For being only 23 years young, Taylor Swift has acquired an impressive résumé that rivals those more seasoned in the music business: seven Grammy awards, three consecutive U.S. Billboard No.1 albums and millions of fans in sold-out stadiums around the world singing along to her hits. Coming of age with her fourth album “RED,” Swift has established herself as the brightest star in the music world today. With explorations into new genres yet holding her country roots close to her heart, “RED” represents Swift’s maturation not only as a music superstar but as a young woman. Swift returns to Austin for another sold-out show at the Frank Erwin Center for The RED Tour with special guest Ed Sheeran May 21!
During a live webcast in August 2012 with her fans, Swift announced the release of her new album, “RED” and elaborated on why she decided on that title. “All the different emotions that are written about on this album are all pretty much about the kind of tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I’ve experienced in the last two years. All those emotions — spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion, all of that — in my mind, all those emotions are red. You know, there’s nothing in between. There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings.” Swift’s emotions certainly drive her songwriting and set her apart from her peers. From her liberating post-breakup single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to the deep tender duet “Everything Has Changed” with English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Swift’s emotional range is on full display and aptly merits the album’s passionate title.
Swift opted to bring in different influences to shape “RED” as the next step in her sound’s evolution. For this album, Swift brought in the help of Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody to expand her musical boundaries. In “Everything Has Changed,” Swift departs from her country-pop background and melds her romantic lyrics with Ed Sheeran’s folk inspiration. Swift and Sheeran sing a ballad about the feelings of falling in love, contrasting each other’s styles but sharing the same emotion. Swift described how Sheeran “comes from such a sincere place as a writer. His songs move you in every direction emotionally. That’s something I was so inspired by, I ended up calling him.” “Everything Has Changed” was actually written while the two were on a trampoline at Swift’s home. Despite this unusual choice of location for writing music, the end product was an instant classic for a new Taylor Swift song.
When Swift paired up with Snow Patrol’s lead singer Gary Lightbody, the duo collaborated to create “The Last Time,” a country influenced alternative rock song. The Northern Irish-born Lightbody has made a name for himself writing simple lyrics with pure emotion for Snow Patrol, catapulting them to worldwide fame with the 2006 hit “Chasing Cars.” Lightbody’s songwriting comes out in full force, as the song is a dark ballad that deviates strongly from Swift’s more traditional pop tracks. “The Last Time” features moving lyrics like “This is the last time, I won’t hurt you anymore,” symbolizing a difficult break-up. While Swift moves into unknown waters, the collaborations with Sheeran and Lightbody help bring other sides of Swift’s talents to light.
Fueled by her passion, Swift is on a new course in her young, successful career. “RED” has smashed the Billboard charts and arenas around the country, but that doesn’t mean Swift has taken the easy road. She’s stretched her musical boundaries in her lastest album and the result sets the bar even higher for Swift the next time around.
Tickets for Taylor Swift The RED Tour with special guest Ed Sheeran at the Frank Erwin Center Tuesday, May 21 are SOLD OUT.
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