We first heard inklings that life-size Precious Moments statue Taylor Swift was moving in a new direction on 2012’s smash, Red. It was singles like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “22,” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” that saw the starlet shedding her country curls and flirty sundresses for all the faux-edginess that accompanies a pair of Forever 21 leather shorts. But it’d take Swift two more years to bury those country roots and pursue the pop stardom she’s flirted with forever.
The official announcement came via Yahoo! stream in August that Swift’s next album, 1989, would see the singer embark on a pop sojourn with a trusted fleet of producers including Max Martin and Shellback. The news was accompanied by the release of her music video for the album’s first single, “Shake It Off.”
Once the screams of fervent Swifties died down, many casual fans were left to wonder if the album would be all brand: Would her trademark ballads of heartbreak and triumph be swapped for an album shilling 13 songs that sounded like a Diet Coke ad? “Out of the Woods” offered hope, but nothing was certain until the album’s midnight Monday release.
We’ve done you the courtesy of ranking the album’s songs from best to meh, in order to make the Swift fanfare easier to parse. Keep reading »
Nashville will no longer sit by and fulfill your stereotype of a sleepy country music town populated by starving songwriters in cowboy boots with acoustic guitars. Rather, it’s a city that’s fast-tracking itself to become the South’s most thriving metropolis, with flourishing new neighborhoods offering the best in music, food, and culture, all without sacrificing the heritage of southern hospitality and charm. (It’s also the setting of the new ABC drama “Nashville,” starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, which premieres tonight at 10/9C.) The next time you stop through, make sure to sample the diverse atmosphere and discover what each corner of Music City has to offer. Keep reading »