At the age of 19, most young adults are either enrolled in college, trying one of many jobs in order to find their niche or stuck in their parents living room playing their Wii.
    That isn’t the case for one Pennsylvania-born teen. More often than not, you can find this teen in a recording studio, or hanging out glam pals Kelly Pickler and Carrie Underwood. You could also have caught her on CMT talking about herself or on tour or a host of other places. Taylor Swift took country music by storm in 2006 with the relase of her debut single “Tim McGraw,” which was quickly follwed up by “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Our Song,” “Picture to Burn,” and yet another number one in “Should Have Said No.”
    If you’re thinking that was all just beginners luck, you might want to get your head examined. With the release of her newest album Fearless, Swift proves she has what it takes to keep her front and center in Nashville and in the running for America’s sweetheart.
    {mosimage}Released on Nov. 11, 2008, the first song relased from the compilation, “Love Story,” shot straight to the top of the charts. Following the album’s release, The New York Times called the country crooner “one of pop’s finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults.”
    That’s a lot for a 19-year-old who still lives at home with mom and dad. Of course, Swift started her career fairly young, and even at this age has earned her chops in Nashville. Her first trip to Music Row was at the age of 11. Doors slammed in her face, but that didn’t keep the plucky songstress from trying again. At 15, she rejected a deal with RCA Records because they wouldn’t let her record her own music, but later that year, she caught the eye of Big Machine Records chief Scott Borchetta who knew gold when he saw it.
    Fearless debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, and had the largest opening U.S. sales week in 2008 by a female artist in all genres. So, if you’re one of the few country music or even pop fans who haven’t heard this album yet, let me tell you what you are missing.
    Fearless is full of heartbreak. The majority of the songs on the album deal with love gone wrong. I don’t know if this has anything to do with her break-up with that Jonas Brother, but Swift might want to look at exploring some new content.
With that sad, Swift is the princess of break-up songs, from “White Horse” to “Breathe” to “The Way I Loved You,” she puts all the angst of  heart ache into her lyrics. “White Horse” talks about the realization that love isn’t always a fairytale and doesn’t always have Hollywood endings, and usually a prince isn’t going to ride in on his — you got it — white horse to save you.
    One of my favorite songs on the album is “Fifteen,” which tells the story of a girl’s freshman year and all the dreams and hopes she has. For some of those girls, their dreams get dashed because in Swift’s words they “forget to look before they fall.” The song, geared to the teen crowd, encourages young women to realize that at 15, they don’t who they are going to be and it encourages them to give themselves the time to figure that out before they get into serious relationships and take on responsibilities (like motherhood) that they are too young to deal with.
    My other favorite on the album is one of the few songs not abot heartbreak. It’s actually a tribute to Swift’s mother. Called, “The Best Day,” the song chronicles days spent with her mother. If you have a close relationship with one of  your parents, you’ll get this song.
    {mosimage}Overall, the CD is probably geared more toward the pop/teen scene, but the music is good, and with a few more years, Swift will be able to sing about more than teen heartbreak, and then we’ll really have something to talk about.

Contact Janice Burton at 

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