Taylor Swift Is Leaving Country. But Will Country Let Her?
Photo: Big Machine Records / Taylor Swift
Welp, that’s that. Gauging from the comments made in Rolling Stone‘s current country music special edition by the CEO of Big Machine Records aka the Country Music Antichrist Scott Borchetta, we can now put a period at the end of Taylor Swift’s pop country career. Finito. Done. End of story. Taylor Swift’s country run is in the books, and she’s now a pop star exclusively.
And for the love of God people, please don’t tell me she was never country to begin with. That goes without saying.
In the Rolling Stone article currently on newsstands, Scott Borchetta is quoted as saying that Swedish pop producer Max Martin, the man behind Taylor Swift’s last album Red‘s most pop-oriented material like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble”, worked on “most of her” next album. Martin was the producer behind successful pop music franchises such as The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and Britney Spears before being brought onto the Swift team at Scott Borchetta’s behest. But Martin, along with his fellow Swedish collaborator Shellback, only worked on three of the sixteen total songs on Swift’s Red album, despite their footprint feeling much bigger because the partnership comprised the album’s two biggest singles.
Scott Borchetta says in the article about Swift’s new album, “Taylor fans are going to love it. Will country stations play a complete pop song just because it’s her? No.” This quote is then reinforced in a caption under a picture of Scott Borchetta and Taylor Swift together.
So much can be read into this quick statement from Borchetta. A man who is known for brevity and measuring his words, Borchetta alludes to us that there will be little, or potentially nothing about Taylor Swift’s new album, or at least the singles that will be targeted for radio, that country radio will find enticing; so much so that he predicts that a format that has moved so dramatically in a pop direction in the two years since Taylor’s last release, and especially in just the last six to nine months since a major Taylor Swift single, will still be completely unwelcoming to Taylor Swift’s new material. That is how pop it is. More pop than Jerrod Nieman’s “Drink To That All Night” or Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night”. More pop than “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. If this estimate of Taylor Swift’s new material is accurate, and if country programmers will be able to resist the urge to play Taylor to audiences as her Big Machine-backed singles blow up on Top 40 stations, then yes, it truly is time for country to say bon voyage to Taylor.
Then Scott Borchetta tells Rolling Stone, “But when she comes to town, her friends at country radio will come and see her.” This seems to allude that Borchetta and Taylor Swift don’t think they even really need country radio anymore, they’re planning without it, and can trump radio politics with the strength of Taylor’s touring might. They care so little about the acceptance of Taylor’s music by country, they’re downright flippant, unconcerned about it. And clearly these quotes are buttering up the public so when Taylor releases her first purely pop single, it doesn’t come as a complete shock. Though would it anyway, given her track record with Red?
There’s a couple of other interesting nuggets from the same small portion of the Rolling Stone piece talking about Taylor’s new album. Though the premise of the conversation is about how Scott Borchetta, unlike many of his Music Row bunk mates, actually extends quite a bit of creative latitude and freedom to his artists, it is also reinforced in the article that it was Borchetta’s idea to bring big pop producer Max Martin into Taylor Swift’s creative process in the first place.
“He’s allowed me to evolve on my own one year at a time,” Swift says about Borchetta to Rolling Stone, but the very next line in the article says, “But he did urge her [Taylor] to collaborate with Max Martin on her last album.”
This Max Martin decision is the arguably the most important, most defining moment in Taylor Swift’s entire career up to this point, and interestingly enough, it wasn’t instigated by her. It was Scott Borchetta that made the decision to bring Max Martin in, and the result has been a big shift from substantive songwriting with country pop flavor, to the pop-only, vapid stylings of Max Martin, bringing in dub-step and other influences completely foreign to country music, and resulting in shallow compositions like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Of course Taylor Swift is not completely innocent in this dramatic, and defining career shift, but its origination point is undoubtedly Borchetta.
The story of Scott Borchetta barging in on Taylor Swift’s creative process during the making of Red in late 2012 was chronicled by Billboard:
“I said, ‘You know, this song isn’t working yet.’ They both looked at me (Swift and Nathan Chapman) with a blank stare. ‘The chorus isn’t elevating like it needs to. Where you’re wanting to take the song, it’s not going there. It needs a Max Martin type of lift.”
”¦ At that point Borchetta called Martin. Both Borchetta and Swift agree that it was a turning point for “Red”.
And it was a turning point in Taylor Swift’s entire career, putting her on a completely different path from what got her to where she was.
Who is Nathan Chapman that is referenced in the above quote? He is the producer who worked with Taylor Swift from day one, recording her first demos, and presiding over virtually all of her music up to Red, when a bevy of eight producers, including Chapman on certain songs, were brought in to work on, and in the Max Martin instances, co-write Taylor’s songs. Compare this to Swift’s previous album Speak Now where Swift wrote the entire album by herself, and produced it with help from Chapman alone.
READ: The Marginalization of Taylor Swift Producer Nathan Chapman
We can’t assume that just because Max Martin has a majority stake in Taylor’s new album that there still won’t be moments of substance. The rules of the game are a little different in this instance. When Max Martin was brought in on Red, his sole purpose was to produce radio hits. Now, hypothetically, he will be employed to deal with a more diverse range of material. Still, it is concerning that Max Martin almost always insists on weaseling his way into a co-writing role of the songs he produces. This is what we saw with Red, and what we’ve seen with other Max Martin-involved projects.
What endeared Taylor Swift to America and had critics coming to her defense was the fact that however pop she was, her songs were sincere expressions from her directly. She was the superstar that was also the girl next door. The Max Martin material from Red shattered this perception, and also resulted in significantly less industry awards and accolades from both country music, and all-genre based awards. It also resulted in some of the biggest sales numbers of Taylor Swift’s career. Choosing to go with Max Martin is about trading commercial acceptance over artistic substance.
At the same time, a complete cutoff from the country music realm makes a lot of sense for Taylor Swift. What are the two biggest criticisms Taylor has faced over her career? That she can’t sing, and she’s not country. Since her debacle on the Grammy Awards with Stevie Nicks in 2010, Taylor has at least reined in her singing problems to some extent. And if she leaves country, this will put this long-suffering debate about if she’s country or not to bed for good.
So that’s good, right? Let Taylor Swift go. Let the pop world have her …. Except that she was one of the genre’s last female stars that could do battle with the men who have dominated the charts and radio, and despite the Max Martin-produced material from her last album and her early material that lacked maturity, Taylor Swift was one of the last vestiges of artistic substance mainstream country music could boast, even if she was in the genre artificially.
Country music lacks female talent. It can’t fill out the nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA and ACM Awards even when Taylor Swift is included. All signs point to Taylor Swift wanting to shake free from her country music bonds, with the singles she released from Red, and now these quotes from Borchetta that in many respects don’t seem to be taking into account the realities of country radio. But there’s no guarantee country music is willing to play ball with Taylor Swift’s departure. Country music needs Taylor Swift, and it will be unwilling to forfeit the opportunity to have her sales and touring force fall under its umbrella without a fight.
If Taylor Swift is truly leaving country, it’s hard to declare a victory for country music here, or for Taylor Swift. Without the support of country, and with the presence of Max Martin, there’s likely going to be a lot less trophies adorning Taylor’s mantle. At the same time Taylor Swift is now free to do what she wants …. or what Max Martin wants to do with her.
- Taylor Swift will make an announcement about her new album in late July, or early to mid August.
