Taylor Swift’s VMAs Performance – Vocals Isolated


Taylor Swift performed her new single, “Shake It Off,” at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. The singer may be lauded for her songwriting, but her live singing? Not so much!

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Deadspin isolated Taylor’s vocals from the instrumentals and crowd noise and setting her vocals  in such stark relief to everything else really highlights how weak a singer she is. Not only is she flat and unable to hold the notes, but her vocal drops out in favor of the backing track more than you may have realized.

Click to listen to Taylor Swift’s Isolated Vocals

Before you cry that it’s not fair to isolate a vocal–that anybody would sound terrible in the same circumstance–you need to listen to Beyonces’s isolated vocals. She performed–dancing and singing–for 15 minutes straight. She still sounds fabulous.

Click to Listen to Beyonce’s Isolated Vocals

Yes. What can I say. I’m just one of those haterz Taylor will be shaking off this morning.

About mj santilli 33694 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. I always knew she was a weak singer. Her range is limited and she can’t hold out high notes or hit them without help. But I’m the same way. I have to take “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” down a key whenever I sing them live. Whatever, I’m still a fan. On record her voice is still good, and her songs are fun and easy to learn.

    It might have just been a rough night for her. My mother and sister saw her live last year at Gillette Stadium and then they said she was just fine. But then again, I’m not sure what her backing music was like there.

  2. There’s no denying TSwift’s song writing skills, especially her lyrics. But I’ve always believed that if she weren’t a pretty, thin, blonde girl, she’d be toiling away writing hit songs for other artists as many in Nashville do.

  3. Swift sounds like a staccato Minnie Mouse.

    I couldn’t get through much of either of those vocals-isolated recordings, though. It just goes to show how poor songwriting is these days in the pop world and that includes Swift who’s so touted for songwriting.

  4. Taylor has only a nodding acquaintance with pitch control. She basically can’t sing. If it weren’t for Auto-Tune, she would have to find another way to make a living.

  5. Here’s the thing though, everybody applauds her for her songwriting but I don’t see anything special about it because it’s mostly immature break up letters and whiny spites. Adele and Taylor are the same age and if I were to pick who’s the better songwriter, it’d be Adele!

    Furthermore, her voice has always been that way and it’s really annoying when people defend her and say she’s a good singer when her voice is thin and weak.

  6. Wow–she is worse than I thought.. Frankly, I don’t think her songwriting skills are very good either. She’s just average–if that. I find it crazy that she is so successful. I guess I feel this way because I grew up with women who could write music and lyrics like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Brenda Russell etc. So, she is nothing in the talent department compared to them.

    But, it’s a different world now. You don’t have to sing in tune. There can be 6 songwriters on one song. Just the way it is–sad to say. Very sad to say,

    In comparison to other ex idol contestants– Taylo doesn’t come off very well either. Haley Reinhart can sing about anything. Her voice is outrageous. There are videos of Haley and Casey singing outside the venue after a show–just winging it–and they are fantastic. Look at Crystal Bowersox–another fabulous singer and songwriter and musician. And there others as well.

    I don’t know. Taylor must have been at the right place at the right time. She must have made good decisions about her career. She must have great businesss advising her. Her audience adores her. She is not like some others who just use their bodies to sell records. So, there are those positives about her

  7. I don’t applaud her songwriting for songs like Shake it off or We are Never getting back together. But her albums are filled with fantastic songs like All too Well or Back to December. She has a mature side too.

  8. OK–but her songs aren’t very good. On a scale of 1-10 if Joni Mitchell is a 10– Taylor is a 2. Not saying she isn’t marketable. Obviously, she is. I am talking about talent. Of course, it’s just my opinion :)

  9. I think her songs are very good. At least I think most of them are very good. If all you know are her poppy hits then I would completely understand this opinion. But she’s written some pretty fantastic songs. “Tim McGraw”, “Teardrops on my Guitar”, “White Horse”. These were all hits that weren’t necessarily played on pop radio but are great songs.

