Apart from Adele, nobody has the four-quadrant appeal of Taylor Swift. She parlayed country stardom into pop superstardom and is now pretty a much a genre unto herself. David Byrne is an indie rock, New Wave and world music pioneer who has influenced scores of modern musicians. Note: For the purposes of this face-off, we are considering only Byrne’s solo work, and not Talking Heads.
Swift co-wrote the song with Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew, making this her first new material since the smash hit 1989 was released three years ago. It’s also notable as a collaboration between Swift and her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles’ former bandmate. That had to sting for old Harry.
Back in 2008, Taylor Swift was a country artist with major crossover appeal, and her sophomore album Fearless broke every sales record for a country album on its way to being the biggest selling album of any sort that year.
And that was the lowest point of her career to date.
With apologies to Adele and Beyoncé, Swift is no doubt the most successful, landscape-dominating artist recording today. It’s hard to imagine her next album (whatever and whenever it may be) won’t improve on the gaudy numbers of her most recent smash hit, 1989. Talk about a winning streak.
One of two original tracks on her 2007 holiday release Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, ‘Christmas Must Be Something More’ sounds just like a dozen Swiftian pop songs, but its message boils down to a ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ bumper sticker.
Here’s the lesser-known (or at least lesser-known to me) Taylor Swift song from the original Hunger Games soundtrack. Her other contribution, ‘Safe & Sound,’ is a haunting track featuring backing vocals by the Civil Wars.
This one has a more typical Swift-ian sound, and is therefore less of a stylistic fit for the movie. Catchy song, though.
In Billboard’s fourth and fifth spots are a couple of repeats — one I like and one I loathe. At #4 is Fetty Wap with the horrible ‘679‘ and rounding out the top five is Shawn Mendes with the respectable ‘Stitches.’
Taylor Swift’s dominance continues as yet another 1989 single hits the top ten. ‘Wildest Dreams’ is the fifth 1989 track to reach the top ten, making this one of only 21 albums in history to have that many songs on the chart. And the album is sure to generate at least one more hit, if not several.
‘Blank Space’ – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift dominated the music scene last year with her first foray into pure pop, 1989. The album was the year’s top seller (even edging out the Frozen soundtrack in a photo finish) and showed up high on just about every critic’s list.
It’s tempting to call 1989 Swift’s most superficial record, but I think it’s generally as deep and satisfying as her previous work. It’s not the dessert, it’s the whole meal.