- The announcement will coincide with the release of a new single.
- The new album will be released in October, or early November.
- There will be at least one collaboration with Justin Timberlake on the new album.
- It will include about 15 to 18 songs.
- Despite Scott Borchetta’s rhetoric, country radio will still play Taylor Swift, and with a lack of other leading females to fill the spots, Swift will still get nominated for country music’s top female awards.
June 11, 2014 @ 9:51 am
My guess is she’ll have a successful few years on pop radio, but as she gets older and passed over she’ll have a whole ‘back to her roots’ thing. It will make her a pile of money and the masses will eat it up. Just my opinion
June 11, 2014 @ 10:34 pm
No, I don’t think so. Teen pop stars don’t usually have long careers as top tier adult pop or country stars. I think her star will fade in the next couple of years. There will be lots of younger and fresher competition. I doubt she will make a big comeback in country, for some of the same reasons that LeAnn Rimes was never again as big in country music as she was in the late 1990s. In both cases, their early success was largely because of their youth, and they ain’t getting no younger.
June 13, 2014 @ 3:07 am
One COULD argue that Leann’s tabloid publicity (being accused of breaking up Eddie Cibrian’s marriage, and all the drama that came with that) contributed to her downfall, and may be part of the reason she never really had a strong comeback. And though Taylor has been in the tabloids, it hasn’t been like that.
However–you might be right. Despite her “country” start, I think many of Taylor’s fans are young girls who don’t listen to country music, and already see her as a pop star. And, yes, these fans are fickle–not super-loyal. Going exclusively into pop could put her in danger of having a short shelf-life.
THEN, yes, the “back to her roots” comeback would be inevitable. But will those pop fans who lost interest be interested in that comeback? Not likely. And will country fans care about it? Not sure if we can predict that.
June 16, 2014 @ 6:41 am
HUH?? country, rock, and pop stars can live well into adult hood. Alan Jackson, dierks Bentley, Bruce Springsteen still cranking out number 1’s . These fans are very loyal and dont care about age. As long as she continues to make good music she’ll be fine even well into her 40’s.
October 1, 2014 @ 6:41 pm
Taylor has always claimed she loved country but actions speak louder. I know alot of people choose to defend her but she will not last and she will not easily walk back in the door to country. I think her writing when geared toward country is exceptional the new pop song “Shake it Off” is reminiscent of the 80s “Mickey” and that is not good. I think she had a broad aged group of people listening to her when she was country to a point anyway and with pop i think she has alot of 12 year old followers, someone needs to bring the girl back down to earth she is selling her self out and that is the real tragedy…
August 19, 2014 @ 9:27 am
I totally agree. To me she was never 100% country. I always thought she was more pop.I DO NOT think she should be able to take an award from Country Music
So Long Taylor
October 1, 2014 @ 6:33 pm
I don’t think Country Music want’s or will want Miss Swift back. She is pretty, talented, but brutally immature. I think she left because she was not happy that she was getting passed over for awards in favor of more countryesque singers, and as it should be. Taylor’s new pop album may be eaten up by the tween group but this is not the best of her that is for sure. The crop tops, the whole luxury living thing, diva behavior that has been recently reported, is nobody watching out for this girl that seems like seventeen in age? She was worthy of liking once but not anymore, let’s see if she keeps her word and goes away when everyone gets sick of her. I think Taylor was just to immature for the spotlight, when her mother was still travelling with her she had stability, I don’t think she is mature enough to handle it alone. I mean she is still very much and angry little girl who gets revenge in her songs, and sometimes at the sacrifice of truly good music, sad….
Joon bug 14
January 5, 2015 @ 3:38 pm
She’s a pop star now!! Yay!! I like her now then when she was country. Not a country fan I think it’s boring and depressing to me … But I love rock and pop music!! It cheers me up……
Joon bug 14
January 5, 2015 @ 3:33 pm
I love her and her hair short !! Though I’m thinking about it I think she’d be a great rockstar!! Because in the past she did a song called shake it off !! If she can do that ….. Can can possibly become a rockstar!! Just saying because she would be perfect!!
June 11, 2014 @ 9:55 am
There’s dozens of females that can take her place but country radio refuses to play them and many other country acts. No air play, no career.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:26 am
When the ACM Awards nominated Kelly Clarkson for Female Vocalist, they proved they are even willing to go completely outside the genre to an artist that hasn’t even released a country album to fill their nomination slots before they do it with a more independent-minded artist. Mainstream country’s female problem is in nothing short of a crisis.
June 11, 2014 @ 1:20 pm
And here they have Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe and Brandy Clark who would do well with radio play and have the potential to fill the void left by swift. Goes to show they really don’t care about the women in country unless they have huge record sales or are named Miranda Lambert.
June 11, 2014 @ 3:09 pm
Agree with everything you are saying, but don’t discredit Miranda Lambert like that. She was in the genre for four years before she ever even got a top 10 (#7 with Gunpowder and Lead in 2008), and her first #1 didn’t come until 2009 (“White Liar”). Carrie Underwood, however, has had #1’s right out of the gate and she came onto the scene in 2005…so while I do agree that there are tons of females waiting in the wings (and its unfair that they aren’t getting airplay), it’s not like they are NEVER going to get a chance, its just going to take a little bit more time.
June 12, 2014 @ 6:53 pm
Unless radio greatly decreases their severe limit on solo female spins many will never get a chance. Radio gave just 3 new solo female artists in about the past 10 years the same or anywhere near the same chance/airplay as Miranda, Carrie, and Taylor, and 10 years isn’t a little time. Also radio has been decreasing total solo female spins when it needs to go way in the other direction.
June 12, 2014 @ 6:46 pm
And Saving Country Music Album of the Year winner Kellie Pickler. She has the most radio-friendly songs and that’s why radio let six singles from her first 2 albums in the top 10-20 and five of those hit #8-15. Some deserved #1 but were underplayed to keep solo female spins limited (Taylor is the only new solo female they played to #1 then). Then when Kellie’s music got even better on albums 3 and 4, radio blocked her out of the top 10, 20, 30, and 40, again to keep solo female spins limited. They moved Miranda up to #1 at this point and stopped playing Kellie instead of playing both and more to #1 like they should.
When the 3 solo females radio plays don’t have singles out they increasingly fill those voids with more men so I won’t be surprised if they do that if Taylor leaves or maybe they will just keep playing her old songs. Country radio is already down to giving solo females only about 5% of spins. Someone said the most ever was 30%, probably in the 90s, which was great and about where it should be for a minimum. Even just 15-20% would be much better than 5% and that’s terrible.
June 11, 2014 @ 9:56 am
This is like ready an article about Rihanna or Maroon 5. Since I never listen to pop country radio she’s irrelevant to me and always has been. The so-called “country” world that supported and honored her is even more irrelevant (in my world) as far as I’m concerned.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:10 am
“And for the love of God people, please don”™t tell me she was never country to begin with. That goes without saying.”
I think this comment falls in line with what Trigger posted above.
