With the release of her new album, 1989, Taylor Swift is shying away from her country roots in favor of a more pop sound. It comes as no surprise as she has been quite the crossover success in recent years.
However, is a move to pop music the right decision for Swift?
Not since Shania Twain has a country artist had so much appeal in the pop music world. With hits like “That Don’t Impress me Much” and “You’re Still the One”, Twain is the most successful female crossover artist of her time, and much of Taylor’s appeal can be attributed to artists like Twain.
In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to be an artist on Taylor’s caliber and not be introduced to the pop world, but what makes Twain and Taylor different is their approach to the crossover status.
While Twain did add pop elements into her music, she always stayed true to her country music roots. Twain would release both a pop and country version of some of her bigger hits, but she always knew she was a country artist first.
Swift seems to have forgotten that, because recently the singer has moved away from the country feel in her songs, and has gone to the guitar and bass sounds of pop music. Her new single “Shake It Off” has already been the #1 song on iTunes, and the video for the song has been a YouTube smash.
With the success of “Shake It Off” Taylor has relied more on a catchy hook , than her usual incredible songwriting.
Taylor has always been a successful songwriter, as most fans can relate to her songs about love and heartbreak, but that’s why she was such a successful country artist. Country music is about telling a story, it’s about the passion and heart .
Her music videos have become that much more mainstream as well. Swift’s videos used to feature the cute boy and the country cornfield setting.
Now, she relies on twerking, flashy outfits, and backup dancers to portray a more edgy image.
Fans of Swift probably don’t care that the artist has converted into a pop superstar. Most of her fans are young teens that view Swift as their idol, and would follow her to the moon and back, so this shift doesn’t appear as though it would lessen her popularity.
Even Twain has addressed this change in Swift’s music style and her understanding of Swift’s new direction.
“I think that everybody should just follow their heart and do their artistic best, and just enjoy their creativity,” Twain told ET Canada at the recent Bliss Ball in Toronto. “Taylor‘s a singer-songwriter-performer, she does it all … the world is her oyster. She’s young and she needs to just do whatever she’s having fun at and I think everybody’s loving it.”
Maybe this is just a lot of publicity over what might prove to be just a temporary and fun departure from her norm. But it is tough to see Swift, one of the biggest—if not the biggest—names and most talented musicians in the business abandon her country roots.
After all the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
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