The mega-superstar American artist Taylor Swift needs no introduction. In her career, she has achieved many awards, some of the major recent ones being Artist of the Decade in 2019 and Album of the Year at the Grammys 2020 for her album ‘folklore’.
Her journey in music has been highly influential and her way of working is unlike any other artist in the industry. Despite facing many catastrophic setbacks, she keeps coming back stronger than a 90s trend. Her talent, vocals, and songwriting are unmatched. Like cherry on top, her determination and hard work make everything even more impressive.
If you are here, you pretty much are aware of what an incredible artist she is, but we’re here to talk about how and why she is the most versatile artist of our generation.
So, let’s hop on this getaway car and drive away to the world of Taylor Swift!
A Country Prodigy
In 2006, Taylor Swift released her self-titled debut album. A purely country album and mostly self-written, it wasn’t long until it caught people’s eye. Her songs, especially her narrative form of storytelling, touched their hearts in a way very few songs can. She wrote songs about her life, the very first single being ‘Tim McGraw’ and soon people found themselves resonating with the lyrics, picking up on the catchy, yet breezy tune.
Capturing the emotions of a teenager, the album talked about friendships, heartbreaks, romantic relationships, discovering a new world, and teenage insecurity. It debuted at No.19 on the Billboard 200 chart and enjoyed great commercial success.
Moving on to her second album Fearless in 2008, she managed to have plenty of superhits like ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me. She managed to bag lots of awards for the album, including two Grammys for it. It was one of her best commercially successful albums and the critics were all praise for it.
Until now, several songs on her album started giving out Pop vibes. Hence, the album was added into the category of Country-pop.
Next came her albums ‘Speak Now’ and ‘Red’. Both of them enjoyed major public support and got impressive ratings. A completely self-written album ‘Speak Now’ proved her songwriting abilities worldwide. Swift wasn’t done with Pop yet, paving way for both the albums to include Pop soundtracks, such as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ from Red. With thriving tours, Grammy nominations, and high sales of each album, she made sure to draw headlines and drove headfirst fearless into the world of top-selling artists.
Country to Pop – A Cultural Reset
In 2014, Taylor Swift took one of the boldest decisions: she decided to release a purely Pop album. Changing a complete genre is not something that can be witnessed everyday in the world of music. She took the risk and owned every bit of it. Her 5th studio album ‘1989’ was an instant hit. With brilliant singles like ‘Blank Space’, ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Style’, ‘Wildest Dreams’ and more, she aimed for the stars and landed there gracefully.
Again, she won three Grammys out of ten nominations, including Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. It was a phenomenal year for her, with a massive hit tour. Her vocals easily adjusted to Pop, leaving her country accent behind and her songwriting didn’t deteriorate one bit but instead, molded itself into the very genre.
Her next albums ‘reputation’ and ‘Lover’ were an aesthetic of their own. Leaving the polaroid cameras behind, she jumped into a comeback album filled with snakes and newspaper imprints – a reflection of the disastrous social media drag she went through. After a year’s break, she rose from the dead and proved that snakes and stones never really broke her bones.
With an end to a legendary tour and era, she stepped into the daylight and released her album ‘Lover’ in 2019. As ever, her album ‘Lover’ was a masterpiece of its own, drawing in pastel colors and butterflies as its aesthetic, a complete contrast to her previous era.
With three albums in the Pop genre, she found her musical style changing. Little did anyone know or speculate that her next album would be a surprise release with a completely new genre.
Pop to Alternative/Indie – Escaping to the woods
Nobody knew what was coming next. Nobody expected anything just like nobody expected the pandemic to drive us to our homes so suddenly. Just when her fans needed her the most, she surprised them by releasing an all-new album called ‘folklore’.
She revealed that she wanted to explore something different. She aimed at capturing the narrative of fictional characters and writing songs about them. Consuming a lot of content inspired her to try something new. She wrote stories and sang them beautifully. There wasn’t just a shift in her writing style but also her voice. Soothing and appealing, her voice turned softer and warmer – the kind of warmth everyone required in such a tough time.
She molded herself into yet another genre and wasn’t ready to let it go, so she released another surprise album in a period of just five months. Equally beautiful, the songs narrated tales and even her personal stories. She won yet another Grammys Album of the Year award for ‘folklore’, being the first artist to do so with three different genres. The cottage core aesthetic had everyone in their feels, yet another proof that Taylor Swift can rule any and every genre.
A hint of Taylor Swift making and singing songs of another genre has been captured by the fans in some of her other songs. If anything, these songs serve as another proof of her abilities. Some of the other genres witnessed by the fans are:
Jazz in ‘False God’ from her album ‘Lover’, Rhythm & Blues and Rap in ‘End Game’ from her album ‘reputation’, electropop in ‘…Ready For It?’ from the same album, Rock in a tour version of her song ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ from her album ‘Red’.
And guess what? None of these songs is a flop. They’re produced and sung incredibly. Well, that’s Taylor Swift.
So, what genre should Taylor Swift do next? One thing is certain, whatever genre she decides to go for, we’re all up for it. Because Taylor Swift doesn’t have a bad song, nor can she make one.
With her recent release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), she is busy with the re-recordings of her first five studio albums – the sixth studio album will be following soon enough. Fans have been restlessly waiting for all the re-recordings since the news of her being denied the ownership of her first six studio albums came out. It is a morose thing indeed, but she is made of tougher substance.
Her fans will be revisiting her first six studio albums with her and are prepared to support her in every possible way. So, which re-recording is next? Or which new genre is next?
Because we never know what her mastermind is planning for. After all, she’s Taylor Swift.
you may also read this article- ACM Awards 2021: How relevant is country music today?