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One of the biggest things I miss about journaling by hand is whenever I got a new CD, I would write down my first impressions of all the tracks. The Music List sort of fills that void, but it isn't quite the same, so sometimes I have to make supplemental posts like this. Otherwise known as...

ALERT, muzzy_olorea (and anyone else who cares), ALERT! It's time to talk about Taylor Swift!

"Red" has, unintentionally, become my driving music. I have an endless array of choices I may regret not choosing later, but because I'm still in the honeymoon phase, it's all I want to hear on the way to or from work, every day. Through this practice we have bonded as surely as the car & I have bonded (may actually be a 3-way relationship; I keep meaning to ask how the car feels, but I know it already approves heartily of the title).

So how does it compare to her other CDs? I've still never listened to the first one the whole way through, but comapred to the other two -- after conditioning my subconscious for a while by playing it in the background while I wrote about Glee or earned points on Neopets, I actually like it a lot now; at least as much as her last album. If that one was mostly about fairytales, this is more like a breakup album and an older sound, but it sounds right for her.

I'm tempted to just run down the whole album, song by song in order, but I also want to group them by mood/order I fell in love with them. WHAT DO I DO?? Obvious answer: ping-pong wildly around the whole CD until I hit everything anyway. That's the RS way!

Well, since I didn't know where to start with this one and didn't want muzzy_olorea's opinions to influence me in the vulnerable intro stage, I ended up gravitating toward the singles out of familiarity. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - despite the fact that it literally took 20 plays before I could remember how the melody went without actually hearing it - is definitely my preferred of the first two, but it turns out it only takes 10-15 plays before "We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together" overcomes its spoken-word handicap and delivers on its awesome chorus hook that's been grabbing my ear since I first heard it.

I feel obligingly attached to "22" after having been introduced to its lyrics early, despite its overtones of Juvenile College Kid (a higher tier than Stupid College Children [drunk and/or belligerently pretentious], but still on the aggravation scale because they're very public about their immaturity and you like that they're being silly, but you also want them to SHUT UP ABOUT IT AND DO IT INSIDE QUIETLY), but I think it works better as part of a CD than a standalone, at least from her.

One of the singles CLEARLY needs to be/should have been her title track; like honestly, I frequently question her second-tier singles, but I cannot understand how "Red" doesn't have a spotlight on it yet. Its literally-colorful lyrics are awesome and its music is one of the first ones that bent my ear on its own power, hype-free.

(or maybe that's just because it includes the line "like driving a new Maserati down a one way street" and I'm like HEY I KNOW THAT FEELING I'M DOING IT RIGHT NOW! albeit in a different brand)

Speaking of which, "State of Grace" is a good intro number - innocuous, but with a good drumset beat, until gradually the lyrics filter into your brain. Sometimes I like when I realize I have no idea what a song is actually about and have to reconcile lyrics with the mood-pictures formed in my head. (note: this is only OK when an artist has previously been cleared as Quality) However, I do really like the line "we learn to live with the pain / mosaic broken hearts."

"All Too Well" and "I Almost Do" remind me of twins - they sound similar, even though their storyline isn't quite the same, softer and slower numbers, but not all the way down in ballad territory. I have particular attachment to "I Almost Do" after I heard the lyric "I bet it never ever occurred to you / that I can't say hello to you / and risk another goodbye" and realized I'd seen it pasted over a Kurt/Blaine graphic last fall, so...yep, that one's ship-marked. Meanwhile, "All Too Well" is the perfect bittersweet kind of sad. It always gets me in the worst/best way when there are all these cute lyrics about innocence at the beginning and then I hear "you call me up again just to break me like a promise / so casually cruel in the name of being honest."

(Speaking of the soft-and-slow, the twins have an older sibling in the closing track - "Begin Again" is a really nice, hopeful number, one of my favorites, but I always get tears in my eyes. I also like how it subtly coaxes you into restarting the CD.)

"Stay Stay Stay" is THE CUTEST. It's the one that sounds the most like her previous CDs, all optimistic young/puppy love; it never fails to make me giggle with delight when it gets to the line about him wearing a football helmet - "ok, let's talk."

Recent addition to my favorites: The Lucky One, which I bypassed FOREVER because that phrase has been ruined for me by a terrible Zac Efron/Nicholas Sparks movie, so I automatically associated it with that. Then all of a sudden I heard its lyrics when I wasn't paying attention, and it's this fantastic number about new/old Hollywood and the shallowness of fame and is AWESOME.

"Starlight" is like the cutesy, bouncy version of "Long Live." I like it, so I'm not sure why I haven't completely attached to it yet. It's got the best title on the CD; that is literally one of my favorite words.

"Everything Has Changed" is a really pleasant number - I was not terribly enthused about one of my solo female artists sharing valuable CD space with a dude, but I like his voice. I mean, I love "The A Team" and I liked what I heard of "Lego House"; he's not blowing me away, but as guy singers go, he's very pleasing to the ear.

(contrast this to her duet with the other guy, which - true story - bores me so much I didn't even bother ripping it; I REJECT ITS EXISTENCE. It seems like a nice song, so I'm not sure if it's the speed or just his actual voice driving me nuts)

What have I missed*? "Treacherous" - good driving music, sadly tends to gets lost in the smorgasboard of greatness at the beginning - "Sad Beautiful Tragic," which might be nice when I'm in the mood for it but right now is my other least favorite (SO DULL AND SLOW), and "Holy Ground," which is right next to it and which I keep mistakenly assuming sounds the same; someone remind me how fast and bouncy and delightful it is! I don't come across very many stories where I understand how you can appreciate a past relationship just for the time it lasted, so having one in song form is nice.

P.S. Despite the fact that I should know better by now, I did not ask for the Target edition, and thus do not have bonus tracks. Which means I've kept myself away from them on purpose and will wait until I magically happen upon them later, when I want new stuff.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of musical delights, I finally bit the bullet I've been waffling over for almost a year and bought myself an eMusic subscription.I expect it to be temporary because even $12 is considerably more than I typically spend on music in a month, but I've been gradually building myself a sizable text file of MP3s I can't (or that it's very difficult to) get elsewhere, and I am currently delighting in the prospect of Glee (oh! AND SMASH, which is even more inaccessible) tracks for 79-89 cents and others for less.

Temporary = since you can't roll your monthly credit over, it's only good as long as I have $12 worth of music I need to buy in MP3 form in a given month. I know that you can pause your subscription (but only for 3 months consecutively and only for up to 6 months out of the year), so I'll probably do that first while I figure out what (if any) sort of problems arise from canceling and then signing up again with the same card a year down the road when I build up another stockpile. I'm not trying to score new-member freebies again, I'm mostly concerned with whether they jack up the price for returning customers. Because if not, this really is an awesome deal for buying your music in bulk. I fritter dollars away here and there on Amazon throughout the year for MUST-HAVES, and that works for me, but for everything I've managed to resist...I'm ready to collect.

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