At the sweet age of 16, Taylor Swift came onto country charts with her love-bracelet clad wrists swinging. Swift’s first two albums have together sold more than 13 million copies and made her the top-selling digital artist in music history. So, it’s safe to say that the expectations are high for the coming release of her third album, Speak Now, which hits stores and digital outlets on October 25th. To keep her fans’ anxiousness at bay until then, Swift is releasing one track every week until the full album release. Her current single, “Mine,” was the first to debut. Next was the title track “Speak Now.”
Although Swift’s known to be quite the crossover bombshell, by the sound of this track, she’s taking it quite a bit further than she did on her last two albums. “Speak Now” is not for diehard country hearts–there’s no sign of a slidin’ steel, flarin’ fiddle, or a stompin’ two-step, nor so much as a lick of country musicality anywhere in the cut’s four minutes and two seconds. Slides have been traded out for a bouncy acoustic; her percussion and background vocals are now more reminiscent of MoTown than Nashville. And now, her once nasal, country “r’s” have been subbed out for a jazzier tone. If she was a newly signed artist and this was her debut single, she could very well be considered a pop-only artist.
Like the majority of Swift’s songs, “Speak Now” is a story about a boy—an ex-who-is-about-to-get-married-to-another-girl-even-though-he-shouldn’t-because-he-still-loves-Taylor kind of boy. The scene is set up at a church, as the ceremony is about to begin. Swift has come to take her man back, but she isn’t quite sure how. She pokes fun at the bride throughout, but in the most charming ways, referring to her dress as a pastry and the processional as a death march.
If there were an award for the most innocent, adorable home wrecker, Swift would win first prize.
While normally only played up in movies, Swift takes advantage of the cliché line “speak now or forever hold your peace…” as she hits ‘em with the hook, line, and sinker—or, in this case, hook, line and stealer: “I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion/But you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl.”
“Speak Now” ends in happily ever after when the stolen groom plans to meet her in the back of the church to runaway together.
Swift is known for her “diary” songs, full of actual memories and real names. However, she admits that “Speak Now” is only hypothetical, a story based off her close friend’s experience of finding out her ex was engaged.
This didn’t stop Swift from jumping in to her friend’s skin to play out the situation as she saw fit. Swift makes the story so clear that it’s impossible to challenge her credibility as the narrator, even though her audience is aware that if she really had actually done such a thing, it would have gone viral within minutes.
“Speak Now” isn’t as relatable as many of her other songs. This could or could not be because it isn’t a true story, but either way, their aren’t very many people (if any), who’ve actually crashed a wedding and stolen their love away from their affianced. This song doesn’t come with a full support system, cheering “Yea, that’s the way to do it! Take her man, that’s how I got mine!”
The lyrics of “Speak Now” are set up to imagine the story, word for word. And, as you do, you find yourself unknowingly swaying to the beat and humming along. It doesn’t leave you lost in thought of where your life is going or remind you of the pain of getting over an ex. It’s the perfect song to listen to as you’re reading through e-mails, vacuuming your room, or driving around on a sunny day with the windows down.
With two weeks still remaining until the album drops, it’s quite unclear what to expect from Ms. Swift next. More pop inspired songs? Movie scenes rather than diary entries? Frankly, it’s hard to say. The 20 year-old sure can keep her fans and critics guessing.
Two more sneak-peek tracks will be available before her October 25th release date.