Taylor Swift’s follow up to her #1 country hit, Sparks Fly (check my review) is a song off the deluxe version of her album, Speak Now, titled Ours.
“Elevator buttons and morning air,” she sings sweetly as the song opens up. “Strangers’ silence makes me wanna take the stairs. If you were here, we’d laugh about their vacant stares but right now, my time is theirs. Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves. They’ll judge it like they know about me and you. And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do. The jury’s out but my choice is you.”
Then she breaks into the chorus, the background of which is a happy melody that goes well in hand with the lyrics she’s painting: “So don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine and life makes love look hard. The stakes are high, the water’s rough but this love is ours.”
Ours‘ highlight comes in the form of the song’s bridge, which is sort of typical for Taylor’s songs – she leaves her best songwriting skills to that part of the song: “And it’s not theirs to speculate if it’s wrong and your hands are tough but they are where mine belong and I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith with this song for you. Cause I love the gap between your teeth and I love the riddles that you speak. And any snide remarks from my father about your tattoos will be ignored, cause my heart is yours.”
Ours has an infectious happy melody that, like many of Taylor’s uptempo songs and whether you like them or not, you’ll find stuck in your head. You may not like the song and you may switch the channel if it comes on the radio but after random repeated plays, you’ll find that you actually know the melody to it. It’s a simple tune, it’s a happy tune. It’s a tune very easy to memorize.
Many have spoken highly of Taylor’s songwriting skills on Ours. And well, Taylor Swift is a great songwriter in her own merit. She manages to turn a subject, which most other songwriters would turn into a cliche-ridden song, into something fun, breezy and happy. Even her vocal delivery, which many people say is subpar, works for this song because it’s the type of songs that actually sounds better not sung perfectly. The little mistakes here and there, the laughs spread throughout help Ours have soul. In fact, Ours mostly works because Taylor’s singing it. Had any other artist taken on this song, it would have sounded like a big mess of sappy lyrics and forcibly uptempo melody. Ours is as it is because of Swift’s delivery.
So for all matters and purposes, Ours is a fine song. It’s definitely not the best Taylor has written and it’s definitely not the best choice for a single off an album that has songs like “Enchanted” still left on its track list. Ours lacks the freshness that was in Mean and it lacks the immediate hit that was Sparks Fly. But it’s Taylor Swift so of course it won’t fizzle away and die on country radio like the songs of almost every other female country artist (with the exception of Carrie Underwood).
Perhaps after having a good radio streak, Taylor Swift should have went for broke and released the best song on “Speak Now,” this little song titled Enchanted which no one cannot like. I find it weird that they had to revert to a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album, which until recently wasn’t even available everywhere in the US. And the sad thing is, Ours isn’t even the best bonus track.
Listen to Ours: