Taylor Swift on Her Bold New Direction
How the pop superstar is turning bad romance into chart gold with her latest album, ‘Red’
“I went through a few roller coasters,” says Taylor Swift, reflecting on her relationships over the past two years. She channeled the turmoil into her fourth studio LP, Red, out October 22nd. “Trying to chronicle each step of the way was challenging, because you go to some really dark places with the lyrics. Then in the next track, you’re talking about how amazing it is to meet somebody new.”
After writing 2010’s smash Speak Now by herself, Swift veered in the opposite direction, co-writing with pop hitmakers such as Max Martin and Adele collaborator Dan Wilson. She wound up with nearly 40 potential songs; in between stops on the yearlong world tour that she wrapped in March, Swift joined her writing partners in L.A. and Nashville. “I felt like an apprentice,” Swift says. “They taught me so much about melodic sense, and they let me do what I love, which is the lyrics.”
The result is Swift’s most eclectic set ever, ranging from “State of Grace,” a howling, U2-style epic with reverb-drenched guitars, to a sweet acoustic duet with U.K. singer Ed Sheeran. Another key track even features a dubstep-inspired bass breakdown.