I don’t know about you, but at 22, Taylor Swift was feeling like a has-been.
In the second episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, released Tuesday, the singer admits that before she put out her fourth album, 2012’s Red, she was scared she was already past her prime.
“I’ve always been very aware of my own relevancy and mortality,” Taylor says on the podcast. “My career started when I was 16, putting out albums, so by 22, I was already feeling like old news.”
“I was already watching newer, cooler artists come out every week,” she adds. “I was already feeling like, ‘You know, s***. I’m on my fourth record, what can I offer people?’”
But once she started having those thoughts, Taylor was determined not to remain stagnant musically. Red, which she calls her one true break-up album, was a mix of country and pop and featured hits like “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “22,” and the fan-favorite “All Too Well.”
“I really do see this album as my ‘splatter paint album,'” Taylor says. “Just using all the colors and throwing it at the wall and seeing what sticks.”
Red became pivotal in Taylor’s shift into the pop world.
“That was something that freed me up for a world of change and challenge and innovation, and I never would have had the bravery to make the full leap into pop music if I hadn’t been able to do what I did with Red and to work with people that I worked with,” she says. “I will always look back on it and just think, ‘Wow, that was really sort of the beginning of everything that I’m doing now.'”
By Andrea Tuccillo
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