Here’s some sweet news for pop music fans: Taylor Swift’s new album may just be her “poppiest” offering yet. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine Records, revealed that legendary hit maker Max Martin worked on “most of” Swift’s upcoming fifth studio album. Martin and his frequent collaborator Shellback were responsible for crafting the three biggest pop songs on Swift’s last studio album, Red: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “22.” In fact, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” earned Swift her first No. 1 record. In that respect, the decision to work more closely with Martin seems like a smart move.
But where does this leave Swift’s loyal country fans?
In his aforementioned Rolling Stone interview, Borchetta said of Swift’s increased studio time with Martin: “Taylor fans are going to love it. Will country stations play a complete pop song just because it’s her? No. But when she comes to town, her friends at country radio will come and see her.”
It's true, Red’s pop singles didn’t get much support from country radio, but that didn’t stop the album from earning six Country Music Award nominations (and a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year). In fact, on Thursday, Swift finishes up her wildly successful worldwide Red Tour in Singapore. Not too shabby.
Was it a good idea for Swift to work on "most of" her new album with Martin? On the one hand, after releasing Red, and especially after releasing the dubstep-influenced, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” it seemed pretty clear to me that Swift had set her sights on becoming a full-fledged, global pop superstar. Working with an iconic pop music producer like Martin is just the next logical step in that journey.
On the other hand, Swift’s loyal country fans are likely the ones who helped her sell over 1.2 million copies of Red in its opening week. It wouldn’t be wise for Swift to suddenly alienate a huge chunk of her fan base. How is she going to make this work?
I’m guessing that Swift’s new album will include a significant number of pop songs — yes — but there will be country songs, too. Swift’s an intelligent woman. I don’t think she would make this kind of decision without thoroughly weighing the pros and cons — she knows what she’s doing. If you’re one of Swift’s hardcore country music fans, I wouldn't be too worried about this news just yet.
No word on when we can expect Swift’s next album to be released, but hopefully it’s coming soon. I, for one, am really looking forward to hearing her new music!