  10. Shes a weak singer and a weak dancer, its fine she does an acoustic song but with that big production it is such a mess. Stop trying to be Britney, be Taylor

  11. Adele and Taylor are the same age and if I were to pick who’s the better songwriter, it’d be Adele!

    I was watching a show last night where one character made an observation about another character who’s a teenage girl. He said, even when she’s 50, she’ll still be a girl … and it wasn’t a compliment.

  12. Well, she has several very good songs. Shake It Off may not be one of them, but she has a way with a melody.

  13. Taylor has struck a chord with her audience and that’s really what matters. Her audience doesn’t include those who are in the age range where Joni Mitchell is the preferred standard. Taylor’s demographic would read the “she’s no Joni Mitchell” like we reacted to our parents putting down our music for theirs and so on and so on.

  14. So sick of women being pitted against each other. Everybody knows Bey sings rings around Taylor. What’s new? What’s new is there nothing truly interesting going on in music so we compare asses, and range. Yawn. This is only click bait because I’m bored. I’d like to see this article about two male singers.

  15. Beyoncé mostly spoke-sang in very unchalleging keys.

    She’s a great live singer, but the link above showed that very sparingly.

  16. She had absolutely no business being on that stage. With her weak vocals, rhythmic challenged dancing, and with her invisible hips, she made Kanye West a prophet.

  17. Right. Usually, her lead singles are the most brainless, but she does have great songs on her album that aren’t singles.

  18. No wonder TS said goodbye to country music. heh

    Also, this is why I still have some Destiny’s Child acapella stuff on my iPod.

    Seriously, though, TS has always been about her stories and her persona and audiences identifying with her, and about lyrics rather than music, seems to me. That being the case, big mistake to call out people for criticizing your singing — because then you get this …. I wonder whether she really thinks she’s a great singer. Think she”d know the facts … Better to build on your strengths than clumsily call down attention on your own weaknesses — because everybody has those.

  19. My 16 year adores her and has been a fan about 2 years. She doesnt care about how lousy her live singing is – shes obsessed with her songs because they’re fun and catchy and she writes about stuff my daughter can relate to, she also loves her style (just last month she wanted to get her hair cut similar to her current cut). I figure theres so much trash out there in the music industry there a whole lot worse for my kid to be a fan of heh.

  20. Actually a lot of kids abhor the Taylors, Katys, Mileys of the present pop world…they want someone who can sing, but there just aren’t those great voices out there like Pink for these kids.

  21. I’d like to see this article about two male singers.

    Are you F*CKING kidding me? Since when have I EVER held back on calling out the guys? I’m disappointed in you, abbysee.

  22. Beyoncé mostly spoke-sang in very unchalleging keys.

    It’s not like the song Taylor had to sing was all that challenging, either.

  23. Think Taylor should stick more to songwriting for other people…She’s a great songwriter but she’s not the best singer….

  24. Ariana Grande is a great singer and kids love her. I don’t care for her myself but the girl can sing her butt off.

  25. I know people that love Tylor because of who she is and what she says. They know she is not vocally perfect and don’t care. And they are really stoked about this new single. Personally, I never listen to her. I’m not even curious about this video. We all know that being a successful entertainer does not always equate to vocal abilities.

  26. Taylor didn’t sound that bad – not known as a live singer anyway.

    Bey has a fine, powerful voice, but find her overkill breathy vibrato too annoying to listen to.

  27. I’m indifferent to Taylor; I don’t dislike her but I’m not really a fan, either. I think I own one song of hers and it is her duet with Ed Sheeran. But I wonder if Taylor has ever taken vocal lessons. If not, maybe she should think about it if she is tired of people calling her out for being a bad live singer (since she addresses her haters in her latest song, I think that she does care, otherwise why write about it).

    She is a very good songwriter and her fans love her. She’s made a ton of money for herself and she’s won a ton of awards, so it’s not like she’s not successful, even with the weak live singing ability.

