Taylor Swift’s Aggressive Country Move with “New Year’s Day” Poses Many Questions
We were already alerted last week that Taylor Swift would be making the move back to country radio with her new tune “New Year’s Day.” But nobody anticipated just how aggressive this move would be. In short, Big Machine Records has launched one of the biggest ad campaigns for a country radio single in modern memory, and will not stop until “New Year’s Day” hits #1.
Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation sold 1.23 million copies in its first week, already making it the best selling album in 2017. “New Year’s Day” debuted at #57 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts this week, with impressive early numbers, including 1.3 million audience impressions led by strong spins in key markets on stations such as WUSN in Chicago, and KKBQ in Houston. But this tells only part of the story, especially since “New Year’s Day” is not officially going for adds on country radio until November 27th.
In this week’s edition of Country Aircheck—one of country radio’s most important weekly circulars—Taylor Swift is all over the place. Along with a full page ad pushing “New Year’s Day” to country’s radio professionals, four additional pages have huge Taylor Swift images embossing the left margin. Taylor Swift and Big Machine aren’t just making a play for country radio, they want to dominate it with “New Year’s Day.”
This is a major change of strategy from Big Machine and the Swift camp compared to the approach they took with her last record 1989 where Swift specifically requested Big Machine withhold the music from country radio. Though there’s not anything especially “country” about “New Year’s Day,” there were similar stripped-back songs on 1989 that could have been offered to country radio if Big Machine had chosen to, and Taylor Swift had signed off on it.
But Taylor Swift refused, and did so against the wishes of Big Machine as explained by Taylor Swift herself at the time.
“Even calling this record 1989 was a risk,” Swift said to GQ in 2015. “I had so many intense conversations where my label really tried to step in. I could tell they’d all gotten together and decided, ‘We gotta talk some sense into her. She’s had an established, astronomically successful career in country music. To shake that up would be the biggest mistake she ever makes,’ . . . I’d go into the label office, and they were like, ‘Can we talk about putting a fiddle and a steel-guitar solo on ‘Shake It Off’ to service country radio?’”
“I was trying to make the most honest record I could possibly make,” Swift continued. “And they were kind of asking me to be a little disingenuous about it: ‘Let’s capitalize on both markets.’ No, let’s not. Let’s choose a lane.”
In other words, as Big Machine was really trying to push Taylor Swift to remain country, she was putting up a big fight, later saying there was “like a dozen sit-downs” with Big Machine to hammer out the issue, with Swift eventually prevailing.
READ: The Lesson of Taylor Swift’s Success: Choose a Lane
This is what country fans and critics had been calling for when it came to Swift’s music for years: quit calling it country, and then we can perhaps respect it. So why the change in strategy all of a sudden with “New Year’s Day,” and why so aggressively by Big Machine?
One of the reasons their campaign to put “New Year’s Day” on the radio is so ostentatious is likely due to the failure of pop stars crossing over to country recently. Country is not like pop; the format likes to have a current, working relationship with an artist before allowing them to enter the format. We saw this when Justin Timberlake attempted to release “Drink You Away” to country radio, and the song didn’t even chart. Similarly, John Mayer’s “In The Blood” was released to country radio failed to chart. With Swift, some stations may be a little frustrated she didn’t release 1989 singles to country.
The worst thing Taylor Swift could do is release a song to country radio and have it fail, potentially shutting the door on making a country comeback record in the future. So if Swift and Big Machine were going to move on country radio, they had to move hard, and it must be successful. Both Swift and Big Machine are smart enough to know this, hence the war chest being opened to help put “New Year’s Day” in front of country stations.
But there’s another, bigger issue that is opened up with this aggressive move. Swift’s “choose a lane” strategy is what won her a lot of respect from country fans, and her biggest sales accomplishments to date. Swift was adamant on this point. Behind-the-scenes, is Swift happy about all this country radio promotion from Big Machine? Or is it a source of friction like it was with 1989? And what ramifications could this have for the country radio format, which over the last few years has been making small steps towards setting clearer boundaries when it comes to pop singles, and allowing more traditional country songs to bubble up?
Some are saying that regardless of genre concerns, Swift’s “New Year’s Day” is an improvement from many of country’s current singles. This may be true, but it also may set a bad precedent that if anyone is willing to spend enough money, they can make a move into country radio, even if the single isn’t appropriate for the format, and even if they’ve stated specifically that the music is pop. Does Taylor Swift think “New Year’s Day” is country? If it’s a success, will she release a second single to country radio?
This isn’t just the story of one song. All of a sudden, Taylor Swift has once again opened up the age old arguments about genre, the integrity of the country format, the encroachment of pop into country, and how the country industry should handle it. And will this create the same confusion among Taylor Swift fans that Taylor was concerned over when releasing 1989? Will this make Swift so ubiquitous that she could become over-exposed? Will this bring many of her critics back out of the woodwork, who retreated after she started calling herself pop?
It should be a very interesting next few months as “New Year’s Day” will now be one of the most-watched and talked-about singles on country radio in some time, with ramifications that could go far beyond the appeal or success of “New Year’s Day” itself, and help set the rules of engagement in country radio for years to come.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:09 pm
Bebe Rexha just released a FGL collaboration to country radio, she’s also Big Machine, so this might be their strategy.
Also I suspect that Taylor, being super smart, knows pop has a short shelf life, especially for women, so she might be setting herself up to move back to country.
November 21, 2017 @ 7:15 pm
For some reason FGL is popping up all over the place with their pop song features recently, they’re on a new Hailee (I think that’s how she spells her name, I can’t remember) Steinfeld track as well.
November 22, 2017 @ 11:55 am
Bebe was not under the Big Machine Record but the single is handled by BMR which is FGL label. She still got that main credit where the boys as featured but still, it was a bad one. Idk, what were they thinking to release this shit on country radio. Mainly due to FGL name attached on it? So they should release that Hailee single too.. SMH!
November 23, 2017 @ 4:16 pm
The answer is simple, actually.
The fourth single from Florida Georgia Line’s current release, “Smooth”, has just become the first single of their career to fail reaching the Top Ten. And this is happening while they have yet to get deep into the recording of their next album.
So in an environment that pressures entertainers to be as prolific and fast-paced as ever to retain relevance, what do you do?
Feature on other entertainers’ tracks, of course!
It’s essentially an act of insurance to what remains of their mainstream viability: a means of buying time while they are without a proper follow-up as a lead act. And I have to admit while it has desperation to it, it is also a savvy move in that they’re also involving themselves in the Top 40 circles as songwriters and thus forging more insider connections.
How much leverage they attain from that remains to be seen. But it is easy to see why they’re sprouting up on Top 40. After all, they got a previous hit on Top 40 radio and were among the leading nominees at the American Music Awards while getting snubbed at both major country awards shows.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:10 pm
if I wanted to listen to Miley Cyrus I would turn on the Disney channel or go to a five year old’s birthday party. this is just stupid.
on the plus side she’ll fit right in with Sam Hunt.
and it won’t affect me one bit because I don’t listen to radio
November 21, 2017 @ 1:16 pm
Great song, but why is Taylor Swift covering U2 all of a sudden?
November 21, 2017 @ 1:24 pm
Song was written by Swift and Jack Antonoff
November 21, 2017 @ 2:40 pm
Not possible. War came out in 1983, Swift wasn’t born until 1989.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:14 pm
Talking about Tsylors single not U2
November 21, 2017 @ 3:32 pm
Yes, obviously Taylor Swift is covering U2. I didn’t think it was actually U2’s version. I just don’t get it because it really isn’t her style. I applaud her for the effort, though, and hope she does the song justice because it really is a great tune.
If she pulls it off maybe she’ll try “Sunday Bloody Sunday” next.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:18 pm
Theres no mention of Taylor covering a U2 song on the internet. Just the comments on this article. She co-wrote the song.
