I'd heard about Taylor's new album via the Ellen Degeneres show when she performed a couple of the new songs live. After having heard "Red", "We are never ever getting back together" and "Begin again" I was hooked. BUT THEN, I heard that she'd also spread her wings quite a bit with this new album and added some really amazingly talented musicians to duet with to her album including Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. Wow.
So the "standard" album differs from the deluxe version in that it doesn't feature a couple of songs (as you'd expect). Actually it's quite a few songs, but most are just acoustic duplicates. The songs you'll gain from the deluxe version are, "The moment I knew", "Come back...be here" and "Girl at home" with acoustic versions or the original demo versions of "Treacherous", "Red" and "State of Grace". Do I think, having bought the deluxe version, that you'd be missing out on much without these added little extras? Yes. I really REALLY do. The demos and acoustics aren't such a big deal, but are a nice addition, but the three additional songs are wonderful - some of my favourites from the album infact. So invest in the deluxe if you can!
So here are the songs and a tiny insight into their sound:
-State of Grace: An upbeat, uplifting song that I really liked. It's not what I would call country, it's definitely more pop, but it still has her little twist to it and you can't help but sing along.
-Red: This is a typical, catchy, well-thought-out, lyrical masterpiece of Taylor's. You know how she just manages to add a little bit of humour here and there? Like with "Speak now", it's kind of like that. Very catchy with a hint of country. My favourite of the album.
-Treacherous: I loved the meaning behind these lyrics. It's slower, verging on ballady, but it's lovely. A hint of country, but not as obvious as her usual stuff which is nice for variation and shows her talent.
-I knew you were trouble: So country, so catchy and SO much fun. This is a fantastic addition because it's actually lyrically really powerful - it reminds me hugely of "Should have said no" in it's meaning.
-All too well: A country ballad. Typical Taylor, a pretty song with deep meaning.
-22: This for me is the lapse in the album. It's upbeat and fun but it's actually quite annoying. I end up skipping it and I NEVER do that with her songs.
-I almost do: Another country ballad I was glad to have. I don't know how she does it but her lyrics are just so brilliantly emotional. She manages to actually convey pain pretty effectively through her tone and I thought that was demonstrated particularly well with this song.
-We are never ever getting back together: You know what, when I first heard this and it's pop feel I thought "Oh no, what has she done to?!", but it grows on you. Quickly. It's catchy and fun. It started off right down the bottom for me and now is one of my most played from the album. You'll learn to love it!
-Stay Stay Stay: This is an upbeat, fun, country song. It reminds me of her very first album with all of the catchy, slightly cheesy songs we all pretended not to like but secretly played repeatedly behind closed doors. It's fab. Reminds me of "I'd lie".
-The last time: This is the duet with Gary Lightbody. It reminds me of Lady Antebellum's work so if you like them, and Taylor, then you'll love this. It's a balladic song which I think was intended to demonstrate some real, raw emotion. Their voices merge ridiculously well and I was so impressed with this song. It's beautiful. I hope she does more duets in the future.
-Holy ground: This is a slow-ish song with a new feel to it. It's not one which I play too often, but I do like it and it's definitely a different side to her voice that I liked.
-Sad beautiful tragic: For me, this was just TOO slow. I do like her ballads usually, often more than the upbeat, catchy ones. But I actually just find this depressing and a bit boring. There always has to be one I suppose. Maybe it will grow on me.
-The lucky one: This one's great. A nice insight into what it must be like to be a celebrity. I liked the message and I love the sound.
-Everything has changed: This is the duet with Ed Sheeran. A slow-ish ballad with GREAT lyrics. I don't think I need to say more. Ed Sheeran people!!
-Starlight: This is on the same level as "22". It sounds similar and is a tiny bit irritating. I like it in small doses. I'd describe it as lacking in maturity in comparison to her other songs on this album.
-Begin Again: I like this one. A pretty ballady sound with an interesting message.
And from the deluxe:
-The moment I knew: You've got to love a good piano in her songs. Wow. Really pretty and sad. Kind of like "Back to December" I'd say.
-Come back...be here: Nice country ballad with a lot of variation in her voice. This isn't to be missed. Get the deluxe just for this one.
-Girl at home: Upbeat with fun lyrics. I like how she's really used her voice in lots of different ways.
So overall, a new take on an already well established talent. Taylor can sing, yes, but her lyrics are what really sell this album for me. And the duets are INCREDIBLE.
As a side note: If you're a massive Taylor fan, I mentioned earlier about the Ellen Degeneres show and Taylor performing. Be sure to check out an interview she's done alongside Zac Efron where they're singing a duet! It's hilariously funny and appears to be totally unrehearsed. Had me in stitches.