    IMO, auto tune hasn’t done anyone any favors, because I think it’s kept people from trying to improve as singers. Let’s be fair — Taylor is far from the only artist who struggles when he or she has to sing live.

  28. Are there any two male pop singers to compare though in the current game? It’s like Bruno Mars and who else? The other guys at the top of the charts are either in bands, country artists, or hip hop. There aren’t really solo guys aside from Bruno that I can name off the top of my head that actually have commercial success.

  29. It was fairly high-pitched.

    All the link proved to me is that, indeed, isolated vocals were both unimpressive, mostly.

    It seems both were more concerned on putting a show. It was the VMAs, not the Grammys.

    Honestly, Taylor didn’t sound that different from the record, Just out of breath at times.

    It was no Britney or Katy Perry.

    And we have seen Swift sound very good live.

    This is much ado about nothing.

  30. Did no man perform last light?

    I was told Adam Levine did and was terrible.

  31. He’s a man.

    Only women have to live under the microscope.

  32. I don’t know, I think people are too harsh. I came away from this with a new appreciation for the fact that, yes, backing vocals really are generally necessary for a high-energy, big stage performance like this. I don’t think anyone would say that she is out-of-shape, and you can hear clearly just how winded she is running back and forth across the stage.

    Plus, reading these comments, I was expecting one of those disastrous vocals that sometimes emerge when singers don’t realize their mic is on. Shoot, this doesn’t sound so bad. It sounds like Taylor Swift. Yes, compared to other pop stars, she has some strengths and some weaknesses. What else is new?

  33. Sam Smith? Usher? I mean, he has dabbled in pop before. I dunno, I feel like there is more, but girls are so dominating the pop world right now…

    But R&B guys like Usher I believe are a fair comparison.

  34. At this point, nobody’s looking to a Taylor Swift performance for a good vocal and not many people are going to be surprised that she was really flat on the 1st verse (the 2nd verse was better), varying degrees of flat on other parts of this “Shake It Off” performance, and that her thin voice sounded really harsh and unpleasant for most of the performance. That being said, in advance press for the Red album, Rolling Stone talked about how Taylor had taken vocal lessons after her Grammy disaster and I thought the improvement in her live vocals showed on several TV performances during that era. Not that she stopped singing offkey, but she learned not to sound as terrible when she did. She also started to support her vocals a little bit better. So from that POV, this performance, even allowing some leniency because it was her 1st performance of this song on TV, was a step back.

    What disappointed me is how little of “Shake It Off” Taylor sang live. She’s relied on backing tracks &/or her background singers to make her voice sound fuller before, like most pop stars do. Heck, when I watched the regular version of the performance it was clear there was a track playing during the verses too. But the isolated track really highlights how much work the backing track did during her performance.

    This is not unusual at all for pop performances, which are often built for choreography and are often built on artifice. But this is an aspect of the pop industrial complex I’ve never liked. In Taylor’s case, I think the isolated track is more of an issue because she’s built her career on the appearance of authenticity. I’ve never bought into this appearance based on her photo op-heavy fauxmances, but her fans relate to her because they believe she’s real and she speaks as they would. This VMA performance is an example of her giving in to fakery and that’s a surprising choice for Taylor.

    But anyway, it’s not like her performance was a consensus highlight of the show even before this surfaced – most of the talk I’ve seen has been about Beyonce, Sam Smith, Nicki Minaj (and also Ariana Grande and Jessie J in the opener, but mostly Nicki), Usher, and maybe Maroon 5.

  35. She basically didn’t sing just the chorus harmonies.

    Which I think is the norm.

  36. I grew up listening to Joni M and I still loved music from my parents and grandparents generation I just liked good music. And still do.I realize that Joni’s voice is good–but it’s not for everyone.It’s still a hell of a lot better that Taylor’s voice. However, you can not compare the songwriting. They are not in the same universe. I know Taylor appreciates good songwriting –and people like Joni And James Taylor etc. But, she is not in their league. I don’t even think it’s an opinion TBH. I think it’s a fact

  37. Your opinion’s on things are hardly facts.

    These classic singers get a lot of passes. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and She Loves You are not much different from an early Oned Direction song,

    And yet, it’s if “she loves you, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah. She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” are some really special lyrics.