I do think this is something that we shouldn’t be thrilled about. When considering the current landscape of mainstream country music, you do have to acknowledge that most of Taylor Swift’s previous stuff is more substantive than most singles today, no matter how pop they may be. Losing that substance can only be a net negative for country radio, because the void she would leave likely won’t be filled by another female artist singing substantive songs, instead it’ll be filled by more bro-country beer on a tailgate stuff. We have to look for and encourage the good where we can, not just proclaim that all this stuff sucks.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:28 am
I understand the desire to hear more of what we like on radio, but on the other hand it feels like we’re trying to make a pig fly ”” we get pissed off and the pig is annoyed. I’m just speaking from the perspective of someone who doesn’t really care what is played on the radio ”” not saying that is good or bad ”” that’s just the way I feel. I didn’t come to my appreciation of traditional country by listening to country radio. I was always turned off by what the radio was playing. I took the time to seek it out from other sources, and fortunately we live in a time that it’s easy to hear traditional country music just about anytime I want, and never turn on a radio. The same goes for traditional blues, jazz, or any other genre that commercial radio ignores.
June 11, 2014 @ 9:58 am
There’s plenty of female talent for country music to round out any awards category – Musgraves, Clark, Willis, Muth, the Secret Sisters. They’re just not poppy or rappy enough for the industry to care.
But you’re right, country radio will still keep playing Swift, because it’s not about country. It’s about the money.
June 11, 2014 @ 12:41 pm
And sadly no matter how much we protest that fact, they will continue to not play them.
June 11, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
My country station still plays Miley Cyrus “The Climb” for some reason. Can’t play Kacey Musgraves but Miley Cyrus in fine.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:07 am
Look Trigger, I’m not too excited either about MM’s involvement with the new album because I don’t like We Are Never Getting Back Together or 22 (Trouble was good/had substance though). However, you seem to be forgetting that Taylor Swift is still the one writing and the one co-producing and is the one who gets to choose what songs make the album or not (Big Machine let her make the tracklist for Red and there was a 4th Max Martin produced song that they made for Red that she chose not to put on the album). Borchetta might urge her to do some stuff that he thinks is good/right for her, but, ultimately, if she doesn’t want to do it, she won’t. She’s big enough for that. Big enough to buy her own contract, start her own label and have the same success. Or she could just buy her contract and get flooded with a gazillion of offers from other labels. So I think the album will still sound like a Taylor Swift album and have as much substance as her previous albums, despite Max Martin’s involvement.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:35 am
I’ve not forgotten Ahmed. In the end, Taylor Swift is the franchise, and she is the one ultimately responsible. I think I fairly represented that in this article.
“Of course Taylor Swift is not completely innocent in this dramatic, and defining career shift.”
“We can”™t assume that just because Max Martin has a majority stake in Taylor”™s new album that there still won”™t be moments of substance. The rules of the game are a little different in this instance. When Max Martin was brought in on Red, his sole purpose was to produce radio hits.”
I think the key here is the fact that Max Martin, unlike some other high-profile pop producers, seems to insist on receiving songwriting credits with the songs he produces, probably because to do his formulaic magic of how to draw the maximum amount of radio exposure out of a song, he can’t just do it through sonic means, but must have his hands in the guts of the song. In my opinion, there was nothing indicative of Taylor Swift’s songwriting style in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and very little in “I Knew You Were Trouble”. There was a little bit more in “22”, but just listening to that album, these songs were such distinct departures from Taylor’s style palette, it was shocking to the ears.
The other issue that this article got too long for me to broach is the fact that there is a long history of male producers coming in and manipulating young female artists. In fact on ABC’s “Nashville” show, it has come up numerous times. Nathan Chapman worked so well with Taylor because they were on an equal playing field. Max comes in as this proven industry commodity and Taylor is naturally going to play more submissive to. And if anyone can name a female producer working anywhere in mainstream country music that isn’t an artist, I’ll eat my hat.
July 30, 2014 @ 6:30 pm
TBH Max Martin is a [Bleep]ing D**k he’s trying to turn my modern country Idol funky
June 11, 2014 @ 10:16 am
I’m not so sure about Country radio playing her if she is puts out a pure pop album. Country Aircheck just put out a list of the top 100 Power Gold songs, based on airplay from 4/20-4/26, and there was only 1 Swift song on it, Mean, and #97.
That’s not to say there aren’t some who will play anything by Taylor. I just don’t see anything from a pop album going top 20.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:41 am
Not sure of the exact parameters of the Power Gold ranks you’re citing, but I do know that Taylor Swift and Big Machine are currently purposely avoiding radio play so as to clear the decks for an extended period before the new release, and Swift did have a pure pop song “We Are Never” go to #1 in country, so it’s been done before. I think the question is, with this new album, will Swift purposely work to detach herself from country with singles that are so caustic to the country ear that they would never play them, and even may be offended by them? But then you think of Jerrod Niemann’s “Drink to That All Night” and it makes you wonder if that is even possible. Plus we have another probably 4 to 6 months for Music Row to release who knows what kind of machinations that will stretch the boundaries even further.
June 12, 2014 @ 11:25 am
“Power Gold” is a category used to describe songs that are 18 months and more past their airplay peak as current songs, but are still included in radio station rotations enough. The list of “Power Gold” cuts Sean mentioned appeared in a recent Country Aircheck Weekly issue, and out of the t100 cuts, only 8 came from solo female acts (not counting duets like the Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood duet ‘Remind Me’). 4 of those 8 were from Carrie , 3 were from Miranda Lambert, and 1 from Taylor, which just barely made the list. But Taylor’s never been a strong recurrent act at country radio, even before Red when she went 95% pop in music and marketing. She and her music has always been polarizing to country listeners according to radio research.
‘We Are Never’ didn’t get anywhere near #1 on either airplay chart. In fact, it broke Taylor’s streak of consecutive t10 hits at country radio, which began with her 1st single, ‘Tim McGraw’. ‘We Are Never’ peaked at #13 on Billboard Country Airplay in its 1st week of airplay, a peak it achieved mostly because of the pre-negotiated Clear Channel hourly debut of the song on the country and pop radio formats. In the subsequent 5 weeks before Big Machine released ‘Begin Again’ to country radio (precisely *because* ‘We Are Never’ encountered so much resistance), ‘We Are Never’ got back up to #15 before sinking like a stone. On the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart, ‘We Are Never’ debuted at #19 and ultimately peaked 5 weeks later at #16 before sinking like a stone.
‘We Are Never’ only got to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs because of the methodology change that factored in airplay from other formats and sales. Because ‘We Are Never’ was already a major pop hit at the time and was grandfathered onto the Hot Country Songs chart, it jumped from #43 (where it was on the Country Airplay chart at the time, a week from going recurrent) to #1.
But ‘We Are Never’ is actually an example of country radio drawing a line on a pure pop song, albeit after a few weeks.
That being said, you make a good point by bringing up Jerrod Niemann’s Drink To That All Night. I think he gets a pass from country radio because he’s still primarily marketing to country radio. Taylor’s real sin in the eyes of country radio programmers was probably that she cast her marketing lot with pop (but also, country radio listeners really hated ‘We Are Never’). So country radio probably told Big Machine that in order to play Taylor, the format needed a song that would be marketed exclusively to country radio. Hence the release of ‘Begin Again’ to country radio only 6 weeks after ‘We Are Never’ came out.
I expect Taylor’s album will have a 1 or 2 token singles that will be made country radio-exclusive, for marketing purposes. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 1 of them were dressed in so much country instrumentation that it would sound countrier than most of what the format plays, but if so, I think it will be for marketing purposes more than musical ones.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:20 am
She had the opportunity to be a respected country artist. When pop is sick of her she better not come crawling back to the genre that she rode to the top and dirted.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:35 am
Taylor Swift, despite not being a full-time country artist, has benefited country music both artistically and commercially. She gave mainstream country music (top 40 country) some much needed, something that the artists who “sound” much more country than her and wear hats, sings about beers, trucks, etc. couldn’t do. Yes, she does have bad songs, but she remains the mainstream artist least guilty of “dirtying” country music.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:36 am
some much needed substance*
June 11, 2014 @ 10:37 am
Let’s just do an even Pop/Country trade. They take Swift, we’ll take Katy Perry. Kacey Musgraves would fully endorse, so the duet-single bridge is already there.
June 11, 2014 @ 1:31 pm
At least Katy doesn’t allow outside influence with her stuff. Katy also respects the Genre a bit. She is one of the few pop people that can play an instrument and can sing and play acoustically. Crossroads should be interesting.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:39 am
There really isn’t a big difference though between Max Martin and Nathan Chapman produced songs. In fact Chapman produced Lady Antebellum’s latest single “Bartender” which has zero country elements in it. It’s undoubtedly pop. I think another reason Swift is leaving country music is because of bro country. They’ve pushed females off country radio, including the biggest one in Swift. This is a smart move for her and it’s going to pay off in the long run. Get away from the male dominated country world and embrace the pop world, which is a lot more balanced. I don’t think country radio will play songs off her new album because there’s plenty of new bro country to go around.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:46 am
Country, not pop, is now the most dominant genre in America. When an artist wants to sell out and go pop, they go country. In many respects, Taylor Swift is bigger than any genre, or any trend.
“There really isn”™t a big difference though between Max Martin and Nathan Chapman produced songs.”
This is definitely a matter of opinion so it’s hard to argue. But to my ears, it is night and day. The difference is I hear Taylor Swift in the Chapman songs. In the Max Martin songs, I hear Max Martin.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:20 am
Yes, country is without a doubt the most dominant genre in America right now. But as it has been discussed on here, could the country bubble be bursting soon? It doesn’t show any signs, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it happened. Clear Channel and Cumulus are both in massive debt, radio station’s ratings are nosediving, there are more disgruntled country fans every day and many bro country fans will abandon the genre once the bro country movement loses steam. I think country music is about to change dramatically over the next five years and perhaps the uncertain future of the genre is driving Swift away. She is bigger than any trend or genre, but bro country has cut into her radio time some. And while country music is popular, it still has some negative stigmas attached to it (example: Party Down South). Swift has a squeaky clean image and country music doesn’t have the cleanest image right now, especially with the way females are portrayed in popular songs.
June 11, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
Is pop a genre? If so, what are the parameters that make it different from country or anything else?
June 11, 2014 @ 10:25 pm
Trigger, I think you want to find a reason to like Taylor. You want to believe the marketing message that was Taylor Swift version 1.0. I think she left an indelible picture in your mind, and even if it turns out to be a picture to burn, you don’t want to forget it. That is great marketing on her part. You feel a sense of loss when she takes away your ideal of America’s sweetheart and the girl next door. Go spin Carrie Underwood’s “All American Girl” a few times if it makes you feel better, at least the placebo effect might kick in.
I am not surprised by anything she and her record label have done in the past 2-3 years. It is the typical country pop crossover play book.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:16 pm
I think you’re taking a very nearcasted view of my Taylor Swift opinions. You know people love to give me shit for saying that I partially inspired her song “Mean”, right? Of course this is the typical country pop crossover playbook, and that’s what makes it so annoying and unfortunate. But what would Taylor Swift have to gain by people being concerned she’s selling out her 1.0 ideals? How is that great marketing? How does that sell more records, or put butts in the seats by breaking hearts and looking like the product of marketing, especially as we’ve all been saying country is now the more dominant genre in America, not pop? If Taylor Swift goes pop, she’s doing this all completely wrong. Pop stars are the ones going country as pop weakens.
June 11, 2014 @ 10:55 am
Country needs her more than she needs them, tbh.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:55 am
The country genre has had some of the music industries biggest names ever, and the genre has changed many times over.
An artist can be bigger than a genre, but the country genre certainly doesn’t need Taylor Swift anymore than they needed Hank Sr. or Patsy Cline when they died. The genre kept on. Taylor is a point in the timeline, she is not the end of the timeline.
Now, some country labels and radio stations may need her more than she needs them, but don’t disrespect the “country music” by suggesting some artist is its lifeline.
June 15, 2014 @ 11:17 pm
Tim, you’re very much mistaken about country not needing Hank Williams and moving along. Hank was at the zenith of his popularity when he died and the fact he died only made his star that much bigger. He was very needed by the country music industry.
MGM Records kept digging in the vaults and releasing singles until around 1960 when the LP album took over with three albums of mostly new material. He was still in demand enough in the mid-60’s that MGM took a chance on FOUR LP’s of “remixed” songs with the “Hank Williams and Strings” series.
June 11, 2014 @ 12:09 pm
Ehhh–kinda sorta. . . .
Methinks she is banking on keeping most of her ‘country’ sales numbers AND adding on in the ‘pop’ category. Not much–but maybe a little. But still more than she could have expected to grow to with a ‘country’ record.
I don’t see her ‘buying out’ anything either. Her contract terms fit her long-term goals, I bet. Her own label would be in the cards, but not that soon.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:36 am
Well “Tim McGraw” was kinda country… at least more country than anything Tim McGraw has done lately.
She never had the vocals to be a pure country star, but she has an obvious love of music that I hope she doesn’t lose completely to the soulless, glassy-eyed autotuned world of pop. Her last few singles don’t give me much hope though. Honestly, I think the success of pop-country has a lot to do with how it sounds like pop music USED to sound, before everything became hyper-electronic. Some pop fans miss that old 80s-90s sound and don’t like the new sound, so they gravitate towards the closest thing (Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Taylor, etc.) I wish they’d call THAT pop instead of country, and not call EDM pop. Labels shouldn’t matter in music, but they do.
Though this article makes me wonder if what Todd in the Shadows said here (starting at 4:06) is about to come true, .http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/tis/tpsr/37577-pop-song-reviews-we-are-never-ever-getting-back-together
June 11, 2014 @ 12:11 pm
Pop musta left the autotuner unlocked. Sum’a them ‘country’ rascals got into it and made a mess of it.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:56 am
It will interesting to see if this brings along with it a new identity and personality for her. My finger is far from the pulse of pop music, but it would seem to me that a mousy innocent girl next door persona isn’t what’s going on over there. Seems to me she would have to adopt a Miley Cyrus-lite attitude as part of some over night maturing process to appeal to anyone over age 25.
I only know Taylor’s music from what’s overplayed in public settings, but it doesn’t sound like something you would throw on a club mix. We already know she’s auto tune friendly, and I guess that will enable a producer to manipulate a lot of different elements. I just don’t see it going well because it probably won’t be much more than the status quo for her. Worst case scenario, and maybe even likely, her “brand” becomes a joke. She lays low awhile, and has a glorious return to country moment (as someone else mentioned above).
June 11, 2014 @ 12:32 pm
Maybe you need to check out Taylor’s music and just what’s overplayed in public. Her music appeals to many people over 25 and that’s why it sells so much. You could say that it doesn’t appeal to people over 25, just teens and tweens, but you’d also have to explain why she sells much more than Justin Bieber and One Direction who also appeal to teens and tweens. Her music is mature to enough for adult audiences. Yes, she does have her immature songs, but, overall, she’s the pop star with the most mature music at the moment, which widens her audience in comparison to Bieber and One Direction, and this is why she sells.
