Taylor Swift takes on a bully (and John Mayer?) on new album | EW.com

Music | The Music Mix

Taylor Swift takes on a bully (and John Mayer?) on new album


taylor-swiftImage Credit: John Shearer/WireImage.comAfter showing some remorse (and apologizing to Taylor Lautner?) on the track “Back to December,” the latest song from Taylor Swift’s upcoming album Speak Now to hit iTunes, “Mean,” has her once again the wronged party. As she explains in this video preview, “There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism, and then there’s just being mean. And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person… This happens no matter what you do, no matter how old you are, no matter what your job is, no matter what your place is in life, there’s always gonna be someone who’s just mean to you. And dealing with that is all that you can control, how you handle it. This song is about how I handle it.” The track’s bluegrass vibe (banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and harmonies) is a nice touch: It brings a sincerity to her pain and lets you focus on the words, which do, near the end, turn cheeky (proving she handles it with a sense of humor): “But all you are is mean/All you are is mean/And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life/And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean.” The song also seems at least partly directed toward people who’ve questioned her singing ability. “And I can see you years from now in a bar/Talking over a football game/With that same big loud opinion but nobody’s listening/Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things/Drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing.” (Okay, that wasn’t exactly veiled.)

Another track, “Dear John,” which has yet to hit iTunes, is also making headlines. Writing for Our Country, the Y! Music Country Blog, EW contributor Chris Willman is confident that the track confirms her rumored relationship and breakup with John Mayer. He points to the first chorus: ”Dear John/I see it all now that you’re gone/Don’t you think I was too young/To be messed with/The girl in the dress/Cried the whole way home/I should’ve known.” And a second version of the chorus that includes the lines: “It was wrong/Don’t you think nineteen’s too young/To be played/By your dark, twisted games/When I loved you so.” He also notes these lyrics: “My mother accused me of losing my mind/But I swore I was fine…” and “You’ll add my name to your long list of traitors who don’t understand/And I’ll look back in regret I ignored what they said/’Run as fast as you can’.” Just reading those, you understand why Willman claims we’ll be cheering when Swift sings, “I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town.” It’s nice to see someone turn the tables on Mr. Overshare, isn’t it? Who else can’t wait to hear that track? (Willman says it’s six and a half minutes long.)

More on the Music Mix:
Taylor Swift apologizes (to Taylor Lautner?) in ‘Back to December’
Rihanna tells EW about her high-tech new video, a possible duet with Katy Perry, and the most personal song on her new album
Willow Smith’s ‘Whip My Hair’ video: Watch it here
Ingrid Michaelson’s “Parachute” video premiere
Beastie Boys reveal updated ‘Hot Sauce Committee’ title, release plan

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