Fearless (But Not Really)

Here's another post I've been putting off for a while. For some reason, liking this person should be embarrassing for me, and I usually choose not to embarrass myself publicly. Not purposefully, at least. On accident is a whole different story (and could make for a series of blogs, I'm sure). The thing is, I seem to have this little series of artists going. Eminem's come up. Greg Laswell too. And I don't think I can go on this topic much longer without stating my opinions on a pretty polarizing person.

And yes, that person is Taylor Swift.

Because regardless of what you say about her voice, or how you feel about the overarching theme of her music, Taylor is an artist.

I actually think that having a theme that carries across much of your work is a sign of an artist. Christopher Nolan writes of obsessed characters. Eminem uses an interesting mirrors motif that spreads across much of his work. Tarantino likes feet, I guess.

And Taylor has love.

I think that's why she gets so much negative attention, especially from people our age. She's so fanciful about the whole thing, as if she's seeing life and love and heartbreak for the first time.

She doesn't have the strongest voice, I'll admit, but is that really the reason she garners such a general feeling of "yuck" from the twenty-something crowd? If so, I'm stumped as to why artists like Bob Dylan and John Mayer have such a following.

Then again, it could also just be a genre choice. Our generation is notorious for hating anything with "slash pop" in the title. When Good Charlotte was considered "punk," they were on top of the world. When the "slash pop" entered into the game, they were done. So maybe it's just that no one likes "country slash pop." That's fine. To each his own.

But to discount her as an artist because of this is what's troubling. She knows her theme. She knows her audience. She knows her genre. And she plays to it like no one's ever done before, especially not at her age.

I'm probably just a sucker for the fact that she writes her own music. That, in the world of canned pop songs, puts her ahead of most performers in my mind. It seems more honest to me. If she didn't write her stuff, I don't think I'd give her a second glance.

I can relate to it too. She writes about love as much as I used to. She writes about it with the same wonder too. It's probably not great that I'm relating myself to music geared at pre-teen girls, but I think the older I get, the more I'm forced to lose that sense of wonder.

So if overly-happy music can make me feel overly-happy for a minute or two, I think that's okay. I think I need that sometimes.

Knowing that's what she does, and doing it perfectly, is what I'd say makes Taylor Swift a real artist.

Don't agree? I'll leave the comment box open. This one could be fun.