Taylor Swift’s new CD was released on October 25 with the thought-provoking title, “Speak Now.” As explained in the CD’s insert, each song is based off of thoughts or opinions Swift did not express “when the moment was right in front of (her).”
The idea behind the CD is that everyone has moments in their lives when saying the right thing is crucial, similar to the moment at the end of a wedding ceremony when those who oppose the union are urged to “speak now or forever hold your peace.” Swift challenges her listeners to take advantage of these moments, because not everyone can produce a best-selling CD to make up for unspoken words.
This 14-track compilation of belated communications includes tracks directed towards Kanye West, John Mayer and Taylor Lautner. The CD opens with the hugely popular single “Mine,” which gained a lot of attention after its early release this summer. While many of the tracks reflect Swift’s predictable and often naïve attitude towards relationships, several songs contain skillful expressions of mature emotions.
Since its release, many critics have commented on the “new sound” of Swift’s album. While Swift’s previous musical offerings have been classified as country-pop, “Speak Now” borders on indie-rock. Swift takes advantage of the wide range of emotions expressed in the songs to explore the limits of her vocal capabilities.
With the exception of one or two somber tracks, “Speak Now” is a catchy, upbeat album. It functions very well as background music and is conducive to studying, driving and, of course, karaoke.
More importantly, Swift’s words in the CD’s insert are applicable to all listeners: “There is a time for silence… but if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say… I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.”