  38. Justin Timberlake sings through his nose. He’s not that much of a singer.

  39. When you can pull up a comparable article on this blog, I’ll be duly chastened.

  40. Seems like a pretty typical Pop girl performance. Now that Taylor has gone pure Pop with this upcoming album, she is like a younger Katy Perry. (only a Blonde one)

  41. All the link proved to me is that, indeed, isolated vocals were both unimpressive, mostly.

    I’d disagree with you there. But I’ll just leave it at that.

  42. WOW. If I didn’t know better, I would have mistaken you for a newbie.

    Nope. Don’t feel I have anything to prove.

  43. WELP. If I had his isolated vocals and they were terrible, I would have GLEEFULLY posted them.

    LOL at people thinking I’m picking on women. I mean.

  44. OMFG. Hey, If you can find isolated vocals of any of the male singers from last night. If that singing was really terrible, I’ll be happy to mock them. Seriously more than happy to do it.

    And I was the one defending Nicki Minaj from people calling her a whore because she dared show her butt on a single cover. And now we’re all up in arms over Taylor. OK.

  45. Woah, this was terrible. I am not talking about just the singing, the song was inane. If this is an example of her wonderful songwriting, no thanks. Maybe it sounds better in the radio version because I haven’t heard it but good lord that was bad.

  46. From my post above:

    This is not unusual at all for pop performances, which are often built for choreography and are often built on artifice. But this is an aspect of the pop industrial complex I’ve never liked. In Taylor’s case, I think the isolated track is more of an issue because she’s built her career on the appearance of authenticity. I’ve never bought into this appearance based on her photo op-heavy fauxmances, but her fans relate to her because they believe she’s real and she speaks as they would. This VMA performance is an example of her giving in to fakery and that’s a surprising choice for Taylor.

    And the choruses of Shake It Off are a pretty major part of the song.

    I don’t even like that Lorde uses prerecorded vocals to boost her live choruses tbh, or that Ingrid Michaelson has a backing track adding an extra layer of vocals on the choruses of her live performances of Girls Chase Boys. But at least they’re also singing live at the same time and not dropping out entirely like Taylor does here.

    My preference is always for live vocals and for music that’s conducive to live vocals as opposed to showbiz pop like this.

  47. I think there are sound cloud recordings of Adam Lambert singing live while dancing, and he sounds just as pitch perfect as his recordings. His monitor engineer did say Adam is pitch perfect, but he is difficult to work with because of his range and he moves around a lot.

  48. Why so confrontational MJ? We haven’t always seen eye to eye, but I’ve always felt free to speak my mind! If I didn’t know better I’d think that is no longer the case.

  49. Calm down MJ! Picking on women and comparing them are two different things. You know that. We pick on, and pick apart folk, male and female, all the time on the blog. My displeasure was the comparison. Period. Women get enough shit about not measuring up. We all know Taylor can’t sing. So why add Beyonce to the mix? Unnecessary, imho.

  50. Taylor is playing the game. She realizes that there are hundreds of thousands of people who respond well to fluff, the songs you refer to as “brainless”, by buying them. That’s what she wants – sales.

  51. Feel free to speak your mind, and certainly to disagree with my opinions. But you are taking it further than that–to the point of questioning my motives and accusing me of a point of view that I simply don’t hold.

    So yeah…that’s making me a little crabby today.

  52. Calm down MJ!

    No need for the condescension.

    My displeasure was the comparison. Period.

    But isn’t comparing them unfavorably (which, if you had actually read my post I wasn’t really doing) a form of picking on women?