And I don’t really know how Swift is auto-tune friendly when she doesn’t even use auto-tune as proven by the number of times she’s either flat or off-key on her albums. You really need to listen to her music before saying stuff like that.
Anyway, Swift is not gonna have a Miley transition because she doesn’t need one. She’s already well-liked and successful. Going pop doesn’t mean she’s becoming Miley. Taylor Swift has her own musical identity and artistic persona, and, while she might evolve/try new genres, she doesn’t need to become anyone else.
June 11, 2014 @ 1:18 pm
Auto-tune can only do so much. If it’s a pitch that is drastically out-of-range and off-key, auto-tune cannot correct it because it will clip the note.
June 11, 2014 @ 1:48 pm
Exactly. And this is what people need to understand. They think that Auto-tune is this magical tool that will make everything sound better. No. It’s a program that corrects pitch, and, like you said, when something is drastically off-key, it won’t be corrected. The lack of Auto-tune in Swift’s music is beyond obvious, seeing that she’s flat/goes off-key live at the same moments where she’s off-key in the studio version of her tracks and is on key where she’s on-key on the record.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:25 pm
But she DOES use auto-tune on her albums. What I should have said was some notes are correctable, some aren’t, and the ones that cannot be fixed stay as-is, hence hearing off-key pitch on albums .
If you hear an unnatural tone on album, one that sounds borderline robotic, that’s the note that is pushing the limit of clipping.
For an example, listen to the chorus of Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved.” You can really hear it in the word “rain” in the first chorus.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:39 pm
“They think that Auto-tune is this magical tool that will make everything sound better.”
That’s because that’s what it is.
“It”™s a program that corrects pitch, and, like you said, when something is drastically off-key, it won”™t be corrected.”
Only if you run the vocals through basic Auto-tune settings. Individual notes *can* be manually corrected or altered. If Taylor Swift still goes flat on her recordings, then I agree that the individual notes likely haven’t been tampered with, but I wouldn’t say it’s “beyond obvious” that she doesn’t use pitch correction software. It’s a very common technique, and live vocals can just as easily be run through software as recorded vocals.
If she claims not to use it, I will give her the benefit of the doubt though.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:42 pm
@MH, no, Taylor Swift doesn’t use Auto-tune on her album. Besides the song 22, which makes very obvious use of Auto-tune, there are no other signs of Auto-tune. There are no instances where her voice sounds electric, robotic or digitally altered. And I’m not the only one saying that. Many critics have noted the lack of Auto-tune in their reviews of her music and it’s pretty much well-known and widely-accepted that Swift doesn’t use Auto-tune. In live performances, her pitch and tone are the same as in the studio version of her songs, for better or worse. In live settings, she doesn’t go off-key where she didn’t go off-key in the studio and goes off-key where she went off-key in the studio.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:49 pm
She’s never spoken about using Auto-tune because no interviewer ever bother asking her about using Auto-tune, unlike Kesha, for example, because nobody ever accused her of using Auto-tune. So the subject was never brought up.
Nathan Chapman and the guy who mixed the Speak Now album said in an interview that they didn’t use Auto-tune on her vocals, and when they found something too off-key, they simply asked her to re-record it. And even then she’s still noticeably flat at many moment throughout the album (It decreased with Red because her vocals have improved in general, but she still was flat sometimes, most noticeably on Holy Ground and The Lucky One, both produced by Jeff Bhasker).
And, frankly, as someone who’s listened to her music a lot, I’ve detected no signs of Auto-tune, and as someone who’s watched many of her live performances, her pitch on record is her pitch live, for better or worse.
June 11, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
Ok. I am not that familiar with Taylor Swift’s music, so I will take your word for it. I wish more artists and producers would take the approach you described regarding the “Speak Now’ album. One thing I like about the way music was recorded before the ProTools / Autotune era is that it allowed for imperfections, which made the music more human in my opinion.
Also, I gather that conversations about whether various pop/country stars use Autotune is very old hat at this point. I have a feeling Trigger is gonna come along and tell us to nip it in the bud.
June 11, 2014 @ 7:53 pm
Once And For All, Does Taylor Swift Use Auto-Tune?
June 11, 2014 @ 3:41 pm
I like some of Taylor’s music so I’m not here to dump on her. I did think, though, that “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” had that electronic, slightly artificial feel in places, especially the verses. That “sound.” I hope I’m wrong though. My respect for her would go way up if she doesn’t use autotune.
What seems to be happening now, as much as I listen to “popular” music (not much), is autotune being used as a “sound,” an effect, more than an effort to correct pitch. Ke$ha sings just fine, she doesn’t need autotune, but all her songs have that maddening “canned” sound. I just don’t get it. I guess I’m old, LOL.
June 13, 2014 @ 10:01 am
TS ‘ music appeals to a female demographic between 14-40 , as does most new country music . The ‘over 25’s’ are , for the most part mom’s of the younger female audience ….THEY pay for downloads and/or CDs , THEY have to listen to their kids’ radio station in cars , THEY pay for the concert tickets and THEY have to accompany the under-age audience to the shows. In this respect , I applaud those mom’s for being aware of the kinds of things their kids are exposed to as we all know there is some very questionable content and perspective spouted by much contemporary music lyric. Being in the biz and in clubs , I hear lots of feedback from moms about what their kids are into musically . Most of the mom’s suggest that they tolerate TS only in light of the options on pop radio which those mom’s just cannot relate to at all . In that sense , yes , they listen to TS …become ‘familiar’ with the music in the same way we all become familiar with a TV or radio jingle . I would not call the ‘over 25’s ‘ “fans” of TS . They appreciate that she is a safe option for their kids .
June 11, 2014 @ 12:07 pm
Maybe she’s the Leann Rimes of today and We Are Never going Back Together is today’s Can’t Stop the Moonlight. LeAnn Rimes’ Twisted Angel was not a country album. There’s even a seductive EDM song there called Tic Toc and the rest of the album sounds a bit like Britney or Christina. But today LeAnn is completely embracing her country roots (although she did collaborate with The Crystal Method’s new album this year though).
June 11, 2014 @ 1:57 pm
Don’t let the swinging door hit you on the ass on your way out of dodge there Ms. Swift. I don’t need Taylor Swift as a female star in country music. I am perfectly content with Ashley Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, Holly Williams, The Trishas, etc.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:04 pm
Can we get this in writing?
I can’t take any more tripping through multiple used copies of Red in the CD bins.
June 11, 2014 @ 2:20 pm
“Taylor fans are going to love it. Will country stations play a complete pop song just because it”™s her? No.”
Am I the only one that finds this to be an ironic, almost mocking statement? NONE of the singles from Red were country in the slightest, particularly “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but that song utterly assaulted country radio and took no prisoners. That song holds the record for being the poppiest song ever accepted by the format. Even though it’s B.S. and rightly criticized, at least most of the other mainstream artists include a buried banjo or some semblance of twang to circumvent the genre. There was absolutely nothing country about that song. How much more “pop” can she get, aside from openly admitting that she isn’t country?
June 11, 2014 @ 7:55 pm
That’s what makes me think they are purposly looking to avoid country, that they don’t want anything to do with country. It is one thing to produce music that they might ignore. It’s another to pretty much say that’s what they’re going to do, and that you don’t care. Very strange sentiment for a guy who is known to measure his words carefully.
