Look, to be able to release an independent record (2006) at the age of 16 written and co-written all the 11 tracks in her debut and be nominated as the Best New Artist for Grammy in 2008 certainly demands attention, if not respect. Taylor Swift does have a music talent and her voice does communicate a certain level of honesty and youthfulness. My only reservation is on the genre itself. To me, every country song tells an emotional story. Be it as a wedding that took place against all adversities, a girl who waited for a traveling soldier who didn’t return from the war, a poor family but yet happy with contentment, the impact of a divorce to the children, and etc, I think a country singer needs a certain level of maturity to tell stories of multiple facets. Being a teenage country singer and writer, the topic of her self titled debut pretty much circles around teenage love affair, which is good and bad. Good if you can relate to it and not getting tired of it for the entire album duration. Bad if you expect a country genre to be more, country, to have more impact.
For a 16 years old (when the album was released and she is now 18), Taylor Swift does have some mad vocal skills – although I must say, she doesn’t quite have the big voice as my favorite female country pop singers such as Carrie Underwood or Martina McBride, nor have that characteristic country voice of Martie Maguire from the Dixie Chicks or Gretchen Wilson. I hope to see a smoother transition of her low, mid, and high registers in her subsequent albums. And her voice may not sound unique – at least to me – and I find it hard to identify her voice amongst some other teenage pop singers.
From the song melody point of view, Taylor Swift’s debut does have a good number of catchy tunes. Overall a well rounded album and since she is still very young, she does have a great potential in this music industry. Below is one of her singles “Teardrops on my Guitars” inspired by a true story of hers. I am sure you would love it like I do. And you may understand why she has become so popular these days.