I'm not even going to offer up a score for Taylor Swift's new cd. But let me say a couple of things in her defense. First, if this had been her 1st cd, I think it would be a very nice accomplishment, and I would be hoping for more growth/output from her in the future. Also, it must be difficult and stressful to follow up the success of the 1st 2 cd's. Also, she's 20 years old. And does actually write every single song on here by herself. And she's not a ho. Kudos.
That said, "Speak Now" is boring and predictable - and believe me, I've heard it 4 or 5 times now riding around with my 15 year old daughter. Swift's melodic patterns and arrangements are getting to be very one-dimensional...except when she channels her inner Avril Lavigne on a couple of songs. Basically, if you've heard one Taylor Swift tune, you've sort of heard them all and I'm just not sure she's all that talented when all is said and done. We know for a fact that she can't sing live. We also know that her stage presence is a bit awkward - sort of this generations Barry Manilow. "But she writes her own stuff, she writes her own stuff, she writes her own stuff." So did Richard Marx.
My only question for those reviewers/people still raving about Sufjan Stevens' new cd "The Age of Adz" is this: Have you, in the past 2 weeks, actually played the cd for entertainment/enjoyment purposes, OR...have you ever played it in the car on a road trip or even while driving around town? That's what I thought. And are you really going to argue that it's better than "Come On, Feel the Illinoise?" Half as as good? If you said yes to either question, I respect you. Otherwise, there really needs to be some revisionist reviewing taking place before the end of the year IMO. Of course, people may complain about my gushing over Joanna Newsome's last cd, so that's fair.