Last time round with SN I said I felt (and I quote) "Taylor Swift is past her prime-time" and "the hurt-girl act is getting old". This time I feel she's branched out, but at the same time there's still essences of that hurt-girl simmering below the surface. This you can see from her music videos: but that's a gripe I'll share another time.
Overall I'd give this album 4.5 stars out of 5 -compared with my initial reaction to SN, where I'd probably have given it a 3- because the resounding difference in sound is palpable and should be applauded.I think she's really made an effort to get out of the box here, and as she roughly put it in an interview to [show fans her many music influences, like Snow Patrol], I don't feel she's doing it just to be No. 1 on the charts. That was my original fear when WANEGBT came out. But there are saving graces aplenty in the album, and the single State of Grace taught me to hope- an instinct which proved right.
I hate to classify the songs, and not all songs are listed below. But the infographics below are as much for my future reference as yours- I can't believe I originally hated Last Kiss when SN first came out!
All songs listed are in no particular order.
I like the ending of Treacherous much more than the beginning; the "and I will/ follow you follow you home" half-chorus is really addictive. And Stay Stay Stay is just too cute! I wasn't sure of Starlight till I found myself compulsively singing it over and over when out with my family. A sign of madness to strangers, but a sign that this song's a favourite to me.
All Too Well has the country goodness of an oldie like Tim McGraw (the one by Taylor, not the singer) and it struck me when I first listened to the album. I love how the story builds up to include both points of view.
As for Everything Has Changed, I really wanted to like Enchanted- but despite my love for the premise and the lyrics, I really wished for a slower, more mystical version of it than the loud, Sparks Fly kind of rhythm to it. And EHC answers that!
Overall... if you love the old Taylor Swift but have moved on to slightly more folksy indie tunes, this album's a keeper.
All images here are by anawolowl; do credit if using.