Exclusive: A Disgruntled Label Exec Spills the Beans About Taylor Swift's Insane-Sounding New Album
Big news: Young country-pop starlet Taylor Swift took a bit of time out from making the "Who me?" face to record another album. Red, out October 22, is about "relationships and breakups," according to Swift, and its first single is called (no shit) "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." She's been coy about which one of her famous exes -- Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer -- the song is about. The speculation is part of the fun!
But you don't have to have dated Swift; if you hurt Swift's feelings in any way, she will write a song about it. It's no surprise, then, that a good deal of Red's 16 tracks are about slights, beefs and squabbles. West Coast Sound recently spoke to a disgruntled rep from Swift's camp, who handed over an early partial tracklisting of the album and explained the genesis of the songs. We cannot vouch for the veracity of any of this.
Track one: "Pain Through the Windowpane"
Swift wrote this one about the final scene of Bridges of Madison County. "She's never seen the movie or read the book," says the rep. "But this is her attempt to rope in an older audience."
Track two: "Jake's Fake"
According to the disgruntled rep, Swift denies this is a song about Jake Gyllenhaal, and instead says she wrote it about a place called Jake's Famous Catfish in Portland, Oregon, after she was told they use imitation crab meat. "No one's buying it," the rep says. "There's a line in there about Donnie Darko, for Christ sake. No, you're right, Taylor. People will totally believe this is a song about time traveling seafood in the Pacific Northwest."
Track three: "Frag-rant"
The notoriously thin-skinned Swift has a fragrance out, Wonderstruck. In early meetings about the scent with its developers, her rep tells us, Swift described what she was going for. When one scientist cracked, "Sounds like we've got another Sex Panther on our hands," Swift cut the meeting short, headed to the studio, and "Frag-rant" was born.
Track four: "Taylor's Failure"
According to the rep, Swift claims this one's about NFL Hall of Fame linebacker and notorious cokehead Lawrence Taylor, and not ex-boyfriend Taylor Lautner. "She doesn't even know what team Lawrence played for or what number he wore," says the rep. "I suggested she throw in a line about Joe Theismann's leg and she looked at me like I'm the world's biggest fucking moron. Yeah, I'm the moron, and you wrote a song about Lawerence Taylor playing linebacker for Team Jacob. Get some more yes men, kid."
Track five: "Didn't Know I Loved You (Until I Realized I Hated You)"
"No idea about this one," the rep says. "It literally makes no sense."
Track six: "Holy Cost"
This, according to the rep, is Swift's attempt to step out of her box and write about the war between Israel and Palestine. "We really tried to get her to change the title, which, when sung in the chorus, sounds an awful lot like ... well, it's just pretty offensive."
Track seven: "Hey, Joe"
While this is clearly a song about Joe Jonas and the first thing they would say to each other on the phone ("Hey Taylor," "Hey Joe"), Swift discovered Jimi Hendrix while the track was being mastered and now insists it's an homage. She even added an extra line at the 11th hour, "Where you going with that squirt gun in your hand?" but "it's mixed totally differently and sounds awful," says the rep.
Track eight: "Hollywood's No Good"
This is a tune in which Taylor Swift attempts, in one fell swoop, to preemptively write about each of the relationships she'll be in for the next five years."It's like 'We Didn't Start The Fire' if you replaced all the historical stuff with still-in-the-closet teen heartthrobs and prepubescent celebs," the rep tells us, saying he particularly tried to talk her out of namedropping Will Smith's 14-year-old son Jaden.
Track nine: "Song In Which I Make An Even Deeper Connection With You, My Young Female Fans, By Telling You That You Are Stronger Than You Realize"
"She's still working on a title for this one," says the rep. "But suffice it to say it will be in the classic Swift mold of telling young girls they are stronger than they actually realize."
Track ten: "John Mayer Is An Asshole"
"This one really is about how John Mayer is an asshole."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.