The Weekly Rant: Why I dread the album’s first singles

This wasn’t the post that I was writing, Taylor Nation.

Taylor-Swift-Official-20171212
(Source: TaylorSwift.com)

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who always have his mind a little too busy with thoughts, I often will start writing something and get stuck. The solution usually ends up being writing something else which hopefully I can write all the way to a conclusion. In case this was not evident, this one’s the latter.

I have a complicated relationship with Taylor’s singles. More often than not the first singles released from her albums didn’t turn into favourites. I wasn’t a big fan of “You Belong With Me” from Fearless (*). I didn’t like “Mine” from Speak Now. I could barely stand “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. I first hated “Shake It Off” from 1989. I still cringe when I hear “Look What You Made Me Do” from reputation.

(*) Update: My mistake. “You Belong With Me” wasn’t the first single from Fearless. “Love Story” and “White Horse” came out first.

Now for the casual listener, that sounds like I don’t really like Taylor Swift’s music, doesn’t it? Those are not the songs that make a fan out of me, though. Some have grown on me, some I’d rather skip.

All those are the first singles that came out from each album. The only exception remains “Tim McGraw” from her self-titled album (that song is a timeless favourite). Every other first released single was made for radio play, and more than likely has a bit of an earworm quality to it. That doesn’t necessarily make them the best that Taylor has to offer.

And that’s for me the unfortunate truth. Casual listeners will listen to the first single and tune off. How many casual listeners have listened to Fearless’ excellent “White Horse” winner of two of Taylor’s first Grammies? What about Speak Now with amazing tracks like “Dear John”, “Last Kiss” and the anthem of anthems “Long Live”? What hardcore fan doesn’t know Red‘s fan favourite “All Too Well”? 1989 literally is full of hits.

Thankfully, nothing else in reputation sounds like “Look What You Made Me Do”. Sorry, I do know that sounds harsh! But for me it was a welcome relief when I started to listen to the album and the tracks kept getting better and better.

So, why I’m not a fan of her first singles? Is it the earworm quality? Is it the radio-friendly pop melodies? I’m not sure. It’s very frustrating to me since I can empathize with the casual listener who believes they have a firm grip on what Taylor “sounds like” but have never heard a deep cut like “All Too Well”. I really hope one day you’ll give them a listen.

Coming up next year! The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift has two nominations. No, no, no, chill! Taylor’s reputation is not eligible yet. It will be eligible for 2019’s (wow that is a long time to wait). She is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”. She also gets a nod for writing the Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

 

Long Live: Happy Birthday Claire Callaway!

(Source: Claire Callaway via Twitter)

Don’t mess with The Bride, Taylor Nation.

Claire Callaway was a dancer for both the Fearless Tour and the Speak Now Tour. She was born in Huntsville, Alabama on December 21, 1987. She has one daughter, Maddie Laine, affectionally known to everyone as Lulu. She also has appeared in Taylor’s videos for Love Story, You Belong With Me, Fearless, Story of Us and  Sparks Fly. She had two moments while on tour. One, her appearance as a ballerina before Love Story, along with dancer Dominique Kelley and her appearance as The Bride on stage for the Speak Now performance.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who was lucky enough to say hello to her during the RED Tour (she was not dancing, just attending), we’d like to wish Claire all the best and the best birthday ever! Claire is currently in a relationship with The Agency’s guitar player Grant Mickelson.

You can see Claire’s own profile here at Agency Profile: Claire Callaway.

The RED Tour goes on hiatus during the holiday season. It returns to the stage on February 1st in London, UK.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • January 8, 2014: The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards will be broadcast LIVE from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT), on CBS.
  • January 26: The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The show will be broadcast live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Taylor Swift has four nominations:
    • Album of the Year for RED.
    • Best Country Album for RED.
    • Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Highway Don’t Care” along with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
    • Best Country Song for “Begin Again”.

(Sources: TheSwiftAgency.com/profiles)

Forever Fearless: Happy Birthday Lacey Mason!

(Source: Lacey Mason via Twitter)
(Source: Lacey Mason via Twitter)

It was the best of times, Taylor Nation.

She was once part of the Fearless Dance Crew (not an official name, I made it up) and she’s a singer in her own right. Lacey Mason is still in the music business. She was born in December 21 in Jackson, Mississippi. A long time ago, she was a participant in ABC’s Dance Wars show. That show was the origin of more than just one member of the Fearless Tour. You probably remember backup singer Elizabeth Huett and dancer Charily Lynne Baroni were also in the same show. Taylor was a musical guest on it.

Here at the Swift Agency, just one guy who’s buried under a mountain of snow at the moment, we’d like to wish Lacey Mason a Happy Birthday! You can find Lacey on Twitter @LACEYMASON and she what she’s been working on at ReverbNation.

She’s also got her own profile here at Agency Profile: Lacey Mason.

The RED Tour goes on hiatus during the holiday season. It returns to the stage on February 1st in London, UK.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • January 8, 2014: The 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards will be broadcast LIVE from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT), on CBS.
  • January 26: The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The show will be broadcast live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Taylor Swift has four nominations:
    • Album of the Year for RED.
    • Best Country Album for RED.
    • Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Highway Don’t Care” along with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
    • Best Country Song for “Begin Again”.

(Sources: TheSwiftAgency.com/profiles)