    (And the OP I was responding to is a whole nother kettle of fish and NOT you.):

    But the nitpicking is boring. I’ll just say I’ve been equal opportunity when it comes to how I treat the performers I cover. I stand by that. And no, I won’t take the time to search my blog to prove it.

  53. You’re crabby about something, certainly not the comment I made. You’re also reading waaaaaay more into that comment than I intended. Motives? Wow. Who is behaving like a newbie now?

    I have a pet peeve with women being compared. We’re all different, have different skill sets. Taylor ain’t evah gonna sound like Beyonce. So what? She has her fans, her accolades, her fame. We’ve all talked about how a good voice isn’t enough, as is shown by all idol winners being able to out sing almost anyone on the charts. Whatever she may lack, doesn’t matter. So isolate on. Compare her vocals to whomever you like. It’s all white noise anyway.

  54. Comparing rock cred….Lol. don’t get me started. Not the same, not my issue.

  55. A lot do, but a ton of kids/tweens/teens buy this kind of pop fluff, attend concerts and buy massive amounts of merchandise from the 1Ds, Taylors, Katys, etc. The ones that want someone who can sing go for Beyoncé, Pink, Gaga, Bruno, etc.

  56. Wow. That bee in your bonnet is certainly not about me. So I’m just gonna back my ass out of this. This is so overblown Mj. I don’t get it.

  57. I have a pet peeve with women being compared. We’re all different, have
    different skill sets. Taylor ain’t evah gonna sound like Beyonce. So

    Again. Missed my point. I was not comparing the two singers. No kidding Beyonce is a better singer than Taylor. Everyone knows that. I was simply trying to illustrate that anybody would sound terrible if you isolated their vocals. The second example could have just as easily been a man if I had had the audio available.

    So yes, I take exception to the anti-female criticism being levied at me here (and in other comments). Especially since I’m the first person to defend any woman i cover against the needless nitpicking over her looks, expression of sexuality, etc.

    You’re crabby about something, certainly not the comment I made.

    I’m telling you why I’m crabby. Please take it at face value.

  58. Well, Taylor Swift wins lots and lots of awards, sells a lot of albums and singles, makes a lot of money touring, and, and…. and that’s all I’ve got.

  59. That bee in your bonnet is certainly not about me.

    No. It’s not personally about YOU. There’s a reason why I don’t allow commenters to assume motive of other posters.

  60. I can think of no pop star so underserving of the accolades this girl gets. She was about as country as I am, sang the stupidest songs I have ever heard and makes millions, while winning award after award. Why? She is always off pitch. I understand the Bie er teen thing, but not the Swift thing at all. Sorry

  61. I have seen her in concert. Singer she is not. Songwriter is debatable but at least somewhat relatable.

  62. These kids don’t buy, their parents and grandparents do. I was listening to two young mothers talking, or should I say bragging, about buying $100 tickets for their daughters to go to a concert. My parents would have laughed in my face if I would have asked them for concert tickets in my tweens….and my allowance never stretched that far.

    I have nothing against Taylor other than the fact her Dad’s money bought her early fame, and I know that she will disappear as quick as she appeared since there is nothing musically substantial about her.

    And if we want to do some girl on girl comparison to just show how bad Taylor is…just listen to Pink sing live while she is hanging upside down from a rope and doing numerous twists and turns. That puts every other female pop star to shame.

  63. If this is what Taylor Swift sounds like I am very pleased I have never stooped so low as to buy her music…I can sing as good as she can and I KNOW I can’t can’t carry a tune or hold a note without it changing numerous times in a few seconds. Did she ever find the key she was so desperately looking for while she was bounding around the stage…she makes Carrie’s moves look positively rhythmic in comparison.

    I wonder if her “move” into pop is more about “country” music waving bye bye to her with a big pat on the ass and a “thanks for the teenage memories”.

  64. Whose pitting who against whom. Taylor put herself out there just like she did a few years ago when her manager had to come to her defense with a thousand excuses why she sang bad. I don’t mind Taylor’s epic fail being heard along someone who can actually carry a tune in the same circumstances. What is so wrong with that…its done all the time.

