Monday, February 01, 2010

Taylor Swift: Anti-Britney Superstar!!!!!



This article is dedicated to Kevin Starace, the biggest Taylor Swift fan who I know.

Taylor Swift just won the Grammy for Album of the Year, making her at age 20 the youngest musical artist ever to do so. Her win represents the end of the 2000s decade, but I think it also represents a change from the typical artist of the 2000-2009 decade. When I think of the artists of the previous decade, I think about the focus on style over substance, sexuality over talent, auto-tune over vocal ability, lip-syncing over singing, and people who call themselves artists without any ability to actually….. write a song! Most of these problems can be summed up with one name, Britney Spears.

Britney Spears came into the music scene at the end of 1998/beginning of 1999 with “… One More Time”. She started out as a wholesome girl who said that she didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. She also claimed to be a virgin waiting until marriage. A few years later, Britney was using nothing but sexuality on stage to sell albums. She would lip-sync at concerts. She was caught smoking in photographs. Later, she went nuts and entered rehab. Britney Spears was a train-wreck of a fake image of wholesomeness ready to explode. She represented style over substance, sexuality over personality, and setting bad examples for her young fans over setting good ones. After one decade, Britney Spears feels like she has been used up and spit out on the floor.

Taylor Swift is everything that Britney Spears is not. First, she has the ability to write her own songs. This makes her an artist, not just a singer. Second, she does not use sexuality to sell records. Taylor Swift is an attractive girl, but she does not focus on sexualizing herself in photographs. I would say that she looks like a pretty girl who doesn’t know that she’s pretty. While Britney Spears would choose outfits to emphasize her looks, Taylor seems to try to deemphasize her appearance. If Taylor Swift wore schoolgirl outfits like Britney Spears wore in her first video, I think that Taylor could look more attractive than she currently does. But she’s not trying to be “the sex object”, instead choosing to be the normal girl who has had her heart broken. Third, Taylor Swift has not done anything controversial. She’s not been caught drinking underage, using drugs, or getting in trouble with the law.

Let’s see. Taylor Swift focuses on her musical ability over her looks, can write her own songs, and has not done anything controversial (yet). It appears that Taylor Swift is everything that Britney Spears is not. I don’t have to just pick on Britney Spears to make my point. I could turn to Ashlee Simpson getting caught lip-syncing or Justin Timberlake exposing Janet Jackson’s breast during the Super Bowl to find examples of immorality in the music industry. There are many other musicians who have set a bad example in the last decade, but I feel that Britney Spears is the queen of style over substance. After a decade of her crap and the crap from other singers like her, it is refreshing to see an artist, yes…. artist, like Taylor Swift.

I hope that Taylor Swift represents the future of musical focus. A focus of attention going to actual artists who write their own music and can live normal, humble lives. Maybe Taylor Swift will disappoint me in the future, but I hope not. I’d rather see people like her succeed in the music industry than most of the musicians that came out of the last decade.
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