Big Machine Records
But while the same can be said for Taylor's three previous studio albums -- all of which serve as the musical diary of her love life -- Red blurs genre lines more than she's ever dared before. The album's catchy first single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," was her first-ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and teams the once-labeled 'country' star with pop heavyweights Max Martin and Shellback, known for their work with Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne, among a long list of other pop phenomenons. Other tracks stray from the bubblegum into more rock territory, including the anthemic opening track "State of Grace," the daringly defiant "Treacherous" and whimsical ballad, "The Last Time" featuring Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody.
"For me, genres are a way for people to easily categorize music. But it doesn't have to define you," Taylor tells The Boot. "It doesn't have to limit you. It doesn't have to make up this kind of imaginary rule book of you can only use these instruments, you can only use this kind of song structure and you can't go anywhere near loops or big drum sounds. I love the idea of getting to paint with lots of different colors, musically."
The album's title, Taylor explains, is her signature color when it comes to love. "Red is such an interesting color to correlate with emotion, because it's on both ends of the spectrum. On one end you have happiness, falling in love, infatuation with someone, passion, all that. On the other end, you've got obsession, jealousy, danger, fear, anger and frustration. It's an interesting color to correlate with all the really intense parts of a relationship, whether they're good or bad."
Real-life relationships are, of course, the project's top inspiration, making the true star of Red its mystery. Taylor's fans are obsessed with figuring out which famous ex-boyfriend inspired each song. But the singer stays adamantly tight-lipped ... for her listeners' own good. The Boot sat down with Taylor in a Nashville recording studio to talk about why she'll never reveal the true subjects behind her songs, her new theory on love and the one very important friend in her life whom she'll never, ever write a song about. Watch our exclusive video interview below.
Taylor Swift, Red Track List:
1. "State of Grace"
4. "I Knew You Were Trouble"
5. "All Too Well"
7. "I Almost Do"
8. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
9. "Stay Stay Stay"
10. "The Last Time" (featuring Gary Lightbody)
11. "Holy Ground"
12. "Sad Beautiful Tragic"
13. "The Lucky One"
14. "Everything Has Changed" (featuring Ed Sheeran)
16. "Begin Again"
- May 2006: Academy of Country Music Awards
- Nov. 2006: Country Music Association Awards
- Dec. 2007: Grammy Nominations
- Dec. 2007: Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
- May 2008: ACMs
- April 2009: ACM Artist of the Decade
- Sept. 2009: MTV Video Music Awards
- Aug. 2009: Fearless Tour
- Nov. 2010: American Music Awards
- Nov. 2010: CMT Artists of the Year
- April 2011: ACM Awards
- April 2012: ACM Awards
- May 2012: Billboard Music Awards
- Sept. 2012: iHeartRadio Music Festival
- Taylor Swift's Famous Friends
- Week in Pictures: Oct. 19, 2012
- Opry Man
- Urban Appreciation
- Batter Up!
- State of Fame
- Tennesssee Leadership
- Music Man
- Legends of the Ball
- First Lady Music