November 21, 2017 @ 5:33 pm
No, U2 wrote it years before she was born. It was a collaborative effort by the entire group, written about the Polish Solidarity movement. You must be thinking of a different song.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:15 pm
Hahaha well done 🙂
November 21, 2017 @ 6:05 pm
Or nice try. Haters gonna hate.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:59 pm
Ha! If only… 😀
November 21, 2017 @ 1:21 pm
Stars fade…..along comes more young and “willing” to snatch the former from top spot.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:26 pm
If I was a Big Machine female country artist I would be pissed! How about ya push some ACTUAL COUNTRY gals & stop bringing in POP stars to take spots of the already crowded radio female adds.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:56 pm
Most on radio ain’t exactly “country”. The genre has changed like rock has.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:57 pm
I 100% agree, and that’s what I always thought was part of Swift’s rationale for being so adamantly AGAINST shipping any 1989 songs to country radio—there are countless up-and-coming actual country artists who would love some exposure in Aircheck. This was the point she made in initially pulling her songs from Spotify around the same time—it’s not that she needs the $$, it’s that low rates for all artists impact the least-known ones most of all.
November 21, 2017 @ 2:20 pm
Good point. Big Machine hasn’t put this kind of promotional muscle behind any of their other artists ever. Of course they’re expecting a big return on investment, which you may not get from another artist, but if I was on Big Machine, I would be wondering why there’s such a big push for an artist who makes her own media, while I only get a half-page squib the week of my release, and my signles stalls outside the Top 20.
November 23, 2017 @ 3:27 pm
Maybe Scott needs the money.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:55 pm
“Country is not like pop; the format likes to have a current, working relationship with an artist before allowing them to enter the format.”
But Taylor isn’t Timberlake or Mayer, or Beyonce. She DOES have relationships with the format (even if they’re relationships that haven’t been active since 2013.), so the fact that Big Machine isn’t taking that for granted and is giving the single the kind of aggressive push that WOULD normally apply to someone who is and has always been a pop radio artist from day one speaks to how far removed from country Taylor is perceived to have moved in such a short period of time.
November 21, 2017 @ 1:58 pm
We have no idea where Taylor is going. Pop is more than likely where she’ll be for life. As long as she doesn’t mind being around all that drama that pop has.
November 21, 2017 @ 7:06 pm
we’re all missing the actual point I think . who cares ‘ who has relationships with whom ..? none of that means anything ….the promotion , the usurping of airplay time from actual country performers , the labeliing of the song as ‘country’ , the way stations , fans and media all have bought into to another ’emporer’s new clothes ‘ scenario . none of it matters the way none of it mattered with shania twain or whoever calls themselves ‘country ‘
ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT THE SONG AND THE PERFORMANCE ARE ABSOLUTE CRAP .
November 23, 2017 @ 3:29 pm
The point is that country radio no longer has integrity and hasn’t for years.
November 21, 2017 @ 2:03 pm
November 21, 2017 @ 2:05 pm
Just another step by Big Machine/Borchetta to change the “country” format. Will “country” radio play a new Taylor Swift song? Sure. You can bet your hard earned money on the success of “New Year’s Day”.
Glad it’s only one Taylor Swift song. The FGL overkill is in full swing. “Smooth” lost the bullet & is (most likely) done. Still on the charts but far away from going to #1.
The god-awful “Up Down” by Morgan Wallen feat. FGL is new on #55 & there is the Bebe Whatshername song + a Billboard Hot 100 song with Hailee Steinfeld (“Let Me Go”).
November 21, 2017 @ 2:36 pm
has anybody bothered to ask what John Mayer thinks of Ryan Adams covering his ex-girlfriend’s shitty dance record? it just seems so weird to me
November 21, 2017 @ 2:36 pm
“New Year’s Day” has nothing to do with country music. Its rhythm and structure sounds exactly like a piano cover of a rock song. Its lyrics are also placeless, belonging to no genre.
At best, this is an entry into the Eurovision Song Contest.
This song belongs to San Remo, not San Antone.
She can take a hike.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:16 pm
And anything on country radio is legit country? Like Tom Petty said, hard to tell if hes listening to a country station or pop.
November 22, 2017 @ 12:44 pm
LOL! Eurovision let’s just say the song Waterloo was more country than this.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:02 pm
She’s doing this because her sales trended considerably downward after selling north of 400K in preorders and a combined 950K in its first three days of release……………………….and they realize they have a LOT to do to even come close to half of what its predecessor “1989” sold (6.1 million domestically).
