Taylor Swift may be the modern girl’s best friend. There’s something strangely gratifying in her no-apologies approach to emotions. While some say she falls in love too many times, her millions of fans still commit to her by singing and dancing to her music.
Her fourth full-length album “Red” has sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first week — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since her last studio album, 2010’s “Speak Now.”
To pay homage to her success with her lucky number 13, here are Swift’s best 13 songs.
1. “All Too Well”
Swift takes listeners back to her country roots. She thrives when she croons about specific memories, drawing listeners into her all-too-familiar narrative: “We’re singing in a car getting lost upstate” or “Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone / But you keep my old scarf from that very first week.”
This arena-rock song merges guitars and violins to create an opera-like atmosphere — something that carried to its performance during the Speak Now World Tour. Fan’s love for this song was permanently cemented by its soaring bridge (and its use in HBO’s “True Blood”).
3. “Last Kiss”
One would be lying if they said this song has not made them cry before. Everyone has one of those relationships they look back on and remember that last, tender kiss. This song reminds girls that it’s OK to occasionally remember those things.
4. “Long Live”
To be frank, this anthem about winning prom king and queen (or her Grammys?) makes no sense initially. Swift spent her high school days in a tour bus. However, this is the song for that feeling of accomplishment.
Every album needs a great danceable track, which “Starlight” delivers. The picturesque lyrics and the guitar instrumental combine to create a memorable record.
6. “Begin Again”
If this last album is about Swift purging herself of toxic relationships, “Begin Again” is the resolution every fairy tale reader craves. She sings, “I’ve been spending the last eight months / thinking that all love ever does / is break and burn and end.” The music video featuring the young Ryan Gosling look-alike heightens the songs likability.
Her metaphors may be too much for some, but they often nail the spectrum of emotions. Every relationship has its sad (blue) moments and the ending can be a little dreary (gray), but let’s face it: “Loving him was red.”
It’s catchy, it’s happy, it’s about being in love. This is the arena in which Swift shines. This is the song for the first few weeks of a relationship or right after you’ve said, “I love you.”
9. “Sparks Fly”
Swift speaks to every part of the relationship, even falling for the wrong kind of people when she sings, “My mind forgets to remind me / you’re a bad idea.”
10. “I’m Only Me When I’m With You”
There are certain people one may come across that makes them feel alive and this song pays tribute to them.
11. “Stay Stay Stay”
“Red” is Swift’s most stark departure from her country base, but this track brings fans back to the roots of “Tim McGraw.” It’s silly and cutesy (ending with giggles) but still real: “Before you I only dated self indulgent takers who took all / of their problems out on me.”
12. “Forever & Always (Piano Version)”
It is a travesty that “Forever & Always” was originally released as a non-piano version. The pop version comes off as whiny, whereas the piano version showcases true talent toward melodies.
13. “I Knew You Were Trouble.” This song is dubstep. Well, dubstep-lite. And introspective. Swift takes some responsibility for the bad decisions: “I guess you didn’t care / And I guess I liked that.” It’s a subtle answer to the critics that think otherwise. And you know what? Congrats, Taylor, on getting your beat to drop.
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