  65. Too much of the public is willing to settle for mediocre singers and music. They buy it! If poor singers and schlock songwriters stopped selling, good ones would come out of the woodwork to fill the void.

  66. Please point out a performance where Taylor has sounded “very good live”. I’ve watched tons of her performances and even enjoy her album, but I have yet to see a performance where I thought she sounded anything superior to decent.

  67. They do buy. Kids/ Tweens/ Teens do have money for music and merchandise and even concert tickets from babysitting, cutting yards, part time jobs and gift money and cards. Even if they don’t, what does it matter anyhow? The point is these are the artists that the kids and teens love.

    Taylor has been around a decade and still going strong.

    NO ONE is comparing Pink to Taylor! They are in different vocal categories, everyone knows that!

  68. He’s a good example of one who doesn’t necessarily have a good live voice, but still connects with his audience. Plus, he has other talents that make him an artist to watch, for sure!

  69. She makes millions being a phony. If she is a singer, she should know how to sing.

  70. He might be a nice guy, but I change the channel any time he’s on because his voice just grates on me!

  71. Well, I have never bought a Taylor Swift song in my life, so it isn’t like I am defending her for that reason.

    When we are talking about pop music, I think we have to accept that success requires strength in five or six key areas (vocal ability, attractiveness, dancing ability, drive, intelligence, charisma, song writing, etc), that no one is equally strong in every category, that relative weakness in some categories can be compensated by strength in others, and that at the end of the day popularity sometimes defies logical explanation. That’s how pop music works (and, really, its often how life works).

    It seems to me that every corner of the internet is full of outrage that Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry and Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber, etc., etc., should have the audacity to succeed. As if the popularity in pop music should be measured in a purely meritocratic way. Welp, that’s not the way it is.

    In my opinion, her singing is more than adequate…and in any case, as fun as it might be, it is completely artificial to isolate her live vocals. It strikes me as a “gotcha” attempt on the part of computer nerds who are jealous of the cool kids. All’s fair in love and war, I guess.

  72. LOLing at all the indignation as her single still sits atop iTunes for a week straight. And she’s LOLing all the way to the bank.

  73. Its not bragging about spending $100 on a concert ticket for your tween…its stating a fact. If thats the price they’re selling for, thats the price you have to pay.
    I’ve had to pay $2,288 (HK) for a ticket for my daughter to go and see 1D next year…..did I like paying that, of course not, but that was the ticket price..but I know it will make her birthday.

  74. You mean like Bob Dylan, Madonna, Neil Young, David Byrne and I’m sure many others whose voices would sound terrible if their vocals were isolated.

  75. There are so many poor singers out there who are successful, it doesnt make them a phony. Bad singers are why we have so much auto-tune. All it takes is for someone to get a lucky break and put out catchy songs. Britney Spears is an awful, awful live singer yet she’s got years of success and hit songs behind her. Hell Phillip Phillips got ripped apart every week on AI for being such a lousy singer, so bad that it was predicted he would be an embarrassment to the AI franchise. An excellent, very catchy song put him on a different path.

  76. Lol. Taylor and her 15 minutes of fame.. People have been saying that about her for years. Wishing it doesn’t make it so.

  77. I think you don´t need a big voice. Just to practice and choose songs that are right for your tone and strength. Chris Martin doesn´t have a great voice, but the songs are right for him.

  78. I know Taylor isn’t really that much of a live singer, but she is a good songwriter who writes songs I actually enjoy. My main problem now is the song. I absolutely loathe it lol. I’d still buy her album since I am a fan, but geez I hope it has better songs in the likes of All Too Well.

  79. A thousand wrongs never make a right, and no matter how much she sells or how popular she is will that make her into a singer…just shows how gullible tweenies are….what the heck they still love Bieber and he’s a total scum twat.

  80. And we all know Madonna was never the greatest singer out there, but she was a savy artist that new how to create an image.

