Friday, 25 October 2013

Pop Corner: Taylor Swift - Sweeter Than Fiction

From the earworm-infested "We Are Never Getting Back Together", to the dubstep-lite "I Knew You Were Trouble", and arena-sized "State of Grace"; Taylor Swift looked like she was getting ever so closer to dropping the '-country' suffix from her pop repertoire.

Her newest song "Sweeter Than Fiction" only provides further evidence. From the start, its 80s new-wave influence certainly comes a long way from the girl who released a song called "Tim McGraw" back in 2006 -but it's a very natural trajectory from 2012's eclectic Red, and Swift's knack for sugary choruses shines through, even though it lacks a lot of the confessional nature of her stronger material and isn't the most distinctive hook she's penned either.

Jack Antonoff (most notably of fun. fame - along with band mate Nate Ruess who's also been infiltrating the pop mainstream) lends a song-writing credit and a bouncy, yet country-esque, guitar solo which gives a nice variety away from the synths.

The lyrics itself tell a story of endurance in the face of opposition and success: taking shots, standing tall, you made us proud, etc. Swift does take on some perplexing imagery when it comes to: "Eyes, wider than distance," and whatever that's supposed to mean (the more I try to think about it, the more disturbing it becomes). But all in all, very appealing fodder for her target audience and casual listeners as well as in context of the upcoming film One Chance, regarding Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts. Being non-British and generally inattentive to whatever country has talent, I don't quite know who that is. Nonetheless, I have no trouble seeing "Sweeter Than Fiction" being a feel-good hit on the personal soundtracks for those of us without biopics.
~Jonathan Hites


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