T-Swizzle: Better than Average


Published: November 3, 2010

I used to despise Taylor Swift. My junior year of high school she released “Teardrops on My Guitar,” and I wanted to personally confront that boy Drew for inspiring her to write a painfully awful song about him. Growing up in Charleston, S.C., I’d heard my fair share of country music and I’d always hated it. Taylor was no exception with her forced twang and big blonde hair.

While some think she “Should’ve Said No” to a career in music, others will love Swift “Forever & Always.” (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Yet one evening, driving in my car, “Our Song” came on and it must have been divine intervention that deterred me from changing the station. Although my first instinct was to cringe, I let the song play and found myself catching on to the words. By the time it ended, I knew the chorus. Had I been brainwashed? Then she started releasing butt-kicking songs like “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No,” and I secretly liked listening to them. My Taylor Swift conversion had begun.

Now four years later, I call Ms. Swift “T-Swizzle,” and no matter how many times I hear “You Belong with Me,” I will always pause and set aside whatever I’m doing so that I can belt it out. Swift is bubbly, candid and not afraid to be herself. In an industry where girls like Miley Cyrus are proclaiming how they “Can’t Be Tamed,” Swift seems to be the only one comfortable enough in her own skin to just sing and play a guitar without performing licentious choreography or bearing her midriff. She deserves some respect for holding her own.

What I like about Swift’s songs is how honest they are, but I’ve noticed she receives a lot of flak for sharing every detail of her love life on her albums. I won’t deny it: she can be a little too divulgent. However, Swift is a songwriter who writes about what matters to her most, and if this happens to be the trials of her love life, then so be it. Clearly the formula works for her.

Yet sometimes I do see where Swift’s critics are coming from, and I too wish that she would just get over it. After her Kanye West run-in at the MTV Video Music Awards last year, it seemed like the whole music world spoke up for her against West and his rude on-stage antics. The national support made me proud to be a T-Swizzle fan, but Swift prolonged the incident when she performed her new song “Innocent” at this year’s VMA’s. Really, Tay? Must you treat this event like some life-damaging tragedy? Even I rolled my eyes a little at that one.

Swift is quickly returning to my good side, however, with the release of her new album, “Speak Now.” Although I didn’t immediately run out to buy the album like her hardcore fans, I think I’m probably racking up about 50 views of her new music video for the song “Mine” on YouTube. She’s also interfering in my class time, because if I have a laptop available in my classes, I’m definitely not taking notes (sorry, professor!); I’m reading bloggers’ theories as to who she’s singing about in her new songs like “Mean” and “Better than Revenge.” And I am so excited she’s calling out John Mayer in the song “Dear John” for being a chauvinistic creep. That’s over six minutes of juicy gossip I can’t wait to analyze.

Some people ask why we should care about Swift’s heartache. Well, if you don’t care, just don’t listen. It’s a simple solution. I don’t like every song she sings, but I pick and choose my favorites. As long as she doesn’t tribute any more songs to a boy named Drew, I’ll be listening.