  81. Things you will not see me do:
    Defend Taylor Swift.

    Tear her a new asshole ya’ll!

  82. good thing that…I would hate the current POP market to be dependent on my dollars.

  83. Why do people always use “but they’re getting paid” as an excuse for things?
    Like…mediocrity is fine and dandy so long as you’re making bank? Well, alright then.

  84. Why shouldn’t we compare Pink and Taylor. Fair is fair. Put Taylor behind a screen, ask her to sing something made famous by Pink and I bet all the tweenies would scream out that their ears are hurting.

  85. Me…I never buy music unless I can’t live without it, fan or no fan. If someone can’t provide something worth listening to I, for one, ain’t buying no matter how much I may fan them.

  86. ITA. I’m not even into rap but I think he’s a really brilliant songwriter.

  87. I think Taylor used to be a very good song writer and her lyrics really brought back memories for me and what it was like to be an adolescent girl. I had hoped for more from her as a mature writer – but now that she is pop and working with Max Martin – lyrics take a back seat and she loses me. But I’m not her target audience – and sales say she has reached her audience.

  88. She sold out two shows in Madison Square Garden in two minutes so I don’t think her vocals matter all that much. She entertains her fans, who aren’t in the over 40 crowd and aren’t hanging out on mjsbigblog.

  89. Bob Dylan doesn’t sing that well. Neither has Paul McCartney in a long while. They seem to be doing just fine.

  90. Maybe because it’s obvious by the number of people who are buying the song that not everyone shares the opinion that it’s mediocre.

  91. You haven’t heard many songs if you think songs like Tim McGraw, Haunted or Begin Again are the stupidiest you have ever heard…

    Didn’t Minaj performed a song at the same night that basically just used the theme and the melody of another song to deliver the incredible message that her man will only “rise to the occasion” if you’ve got buns, hon”?

    Isn’t “My Humps” a Grammy winning record?

    Taylor Swift at least wrote Speak Now entirely on her own, music and lyrics and went on to great success.

    Whether you like it or not, we should respect that.

  92. I wouldn’t even mention Taylor Swift in the same category compared to Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney lol. Dylan isn’t known for his vocal prowess, he is a story teller type of singer, very stylyzed. Paul McCartney is like 70 years old, and well, he’s Paul McCartney lol.

  93. Well, I’m asleep before Lord ever reaches the chorus, so I wouldn’t know.

    But one person cannot sing several harmnonies at once, Most singers, even Aretha Franklin, rely on back-up singers and, therese days backing tracks fill that void.

    She wasn’t lyp-synching her main vocals. She just had pre-recorded hamonies instead of backing singers.

  94. Her demographic is easily brainwashed lol. She isn’t getting my cash.

  95. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beyoncé. But she was almost rapping. It sounded nothing like her perfect Superbowl performance.

  96. I have seen Swift perform at the 2011 CMAs and during her Fearless Tour and she sounded just fine. She was probably just having an off day.

  97. Either the arguments stands or it doesn’t.

    If singers who “don’t know how to sing” are phonies, so they are.

    She writes her songs too. She has written an entire album all on your own. You may like it or not.

    It’s just unfair giving men a pass.

    Justin Timberlake has been a bad singer his entire carreer, singing through the nose, throat-singing instead of using correct respiration…

    And yet, his not being picked apart like every pop starlet seems to be.

  98. She’ll do just fine.

    How condescending of you saying people with a different taste are brainwashed.

  99. No, they just have different tastes. Doesn’t make them brainwashed. I hate when people say that about idol fans, so I’m loathe to criticize others for their likes and dislikes.

  100. Despite not getting your cash, she will continue to have her music climb the radio charts – sell out arenas – be asked to perform at awards shows – win awards. You can dismiss them – but her demographic is the one that counts for advertisers.

  101. Hunter is a horrible live singer, something I have pointed out time and time again both on the blog and on twitter.

    Believe me. If this were the ACMs and we had isolated vocals from one of his performances, and maybe one more from another singer, I would have been all over that.

