Swift establishes pop stardom with “RED”

Stephanie Osmanski

“RED” is the fourth studio album from the country/pop crooner Taylor Swift, a.k.a. every girl’s best friend. In some ways, “RED” isn’t any different from its best-selling sisters, “Speak Now” and “Fearless.” Swift still tells it like it is with poetic lyrics. Yet, there’s something different about this album: pop clearly prevails. Only a few songs have a hint of country.

Songs like “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Red,” and “22” are the reason the repeat button was invented. And although some may see Swift as the country girl who could, “RED” has established her as a pop star and solidified the successful crossover to pop.

“I Knew You Were Trouble” is a dubstep-infused track that’s fun, catchy, tells the truth and is 100 percent relatable. If Swift’s last album, “Speak Now” had a baby with a Ke$ha song, IKYWT would be the result – and it actually works. IKYWT proves that Swift can create pop songs while maintaining a purpose other than making Top 40 lists.

When first listening to “Stay Stay Stay,” you might be confused. You may ask yourself if that “Dollop of Daisy” commercial is on, because the delicate intro sounds like a cutesy TV jingle. Swift daintily sings in the first verse, “I’m pretty sure we almost broke up last night/I threw my phone across the room at you.” The juxtaposition of these concepts is interesting, but keeps listeners intrigued. In the end, it’s evident that “Stay Stay Stay” is an honest and anecdotal account of a relationship.

Another song to note is “Holy Ground.” Swift sings, “Well I guess we fell apart in the usual way/And the story’s got dust on every page.” For pop culture loving, detective types who enjoy decoding Swift’s every hidden message, perhaps “Holy Ground” is a nod to “The Story of Us” on “Speak Now.” Many speculated it was written about Swift’s former flame, Joe Jonas. She just can’t seem to shake him, can she?

However, the song everyone is talking about is “Everything Has Changed,” featuring the English, guitar-slinging songwriter, Ed Sheeran. (Fun fact: they wrote this song together while sitting on a trampoline.) While “Everything Has Changed” isn’t on the actual album—only on the deluxe version—it’s made the No. 4 spot on the iTunes Top Songs chart.

“Your eyes look like coming home/All I know is a simple name/Everything has changed,” the duo sings together melodiously. It’s a common feeling they sing of: the desire to know someone better and knowing that meeting them has changed everything.

Have we thought of Swift as a true “pop star” in the past – someone of Britney or Christina’s caliber? Probably not. She has always been the country girl who set an extremely high standard for success in pop crossover. Despite her tendency to wear sparkly dresses, put on huge production tours, and sweep every awards show, the masses still looked at her as the country star who could. But now Swift has proved herself far beyond the image of just a country singer. She’s officially inducted into the world’s list of loveable, can-do-no-lyrical-wrong pop stars. Her song with Sheeran is right about one thing: with “RED,” everything has changed.