Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

Top Tracks on “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, in my humble opinion.

Photo by: Beth Garrabrant

In case you have been living under a rock, Taylor Swift fans new and old have been awaiting the re-release of “Fearless” , Swift’s sophomore album since it was first announced earlier this year. Some may say I am biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that 2006 to 2010 was the peak era in Swift’s career. 

I put aside approximately 1 hour and 46 minutes to listen to the rerecording on its release date. The album features 26 songs, yes. That’s correct. 26 songs. Twenty of which are from the original and deluxe versions of “Fearless”, along with six more songs that are “from the vault,” songs that Swift wrote but were not included in the 2008 release. 

Fans have said that the re-recordings are almost identical to the original release. For transparency’s sake, I am going to agree with them. But the difference is that in 2008, I was eight years old. I had not experienced anything that could make Swift’s songs even remotely relatable. But now, I am able to blast “Love Story” as I drive around in my car and sing along at the top of my lungs. Back in the day, I absolutely tore it up on Band Hero– I was always on the drums and my sister was on the guitar. 

Being able to listen to this album again 13 years later has made me gain appreciation for new songs and revived my love for some of the classics. Here are a few that I feel especially passionately about:

  1. “Today Was A Fairytale”

While this song was not technically released on “Fearless”, it was performed on her Fearless tour. Originally on the “Valentine’s Day”  movie soundtrack, the song debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and for good reason. It’s catchy as heck and somewhat restores my faith in finding my prince charming.

  1. “The Way I Loved You”

This song screams girl boss to me, but I cannot put my finger exactly on why. Maybe it’s just relatable. I am really bad at oversharing, so I am just going to leave it at that.

  1. “Come In With The Rain”

Another song that gets me in my feelings, but I cannot elaborate in the interest of preserving what little bit of dignity I have left. Just trust me on this one, it’s really good.

  1. “Superstar”

This is the most underrated song on this album. I know that is a very bold statement, but I can’t help it. I have always preferred slower, melodic songs that you can cry to but sing along to at the same time, and this definitely falls into that category. 

  1. “The Best Day”

The backstory of this song is really sweet, and the lyrics always seem to leave me misty-eyed. Swift recorded this song as a surprise for her parents—how sweet is that? The lyrics takes you through stages of life, from being young and not knowing “why the trees change in the fall,” being a young teenager and wondering “how my friends could be so mean,” to finally when she is all grown up and “knows why all the trees change in the fall.” Such a full circle moment. 

Whether you are a lifelong fan or just now tuning in, Swift has something in her long list of tracks that will have you replaying over and over again!

Women to Follow to Keep Female Empowerment Alive All Year Long

As we leave the month of March behind, April showers and marshmallow peeps come in full focus. Even as we leave Women’s History Month, it’s important to keep the message and appreciation alive all year long. So here are some badass women to keep on your Netflix watchlist, and in your Spotify Playlists.

Netflix And Girl Power

Good Girls

Photo Courtesy of NBC

This NBC show has all four seasons on Netflix and is the perfect binging material for a wild money laundering scheme that has three witty, dynamic women at the forefront of the plot. The constant twists and turns keep you on your toes until Netflix inevitably has to ask “Are you Still Watching?” This is definitely a show about women taking back the power, and also about how far they’re willing to go for their families. It’s a must-watch to keep the girl power alive all year long.

Ginny and Georgia

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

This Netflix original has one season that leaves you wanting more. Starring a spirited mother-daughter duo, the show has all kinds of messages of how far you’d go for family and also how women always seem to get the right thing done. Admittedly, Ginny is one of the most frustrating characters in television I have ever seen and most of the internet agrees. But watching these two women take the bull by the horns and work to get what they desire out of life is yet another binge-worthy event.

Firefly Lane

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Another feisty duo, the two best friends in the Netflix original Firefly Lane tell their story through several different timelines. This show truly feels like a coming-of-age story between two women trying to work through the ups and downs of the world, as well as the highs and lows of their friendship. It’s a bit less adventurous than money-laundering or flower-poisoning, but the women who star in this series create a show that is an absolute must-watch.

