By Emily Van Zandt
RedEye Sound Board
August 14, 2012
Someone in a position of power: Please call Taylor Swift and remind her that she's turning 23 this year. Not 16. Not 19. Post-college, totally-adult 23.
The stunted adolescent singer-songwriter act is starting to get a little creepy. Aside from her fake, wide-eyed wonder every time she gets an award and her penchant for writing about dancing/kissing people in the rain, I actually used to dig Swift's music. I have a penchant for saccharin-sweet jams about youthful love.
Lately, things have gone a bit far. In the debut single from her upcoming album "Red," Swift has penned a single girls' anthem written for only the 15-and-under set. The title of the song is, no joke, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." The song includes multiple "like" breaks in sentences. It includes a '90s-style breakdown toward the end, where Swift talks about the time when her ex called her up and was all, "I still love you, and I'm like, this is exhausting, you know? We're never getting back together, like ever." Cue chorus.
This track sounds like something I would have written down in my 8th grade diary and then ripped out two years later when I realized how stupid I'd been.
It's not wholly unexpected. This an artist who, not unlike singers who came up via the Disney Channel, has thrived on a fanbase under the age of 14. Swift still doodles on her arms--despite having had a fling with John Mayer. She's going to cling to that wide-eyed innocence as long as she can, and if recent rumors of her dating a 17-year-old Kennedy heir is any indication, she's not growing up anytime soon.
But despite these grumblings, Swift has the power of driving guitar and layered-vocal choruses in her latest track. She debuted the song in a live web chat with fans in which she played it over her computer speakers and danced in her chair. You want to hate her, and the song, so badly. But just wait until you listen to it seven times in a row. Wait and tell me if you don't start singing along in your head. It's country pop sorcery I tell you.
Now if you you'll excuse me, I need to go download this song.
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