A Taylor Swift rundown...(Updated)
November 20th 2007 13:01
Signing a publishing deal at the age of fourteen and earning a recording contract at the age of fifteen, Taylor Swift separated herself from various other young female vocalists by demonstrating the ability to not only sing, but turn her own experience into a lyric and melody. Nashville, being a town of songs and songwriters attracted Swift. After moving to Hendersonville, Tennessee from Wyomissing, PA, she was soon discovered by Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records at the Bluebird Café (the place where Faith Hill was also unearthed). The rest is a short but sweet history.
Swift’s first single, “Tim McGraw” was released to country radio in 2006, garnering attention for not only its title, but also the fascination that a sixteen-year-old girl was responsible for bringing it to the airwaves. A few months later, her self-titled album was released, selling 61,000 copies in its first week, debuting at #19 on the Billboard sales charts.
With that said, it seems that the Swift has not yet transcended the teenager within (which is a good thing). Though Swift tour for vast majority of the year and is surrounded by an array of adults on a daily basis, in interviews, she cites her interests as hanging out with her friends while watching Grey’s Anatomy, stating on her Myspace page: ‘I'm not that complicated. My complications come out in my songs.’
When listening to her album, song such as “Tied Together With A Smile” and “Teardrops and My Guitar” reveal the youth that Swift endeavours to conceal in her interviews, showing that while she is a songwriter well beyond her years, the teenager within still at times dominates her mindset.
Yet in tracks such as, “Cold As You”, it is hard to believe that a teenager can understand and appreciate on such adult level, the complexity of basic human emotion and the pain of rejection, singing: ‘And now that I'm sittin' here thinkin' it through/I've never been anywhere cold as you.’ And while Swift cites most of her songs as observation and not from personal experience, it is difficult to comprehend how someone of such a young age is able to examine her surroundings, piece together a story and translate that into a lyric outside of teenage high school heartbreak.
A concert reviewer commented: ‘With her hit song Tim McGraw, Swift conveys a musical kind of nostalgia when she hears a special song from McGraw. It's uncanny that she can have that kind of perspective at such a young age.’
While performing at the 2007 ACM Awards, Swift performed “Tim McGraw” to the country music community and for the first time to McGraw himself. As she slowly approached the front row, ending the song, she put her hand forward and simply said, ‘I’m Taylor, nice to meet you.’
Joining the ranks of Tanya Tucker and Leann Rimes as relatively young superstars, it seems that Swift is destined to evolve as both a songwriter, vocalist and entertainer, as we will see with each record.
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