May 31, 2023
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Country diva’s third album illustrates artist’s maturity

In her third studio release, “Speak Now,” Taylor Swift revisited the country twang and slower melodic rhythms that listeners heard from her debut offering.

Each track on “Speak Now” is driven by an instance in Swift’s life, or one she’s witnessed, where she or someone else had the opportunity to say something and never did — ultimately regretting not having done so.

From disappointing relationships to weddings, Swift covers a wide range of subjects on the album, which, along with how she tests her vocal range throughout, shows just how far she’s progressed in her career.

The title and first released track, “Speak Now,” illustrates the theme of the album — of internalizing feelings and missing the opportunity to express them. “Speak Now” captures Swift’s maturity. Her songs no longer feature high school as her primary setting and delve deeper into more complex matters of chance and opportunity.

The upbeat pop sound that saturated Swift’s second album “Fearless” is gone, replaced by slower rhythms built around both acoustic and electric guitars and violin.

Tracks like “Back to December” and “Dear John,” which reveals an obsessive love that wasn’t meant to last, are examples of Swift’s emotional investment in each offering on “Speak Now.”

For listeners who are looking for that sound that made Swift such a hit on Top 40 and Pop Rock charts, “Better than Revenge,” “Superman” and “Sparks Fly” all reflect the country/rock/pop sound that made Swift a star.

From start to finish, “Speak Now” gives listeners an inside look at Swift’s personal connection to her songs, culminating in an album that is not only driven by personal experience but will also satisfy listeners across genres.