Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

Single Review: Taylor Swift, "Begin Again"

The title of Taylor Swift’s new single is oddly appropriate, as her label hits the reset button at country radio.

“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was apparently too pop for her genre home base, though it will certainly continue to dominate top forty for a good long while.  Country radio is now getting its own single, and it’s quite the genre exercise.

It follows in the same coffee shop folk vein as recent success “Ours.”   Lyrically, it’s little more than a picturesque diary entry.   It’s sweet and goes down smoothly, but as Swift continues to grow older, it’s becoming more troublesome that her sense of self-worth and happiness is always inextricably linked to whatever man is currently the object of her affection.

I wanted to hear more from the girl in the first verse who is rediscovering what she likes for herself, be it a pair of shoes or a song on her iPod.  She sounds far more interesting than the girl who can’t possibly think she’s funny because the guy before her didn’t think she was funny, but this new guy thinks she’s funny, so maybe she really is funny!

Maybe my memory is failing me, and I’m not terribly familiar with Swift’s work beyond the radio

singles.  But I can’t remember her ever releasing a song about hanging with the girls, or even just hanging with herself.  There’s always a guy getting all up in her head, happy or bad,  angry or sad.

There has to be more to her than that, right?

Written by Taylor Swift

Grade: B

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHIElD2whuY

 

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2012 CMA Nominations

The list of nominees for the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards has been released.  Eric Church had a big breakthrough this past year, and such is reflected in the nominee list – Church leads the pack with five nominations.  Power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert follow with four each, including a shared Song of the Year nod for their co-write “Over You.”

What’s your take on this year’s field of CMA nominees? Whose nominations were deserved, and whose were not? Who got snubbed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

The live presentation airs Thursday, November 1 at 8pm Eastern on ABC-TV.  The Country Universe Staff Picks & Predictions will be released the week of the show.  Feel free to join us on show night for some live-blogging fun!

Entertainer of the Year 

  • Jason Aldean
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift

Who’s in:  Kenny Chesney
Who’s out:  Keith Urban

No real surprises here.  This year we swapped out Urban for Chesney, but all of these nominees have been here at least once before.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Who’s in:  Kelly Clarkson
Who’s out:  Sara Evans

Well, I was hoping for some new blood in this category, and that’s definitely what I got.  Pop crossover star Kelly Clarkson scores her first nomination in the Female Vocalist field, displacing Sara Evans.  There will likely be some amount of upset over Clarkson receiving such an accolade, as she had one #21-peaking country hit in the past year with “Mr. Know It All,” but has yet to release a full-length country album.  And…that makes her one of the top five leading female vocalists in the country format?  Okay…

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Blake Shelton
  • Keith Urban

Who’s in:  Luke Bryan, Eric Church
Who’s out:  Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley

Bryan and Church’s recent career strides are rewarded

with their first nominations in the always-competitive Male Vocalist race.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s in:  Eli Young Band
Who’s out:  Rascal Flatts (!!!)

Eli Young Band scores a pair of huge radio hits, and thus squeezes out a former staple of the Vocal Group race.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Big & Rich
  • Love and Theft
  • Sugarland
  • The Civil Wars
  • Thompson Square

Who’s in:  Big & Rich, Love and Theft
Who’s out:  Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia

New Artist of the Year

  • Lee Brice
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Love and Theft
  • Thompson Square

Who’s in:  Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Love and Theft
Who’s out:  The Band Perry (won), Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Chris Young (So, everyone except Thompson Square)

Album of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

  • Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines
    Produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright
  • Eric Church, Chief
    Produced by Jay Joyce
  • Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
    Produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf
  • Dierks Bentley, Home
    Produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart
  • Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
    Produced by Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year (Awarded to songwriters)

  • Eli Young Band, “Even if It Breaks Your Heart”
    Written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
  • Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You”
    Written by Dave Barnes
  • Dierks Bentley, “Home”
    Written by Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
    Written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell

Single of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

  • Jason Aldean, “Dirt Road Anthem”
    Produced by Michael Knox
  • Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You”
    Produced by Scott Hendricks
  • Dierks Bentley, “Home”
    Produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
    Produced by Jay Joyce
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Produced by Jay Joyce

Musical Event of the Year

  • Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band, “Dixie Highway”
  •  Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, “Feel Like a Rock Star”
  •  Willie Nelson featuring Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”
  •  Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars, “Safe and Sound”
  •  Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker, “Stuck on You”

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to artist and director)

  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Directed by Peter Zavadil
  • Kenny Chesney, “Come Over”
    Directed by Shaun Silva
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
    Directed by Trey Fanjoy
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
    Directed by Declan Whitebloom
  • Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”
    Directed by Michael Salomon

Musician of the Year

Sam Bush
Paul Franklin
Dann Huff
Brent Mason
Mac McAnally

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Single Review: Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

online cialis soft

://www.countryuniverse.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Taylor-Swift-We-are-Never-Ever-Getting-Back-Together-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />Building a Taylor Swift single around the vocal is like building a hamburger around the bun.

On some of her most successful recent singles, Swift had mastered the art of not getting in the way of the song. Alternating between sparse productions like on “Ours” and creative ones like “Mean”, Swift’s songwriting was showcased in the best possible light, and her limitations as a vocalist didn’t work against her.

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a huge step backward. It makes two critical errors. The first and most fatal is it’s far too dependent on coos and ooh-ooh-oohs, and Swift is simply terrible at singing them. Not satisfactory, not mediocre. Flat out terrible. Then there is the further error of alternating the singing with her talking like a snarky teenager, which is irritating in its juvenility.

It doesn’t help that she’s not working with a strong composition to begin with, but if she’d downplayed the sarcastic delivery and grating vocal runs, this would be a decent record. As is, it’s only listenable for its sheer audacity, a novelty that wears off quickly after a handful of listens.

Written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin & Johan Shellback

Grade:

D

Listen: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Country Mix)

Pop Mix:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtFFQJiwSxU

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