  102. Oh yeah, I suppose “Anaconda” isn’t a mediocre song since it’s been in the top charts for sales and popularity recently.
    Hear it in the clubs too a lot now.
    Totally not mediocre.

  103. OK. I’ll just agree on disagreeing, then. She sang it exactly like she sounds in studio, to me.

  104. Nah, it just means the majority of iTunes buyers this past week don’t agree with your personal opinion of mediocrity. No more, no less.

  105. In your OPINION it’s mediocre, it’s not hard to understand that in others OPINIONS it’s not and they like the song and show it by buying it.

  106. As she ages out of the teen market and her own cohort begins to mature and, perhaps, look for actual substance, I’ll be interested to see if she can maintain her popularity. It’s not like adults *don’t* like fluff, but I would think they’d be into quality fluff, i.e., someone who can at least hold a tune while they’re shakin’ their a$$.

  107. I don’t wish to speak for abbysee, but honestly? The Taylor can’t sing live argument is so old, it’s become a trope/meme. Everyone knows Taylor isn’t the best singer. That’s not going to change. She may improvevocally–and I think she has in spots–but she’ll never be mistaken for Aretha Franklin or Patsy Cline.

    And considering how many here ripped Beyonce for singing to a pre-recorded track during the last presidential inauguration and questioned her singing ability, using her as a standard bearer against Taylor is kind of funny.

    It’s not as if Taylor is the only bad live singer out there. I realize that Taylor is being spotlighted here because of the isolated voice thing. But why mock Taylor for what many are guilty of?

    Taylor is very marketable, and she maximizes her marketability perfectly. She’s young, beautiful, and has talent. She doesn’t get into trouble. She hasn’t been caught stumbling drunk out of bars or snorting coke at a party. When the only thing you can be ripped on is being a young single woman with an active dating life, then you’re doing pretty good for yourself.

    So while the discussion may be fair, it’s also old hat. Taylor is doing very well for herself. She’s gone beyond the 15 minutes thought she would have. So she’s clearly doing something right. For every non-fan, she has five fans. Tay-Tay will survive.

  108. Right. Remember, she wrote with Max Martin and Shellback, who are known for bubble gum fluff. Fun catchy fluff sells, this is probably why she chooses them as lead singles.

  109. Sad thing is, this will probably have zero effect on both women’s careers.

  110. I save criticism for when it actually supports an attitude that I abhor. I don’t like some of the creative choices in the video, but the song itself has a decent message. If people want to buy it because it’s catchy and affirming (same as All About that Bass, really), then I have better things to do than rail at a music fan who actually spent money on music.

  111. I don’t care that much, but I think the reason those two had readily available isolated vocals and the male performers didn’t is because of the media memes around competing female pop stars. There’s nothing stopping blog authors from pushing that aspiring audio engineer to do more of the same work to get the full story.

  112. Once again, NO ONE is comparing Pink to Taylor here, or anywhere else in the world of music, in the category of vocal ability. Your original question was asking who the kids could listen to, for someone with good vocals like Pink, so you were the one who put her in a different category in the OP. Everyone would agree with you, that the two artists don’t have close to the same vocal ability. Everyone knows that people like Taylor for reasons outside of great vocal ability.

  113. It’s not just the tweenies. I know a couple of mid-40’s males going crazy over this song.

  114. I’m enjoying the butthurt from country fans who feel Taylor has betrayed them or something by going pop. Thing is, country music these days is pop, just with the occasional fiddle thrown in sometimes.

    Never fear, country fans, I’m here to help. Take one dose of old school hardcore punk daily until your musical tastes stop sucking.


  115. Her pitch gets worse as the song goes on. Maybe if she’s used a head set, not a hand mic, and rehearsed the dancing a lot more?

    The song is half the culprit. The move from country-pop cash-cow niche to sex-bunny pop diminishes her.

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