I just thought he was drunk. Pass. P.S. For some reason I doubt Kanye ever caught fireflies.
A break up song, but one of those overly desperate cry/scream/sing songs for late night drives. Taylor begs the guy not to leave her even though she knows he’s gone “something keeps me holding on to nothing.” One of my favorite tracks. A lot like Evanesence.
13. Last Kiss
This album should be called Breaking Up is Hard to Do. This is meandering break up song that goes on and on and on without a memorable chorus.
14. Long Live
A love letter to her band. It’s personal and I’m sure nice for them. But it won’t be a hit.
We’re in love so fuck everyone who disapproves…ahem, basically. This one is like the tracks from Taylor Swift, simple lyrics and simple accompaniment.
16. If This Was a Movie
Being a fan of Miley Cyrus’s “If We Were a Movie”, I was hoping for another poppy, friend zone song with cinematic references. But, alas, not on the break up album. Taylor wants her man to come back like he would if this was a movie. Not a bad a song by any means. My hopes were just too high.
Taylor thinks her man is Superman and vows to wait for him when he’s done saving the world. This is a pretty good super hero’s girlfriend song. She gets it. Good for her.
18. Back to December (Acoustic Version)
Not that different. The other version is better. More powerful.
19. Haunted (Acoustic Version)
What’s with stripping songs? Go with the album track. If you were going to make an acoustic version of this song, the tempo should be lowered like the “Forever & Always” piano version.
20. Mine (POP mix)
It’s already poppy as hell! Unnecessary!
Well, dear friends, that is Speak Now in all its 20 track glory. Overall, I'll need to re-listen over and over before I can make any real opinions. Like I said earlier, Speak Now is very heavy in break up songs. Taylor Swift was much more innocent with it's "I don't know who I am" type songs while Fearless seemed to have more confidence and a nice balance between happy go lucky songs and sobering break ups. We are treading into a cynical world.
Favorite Tracks: "Haunted"; "Story of Us"; "Back to December"; "Speak Now"; "Better Than Revenge"; "Enchanted"; "If This Was a Movie"; "Superman"
Okay Tracks: "Mine"; "Sparks Fly"; "Mean"; "Ours"; "Long Live"
Not So Favorite Tracks: "Innocent"; "Last Kiss"; "Dear John"; "Never Grow Up"; All remixes
Common elements found in Taylor Swift's songs (For fun!)
- Truck/Riding Shotgun/The Passenger Seat/Driving in general - 12
- 2:00 a.m. (or ridiculously late) - 3
- Blue Jeans - 5
- Fake Smile - 5
- That Girl/Her/The Other Woman in general - 6
- Eyes - 7
- A marriage proposal - 3