Are you ready for another taste of Taylor Swift's new album, 1989? Swift's new song, "Welcome to New York," was previewed on Good Morning America on Monday, and the track proves that the 24-year-old singer has an uncanny ability to bring out the best in her producers. In a new video for GMA, Swift reveals that she created "Welcome to New York" with OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder. Though the song continues the '80s pop vibe that we heard on 1989's first promotional single, "Out of the Woods," it actually doesn't sound like anything else in Tedder's discography (or Swift's, for that matter) — and that's really cool.
Tedder has been a big name in pop music for a while now, and a frequent criticism of his work is that it often "sounds the same." Granted, many producers have to deal with this kind of criticism, as some people don't seem to be able to see the distinction between a producer who has a "signature sound" and a producer who is truly recreating the same song over and over again — but Tedder's case is a little different. For example, in 2009, Tedder came under fire for just how similar Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone" and Beyoncé's "Halo" sound (he co-wrote and produced both songs). If you ask me, they sound very similar, indeed.
Tedder rejected the comparison, maintaining that the two tracks are "entirely different," but the controversy has probably colored the reception of his work ever since. It's great news, then, that, to my ears, "Welcome to New York" doesn't sound like anything else that Tedder's ever done. It's totally fresh. Now, I've always been a big fan of Tedder's music, and while I'll likely never tire of his unique brand of percussion-heavy power ballads (Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield," Ariana Grande's "Why Try," etc.), it's still nice to hear the 35-year-old musician try his hand at something new.
So, is there something about Swift's songwriting process that brings out the best in her collaborators? It certainly seems that way. After all, I'd argue that Red's lead single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," is one of the best songs that the legendary Max Martin has ever produced — and he has quite an impressive catalog of songs to choose from. "Out of the Woods" might be one of producer Jack Antonoff's best tracks, and now, Tedder has given us "Welcome to New York." How awesome is that?
Yes, based on what we've heard so far, 1989 is definitely shaping up to be an impressive, exciting, and wonderfully unexpected musical outing for Swift (and really, for all those involved). I can't wait to hear the rest of the album on Oct. 27.
"Welcome to New York" hits iTunes on Monday at around 10:00 p.m. CST/11:00 p.m. EST.
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