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08:42 AM on 11/03/12
She doesn't have a good voice anyway. That said, she has a loyal following on country radio. They probably play her multiple times every hour. Even if she falls out of the Top 40, she'll have that. The country purists are disillusioned with modern country radio as it is, so they don't really affect her airplay there. Good point about Jewel, but Swift has at least 3 (like I said, I don't like her) hit albums, and that's built enough of a following to go on for a decade or two even if she doesn't make any new fans in that time.
08:56 AM on 11/03/12
I'd rather see other top40 shit fading that this girl, and i'm not even a fan. Just enjoy some songs here and there...
09:00 AM on 11/03/12
I don't have a problem with him having a subscription letter to whine and moan to fans of his. Heck, if it were an artist I didn't like, like say he gave Gaga this treatment, maybe I'd agree. But I'd agree on unfounded claims. Because I don't know Gaga's story, or anything about her aside from her singles. I'd believe whatever he says because I'm openly ignorant to Gaga's rise to fame. Lefsetz and I would be in that same boat, given that situation. Here's he's ignorant to Swift's rise to fame. He doesn't know what made her huge. He doesn't know her following. He views her fans as fly by the night and vapid music fans, when she's won over anyone from AP users to teenage girls. She could afford to lose a quarter of her fan base and she'd still be one of the biggest names in music. It just annoys me that not only does he not respect her, but he disrespects her fans, too.
It's just that I know, and Swift's fans know more about her career than him. So when he rants claims that are unfounded, it makes me question his legitimacy. And then to end it with "If you don't agree with my unfounded and unresearched criticism, then you're not thinking" is the total definition of irony.
All of this. And it doesn't even really sound like he really listened to the album. He mentions one of three Max Martin singles, one of which actually has some country twang to it, and all of which only represent a very small cross section of the genres Swift tackles throughout Red. The "core country fanbase," even if they don't like her pure pop songs (which is unlikely, since "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me" were both considerably closer to pop than to country), there's plenty more for them to sink their teeth into here, and the idea that this fanbase isn't going to eat up something like "Treacherous" or "All Too Well" or "I Almost Do" or "Begin Again" is kind of laughable.
I can definitely see some people thinking that she went too far into the pop realm here, but she didn't become the biggest country artist of all time for nothing. She won't always be this big, but he's acting like there's some possibility that she could still be a flash in the pan, which is kind of ridiculous.
09:07 AM on 11/03/12
"No more half measures Walt"
He just wants another song written about him.
But it's annoying to me that he's making it like she's crossed genres for sales, rather than just desire to do different music. All out abandoning your core, country audience is one thing, but she hasn't done that. The country community still openly embraces her with open arms, and on Red there's enough country leanings to keep them satisfied. But it sounds as if he thinks an artist shouldn't extend beyond the realm they've broken out of.
I work at a country radio station in the city I live in and we haven't played anything from the new record and even some callers have complained about how she was on the cover of Country Weekly but her new record isn't country at all (their words). My basic point is, while I think he is overstating some of his points in this rant, I do agree that country fans are loyal in a different way, and if they are wronged in some way, they don't forget it
09:27 AM on 11/03/12
If I were a country fan, I'd undoubtedly be upset that she's moved away from country. But like you said, I'd delve into the little tastes of country she gives here and there. There have been tons of bands I once liked and have moved away from their sound and I couldn't get into the new stuff. Gone on to do both bigger and better things, or disbanded, or whatever. Lefsetz is making it like she's the first person to ever do crossover country-pop.
The fact he's suggesting a million selling album first week could be a detriment to any musician's career, let alone one of Swift's current stature, is absurd. He's making it all about numbers. What does it matter if she sells less and less each week? Millions already have the album. You can't expect it to put up amazing numbers each and every week. People won't re-purchase the record (unless it's added content or something). So for him to say she's better off selling 600k first week and likewise numbers for the rest of the year.. it's six one way, half dozen the other. If millions have your album, you're going to be a big deal either way.
Are we really going to consider this album a failure if it's not on Billboard a year from now like Taylor Swift and Fearless were? Those albums only sold so well posthumously because people were catching up on Swift. With Red, there is no "catching up" to do. To expect Red to replicate the sustained sales of those albums is setting oneself up for failure and disappointment. Those albums only did well because people wanted to hear her early material as they were jumping on the bandwagon.
This could be true of almost any market. Keurig's probably sold amazing last Christmas, because they were new/hot items.. but did the sales sustain themselves year round? No. Because everyone already had one. What's it matter if they spike the sales around Christmas time or later on in July? Either way they're buying it
Yeah, sales "holds" are kind of irrelevant anyway, and how the thing sustains its success ultimately depends on how many ubiquitous singles she can knock to the top of the charts (a la Adele).
09:31 AM on 11/03/12
Geez Louise, sell a million copies in a week, a feat quite impressive for any time, especially now, and this is the reaction?
I'm no Taylor fanboy by any stretch, but she doesn't bother me at all, and is probably one of the more enjoyable Top 40 artists you'll hear today. That being said, this article really seems to be grasping at straws.
If anything, country audiences are one of the least fickle ones in music. I don't think she needs to worry about them jumping ship on her anytime soon. That general point seems to squash this particular topic raised.
To be fair to the writer, I do agree with his point about Pearl Jam though.
09:43 AM on 11/03/12
Butter On A Summer Day...
dude realizes she's had Top-40 hits for like years now, right? Her "country" thing was over a long time ago.
09:58 AM on 11/03/12
Good read and the guy makes some good points. However, she has not written pure country songs in awhile, if ever. She has always written a hybrid of country and pop while starting to lean more towards the latter with her last release before Red. Just look at "Ours" "Back to December" & "Mean" and just because there is a banjo in Mean doesn't make it country.
10:46 AM on 11/03/12
This is unbearably stupid. "She could have been Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton." No, no she couldn't. She was never a hit with purists and her music was always just as much pop as country.
And the idea that pop music is disposable and somehow country is eternal is laughable. What an idiot.
10:53 AM on 11/03/12
@_kellydoherty for the lolz
I'm so confused by this. I never found Taylor Swift to be a country artist... Pop music with country vibes at most, but never a country artist. I'm not saying this a derogatory thing to her, but I always assumed the majority of her fan base were pop fans, not country fans. I don't see how she's isolating anyone with Red. It's a pop album for pop fans.
10:58 AM on 11/03/12
Two more points:
1. JEWEL!?! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Taylor had more hits of her debut than Jewel had in her whole career.
2. I'm no devotee of Max Martin, and have complained about him pretty regularly, but anyone who says "Since U Been Gone" had a short shelf-life is divorced from reality.
10:58 AM on 11/03/12
I mean there are people who love country and hate the crossover stuff -- country legend George Jones criticized it a while back
-- but the people who feel that way probably don't listen to contemporary country stations.
11:12 AM on 11/03/12
General points could be made at anyone. Just sucks Taylor Swift had to be singled out.
11:14 AM on 11/03/12
I feel that the only thing that makes contemporary country "country" is the singing, and lyrics.
11:28 AM on 11/03/12
And instrumentation. Fiddle and steel guitar are still very prevalent. The songwriting is a lot poppier in most current bands
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