America’s country darling, pop crooner Taylor Swift recently released her fourth musical effort entitled “Red.” The album explores new styles and genres previously untouched by Swift, she delves into sides of herself that we’ve never seen before. Although the lead single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a care-free and lighthearted celebratory song, a lyrical and musical depth along with a newly developed maturity is explored throughout the adventurous album.

With three massively successful albums under her belt, Swift faced the challenge of living up to her previous album “Speak Now” which sold a whopping amount of 1,000,000+ copies in it’s first week of sales. This incredible feat not only shot Taylor to the big leagues of the music industry- it put an enormous amount of pressure on her to deliver something equally as good and commercially successful.

Taylor’s biggest complaint from contemporary music critics is that “all of her songs sound the same.” This statement does actually have some truth in it, as the subject matter of a lot of her songs tend to be quite similar. However, despite the fact that they can sound the same this hasn’t hindered Taylor from scoring hit single after hit single.

“Red” is a musical triumph for Taylor Swift. She explores so many different genres, from dubstep on “I Knew You Were Trouble” and back to her country roots with “Begin Again”. Taylor really shows a musical diversity throughout the album. While Taylor is to be commended for exploring so many new styles, there are a few low moments with the album. There are a few songs that are simply too similar, and end up sounding very alike — case in point being “Treacherous” and “Sad, Beautiful, Tragic.” While they are both good songs, it wasn’t necessary to have both on the album.

The lyrical aspect of “Red” is truly wonderful, with Taylor’s attention to detail being immaculate and so precise as usual. The actual instrumentation on the album is diverse too, with fully synthesized pop songs contrasting with beautiful acoustic ballads. The deluxe edition of the album contains a couple bonus tracks that are really worth the extra money. Two of the songs “Come Back…Be Here” and “The Moment I Knew” really are incredible — one of those surely needs to be a single. Another incredible bonus track is the acoustic version of “State of Grace.” The song probably has her best lyrical work on the entire album, and the beautiful words can get lost in the over production of the song. But with the acoustic version, all of the focus is placed entirely on her words and the melody. It’s magical.

All in all, “Red” is another triumph for Taylor Swift. She’s successfully attempted to try different fields of musicality, and it’s definitely worked in her favor. It’s matched and exceeded the commercial success of her previous albums “Fearless” and “Speak Now” and will likely continue to dominate the charts in 2013. There’s a lot more to come yet of Taylor- so stay tuned!

Album highlights:  All Too Well, Begin Again, The Moment I Knew, State Of Grace
Possible singles:  Red, I Knew You Were Trouble, 22 

How can you win a copy of Red AND Speak Now? Read below!
Leave a comment on this post with the following to stand a chance to win not only a copy of Red, but Speak Now too! Simply tell us: What do you like most about Red?

Contest closes November 21, 2012. Best of luck!

Giveaway: Courtesy of Universal Music Singapore