Seeing that the lead two singles have both suffered from abbreviated chart runs at radio, with the former having abhorrently bad callout………………..Taylor Swift is in a bit of a pickle here. But she also knows that if she were to make a full-blown pivot back to country music as a whole, it would be seen as hypocritical carpetbagging and her “reputation” is too important for that.
So “New Year’s Day” is essentially her way of throwing a bone to Big Machine to attempt to gin up cross-format sales while providing her cover in that it’s the only truly understated track on the album from a production standpoint
I can get all worked up over this but, honestly, much of Taylor Swift’s earlier discography was scarcely country to begin with, and “New Year’s Day” is only one of three tracks that resonated to me in any way off an otherwise robotic, trend-chasing album……………….so I really can’t. Whether this actually makes any lasing impact as a single release remains to be seen.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:13 pm
Good thoughts Nadia, but I think Taylor Swift faces an uphill battle to dominate pop the way she does Country.
Observe how perfectly pitched Ed Sheeran (usually) is, at least compared to the “cream” of the crop of what is now “Country Music” Fluke Bryan Sham Hunt Cole Swindle etc and even Swift herself is notorious for pitch struggles.
And I’m going to say it
She’s been at this long enough that she should have gotten the hang of singing on pitch.
she’s incredibly awful at it, in fact, the amount of touring she does she should have a lot of practice. but she still struggles.
I think it’s safe to say that she’s actually (gasp) pretty untalented since she can’t even get enough practice in as a superstar to sing on pitch.
add to that she always sounds short of breath.
and while pop radio is hardly a bellwether of talent (for that go to bluegrass or folk/Americana) most of the top stars at least sing half decent
Taylor Swift is a joke compared to the current pop darlings. she’s competitive on Country Radio because the format is desperate for a hitmaker and most of the people talented enough to make hits have sworn off of the crooked system.
she’s not able to compete as a pop star so she needs Country to support her
November 21, 2017 @ 3:27 pm
I beg to differ in part. Taylor Swift has clearly been able to compete from a commercial standpoint on Top 40 radio as evidenced not only by producing five CHR/Pop #1s (three of which also went #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 without the benefit of streaming at the time)…………but taking command of water coolers in terms of cultural conversation as reflected by her constant conquering of the Billboard Social 50 chart. Hell, she was even capable of delivering multiple Top 10 singles to Top 40 radio from each preceding album.
That said, the rollout for this particular era has unmistakably been shakier. “Look What You Made Me Do” may have went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and broke first-day streaming records, but its success is now considered incredibly front-loaded in hindsight with a net spin loss in a single week at Top 40 radio breaking the record previously held by Ke$ha’s “Die Young”, and it already down at #59 on Spotify and #22 on YouTube. “…Ready For It?” was released while the lead single was still gaining, and it has hardly dominated any medium either with it still sitting outside the Top Ten on Top 40 radio, and the music video having already sunk beneath the lead single on YouTube. Now “End Game” is rapidly accumulating airplay and is threatening to cannibalize “…Ready For It?”, all the while failing to make much of an impact in streaming.
Her name recognition alone ensures she can compete with any other Top 40 staple, but her promotional team has been shooting themselves in the foot with the rollout this time around.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:36 pm
The lead single was weak and then they came with such a scattershot approach to the preview singles. Honestly, I don’t think they should have released anything else until like the week of the album release.
November 24, 2017 @ 9:44 am
”The lead single was weak and then they came with such a scattershot approach to the preview singles. Honestly, I don’t think they should have released anything…… ”
Your thoughts could have ended right here , Scotty ……..IMO it would have been a more accurate bit of ‘advice’ ……..possibly with the inclusion of the word “EVER ”
What I’ve heard sounds so unfocused ,tragically trendy ( the ‘HIP’ coined a great term ) and DESPERATE.
‘Country”..? …..’whatever ‘……
November 22, 2017 @ 12:52 pm
Interesting but going top 20 is kind of amazing at all really considering how many singles get released in a year. Or maybe not because maybe the same big names get promoted all the time so there isn’t a chance for say 90%of single to go anywhere.
