Many, many moons ago, I was a young, impressionable teenager who sat downstairs in my bedroom and listened to angst ridden music that was usually about love. The teenager grew into a moodier young adult in her college years still listening to her angst-ridden music. And when I struggled with a break-up or waiting for the return phone call from that guy, I turned again to music to assuage my blues. I think I had Sheryl Crowe’s “Strong Enough” on repeat for days on end, broken up with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
Needless to say, I wasn’t as strong as I would have liked to have been when it came to relationships. I put up with too much crap, to say the least. It wasn’t until Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill came out (yes, I’m really dating myself here) that I found something new, more powerful to help get my stride back. Lord, I remember blaring and screaming along with the angry but empowering-for-me “You Oughta Know.”
Now with a pre-pubescent daughter who idolizes all Disney shows and in particular, Selena Gomez, I think about how I can make my daughter stronger. I actually adore Selena and think in many ways she is a great role model. With the exception of the whole Justin Bieber on again, off again, on again, off again… you get the picture. I want an Alanis for my daughter. Someone who says you do me wrong and you’re history bud.
I think Taylor Swift first sang into my heart with “Picture to Burn.” I. Loved. It. And “Fifteen?” WOW. That one is so powerful. I’m not going to say that Taylor Swift doesn’t have a few tunes that pay homage to love (umm, I have most of those music videos on my phone, too. “Love Story” anyone?). And yes most of the time she’s making headlines because of some love life strife. But my take from these? She’s not wallowing overly much in her angst. She writes a cathartic song and (seems to) move on! Jake Gyllenhaal, hottie that he is, will forever be immortalized in the song “We are Never Getting Back Together” and I love blaring that song with my kids. It’s fun. Whereas I probably wallowed in a bad on and off relationship for a good year and some for years, she moved on in months. Take that Jake.
Her songs are heartfelt and powerful and yes, sometimes petty. But she is young. This is where she is in her life. And I look forward to hearing and experiencing that maturity that will come but enjoy the ride on the way.
So those people who roll their eyes at Taylor Swift’s latest antics (come on, who wouldn’t want to make some snide comment to their best friend when their detested ex-boyfriend took to the stage in front of them?) who cry that she has no talent and is self absorbed (okay, you have a point there, but who isn’t at 22?), I say get over it. I like her. And I can’t wait to hear more.