June 11, 2014 @ 4:29 pm
Why do women have to stay in a genre who will not play their music? While you have the country men ruling country radio and some able to easily sell over 200k their first week. Then you have artists like carrie and miranda one unable to sell 2 million anymore (carrie) when several country men are doing that. Or, one that is unable to open with 200k (miranda). These two women are considered the most played in country radio yet their sales do not match their male counterparts. Then you have an artist like kacey musgraves who cannot get much country radio play at all and is forced to tour with katy perry in order to have her music heard. If taylor sat there and did nothing she would be in the same shape as carrie, miranda and casey, second fiddle to the men in country music and unable to beat the at touring, album or single sales. I say where ever your music will be heard, that is where you should go. Do not hate the player, hate the game.
June 12, 2014 @ 8:58 pm
“Why do women have to stay in a genre who will not play their music?”
Because most of them ARE country, love and make country music so it’s where they best fit and want to stay. And most are very loyal to the genre and format. Try getting pop radio to play any of them besides Taylor. A few had 1 or so country/pop crossover songs but that isn’t enough for them or country fans to depend on.
The number of men who outsold Carrie and Miranda must be a short list and I don’t know if any outsold Carrie’s album and singles total during the past 9 years. And radio plays quite a few men more than them. In 2013 country radio played 5 artists more than Miranda and at least 10 more than Carrie. And I bet one or both sold more than some men radio played more. Kellie Pickler and Kacey Musgraves also outsold some men radio played more. Here’s the Mediabase list of the most played artists on country radio for the entire year of 2013:
1. FLORIDA-GEORGIA LINE
2. TIM MCGRAW
3. BLAKE SHELTON
4. LUKE BRYAN
5. THE BAND PERRY
6. MIRANDA LAMBERT
7. TAYLOR SWIFT
8. RANDY HOUSER
9. JASON ALDEAN
10. HUNTER HAYES
Taylor is also one of the most played on pop radio (#5 on Top 40, #7 on Hot AC, and #8 on AC) so that helps explain her huge sales. She’s great at pop so it made total sense for her to go there if that’s what she wanted to do. Most country artists aren’t that pop and are more country. Pop radio hates to play anything twangy in voice or music. I wish country radio would act the same and not play pure pop.
June 11, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
I’ve been disappointed in Taylor Swift since the first time I heard ‘We are never…”. Obviously she is her own person and can choose what kind of artist she wants to be, I’m just a bit sad that she hasn’t turned out to be the kind of musician I thought she was, or that I thought she wanted to be. Oh well. And it is also sad and surprising to me that, despite being in a position to be able to choose almost any collaborator in music she wants, she chooses Max Martin!??
June 11, 2014 @ 6:42 pm
My big inquiry is, was Swift ever truly Country? I do not claim to be a connoisseur to her music, but from my limited exposure to her, she fits in to the modern diva country formula: She’s extremely kind to the eyes, and she has a sweet voice. But such was Faith Hill. I saw no “country” in her music either.
Last night I saw Kacey Musgraves play before Alison Krauss and Willie. She’s hot, too, and has a nice, although undistinctive, voice.
I thought her opener, “Go back to your trailer”, was lame. The lyrics were horrible.
But she did some really good stuff and her band was excellent.
I understand she has pressure to play by today’s rules. I give her that. But I still hear that shallow poppy edge that takes away the real heart of this genre.
I know times have changed. I just don’t think I want to change with them as far as this music is concerned.
And by the way, I’ve seen Willie many times, but this was my first time seeing A.K. and Union Station, (sans drummer), and all I can say is they are top notch. PERIOD.
June 11, 2014 @ 6:57 pm
Never never never never did I once think of Taylor Swift as a country artist. I don’t really care for her music, but if I did see a video, or hear a song, ‘country’ was about the last thing to come to mind.
If anything, I always applauded her Team for keeping her in the warm embrace of the country music scene, carving out a popular pop-country career without having to duke it out with the ladies of Top 40 radio. Sure, her stuff is ‘pop’, but at least she can grab a few extra statues from one of the seemingly endless parade of country music awards shows.
I think she is terribly overrated, but good luck to her.
June 11, 2014 @ 8:48 pm
I’d argue that Taylor wanted to say goodbye to country an album ago, but the radio wouldn’t let her. At least not a first. “I Knew You Were Trouble” was clearly not country, even compared to her other stuff, but that still got played. But since then her songs haven’t had much traction on the country charts. only 1 of her last 5 got any air time. My prediction is we might see the first single get a little bit of country chart success, and I fully expect to see her name at all the awards for another 2 years. but after that I think we have seen the last of her for now.
June 11, 2014 @ 9:03 pm
Ironic . I stopped listening to country radio because acts like T.s . were getting airplay singing pseudo- pop songs ( well …”Singing” is a strong word as T.S . , to my ear , has one of the weakest voices in pop OR country )and I was hearing less and less real country music. I started listening to more pop music – Bruno Mars , Imagine Dragons , Beyonce etc- because the songs and arrangements were amazingly creative and the singers INCREDIBLE . Now , it seems , Taylor Swift has found me again with her ‘move to pop ‘… (what the … ??) ..and I can’t escape back to country radio because ….well because it mostly sucks . Hmmm….what’s a guy to do ?
June 11, 2014 @ 10:15 pm
Taylor was a country singer in the same way that Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist were Republicans. The Republican Party is much better off without Specter and Crist, and the country genre will be musically better off without Taylor. The best thing she can do for country music fans is to leave country music and never pretend to come back.
Trigger, it sounds like you know she can’t sing well, and you know she’s not country, but you want her to stay nominally in the country genre as an affirmative action hire. But quotas and token females who aren’t country will not save country music. As Carrie and Miranda showed us not long ago, bra country isn’t the solution to bro country and won’t help regenerate country’s roots.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:05 pm
I’m not particularly following the political parallels you are drawing, but I can say that for years my stance has been that Taylor Swift’s music is not country, and she should not be a part of the genre, to the point that it was so run into the ground there was not even a point of saying it anymore. It’s kind of like saying “bro country sucks!” Well no shit it does. That still doesn’t change the fact that if Taylor Swift does exit country, that won’t mean there will be one less woman on radio, and one less artist that writes her own songs, and those songs are actually about something more than beer and trucks. This isn’t defending Taylor or even playing both sides, it is just enumerating the realities of the situation.
My concern with Taylor Swift has much less to do with bro country, and much more to do with Scott Borchetta consolidating more of power of the Taylor Swift brand by putting his guy in her producer position.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:13 pm
Trigger, Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist started out as “Republicans in name only”, i.e. Republican politicians who were in many ways more like Democrats. Later they left the Republican Party and officially became Democrats when it became politically expedient. They used Republican voters to launch their careers, then they abandoned them.
I don’t think your point about having one less woman in the country genre makes much sense, if the goal is to save country music. Do you think country music should import one female pop artist into the genre, such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, or Beyonce, just to fill a gender quota?
June 11, 2014 @ 11:32 pm
With all due respect Adrian, I think that you have your brain tooled to political arguments and you’re trying to apply the same ideologies to a music problem with very few true parallels. Quotas were a dead issue in the late 80’s,m just like abortion was a dead issue in the late 60’s, but it won’t stop the political industrial complex from using these wedge issues to funnel billions of dollars into the two party political system by people conned into believe their lives depend on these issues.