This album will certainly not be as big as the last one partly do to the lapse in release time, people obsessed over scandals, and the simple fact that the album is a pure trendwhore. It offers nothing new. You want to stay on top you’ve set trends. Or at the very least steal little known trends (i.e. Madonna) and drastically do an image make over. Her makeover is so phony here and frankly plays into they very thing so many people hated about her to begin with. The whiny victim. It is getting exhausting for people. And may even get more so with all this sex scandal stuff. The oversaturation on media of victims.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:16 pm
Yep, forget the numbers this is the first album on the downward side of her career arc I predict. Obviously she is still pretty big but this was totally predictable as the shelf life for any major pop star is limited. Just look at the career arcs of Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, and even Rihanna to see how it goes. And this isn’t a female thing it’s more that careers in pop music have shorter lifespans.
It’s why Taylor Swift will make a full blown return to country album in a few years.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:41 pm
The thing is, even if a lot of it was likely just hot air, many industry estimates were initially projecting approximately two million in domestic first-week sales. Then, within a week of its release, the projections were lowered to approximately 1.7 million. Then about 1.5 million. Finally Hits Daily Double projected “reputation” would barely edge “1989” in terms of combined sales, but Billboard then confirmed it even fell short of achieving that.
I have a strong feeling “reputation” is going to inevitably be Swift’s most frontloaded era to date. I won’t be the least surprised if she suffers a second-week decline of 80% or even a little steeper. And especially with the dysfunction regarding her radio situation and souring relations among Grammy committee representatives toward Swift in light of recent celebrity bickering that could come back to haunt her at awards shows (she’s not even eligible for the 2018 Grammy Awards)………………….I’m expecting this album to have the weakest chart legs of any Taylor Swift album to date.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:14 pm
The numbers are bigger obviously but it seems to me to be a little similar to the recent Katy Perry release where the first single wasn’t well received then a bunch of follow ups were thrown at the wall until the whole thing collapsed and probably was the end of her time at the very top. Like I said the numbers for Swift are better but the lack of a breakout hit and a true strategy for follow ups will lead to a quick decline. This could also resemble the Lady Gaga album ‘Artpop’ or whatever that had a similar start. It can’t be overstated how important that first single is for these types of releases. Best example of that was the last Adele album. The lead single was beyond huge and it made the album.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:20 pm
And in Adele’s case, she was able to get away with producing two more decisive hits off of “Send My Love (To Your New Lover” and “Water Under the Bridge” deeper in the promotional cycle for “25”: a testament to the emotional impact the album maintained on many listeners.
As far as album sales were concerned, though, it really didn’t matter though. The vast majority of the album’s sales were shifted prior to “Send My Love” even being designated the third single from the album. “Hello” and her name recognition single-handedly did all the work.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:20 pm
Only her record label said 2 million. Katy sold her last album around 700k in 6 months vs Reputation in 24hrs.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:29 pm
It’s really no surprise, though: since “Witness” was preceded by such an uneventful lead single that failed to generate any passion and the album as a whole had so little in the way of energy or sharp hooks that have been the hallmark of Katy Perry’s career alongside her penchant for applying elaborate visuals as a backdrop to her melodies.
Katy Perry is simply that sort of entertainer that wasn’t designed for the long haul. I actually enjoy plenty of her tracks, but let’s face it: no one thinks of her as a lyricist first. It’s her visuals, girl-next-door brand of sex appeal and technical songwriting ability that drove her to stardom. But now that “Witness” is scarce of serviceable tracks with identifiable hooks and imagery, it shouldn’t be any surprise why the album has bombed.
November 23, 2017 @ 3:38 pm
The interesting thing to me is that she released not one, but two magazines with poetry written by her and new photos. Each magazine included a cd. My niece had to have those magazines and now has 3 cds. I imagine a lot of her following did the same. Are her first week sales inflated because of that promo?
