Is it possible that Swift is returning to her country roots? There would be a lot of happy OG Swifties if she did.
When the singer announced the release of her album 1989, she made it abundantly clear that she was stepping away from country music. “This is my very first documented, official pop album,” she said at the time. In a Rolling Stone interview, she recalled how she gave an emphatic “no way” to her record label when they asked her to include three country songs on her 2014 album. She did not make any appearances at award shows for the genre, she did not appear on the radio — it looked like she went pop with no intention of looking back. It seems the old adage is true, never say never.
Late last year, the songwriter reemerged on the country music charts for the first time since 2013 with her single “New Years Day.” Over the course of her first four studio albums, you would have a hard time listening to country radio without hearing a song by the artist. “New Years Day” is the first song to revisit the genre from her past two, synth-heavy pop albums. Between that and her song for Little Big Town, it seems like Swift has country music on the mind.
Her success has consistently grown, with each album selling more than the last. Whether that is just a matter of her gaining a larger audience over time or because her music grew progressively more pop is complicated to separate. Swift garnered significant success on the mainstream charts as a country artist before making the leap to pure pop. In her first few albums, she crossed over and made fans out of people who previously never listened to country music. There is also something to be said for creating the music that makes her happiest rather than focusing purely on the numbers. If country music makes her happy, she should make country music. If it’s pop, make pop.
While she has gained countless new fans with her pop music, there is still an established fan base who have loved her since the beginning. If Swift were to surprise us all with an all-country EP, we would definitely be here for it.
Clearly, this venue holds a special place in Swift’s heart. "I wanted to say a big thank you to the Bluebird Cafe," said Swift Saturday night. "I think any songwriter in town would echo my sentiments and say that this is kind of the only place where this exists — this particular place where you get to come and hear the writer's take on the songs they've put out into the world."
Swift first played and was later discovered as a rising talent at the Bluebird Cafe when she was 14 years old. According to the Tennessean, she played her early hits, including “Love Story,” as well as a cover of the song “Better Man,” which she wrote for country group Little Big Town. Something about this just feels right.
She joined prolific country songwriter Craig Wiseman on stage in honor of the Bluebird Cafe’s 35th anniversary. It turns out, not only was Wiseman an early mentor to Swift, but he actually had the chance to co-write “Love Story” with her and passed on it. Talk about the one that got away!
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