Read the title of this article. The only point I was trying to make is that regardless of how much Scott Borchetta or Taylor Swift want to extricate Taylor from country music, the simple fact is there are still not enough female names to fill the nominee spots at the the genre’s major award shows even before Taylor exists, meaning she will still receive nominations whether she wants them or not. When Kelly Clarkson is receiving nominations when she’s never even tried to be country, or Kacey Musgraves before she even released an album, or Sheryl Crow despite not having even a Top 20 single, the CMA and ACM have proven they will nominate anybody they want, as long as they feel they’re top tier. We can debate whether this is right or wrong. I obviously think there’s dozens of worthy female artists that should be nominated over Taylor Swift even now, but the realities point to Taylor continuing to receive those nominations. This is not an opinionated stance, this is an intellectual deduction based on the realities of the situation.
June 11, 2014 @ 11:52 pm
Trigger, my point with the political analogy was not to discuss politics, but to describe Taylor’s relationship with country music. I don’t want Nashville to keep Taylor in the country category just so we have one more woman in “country”, any more than I would want Shania or Jessica Simpson to make a “country” comeback.
And while neither one of them is country, Kelly Clarkson would be an improvement over Taylor. She is a better singer, and I’ve heard some duets she had done with Reba that I thought were not bad at all.
June 12, 2014 @ 5:03 am
…Which only strengthens the fact that these awards shows are a bunch of bullshit, just like our political elections are.
June 14, 2014 @ 6:30 am
Don’t forget Avril Lavigne. Pop music can’t be complete without Avril Lavigne even though the only time Avril Lavigne was huge is the Lert Go era and 2007’s Girlfriend. Other Avril Lavigne outputs like Under My Skin (despite UMS sold well and fans loved UMS) doesn’t and post Let Go Avril Lavigne outputs not named Girlfriend like Here’s To Never Growing Up is not popular in the US and Avril Lavigne is huge in the US only appeal the Let Go era and 2007’s Girlfriend. See the point?
June 16, 2014 @ 5:43 pm
Your comment sucks.
June 12, 2014 @ 6:55 am
If she’s really going to make it in this world, she needs a set of DD strap-ons and a rap star boyfriend. Maybe she could start dating Kanye West. It might be a good career move.
June 12, 2014 @ 8:24 am
Thank God. Please take Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett and all the other pretenders with you, as well as your “Swifties”. What a good day for country music.
June 12, 2014 @ 8:53 am
Taylor Swift leaving country music won’t benefit country music artistically or commercially, and with the Swifties part, you’re basically saying, “Take all the people all over the world whom you made interested in country music and start checking out albums by other country artists with you”.
June 12, 2014 @ 8:50 am
Didn’t Shania Twain release a version of Up as a 2-disc set, with one being pop mixes and one being country? Would that be a good way to go for TS? She could strip down some of the poppy songs and maybe the lyrics would come through and they could be successful on both country and pop radio. Plus, you know, $$.
June 12, 2014 @ 9:02 am
Kind of hard for her to leave a music when she didn’t make that kind.
June 13, 2014 @ 12:58 am
LoL…..dating Kanye west a good career move? That coward?
You are really a joker ! Thanks for the laugh !!!
Taylor is one of the biggest and most popular star on the planet,
she doesn’t need anyone.
June 13, 2014 @ 11:21 pm
You know what I like about Taylor Swift?
Her recent twitter was yet another moment that defined who she is as an artist.
She took a quote from CS Lewis and tweeted ” There are far, far better things
ahead than those we leave behind “.
This is a woman who believes in great things and big dreams. Despite all her astonishing and unprecedented accomplishment in music, all her fame and fortune,
she still has that immense drive and hunger in moving forward, never let her past
failures and her critics to pull her down, all these while remaining untainted by
These are the reasons why so many people admire and respect her, (even if it’s not
for her singing, her genre or her accomplishment in music).
She got character. She got guts.
June 14, 2014 @ 2:05 am
I’ve been a country music fan since 2006, I was 16 back then. Truthfully, country music is more a community recently than it has been a genre. Taylor provided the much needed boost in country music. I went to her concert in Indonesia, and I was awed with her performance of the Grammy award winning song “Mean”. And well, fans here in Asia, they only know the pop Taylor, most of her old songs isn’t pure pop and most of the audiences aren’t even aware of those songs.
If Taylor went full pop, she would go down with the same fate as Shania Twain, Leann Rimes and Faith Hill. I was surprised when Safe & Sound came out (her collaboration with The Civil Wars). At first I thought it was the direction of music she’s taking on her next album. Then, “We Are Never…” came out and I was disappointed. Still, half of the songs on Red can be defined as country or country pop at least. There’s no place in pop music for someone like Taylor, that is a fact. Let’s see how her career will goes in the next few years and pretty sure she’ll release a bluegrass album just for the sake of acceptance in country music.
Why I think is country music is now a community? Well Eric Church’s The Outsiders is too rock, Hunter Hayes Storyline is too pop, and I could go on and on. Still, that’s what makes country music cool!
All in all, I’m still waiting for her new record, and I’m not sure that Max Martin produced most of the tracks. Let’s wait and see how her next album plays out.
June 14, 2014 @ 6:26 am
I see the point. If Taylor Swift will move away from country this year as she is returning her country music career, that means, country radio will no longer play Taylor Swift for good. I would be cool if Taylor Swift can move her entire music industry to pop market and have pop market add Taylor Swift to its roster. If that’s the case, I want to see pop radio playing the rest of Taylor Swift that only plays on country radio like White Horse and Sparks Fly. That would be nice. Imagine pop radio playing all Taylor Swift country songs like Picture To Burn and Ours. Let’s make this happen this year. Taylor Swift’s country songs (Tim McGraw, Picture To Burn, White Horse, Mean, Sparks Fly, Ours, Begin Again, Red, etc.) for pop radio this year please. Don’t forget Tim McGraw’s Highway Don’t Care too. Highway Don’t Care would be a great addition to pop radio too despite Highway Don’t Care is just country. Let’s hope Taylor Swift visits random pop radio stations and talk about playing her pure country music on pop radio for the first time. Plus, all Taylor Swift music videos was categorized as pop on Vevo. Even Highway Don’t Care too despite the song is not pop. I want to hear her country outputs like The Best Day on pop stations this year.
June 14, 2014 @ 7:28 am
Yes, it would be good for country music fans if country radio would stop playing Taylor Swift. The pop market has already added her to their roster. The issue here is that the mainstream country establishment is reluctant to drop her from its roster.
I don’t understand why Sparks Fly was released only to country radio, because it is a POP song. So are others songs on your list such as Red. And I don’t think any of the songs you listed are “pure country”.
June 15, 2014 @ 2:27 pm
As I already said, Taylor Swift songs that were played on country radio only like Sparks Fly and Begin Again will be playing on pop radio later this year. Plus, country and pop are both different genres. They’re different popular music genres. See what I’m saying? Taylor Swift can do whatever she wants in terms of making new music unlike Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Leann Rimes. Thus, Taylor Swift can retire her country music this year and she can move her country radio exclusive songs like Red to pop radio. That way, Taylor Swift’s country fans will be happy when her country songs are no longer played on country radio and instead now played on pop radio. As for you Ernest, I understand that your country radio longer doesn’t play Begin Again or Red. I assuming that Taylor Swift is writing her songs on her own for the most part. Max Martin is working on Taylor Swift’s new album by producing most of her songs rather than making her new country music. Taylor Swift needs to make an album without any country tunes and that’s what Taylor Swift is working on this year. 😉
June 14, 2014 @ 9:19 am
Meh, she was never there. Hope it starts a mass migration of all the crap.
