Taylor Swift knocked it out of the park at last night’s BRIT awards with an amazing performance of her single ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’. While the performance was an incredible spectacle, it signalled once and for all that Taylor Swift has truly left the world of country music behind.
‘Trouble’s dubstep melody was already enough of an indication to those in the music world that Miss Swift had decided that she’d had enough of the banjos and cowboy boots that used to be her bread and butter. Last night she made that statement all the clearer, with her stripping down to a tightfitting playsuit ensemble mid track almost emblematic of the singer’s transformation from teenage country princess to fully blown pop star.
Over the last few years, Swift has been the posterchild for country-pop, a movement that has pulled a whole load of younger listeners into a genre of music that for years was considered uncool to listen too for anyone outside of Nashville.
Swift’s place as the darling of the country world has been usurped though with the rise of Carrie Underwood, a singer far more in touch with the fiddle and whiskey roots of country and whose rise to power has left Swift with a decision to make. Fight or adapt. Wisely, she chose the latter, doubling down on the pop crowd that she’s been able to cultivate so well.
With her latest album 22, the shift has been made complete, with barely a track on there is the sort that you’d hear at a good ol’ fashioned hoedown. It’s a move that served her well, with it quickly becoming her fasted selling album yet and gaining platinum status in the blink of an eye.
While her metamorphosis to pop singer might just be the best for her tirade of break-up songs, the real test will come in two years’ time when Swift embarks on making her fifth album. Does she fully throw the ‘good girl’ reputation out of the window like she did last night, or does she keep preaching to the converted legions of tween fans that have stuck by her side since the beginning?
She wouldn’t be the first singer to change their spots throughout their career. Pink started her career as a heftily R&B inspired singer before only graduating to the pop-rock sound that suits her so well on later on. Kanye didn’t always sing through an autotuner and until recently Adam Lambert was stuck singing ballads.
Artists always evolve, but the sexily clad singer grinding to dubstep last night is a totally different artist to the teenager sitting on a stool with a wooden guitar that America first took to their hearts.
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