Shocker: Taylor Swift draws from her 'semi-toxic' romances for new album, 'Red'
After going it alone for her last album, “Speak Now,” Taylor Swift has turned to top songwriters and producers for her fourth studio album, “Red,” out Oct. 22.
Both Max Martin, best known for his work with Britney Spears and Pink, and Ed Sheeran, who has written hits for One Direction, as well as has his own solo career, collaborated with Swift on the new set, which she recorded over a two-year period. Martin co-wrote first single, “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together,” with Swift and Shellback. Swift debuted the stompy, up-tempo pop tune today during a YouTube chat with fans and it is already available on iTunes.
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What’s not different from the last album, or the two before that, is that Swift turned to her diary pages to come up with the lyrics. “The songs are all pretty much about the tumultuous, intense...semi-toxic relationships I’ve had over the past two years,” she revealed during the chat from Nashville.
Surrounded by fans who asked questions, Swift added that the album included 16 tracks for the standard edition out of a pool of “between 30-to-35 songs.”
“I tend to skew in the direction of writing about love-related things,” she said. “That’s kind of where I naturally go. I ended up being inspired by a lot of ‘zero-to-200, then hits a wall and then explodes relationships,’ which are so fun to write about. Really dysfunctional.”
She hastened to add that while some of the songs were personal, others were observational. When she’s writing a new album, everyone in her life “becomes a character or has the potential” to become one.
As to why she decided to co-write on this album after going solo on “Speak Now” (and collaborating with Liz Rose on the first two albums), Swift says, “I thought, why not call all my songwriting and producing heroes and see if they want to work together. I got the opportunity to work with some of my absolute favorite people in music.”
She didn’t offer any names, but the next question was about Sheeran and she coughed up that they ended up writing a song together “while sitting on a trampoline,” and recording it as a duet.
As far as deciphering whom the songs are about, she promised that she would hide little codes in the lyrics, just as she did on “Speak Now.” However, she’s been much more private about her romances over the last two years, so there might be some big surprises. John Mayer can probably rest easy.
Swift was mum when asked about tour plans, but added that she will be in six different countries the week of release.
It looks like the focus for the foreseeable future will be music, and not movies. This spring, she was rumored to be up for the the part of Joni Mitchell in the film adaptation of Sheila Weiler’s book, “Girls Like Us,” but when asked specifically about acting, she did not mention that role and added that she would have to be so “obsessed” with a part that she felt like she absolutely could not turn it down.
Click here to see the Grammy winner's YouTube chat. We've also embedded the new song, although it's pretty bad quality. We'll upload a better one when we can find one.