November 21, 2017 @ 3:04 pm
Is Talor Swift country or pop? Don’t know and don’t care. “Country Radio” doen’t play anything I need to hear. I’ve not heard of about half the artists played on it and don’t like 99% of what’s played on it. I’ve spent the afternoon listening to Butch Hancock, Laura Cantrell, James Talley, and Audrey Auld. Until Country Radio plays music of this vein, I’ll listen to my collection, or a wide range of streaming stations out there.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:15 pm
Swift is an industry creation,not unlike many others , but she has just ‘stuck to the wall’.. her credits are over exaggerated and bought to keep the image afloat. Actual writers and co-writers are bought out to give her inflated credit. She plays no instruments and her voice is ‘fixed in the mix’..this all is a known fact in Nashville. I have no ‘proof’ because I don’t record conversations, but the Swift machine is a business in itself. Questioning any of it is spitting in the wind my friend…’killer out
November 21, 2017 @ 3:20 pm
You apparently know nothing of her. Just whatever this site posts.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:46 pm
i agree with very little on this site other than album reviews…
November 21, 2017 @ 6:37 pm
Wrong on every accusation.
November 21, 2017 @ 7:40 pm
I’m actually holding back on the Swift farce..
November 21, 2017 @ 3:18 pm
And anything on country radio is legit country? Like Tom Petty said, hard to tell if hes listening to a country station or pop.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:25 pm
Taylor is not new to the genre, unlike Mayer/Timberlake. I’m sure the song will do decently enough on Country radio, which may lead to her being invited to perform it live at a Country awards show, where it may even be nominated.
I don’t know why she isn’t ‘sticking to a lane’ with this album as she did for her last. Maybe she’s testing the waters before making her next move/album.
Country music was described on this site as having a self esteem problem, trying to show viewers and listeners that it wasn’t ‘too’ country. Taylor Swift returning to country radio/country awards shows fits that narrative. She’ll bring viewers, whether it’s a country song iś secondary.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:55 pm
Seeing a lot of folks talking about Swift doing this as an awards show play, but I don’t know if that’s worth it to her, at least at this point. She’ll take the awards if they give them to her, but showing up to the ACM’s I think would feel like a downgrade to Taylor and many of her fans. She did just win a CMA, and didn’t bother to show up there, so….. No reason to think she will next time. And I do think the “Better Man” CMA was an homage to Swift, and she didn’t bite.
November 21, 2017 @ 8:58 pm
I agree that Taylor might not have a good reason right now to make a play for country award show exposure. Only I was thinking more that country music is the one ‘biting’, that they want the Taylor exposure.
November 29, 2017 @ 1:35 pm
Although I’m not a huge country radio listener, there seems to be a gap in the market for a ballad like “New Year’s Day.” Country radio music is more busily-produced than most pop music this year, and “NYD” will likely be a breath of fresh air. It’s not a country-song, but I imagine that it will do well as an alternative to everything else.
November 21, 2017 @ 3:46 pm
She writes circles around the writers who dominate country radio and seems to continue to improve her craft. She’s come along way from singing about her boyfriend feeling her up in his truck “one hand on the steering wheel, the other on my he-a-art” and that one about the guy who talks slow–instead of low–because it’s late and his momma don’t know. In all seriousness, I think she’s a rare talent and any genre is lucky to have her.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:04 pm
Oh, she’s without a doubt an incisive, talented songwriter: including in a technical sense. I actually defended Taylor Swift often in the past despite her sound not being country at all for nonetheless putting a lot of thought and effort in her songwriting.
I have to admit, though, that “reputation” sounds very dumbed-down by Swift’s standards from a lyrical standpoint. Granted she had dumbed-down tracks like “Shake It Off” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “22” off of previous albums, but they at least were the exception rather than the rule. Here, there is a complete lack of descriptive detail across the board from the opening track to the closing track. And that undermines everything because it makes it hard to believe what she is selling because the characters she references in her songs are not sketched out, and she rather relies heavily on intensifiers like alcohol in their place to give off any attempt at flavor or edge but just comes across as forced instead.
It’s an album that I just can’t get invested in personally. It feels so insular. And it’s just odd coming from Taylor Swift how off she is this time around with not only descriptive quality and framing and thematic cohesiveness, but even writing a catchy hook.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:09 pm
Bummer… I haven’t had a chance to listen to much off the new album yet, but I did have high expectations (as high as they get for a pop record).
November 21, 2017 @ 4:22 pm
This has been her best album at least as a pop album from various music critics.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:56 pm
It is. I was just stating my own opinion of it though. I respectfully disagree with the critical consensus in that it felt like an incohesive album where the production takes precedent over the lyrics and is completely safe and trend-chasing.
