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Those that criticize Taylor Swift typically deal with her teenage-themed vibe. She capitalizes on failed romances through catchy tunes, easy rhyme schemes, and a motley assortment of revenge and self-realizations-based plots akin to a pre-quarter-century disaster (which she ought to have lengthy since handed). But, is Taylor Swift truly a greater lyricist than she lets on? Is there any proof that her grasp on the English language – and rhetorical methods — reaches additional than “she wears quick shirts; I put on t-shirts?”

When analyzing Taylor Swift’s ascension to stardom, you should account for the truth that she was fairly younger when on the rise; thus, a few of her early hits are adolescent in nature (focusing on a younger feminine demographic), as she herself fills that field. 

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Emma McIntyre/Getty Photographs For dcp

From “You Belong With Me” to “Shake It Off”, “Love Story,” and “Fifteen” a number of Swift numbers paint a story — utilizing well-known allusions to Romeo and Juliet or stereotypical depictions of highschool cliques — with out illustrating the emotional depth inherent to the expertise in an explorative or pensive means. Nevertheless, that is typically the case relating to the artist’s large hits — a sign that Swift is aware of her viewers. But, her B-tracks — and her work outdoors her pop-focused profession — spotlight her means to faucet into a distinct type. She will supply a distinct linguistic strategy — even typically proving a grasp on extra classical lyricism. 

Let’s check out “Clear”

Taylor Swift’s “Clear” comes off of the album 1989 and dives into what it means for like to die — for a relationship to crumble…not with a bang, however with a whisper. His love stays “throughout her” like a “wine-stained gown” she “can’t put on,” and although she felt like she was drowning when it got here to an in depth, the end is what allowed her to breathe — to reenter the world higher off. 

She is indignant however “clear:” clear of the ache, clear of the battle, clear of the long-lasting second in her life. She compares this finish to a drug habit ending, making a transparent analogy with out ever veering too far, as to keep away from a trite depiction. 

Taylor Swift as soon as defined that the music is about “ popping out of a relationship, or making an attempt to maneuver on from some battle that you simply had in your life, and feeling type of tarnished by it,” as famous by SongFacts. The music is heavy, however not overwrought or melodramatic; it’s actual with out being combative or whiney. It’s mature. 

“The Second I Knew:” When transparency meets subtext

Not like “Clear,” “The Second I Knew” is a little more on the floor, extra clear, however transparency doesn’t essentially imply weak. Transparency, when matched with a robust emotional subtext, is sort of highly effective. Swift balances the 2 effectively on this quantity; subtext and transparency. 

The story is true there: her boyfriend doesn’t come to her Celebration, but in every utterance of the “Second I Knew,” you are feeling the ache of each missed Birthday, each forgotten anniversary, each Vacation he confirmed and not using a present…each second that transpired earlier than the second she knew; it’s all there, however doesn’t have to be stated. This one story is sufficient to inform all of the others. 

Like “Clear,” “The Second I Knew” just isn’t her greatest hit, but the quantity reveals a competence outdoors her machine-like means to write down a sing-a-long music with a easy relatable message. 

‘Cats’ could have been a catastrophe, however “Stunning Ghosts” was not 

Cats could have been a debacle, however the quantity Swift wrote for the musical was not. “Stunning Ghosts” — from the lyrics to the melody — is haunting in its story. Stunning within the depth of darkness Swift enters to narrate the lyrics to the present musical’s narrative. The character at hand doesn’t have a reminiscence of one thing higher— entry to visions of “dazzling rooms” she is going to by no means be let into; she observes from the corners. 

From the darkish crevices that catalyze despair, she seems to be on the world, eager to be needed…with nothing to cling to. And whereas others could now not have what was earlier than — could have relinquished the pleasure that after characterised their gate (or ought to we are saying, crawl), they no less than have the attractive ghosts…they continue to be. Swift faucets into the classical type of writing for Cats’ different songs had been written a very long time in the past and for the Broadway stage. A pop quantity wouldn’t have labored. She rapidly transitions from her norm to a distinct medium, and he or she excels. 

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