June 14, 2014 @ 11:55 pm
“There”™s no place in pop music for someone like Taylor, that is a fact. ”
I find the above line outrageously funny since a vast majority of her fans are
pop. If she were to leave the pop world she might as well give up her whole career.
Pop music and pop fans are what’s keeping her at the top of the music world.
Get over it.
Some people are still totally and completely clueless who Taylor Swift is.
June 16, 2014 @ 3:40 pm
Come to think of it, you are right. Most of her fans now are in the range of the pop genre. I believe I am in denial, I still can’t imagine Taylor not being country. Seriously. Her last real country release was so good (Safe & Sound). Anyways, the longevity of a pop music career is way shorter than country. Unless they can pull a Katy Perry of P!nk or Beyonce.
I don’t think Taylor can pull that off. She needs to grow musically. I’d recommend her taking 1 year off from her life to simply focus on songwriting and recording. That’d be a good idea!
June 16, 2014 @ 11:59 pm
Well indeed, many of her best songs are the least pop ones…
But if she has maintained her position as one of the world’s biggest pop and country/pop star for so many years…I wouldn’t bet against her doing the same for the years ahead. There were people who believed she wouldn’t even make it as a
country singer at the beginning and look what happened.
If there’s any thing Taylor Swift is good at it’s proving her critics wrong, again and
June 15, 2014 @ 9:31 am
I’m from Brazil and almost nobody knows Taylor is country. Actually, I remember being a huge fan of hers back in 2006 when she was still a rising star and asking myself what she was going to do to grow. Eight years later, I’ve got the answer.
It’s a shame, because she actually came out neck-to-neck with Kellie Pickler (and the former was bigger for a couple months) and took her awards. Does anyone remember the I Wonder performance on the same day Pickler lost the Horizon Award to Taylor? Now, we’ve got a completely proud country star being dismissed by country genre while some people are crying over Taylor Swift.
Let her go. Goodbye. I knew you were trouble.
June 15, 2014 @ 11:47 am
Whoa Nelly. You are correct, everyone’s jumping off the popwagon and streaming into the borders of country. It’s an open free-for-all.
It makes no sense to go back to the desert and starve to death.
June 15, 2014 @ 12:46 pm
At my local country station, they don’t really play her newer country singles like Red and Begin Again. They mostly play classic Swift songs like Our Song, Teardrops on My Guitar and Mean. I assume that they’ll just do that if Taylor leaves country. I was a little dissappointed when i saw that Max Martin had worked on a lot of the album but part of me is hoping that Taylor did most of the writing and that she might surprise us.
June 15, 2014 @ 8:18 pm
“TAYLOR SWIFT IS NOT COUNTRY”
“Taylor Swift Disses Country Radio”
“This Taylor Swift Shit – Country Music is Dead”
I told you Taylor Swift Can’t Sing”
These are just a few of the titles from some of the former blogs/reviews here on Saving Country Music. It seems like we’ve been lulled into thinking that monotone, tuneless chant-like lyrics is singing.
(Whateva………to each their own, but I am definitely NOT a country music fan anymore if this is the criteria. I’d rather crank up the Eagles, Bob Seger, Alabama or Lynyrd Skynyrd! (or even Garth! At least he CAN sing). Yup.
June 17, 2014 @ 11:16 am
Lol. I know, N.Marie. My comment wasn’t all that great. So what are you talking about? My comment is about Avril Lavigne. I know this is my opinion on Avril Lavigne. I hope you understand about my comments regarding of the Let Go era and her 2007 hit single, Girlfriend. That’s all.
July 9, 2014 @ 4:41 pm
It’s doubtful that Taylor Swift will leave Country music. For heaven sakes she’s like one of the hottest country cuties. Yes I know there’s controversy in music but I know a lot of country artists that are famous and had a Pop version or a remix version released and here’s a list of a lot of Artist with a hit song
1. Chattahoochee (Extended Mix) by Alan Jackson
2. Indian Outlaw (Dance Mix) by Tim McGraw
3. Boot Scootin’ Boogie (Club Mix) by Brooks n’ Dunn
4. Guys Do it all the Time (Dance Mix) by the late Mindy McCready
5. Cruise (Remix) by Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly
6. Teardrops on My Guitar (Pop Version) by Taylor Swift
7. Good Time (Dance Mix) by Alan Jackson
8. I Need You Now (Pop Version) by Lady Antebellum
9. Watermelon Crawl (Dance Mix) by Tracy Byrd
10. Achy Breaky Heart (Pop Mix) by Billy Ray Cyrus
11. Mine (Pop Mix) by Taylor Swift
12. Love Story (Pop Mix) by Taylor Swift
13. You Belong with Me (Pop Mix) by Taylor Swift
14. You’re Not Sorry (C.S.I Remix) by Taylor Swift
15. This is How we Roll (remix) Florida Georgia Line ft. Luke Bryan & Jason Derulo
16. Just a Kiss goodnight (Pop Version) by Lady Antebellum
17. Before he Cheats (Pop Mix) by Carrie Underwood
18. Last Name (Pop Mix) by Carrie Underwood
19. Everything has Changed (Radio Remix) by Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran
20. If I die Young (Pop Version) by The Band Perry
21. Dirt Road Anthem (remix) by Jason Aldean Ft. Ludacris
22. Country Girl (Shake it for Me) (Pop Version) by Luke Bryan
23. How do I live (Extended Mix) by LeAnn Rimes
and goes on and on
October 1, 2014 @ 9:45 pm
Taylor is an okay singer, why she is so popular I am unsure there are alot of pretty girls out there, it probably has something to do with her writing talent, but she is not the best writer in music out there today? Maybe she has many younger fans, like really young. She is not so big country cannot live without her after all the hard core country fans did not like her pop country songs that were more pop. After her first album alot of country fans were over her. Miranda Lambert was her main competition in country and before you compare their net worths; Miranda’s is much lower because she does not have interest in crossing over to make more money. Miranda has consistently kicked Taylor’s but at one award show after another for years now in the country music realm. Judging by Taylor’s face at the past years of country music awards shows, I wonder did she leave country music because the awards were going to the other pretty, talented singer song writer whose soul was more based in country? I wonder. Maybe Taylor is as immature as she seems….
January 2, 2015 @ 4:54 pm
Taylor is my favorite country artist or was I don’t know what she is now ,but I will always believe that she will turn back to country. It just makes me sad that she is leaving because I used to look up to her ,kind of like she was my big sister ,that’s what inspired me that I decided that when I grew up I would be a country music singer. I just wish she would see the people who care about her because country has made her popular that is what made her who she is, she just forgot about everyone who cared about her.
When I got her new CD disk for Christmas I put it in my radio right after and she didn’t even sound the same. I just want the old Taylor back, the one who cared about country, the one who cared about her fans including me. You don’t understand how much I looked up to her. I miss her. :'(
August 13, 2015 @ 2:21 pm
country is not the dominating music genre at this time..somebody has wishful thinking..pop is definitely the dominant genre along side but above rap and hip hop..country is possibally 3rd or 4th but number one??LOL