Female Icons to Jam Out To

Taylor Swift

Photo from Miss Americana, A Documentary about Taylor Swift on Netflix

From the constant bashing about boyfriends to having her own music barred from her performances, Swift has been through a lot. However, she has spent plenty of time being a woman of empowerment. From her entire album, Reputation, to songs on many other albums, Swift has shot back tenfold. Now, on April 9th, she will be releasing a new version of Fearless to take back all the amazing music she created that her old label has tried to keep her from performing. This woman is definitely an icon in the pop industry, and you should have her on all your playlists.

Beyoncé

Photo from Homecoming: A film by beyoncé on Netflix

Beyoncé is one of those singers whose name always brings a cheer with it. She’s a legend in the industry and love for her music and her story runs deep in pop culture. Her passion and drive especially paid off when she received her 28th award at the Grammys, making her the show’s female artist with the most awards. She has always pushed her limits, and everything from her documentary, Homecoming, to the numerous albums she has created, shows her ability to work hard and continue to speak out for women everywhere with her iconic feminist lyrics.

Lizzo

Photo Courtesy of Lizzo’s Instagram @lizzobeeating

Lizzo very much creates music by women for women, in that she is constantly empowering her listeners with lyrics about self-love and self-confidence. She’s faced a lot of backlash for being a plus-sized pop star, but instead of ignoring the media’s hate, she claps back through music, TikToks, and more. Songs like “Soulmate” and “Juice” keep the empowerment alive in the form of fast-tempoed songs that anyone can dance to and talk about self-love. She’s definitely the hype woman to keep on repeat.

While these three artists are definitely my top choice to add some extra female empowerment all year long, take a look at some other female artists to add to your playlists to continue to expand on women’s empowerment all year long.

Whether it’s a binge-able show or a song on repeat, it’s important to keep yourself surrounded with that amazing Girl Power energy to remind all of us we are so much more than the world says we are. Keeping these reminders in our everyday life is what ultimately continues to sew the seeds for even greater social change, and even more women to go down in history to celebrate next March.

A longhorn snow-day playlist

The entire state of Texas is under a Winter Storm Warning as parts of Austin are covered in up-to seven and a half inches of snow. Until the roads clear up and it’s safe for Longhorns to go out again, here is the ~ definitive ~ Snow-Day Playlist to keep spirits high even though the Fis low!

  1. “Baby It’s Cold Outside (duet with Michael Bublé)” – Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé

Come on, you knew this one had to be on here. I didn’t make the rules. Between Idina Menzel’s and Michael Bublé’s silky-smooth vocals and the temperature-based lyrics of the song, it demands being on every cold-weather playlist.

Snowiest Lyric: “Baby it’s cold outside.”

  1. “Sweater Weather” – The Neighbourhood

Is there a better song to play while cuddling with your SO on a cold day? Sweater Weather is super cute and temperature-relevant. Bonus points if you and your partner can get your hands on a set of matching sweaters.

Snowest Lyric: “‘Cause it’s too cold (woah) for you here and now. So let me hold (woah) both your hands in the holes of my sweater.”

3. “Let It Go” – “Frozen” Cast

Idina Menzel is iconic even to be on this playlist twice and I will NOT be accepting criticism on that matter at this time. This is the perfect song to play while you take a scenic walk around the snow-covered streets. P.S.: It is absolutely acceptable (and maybe even encouraged) to imagine your ice-cape blowing dramatically behind you as the song plays.

Snowiest Lyric: “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

4. “Oh Ms Believer ” – Twenty One Pilots

I’ll be honest, this song breaks my heart a little every time I hear it. The emotion is palpable and the lyrics are nothing short of poetic. I highly recommend listening to this one with a box of tissues and a lovely view of the snow to get the full experience.

Snowiest Lyric: “Your twisted mind is like snow on the road.”

