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Smackdown: Taylor Swift

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taylor Swift called her second album Fearless, and with good reason: the 21-year-old singer seems to be on an unbreakable winning streak. Fearless was the top-selling album of 2009 and snared the Grammy for Album of the Year; Swift followed those successes last year with a blockbuster tour and a chart-topping third album, Speak Now. But not everyone’s got Taylor Fever.

Music writers Sophie Harris of Time Out New York and Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone will debate whether the reigning princess of pop is worthy of the crown.

Do you think Taylor Swift deserves all the attention? Leave a comment below.

Guests:

Sophie Harris and Rob Sheffield

Comments [26]

JennyPalare from Brooklyn,NY

JennyPalare from Brooklyn, NY
Dear "Music Intelligencia",
Not to insult this country pop belle, but there is nothing about Taylor Swift's lyrics that could save one's life like Morrissey's lyrics. Debbie Gibson would be a far better and logical comparison. Really, Morrissey's words debuted when he was 24 and a recluse, shut-in, likely suicidal, and hateful of this world. This girl does not live that kind of life, and her words and talent do not reflect that place. Are these guys paid by her record company? Baffling how their off-the-mark opinions of things, they do not know about, make them a living. Sorry. The Morrissey of country music? Well, talk about Sam Phillips or Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

Jan. 24 2011 10:53 PM
JennyPalare from Brooklyn, NY

Dear "Music Intelligencia",
Not to insult this country pop belle, there is nothing about Taylor Swift's lyrics that could save one's life like Morrissey's lyrics. Debbie Gibson would be far more better and logical comparison. Really, Morrissey's words debuted when he was 24 and a recluse, shut-in, likely suicidal, and hateful of this world. This girl does not live that kind of life, and her words and talent do not reflect that place. Are this guys paid by her record company? Baffling how their off-the-mark opinions of things, they do not know about, make them a living. Sorry. The Morrissey of country music? Well, talk about Sam Phillips or Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

Jan. 24 2011 10:50 PM
Sara Hernandez from Detroit, MI

While I admire her songwriting talent, and the fact that she has such a hand in nearly every aspect of her performances and production - I find her lyrics to be somewhat anti-feminist, very much like she's a princess in a tower waiting to be saved. That bothers me.

Jan. 19 2011 02:35 PM
j4 from ny

there is no wit, genius or poetry in anything that has ever crossed between this child's tone deaf ears. anyone who compares her to morrissey knows nothing about music or poetry or of anything substantial, and should immediately shut their pie holes and stay off the air.

Jan. 19 2011 12:22 PM
ryan from NY

She's not the greatest singer in the world but she can sing. Her voice gives character and vunerability to her songs. And her songwriting brilliant at any age.
Have seen her live and I'm really impressed. Her style may not be everyones style but you can't deny her talent.
The girl can write the lyrics and music of the songs, play instruments, sing and perform.
I'd rather take her than any "musicians" who uses autotune and backing tracks on their concerts, eg. Beyonce and every artist today on the top 40.

Jan. 18 2011 10:53 PM
Corinne from NY

Do I think that Taylor Swift is the best singer of her generation? No. Would I compare her to the greats of Etta James, Doris Day, Whitney Houston or the like? No. However, in an overdone, bass blasting and autotuned Top 40 generation, I think she is a breath of fresh air who writes her own music, doesn't rely on lipsyncing in performance and seems to be making a mark in her own way without having to take her clothes off like so many others do. I'd rather hear a bit offkey singer than one who doesn't sing at all and relies on his/her tracks and good looks to do the work for them. And I think unless you sing, you have no idea how hard it actually is, so I'd say reserve your judgement until you can actually get on a stage and do something worthwhile.

Jan. 18 2011 10:43 PM
mark from NJ

Her latest stuff is 'a little more grown-up? ' Puh-leeeze.
When she produces a 'Blue', or 'For the Roses', then the grown-ups will start listening. Til then, it's strictly Tween Time, or Teen Time at best.

Jan. 18 2011 02:42 PM
Matt from Brooklyn

She wasn't alive when "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was rocking stadiums, C'mon! That is another made up and phony fact about this phony teen pop star.

She is like Morrissey?!?! As someone who did listen to The Smiths in High School I am deeply offended!! She is now Morrissey or Johnny Marr either!

Jan. 18 2011 02:42 PM
CT Mom of 3 Girls under 8 from CT

I have to say, Taylor Swift lyrics are much easier to discuss with a 7 year old girl than those of a similarly-loved pop artist like Katy Perry. There are no "I'll let you put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans be your teenage dream tonight!" in Swift's lyrics. There will be a time for skin tight jeans, just not in Elementary school...

