Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomena: a superstar who managed to cross over from country to the mainstream. Other singers performed similar moves, but Swift shed her roots like they were a second skin, revealing that she was perhaps the sharpest, savviest singer/songwriter of her generation, one who could harness the Zeitgeist and turn it personal. These skills were evident on her earliest hits, but her second album, Fearless (2008), showcased a songwriter discovering who she was. Speak Now (2010) brought Swift into the stratosphere. Her popularity only increased with Red (2012) and 1989 (2014), albums that found her moving assuredly into a pop realm where she already belonged. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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