Swift previewed “Begin Again” on Good Morning America on Monday, and she will play a snippet of a new song on GMA every Monday until the Oct. 22 release of her fourth album, Red. A few hours later, “Begin Again” got an early release on iTunes, where it’s already shot to No. 1, thereby becoming the first single to dethrone “Gangnam Style” in a week.
Compared to her smash pop single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and her sad, sweet lullaby for a cancer victim “Ronan,” Swift’s new song is by far the most country thing that we’ve heard off of Red so far.
“Begin Again” chronicles the start of a new relationship — one that comes eight months after a breakup that Swift says left her feeling like “all love ever does is break and burn and end.” I’ll spare you the obligatory game of Taylor-Swift-ex-boyfriend-roulette, and just get straight to the music. The song is a well-crafted love story. Swift is remarkably talented at taking a single moment in time and letting it unfold like a pop-up storybook. Tactile details like her James Taylor record collection (which I believe is real, based on this performance) and her ex-boyfriend’s frustration with high heels give the song an undeniable texture — even if it is a bit melodramatic. That’s kind of her thing, if you haven’t noticed.
Plus, “On a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched [love] begin again,” is a simple, great chorus line.
Give the song a listen:
If you want the song yourself, download it on iTunes.
More Taylor Swift on EW.com: