If Taylor Swift has made one thing clear in the lead-up to her fourth album Red, it’s that her genre is nigh impossible to pin down.
First came the outright pop of her first no. 1 Hot 100 hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Then came the plaintive, slow country sound of “Begin Again.” After that, we got more pop and sonic vocals with “Red.” And last week brought the dubstep-laden “I Knew You Were Trouble.” So obviously the next logical step was… Brit rock?
On “State of Grace,” which Swift released yesterday, she sounds heavily influenced by U2 (or even Switchfoot) — ethereal guitars and moody overtones ring out over a driving midtempo drum beat as she delivers a lyric you could imagine Bono singing: “This is a state of grace/This is a worthwhile fight/ Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.”
While Swift’s songs are usually quite lyrically driven (and this is a good thing), “State of Grace” is more about the build — that dawning sense of triumphant wonder that accompanies love — and the the extended instrumental breaks provide a more forceful, mature impact than Swift’s standard sass.
In other words, I’m feeling this one.
Readers, what do you think of the song?
EW’s take on all of Swifty’s recent releases: