A Swift Letdown
Pink. Beyonce. GaGa — no surnames needed. These songstresses are synonymous with success in the pop music industry, as their respective performances at this year’s Grammy Awards highlighted. And from the looks of this past year, we should prepare to add a Taylor to the list.
Even without being a fan of pop music as a genre, it can’t be all that surprising why those first three ladies can thrive without surnames. Aside from their attention grabbing style, they are also show-stopping performers -- powerhouses of vocal ability that make large if not complete contributions to the writing of their songs. All three of these women delivered memorable performances that showcased their talent—true testaments to what an award show performance should be.
Anyone with ears knows that despite some genre differences (which existed between all of the performers) Taylor Swift is also a female solo pop singer. To call her just a country singer is to downplay what all the Top 40 airplay has done for her career. With this in mind, it is an understatement to say the performance we got from Ms. Swift, one of the night’s big winners, was lackluster to say the least. Sadder still, the only reaction a person could have to the ho-hum, off key, somewhat awkward performance by the gangly young artist is that it doesn’t sound much different than she does on her records.
And this is why I am scratching my head. The songs are simple pop songs, nothing we haven’t heard before. The girl, as sweet and gracious as she is, has a noticeably awkward stage presence. Her guitar playing is not exactly going to set the world on fire. And to be quite frank, my seventeen year old sister sings to her songs on the radio as well as she can, and she is certainly not trying out for American Idol anytime soon. So what is the attraction to Swift?
I will admit that country music is not my bag. To me, front porch love songs and pick-up truck break ups are not exactly awe inspiring stories. However, I can respect art when I hear it. In all honesty, it is nice to see an artist like Taylor making country music a little less redneck and a little more relatable, but I am not sure that it’s fair to even credit that to her. We can’t be naïve enough to believe that this girl decided every last drop of what her image and album should be.
According to her official website, Taylor was the youngest person ever signed to be a professional staff songwriter at the tender age of 14 to Sony/ATV Publishing. Ok, so the girl can write a pop song. Good for her. And sure, all those types of people want a little spotlight for themselves. I get it. What I don’t get is why we as consumers and music fans seem to fall for it. This is a songwriter (fine, I’ll give her that much, even though I don’t get it) but this is not a singer.
The question I ponder after seeing the overwhelming success of Taylor is — why don’t we expect our artists to have it all? If they can sing well, we don’t expect them to write. If they can write well, the singing can fall by the wayside. Should these types of artists be rewarded? Isn’t it a poor showing if we expect 50% effort out of artists? Can a record like this really be Album of the Year?
When Taylor took the stage this past Sunday, I really wanted to be impressed. I do think she’s a good role model for girls, and for that reason alone I’d like to see her succeed. Then, I hear a meek, off key voice straining out, “Today was a fairytale/I wore a dress/You wore a dark grey t-shirt/You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess/Today was a fairytale.” Wow, great lyricist? Album of the Year?! I’m sorry, Taylor. You’ve lost me forever. Not that you needed me anyway.
Kerry Sullivan contributed to this post.
More U Blogs
Most Popular Videos
- Jane Lynch And Craig Robinson Video Interview On 'Escape From Planet Earth'
- Adrien Brody Video Interview On Judging The Bombay Sapphire Imagination Film Series, Playing Houdini
- Thandie Newton Video Interview On 'Rogue,' Learning To Shoot A Gun
- George Lopez Video Interview On 'Escape From Planet Earth'
- Kevin Smith Video Interview On His New Book, 'Tough Sh*t,' Mitt Romeny, Bruce Willis
Sex & Sci-Fi: Summer's Hottest Movies & Men - Your Tango
- Celebrity Sex Talk: 6 Craziest Things Heard This Week - Your Tango
- ‘Spring Breakers’ Review: The 10 Most Depraved, Parent-Shocking Moments - MovieFone
- 10 Hot Hollywood Husbands Changing The World - Your Tango
- Taylor Swift Cozying Up With Harry Styles - PlanetFashionTV