November 22, 2017 @ 7:06 am
I don’t really trust professional music critics. If you compare Metacritic averages for music reviews compared to, say, movies, you’ll see that critics are way more reticent about panning an album compared to a movie. I can’t escape the suspicion that they consciously pull their punches, at least where the final rating is concerned.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:36 pm
I am already nauseous w this overload ONCE AGAIN. !!! Wish Borchetta would have put half as much effort into his Icons part of the label. He is a greedy man who has been a BIG part of the rap/pop crap.
November 21, 2017 @ 4:41 pm
I wish all Taylor Swift singles should be on pop radio. Even songs that weren’t on pop radio should be played on pop radio. Country music are anti-Taylor Swift jerks and stick with Taylor Swift-less country music. That’s why pop music like Taylor Swift is hurting Big Machine’s pop country industry. Country music really hates Taylor Swift these days.
November 21, 2017 @ 6:11 pm
Country music hates Taylor?! How you figure? Nashville hates authentic western music. No money in it. Thats all Nashville plays is pop country with hip hop and rap thrown in. Thats what sells and is only being played. No one likes to listen to old school country from 50 years ago. No one rides a horse to work either. Times change and so does music genres. Rock has changed many times and is mostly dead now.
November 21, 2017 @ 7:22 pm
nailed it chris…at least commercially speaking …where nashville is concerned .
however many people do listen to ‘old school country’ yet don’t support it through record purchases or concert tickets the way they may once have. don’t have to ….its FREE all over the internet …streaming , satellite , old records and cd’s etc.
LIVE PERFORMANCE ?..free on You Tube.
why fight traffic , drive hours to the show , pay for parking , a tank of gas , pay for hot dogs , beer etc..and pay for a concert ticket …or two or three ( family ) when its ALL FREE AT HOME ? pro sport is going through the same thing …attendance down , ticket prices up .
kids will do all of this , though , for a taylor swift or whomever …..so it SEEMS as though that’s the only music people listen to . nope ….its just the only music people will PAY to listen to …especially if their friends are .
November 21, 2017 @ 6:38 pm
You speak for country music?
November 22, 2017 @ 10:45 am
You know coming from that fame whore Blake Shelton, if you listen to anyone before him, you are considered an old fart and jackass.
November 21, 2017 @ 8:10 pm
“Behind-the-scenes, is Swift happy about all this country radio promotion from Big Machine? Or is it a source of friction like it was with 1989?”
I was thinking the same thing. Did she approve of sending the song to country, or is she just trying to keep Big Machine off her back? Even if the song does well, I don’t see a country follow-up being released. None of the other songs from the album could pass as country. Maybe “Call It What You Want” could if it was given a country remix. I’m just not really sure what to think of this whole thing.
November 21, 2017 @ 9:14 pm
I just got done taking out the trash. A little rainy out, but not too bad. Warm for this time of year. Think I’m going to have a glass of orange juice and get these shoes off. Feet are killing me. Gonna kick back a bit, take a shower, and head to bed soon. Probably dream about some shit – I don’t know. Tomorrow I’ll get up, probably hit McDonald’s on the way to work – I’m thinking a sausage biscuit with egg and one of those smashed up hash brown things sounds pretty good. Chug some coffee, and get back to wranglin’ wrenches. I’ll keep y’all posted if any of that changes – but that’s what I have planned for now…
November 22, 2017 @ 10:20 am
Would you just pick a lane and stay in it for Christ’s sake.
November 22, 2017 @ 9:37 pm
November 21, 2017 @ 10:00 pm
This isn’t all. Stop traffic because Bebe Rexha’s new single featuring Florida Georgia Line has been sent to Country Radio.
November 22, 2017 @ 2:07 am
Source is cmt.com about Taylor Swift: “According to Billboard, her contract has one studio album and a greatest hits compilation left on its deal.”
I don’t think Taylor Swift will go back to “country” music full-time in the near future…one or two “country” sounding songs to test the water & more songwriting credits like “Better Man” will keep her name in the (country) game.
Prediction: her next album will be more monogenre & less Max Martin/Shellback. One single for Top 40 & “country” radio. Her international career will fade away after Reputation.
