Saturday, November 13, 2010

Taylor Swift hit #1 with Speak Now

Speak Now

Taylor Swift

Released: October 25, 2010

Charted: November 13, 2010

Peak: 16 US, 113 CW, 6 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 6.85 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/country


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Mine [3:50] (8/21/10, 3 US, 30 UK, 7 CW, 1 AC, 7 AA, sales: 1.0 m)
  2. Sparks Fly [4:20] (11/13/10, 17 US, 1 CW)
  3. Back to December [4:53] (10/30/10, 6 US, 15 AC, 11 AA, sales: 1.03 m)
  4. Speak Now [4:00] (10/23/10, 8 US, 60 CW)
  5. Dear John [6:43] (11/13/10, 54 US)
  6. Mean [3:57] (11/6/10, 11 US, 1 CW, sales: 0.5 m)
  7. The Story of Us [4:25] (11/13/10, 41 US, 27 AC, 31 AA)
  8. Never Grow Up [4:50] (11/13/10, 84 US)
  9. Enchanted [5:53] (11/13/10, 75 US)
  10. Better Than Revenge [3:37] (11/13/10, 56 US)
  11. Innocent [5:02] (11/13/10, 27 US)
  12. Haunted [4:02] (11/13/10, 63 US)
  13. Last Kiss [6:07] (11/13/10, 71 US)
  14. Long Live [5:17] (11/13/10, 85 US)

All songs written by Taylor Swift.

Deluxe Edition – Disc 2:

  1. Ours [3:58] (11/26/11, 13 US)
  2. If This Was a Movie [3:54] (11/26/10, 10 US)
  3. Superman [4:36] (11/26/11, 26 US)
  4. Back to December (acoustic) [4:52]
  5. Haunted (acoustic) [3:37]
  6. Mine (pop mix) [3:50]
  7. Video: On the Set – Behind the Scenes of “Mine” Music Video [30:21]
  8. Video: Mine [3:55]

Total Running Time: 67:29


3.965 out of 5.00 (average of 33 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Taylor Swift’s third album had big shoes to fill as a follow-up to her huge-selling, Grammy-winning Fearless. She delivered with an album that debuted with more than a million in sales in its first week even as industry experts were saying no one would ever pull off a million-selling week again. It hadn’t been done for five years. It was the second-biggest debut ever for a country album. WK

The album also pulled off the remarkable feat of landing all fourteen of its songs on the Billboard Hot 100, the only artist in history to do so. WK It made her the third artist in history to have more than ten hits on the Hot 100 simultaneously. WK When a deluxe edition of the album was released a year later with three new songs, those charted as well, giving her an album with seventeen Hot 100 charters!

The album accomplished award attention as well, landing the American Music Award for Country Album of the Year. It also picked up a nod from the Country Music Association as Album of the Year and got a Grammy nod for Country Album of the Year. The album received largely positive critical attention as well. Sputnikmusic’s Rudy Klapper called it “the best pop record of the year.” WK

Many of the commentaries focused on Swift’s talent for maintaining her youthfulness but also allowing for adulthood to seap into her lyrics. USA Today’s Elysa Gardner said the album “captures the sweet ache of becoming an adult, as only those who are still in the process can articulate.” WK Dave Heaton of noted “a richer array of narratives” WK on the album while Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone commended Swift for “slipping more grown-up details into her love stories.” WK

When comparing Speak Now to its predecessor, “Swift seemed like a genuine girl on Fearless, perhaps treating her songs a little too much like diaries, but that only made them more affecting. If anything, Swift ramps up the confessions on her 2010 sequel, Speak Now, but circumstances have changed: few listeners, if any, would have a clue about the identity of the boy who belongs with Taylor, but now that she’s a superstar, anybody with a passing familiarity with pop culture can discern which songs are about Kanye, Taylor Lautner (her ex), or Camilla Belle (the actress girl who stole Joe Jonas out from under our heroine).” STE Of course, Swift doesn’t make any real effort “to disguise who she’s writing about – not when she’s writing Dear John, an elegant evisceration of lecherous lothario John Mayer.” STE

“Such gossip mongering is titillating but fleeting, suggesting that the charms of Speak Now are insubstantial, but Swift’s gift is that she sets the troubled mind of an awkward age in stone. She writes from the perspective of the moment yet has the skill of a songwriter beyond her years, articulating contradictions and confessions with keen detail and strong melody. Tellingly, underneath all her girlishness – and Taylor makes no apologies for being girly as she baits mean girls, dreamily thinks of stolen kisses on a sidewalk, or fantasizes about stealing away her ex-lover at the altar – there’s a steely strength. She walks away proudly from breakups and never dwells on mistakes; she moves forward.” STE

“The same could be said about the sound of Speak Now itself, which is no great progression from Fearless but rather a subtle shift toward pure pop with the country accents, such as the Dixie Chicks foundation of Mean, used as flavoring. But that blend of pop and country, while certainly radio-friendly, is nearly as distinctive to Taylor Swift as her songwriting voice. She may be not a girl, and not yet a woman, but on Speak Now she captures that transition with a personal grace and skill that few singer/songwriters have.” STE

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First posted 12/8/2011; last updated 11/30/2022.

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