5. “The A Team” – Ed Sheeran

Somehow this song just sounds like cold weather. The combination of acoustic guitar, melancholy lyrics, and the unique comforting feeling of Ed Sheeran’s voice bring every connotation of the cold, good and bad, to life.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s too cold outside for angels to fly.”

6. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice

We’ve had some sad songs, now get ready for the exact opposite. Ice Ice Baby is a timeless, upbeat masterpiece that makes everyone want to dance. Just don’t slip on the snow!

Snowiest Lyric: “Ice, ice baby, too cold, too cold.”

7. New Year’s Day – Taylor Swift

So, it’s a little past New Years’ but this song still gives out major “cozy on a cold day” vibes. It’s all about having someone who will go through the hard or just mundane parts of life with you instead of only being there for the highs. If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzy feelings to get you through the cold, I don’t know what will.

Snowiest Lyric: “I want your midnights but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”

8. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

Eating pancakes, sleeping in late, and staying in for the day? YES PLEASE! “Banana Pancakes” is a fantastic song to listen to while making breakfast, or breakfast for dinner, on a relaxed snow-day.

Snowiest Lyric: “There ain’t no need to go outside.”

9. If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe and Julia Michaels

The cold can stimulate the cuffing season for sure. This song works through feelings of wanting someone who you know isn’t right for you long term. It’s part wish-fulfillment, part love song, and all cold-weather vibes.

Snowiest Lyric: “The sky’d be falling and I’d hold you tight.”

10. I’m With You – Avril Lavigne

This song is bursting with nostalgia while still being an intriguing and unique piece of music. The lyrics mix messages of hope, anxiety, and feeling left out in the ~ cold ~.

Snowiest Lyric: “It’s a damn cold night. Trying to figure out this life.”

The Definitive Ranking of Taylor Swift’s Albums

Whether or not you consider yourself a “Swiftie,” it’s safe to say that you’ve at least heard of Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album, Lover, that was recently released last week. The album itself was highly anticipated because it was her first since her split with Big Machine Records and she has since signed with Republic Records. Swift has had her fair share of success on the charts and Lover is proving to be no different. According to BillboardLover, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart with the biggest opening of any album since her last album, Reputation. Swift has consistently made waves with her prolific songwriting, dedicated fanbase, and her ever changing sound. No one album of hers sounds like the last and this makes each album that much more influential and anticipated. That being said, how does Lover compare to her six other albums? Keep reading for my definitive ranking of Swift’s albums. 

#7: Fearless (2008)

Big Machine Records

Ranking this album as last may hurt all of the “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” fans out there and, believe me, those songs made this decision extremely hard. However, I can’t say that if one were to remove those two songs that the album would be anywhere near as good. Swift co-wrote every song on the album which is extremely impressive. From the heartwarming and relatable coming of age “Fifteen” as well as the break-up track “Forever & Always,” the album delivers exactly the variety that listeners could hope for. Sonically it is not as cohesive as some of her other albums and does not blend her country roots with her pop evolution as smoothly as her later albums. While I do think Fearless paved the way for a good portion of her career because of its major hits, I also think that her other albums deserve a higher ranking for their style and songwriting, respectively. 

#6: Taylor Swift (2006)

Big Machine Records

Swift’s first album, Taylor Swift, lands at number six for both its identity and its charm. Released when Swift was sixteen, the album has a strong emphasis on love and relationships. Her songwriting ability even at sixteen was undeniably good with five singles from the album such as “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on My Guitar” going platinum. The album as a whole has a strong essence of country with her vocals being supported by banjos, guitars, and lyrics with references to things like Georgia, trucks, and screen doors. Most of the album is actually quite intimate and songs such as “The Outside” and “Tied Together With A Smile” expressing feelings of inadequacy of not fitting in that many young adults can relate to at different points in their lives. Even the more fiery “Should’ve Said No” adds to the identity of the album as a whole and allows listeners to get to know Swift in a triumphant way. 

#5: Speak Now (2010)

Big Machine Records

Speak Now was the follow up album to the Grammy winning album, Fearless, and was written entirely by Swift. If that fails to impress, the songs themselves will. The tracklist of Speak Now covers a lot of ground and she sings about everything from a bad relationship coming to a close in “Dear John” to not letting haters and bullies get the best of you in “Mean.” The album contains fourteen songs and they are all solid options for listening. Those newly infatuated may opt for “Enchanted” over the heartbreaking “Last Kiss” but all in all the album can be enjoyed start to finish. Not only does that say a lot about her talent but also her artistry. Speak Now tells the story of a young woman living a very full life full of love, heartbreak, vulnerability, and the strength to, well, speak. 

#4: Reputation (2017)

Big Machine Records

Before I say anything about Reputation, let it be known that this album has major street cred in my book. Her sixth album went on to have the highest-grossing U.S. tour of all time, making over $266 million. Not only that but it also came after a slew of unfortunate events for both her and her image–hence the title of the album. Following her break-up with Calvin Harris she also found herself in an all out media war with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West–a quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about that drama if you want to put yourself through it. What was impressive about Repuation was that the entirety of the album was a complete 360 in terms of sound and she did the same with her look in a power move that seemingly was trying to prove that Swift can be whoever and whatever she wants regardless of her reputation. The opening track, “…Ready for it?,” gave off major rebel vibes with a more intense, industrial sound that would characterize the rest of the album. The album as a whole was darker than any of her others both aesthetically and metaphorically. She touches on being the master of her image in “Look What You Made Me Do” as well as the vulnerability of a new relationship in “Delicate.” Reputation was exactly the album she needed to not only leave Big Machine Records on a career high but also to shake some respect into her name where it was lacking. Still, some of the bad girl image came off a bit ingenuine (because it probably is) and lyrically not every song was it for me. Her usual style tried to peek out in a few songs on the album that seemed more misplaced than intentional like the ending track, “New Year’s Day.” Because of that I think that the album was great but not her best.

#3: 1989 (2014)

Big Machine Records

1989, a reference to Swift’s birth year, is both catchy and smooth. From start to finish the album has a string of hits such as “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams” but not a single song on the album disappoints. The album itself is laid out perfectly and could be listened to like a long story about being in a new city with opportunity (“Welcome to New York”), falling in and out of love, being betrayed by a friend (“Bad Blood”), and learning to move on (“Clean”). Swift delivers plenty of fun and 80’s inspired spunk in the album as well as honest looks into love and relationships of all kinds. On top of this she yet again manages to make each song able to stand alone thanks to both incredible lyrics and strong instrumentals.

#2: Lover (2019)

Big Machine Records

1989 was a hard album to top for me because of its flow, story telling, and overall vibe- but Lover managed to do just that. The theme of the album basically boils down to love in its many forms and Swift does a beautiful job of incorporating everything from love for a parent in “Soon You’ll Get Better ft. The Dixie Chicks” to romantic love in the title track “Lover.” There is not a single song that can be skipped on this album without making me want to listen to it later. I must not be the only one because her entire album made it onto the Hot 100 Chart. Lyrically the album is impressive as well which, tbh, is unsurprising considering Swift’s previous works. My top songs from the album include “Cornelia Street” (warning: feels ahead), “London Boy,” “Afterglow,” and “The Archer.”

#1: Red (2012)

If anyone questions Swift’s songwriting or music ability: point them towards Red. This album followed Speak Now and was, at the time, a look into a more adult Swift’s mind and life. Where Speak Now still had a little bit of a whimsical youthfulness, Red came in with Swift navigating her adult world. She touches on the bittersweetness of stardom in “The Lucky One” as well as loving someone through a “Treacherous” love. The album seems now as if it were a subtle precursor to Lover but instead of true love and happiness it was more of an ode to heartbreak, tumultuous relationships, and a hope for the future. “All Too Well” was the piano break up ballad to beat and continues to shake listeners to their core, honestly. This album was by most measurements a longer album–16 songs–and each one could be a single in its own right. Remember “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Holy Ground” from this album? Yeah, so do I. Because of the album’s emotional tone, lyrics, and ability to tell a story, Red goes down in history as her best album. Or at least in my book.