November 22, 2017 @ 2:36 am
Lets party like it’s 1989 folks because Taylor Swift is coming back to country! America’s favorite sweetheart is gonna give this poor old country boy a stroke. What the hell makes her or Borchetta think that country music fans want her back? She stabbed country music in the back (although she was never country) when she went all out Britney Spears on us… and now she wants welcomed back with wide open arms… WTF!! She created the void for Bro-Country when she last graced the country airwaves… I wonder what miracles she can do for us this time. Ok… just took two Tylenol and realized I rant worse than Trigger. The bigger problem with Taylor coming back to country radio is that country music fans are going to buy into it instead of reject it and overall set her up for a complete return to country.
November 22, 2017 @ 10:49 am
She stabbed? What rule book says she has to stay in the genre? Many acts have gone pop. Never assume she’s coming back. As a fan, theres zero indication shell be country again.
November 22, 2017 @ 2:09 pm
First of all… I don’t want her to be country again… I wasn’t asking for that in my post above. Here’s the difference… when Taylor crossed over she turned her back on country except for publicity stunts like this one. When other artists like Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Shania Twain, Darius Rucker, Faith Hill etc. crossed over they remained loyal to the genre that brought them to fame and walked a line between country and pop.
November 22, 2017 @ 4:47 am
@DD,,,that was my first thought….why would I, or we want her back. It’s little like someone breaking up with you to date someone else. When you next hear from them they are single again and looking to fit back in with you and yours.
November 22, 2017 @ 7:35 am
I’m just going to throw this out there: if country radio was so desperate for a new Taylor Swift single, what was stopping them from playing whatever singles she was marketing to pop radio at any given time? Just because there was no marketing push to country radio doesn’t mean that they couldn’t play her music if they really wanted to, right? It wouldn’t have sounded country but since when has that been a factor?
November 22, 2017 @ 10:22 am
1) Country radio has no mind of its own. It is a promotional arm for the country music industry. It does what it’s told, ensured by the payola it receives via lavish incentives above and below the table.
2) Country radio did actually start playing some Taylor Swift a couple of years back, and it started sort of a mini controversy:
November 22, 2017 @ 9:47 am
Taylor Swift ?
The defense rests
November 22, 2017 @ 9:56 am
if she really wants to sell a record, she should write a duet with John Mayer
November 22, 2017 @ 10:50 am
Not all in the past has had a western themed sound.
November 22, 2017 @ 12:35 pm
Western music like Santiago Jimenez or Tish Hinojosa? Or are you thinking of the theme songs from Bonanza and Rawhide?
November 23, 2017 @ 1:17 pm
I think they were referring to Lydia Mendoza and Lola Beltran.
November 22, 2017 @ 12:54 pm
Can we agree that is one of the WORST album covers in music history?
November 22, 2017 @ 2:56 pm
i think she went too far, the album sounds something like a strip club soundtrack. 1989 she played it as a fun poppy experiment, and she dressed as a rapper in jest. this album she went all in with rappers, ebonics, the whole 9. I think it alienated her fans, so here comes ‘new years day’ to try to suck them back in. If that’s country then sam smith is hank williams and adele is loretta lynn
The Goddess of Country Rock
November 23, 2017 @ 6:42 am
Hey Trig, this article got a boost from Jezebel! 🙂
November 23, 2017 @ 1:15 pm
Jezebel… ugh. Not sure if that is plus or minus.
The Goddess of Country Rock
November 23, 2017 @ 1:59 pm
Oh trust me, I KNOW what a dumpster fire Jezebel can be. I just thought it was cool to see another online publication share a story from here.
January 13, 2018 @ 7:24 am
Want say something here. I am a British listener of Taylor swift since ten years ago, before her I never knew there was a music genre called country. Her lead me into a wonderful world of country music. I started to care about this genre and been a listener of many great country singer since then. Maybe her music is not the pure country like you Guys claimed but I don’t know why you all think she is a bad thing for country. if you really want. to save country music like you claimed, I think you should realize in fact she is a gift for country music. She is an window to the world of this beautiful country music.
June 26, 2018 @ 9:00 am
Music styles are constantly changing. I understand she must evolve from time to time even if that means going back and forth between music styles.