Jan. 18 2011 02:40 PM
Juan Giraldo from Paterson

Just because three million people bought this bland top forty sound doesn't make it good. it pierces my eardrums and not in a good way

Jan. 18 2011 02:36 PM
Tom from Manhattan

Morrissey!!! How dare you!!!

Jan. 18 2011 02:34 PM
Elias - 9 y/o home sick from Bronx, NY

Taylor Swift is the new Hannah Montana. All the girls in my 4th grade class love her & its kind of annoying bc her pictures are all over their notebooks. I don't like her & neither do any of the boys I know. A good star should have fans of all genders. I think she is a loser.

Jan. 18 2011 02:34 PM
sunshine hernandez from Bushwick

I think her success comes from a crowd that is tired of a long spell of Brittany's and such

Jan. 18 2011 02:33 PM
jeff

Without the help of Autotune she and many other Pop stars of today would not be able make records. 95% of the vocals you hear on Pop records today are pitch corrected and time corrected. It's their voice, but it's not... really.

Jan. 18 2011 02:32 PM
DaveG from High Bridge, NJ

No other girls play guitar? Are you kidding? "Remember" the Dixie Chicks? Stadiums full of young girls were inspired by them. Madonna plays electric guitar on stage, Orianthi, Sheryl Crow, The Donnas, Joan Jett fer god's sake...What century are you in?

Jan. 18 2011 02:30 PM
Sydney from CT

I really like Taylor, she has a great voice and I'm ten and I'm following her footsteps.

Jan. 18 2011 02:29 PM
Karen from Brooklyn

I can't see why people are saying that she could be a role model to little girls. When I was a young teen, my role models were Kathleen Hanna, who sang about her power and her anger and her agency, not just how sad she is about her relationship with her dreeeeeamy celebrity boyfriend. Taylor Swift is a musical TMZ.

Jan. 18 2011 02:27 PM
Mary from Peekskill, NY

As a vocal coach for 'tween and teenage young girls, I have gained a vast respect for Taylor Swift. My girls love her as a positive role model, her songs talk about keeping your integrity, standing up to those who treat you bad (Mean - about Kanye?), etc. They love singing her songs and playing her songs on piano and guitar. What not have a good girl image rather than a sluty persona acting like an older girl? Thank god young girls now have Tayor instead of Madonna to look up to!

Jan. 18 2011 02:27 PM
a g from n j

what is it, with this idiotic young female songwriter self-righteousness, over relationship break ups? as if every parting did not have its own complexities, and uniqueness. and why do we all have to know about it? holy "tragic uniqueness" gone amuck..........

Jan. 18 2011 02:25 PM
kp from nj

She's a pop princess for the teen set. I wouldn't bet on her having a career that lasts a lifetime or even as long as Madonna's...

Jan. 18 2011 02:25 PM
Dave

If you're #1 on the Billboard pop charts, you probably suck. If it's on the Billboard charts, I know it avoid it and save my eardrums.

Jan. 18 2011 02:24 PM
art525 from Park Slope

Boy do I agree with Nick from UWS, whiny thin and breathy. And Sophie Harris too. My first real exposure to Taylor was on that award show that Sophie mentioned. It was painful. I was embarrassed for her and thought we were watching her career suicide There is obviously a whole lot of studio manipulation to make the stuff (somewhat) palatable. And as for her writing, it just blends in with all the bland wallpaper music that keeps being pumped out. It all sounds the same. It's funny that she's called country, it sounds like Katie Perry (without the hooks) or Avril Lavigne. Or a million others.

Jan. 18 2011 02:24 PM
kp from nj

She's a pop princess for the teen set. I wouldn't bet on her having a career that lasts a lifetime or even as long as Madonna's...

Jan. 18 2011 02:23 PM
Gary from Upper West Side

I'm not a particular fan of Taylor Swift. However, why are you guys slamming a singer-songwriter for "writing" songs about her life? You guys in the media are pathetic.

Jan. 18 2011 02:22 PM
Chriss from Montclair

Can't tween girls get some love?

She's a pop Goddess that most Soundcheck listeners probably don't care about.

But to a pre and early teenaged girl, she means the world.

What's wrong with that?

Jan. 18 2011 02:07 PM
Nick from UWS

I'm a little tired of these female singers who sing in a tiny little breathy voice as if they were six. (American women in general speak as if they were six). I like to listen to grown women sing, women who have some life experience in their voice. If I want to listen to Betty Boop I can always find the real thing. Even a singer like Doris Day could wipe the floor with most modern female singers.

Jan. 18 2011 02:06 PM

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