Begin Again – Taylor Swift [Single Review]

As a follow up to her pop release, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (my review), a song that underperformed on country radio, Taylor Swift is back to cater to her core audience with a bonafide country release in the form of Begin Again, a single about that first date you go on after a bad breakup as you watch love “begin again.”

The song boasts an acoustic, mellow but engaging melody. It is a country song that is story driven and lyrically great. Taylor Swift is back with Begin Again to do what she does best: conjure up great lyrics and a catchy melody. Begin Again is the song that her country audience wished she had released to introduce her new project: Red.

The song starts with the character standing in front of her mirror, getting ready for that date, and comparing what she’s doing with what her ex would have thought. Wearing heels, listening to a song were all things he frowned upon even though she liked doing them.

“Took a deep breath in the mirror. He didn’t like it when I wore high heels, but I do. Turned the lock and put my headphones on. He always said he didn’t get this song but I do, I do.”

As she goes to the cafe, she’s surprised that her date is already waiting for there. And as he does those little gestures of pulling the chair for her or waving at her, she slowly sinks into him during the chorus as he laughs at her jokes, her ex never thinking she’s funny and how she’s finally seeing something begin again.

“And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid. I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny ‘cause he never did. I’ve been spending the last 8 months thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end. But on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again.”

The second verse holds no reference to her ex again, interestingly, to show that whatever’s starting across that table in the cafe is helping her get over him. The talk is about the music that her ex may not approve of and her guard starts coming down.

“You said you never met one girl who has as many James Taylor records as you. But I do. We tell stories and you don’t know why I’m coming off a little shy. But I do”

And they continue knowing each other with Christmas tradition discussions at the song’s bridge, which sounds rather chunky compared to the previously smooth lyrics.

“And we walk down the block to my car and I almost brought him up. But you start to talk about the movies that your family watches every single Christmas. And I wanna talk about that. For the first time, what’s past is past.”

The song overall is Taylor Swift in her element. She sounds much more comfortable singing this than she does on “Never Ever.” Her vocal delivery of the song is quite interesting as well and suits her vocal range. Begin Again may not be ground breaking like some of her other offerings but it a song that is excellent in itself and good enough to bring her back to country radio.

Begin Again shows maturity in the way Taylor Swift can craft her sentences. It’s no longer the teenage love she inundated airwaves with but a rather more grown up approach that would resonate with anyone of any age who is getting over an abusive relationship. It also forebodes what will be an eclectic album. But more of this and less of Never Ever, please.

8/10

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