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  NIGHTSPOTS

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE
TAYLOR SWIFT AND THE GAME CHANGERS
by Marc 'Moose' Moder
2014-11-26

This article shared 2473 times since Wed Nov 26, 2014
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Game changers. I think that might be a sports-originated term, but I grew up in a household that didn't know its touchdowns from its free-throws, so I'll let you verify that. For me, game changers have been those pivotal moments in life and career where you tap into that special something that makes you the shiniest star on Earth, if just for a moment. Recently, even though she's sold millions, Taylor Swift had one of those moments with the 1.2 million-selling album 1989. While a vast amount of Americans—mostly young girls—kept Taylor on the charts her entire short career, 1989 was the moment when the rest of the US and the world took notice and said, "Hey, that Swift girl's new album is kind of amazing," a reaction so palpable it even warranted its own SNL skit for "Swiftamine" for symptoms associated with realizing you actually like Taylor Swift. 1989 certainly earned it. Chock full of catchy, smartly written and even more smartly produced pop nuggets, it is so far her finest moment and took her even farther than before. She's obviously not the first pop female in this position.

Beyoncé, like Taylor, was no stranger to sales, number ones, and being a superstar before her fifth album, BEYONCE from last year. But the eponymous LP showed the world she could put a solid edge on her pop, add more hip-hop and make a literally flawless album for once in her career. And all with NO expectations, since it was a surprise drop. Look for her or Taylor to snatch that Best Album Grammy this year.

Madonna had a huge fan base, massive sales, but no respect until she hit it with her fourth album, Like a Prayer. Her first two were pop gems, but geared toward teens. Her third, True Blue, was so over-the-top happy and bubblegum ( combined with her Who's That Girl flop ) that she needed to reinvent with some edge. Like a Prayer was her first game changer with darker locks, stronger content and a few jarring melodies. Her second came with Ray of Light and won her a Grammy and even more cred.

Lady Gaga's The Fame LP was a nice sized hit, but didn't really enter the consciousness of your mother until The Fame Monster EP that accompanied a reissue the following year. With "Bad Romance," "Telephone" and "Alejandro," LG took her look and art cred to a new, more confident level and not only made every song on that EP a hit or cult hit, but made The Fame sound downright amateur. Of course, her two follow ups have been meager attempts to capture that firefly ( with mixed results ), but we'll always have Monster.

And finally, as much as she's divisive, Miley Cyrus turned a few heads with her moves and her vocal prowess on the oddly wonderful Bangerz last year. Despite her antics, strip it all away and Bangerz was one the strongest pop LPs in recent history and gained her a whole new demographic that hadn't known her as Hannah Montana.

Not everyone can have that game changer. While ladies like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears continue to sell, they're not winning over new fans or fan bases. There may be hope, but time is running out on their relevance and our patience. I'm hoping they can teach the new ones like Arianna, Iggy, and Jessie J that pop will put you on top but it's those risky game changers that will keep you there.


This article shared 2473 times since Wed Nov 26, 2014
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