Taylor Swift: “Shaking Off” Her Country Style

By: Sam Christensen

When she was fresh to the world of music at the young age of 14, Taylor Swift was signed with Big Machine Records in pursuit of a career in country music. After the release of her third single “Our Song,” she quickly became one of the biggest names in country music. Recently, however, Swift’s music has notably taken a turn down a somewhat different route – now her songs feel more “pop”, and it seems that she has outgrown her original country vibe.

This change of style became evident in Swift’s music with her 2010 album Speak Now. According to an album review from The L.A. Times Music Blog on October 25, 2010, the album “expands beyond country-pop to border both alternative rock and the dirty bubblegum pop”. The release of Swift’s next album, Red, in 2012, shows an even bigger advance into the realm of pop music with such singles as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.

Now, with her newest single “Shake It Off,” which was released on August 18, it seems fairly obvious that Swift shows no signs of going back to releasing country songs. In some cases, people prefer her pop songs to her country vibe. “I enjoy her pop songs way more [than her country songs]!” says Mizzou freshman Maddie McConnell. “They are catchy, clever, and almost always have an upbeat message that gets me pumped.”

On the other hand, this switch in styles disappoints some of T-Swift’s audience. “I liked her country songs better than her pop ones,” says Abbie Heckman, another freshman at MU. “I think she should have stayed country. I’m not sure why she decided to switch; maybe she just had a change of heart.”

Whether you like her new songs or not, Swift’s popularity has debatably advanced since she became a pop star. “I think she’s gained a wider audience. The thing about Taylor Swift fans is that we are always very supportive of her, and I think this is true with her genre switch,” McConnell says.