This month I’m featuring my top 20 albums of the past decade, to celebrate 10 years of This Must Be Pop! Click here to see all the Decade of Pop posts so far.
Of all the artists who released multiple great albums in the past 10 years, I found it most difficult to choose the best by Taylor. While I loved the singles from Red, it wasn’t very consistent in quality, so it was between Fearless and Speak Now. Although Fearless is the album that first convinced me of Taylor’s brilliance, when I listened back over the two records I realised I had to choose Speak Now. I think it’s the best example of how Taylor perfectly balances between pop and country, calling on my favourite aspects of each genre.
I grew up loving female pop-rock singer-songwriters, with Michelle Branch one of the big loves of my early teens, and I feel Taylor is her natural successor. Tracks such as Sparks Fly and Mine could easily have been on Michelle’s brilliant album The Spirit Room. However, I think the fun side of Taylor’s music is what made her so much more successful than Michelle. If you’ve never delved into pre-2012 Taylor, catchy, witty songs such as Speak Now, Better Than Revenge, Mean and The Story Of Us are the perfect introduction.