Swift’s latest album slams ex
If Taylor Swift’s depth of feeling is measured by the number of songs she produces after a breakup, then Jake Gyllenhaal won this round – or lost, depending on how you look at it.
Sixteen songs make up Swift’s “Red” album, which debuted Sunday at midnight, and at least five can be linked to her relationship with the “Brokeback Mountain” stud.
Let’s start with the first song on the album, “State of Grace,” an upbeat anthem about how love is worthwhile, even though it sucks sometimes. The giveaway is her mention of “twin fire signs” and “four blue eyes.” Swift and Gyllenhaal share the Sagittarius star sign as well as massive baby blues.
“And I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same.” No wonder she never saw him coming. At 31, the actor stands out against her other beaus – namely Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner.It makes sense that she’d fall into the Twilight/Disney crowd. And at least with John Mayer, music was a commonality. Where did Swift and Gyllenhaal meet anyway?
The album’s title song, “Red,” follows. Swift describes loving this mystery guy as “faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ended so suddenly.” She and Gyllenhaal were only together a few months, from October 2010 to January 2011. Their fall romance reinforces the lyrics “Like the colors in autumn, so bright just before they lose it all.”
Too ambiguous? In the liner notes – where Swift has written out the lyrics for each song, capitalizing select letters to spell out a code – the code for “Red” is “SAG.” Again, a reference to the time when she and Gyllenhaal dated and celebrated birthdays.
Given her obsession with stars, she might look into a becoming a psychic should her music career plummet.
“All Too Well” is a somber ballad, beginning with allusions to cold air and falling autumn leaves, evidently the backdrop of their courtship. “And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house,” Swift sings. Thanksgiving at the home of Gyllenhaal’s actress sister Maggie, most likely.
“Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red,” she continues, “you used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed.” Gyllenhaal’s elementary school yearbook photo has circulated on the Internet for years and in it he is, in fact, sporting Harry Potter-style specs.
Trains are the common thread in the melodramatically titled “Sad Tragic Beautiful.” She “stood right by the tracks” while “this train runs off its tracks.” Gyllenhaal is the presumed subject since he traveled with Mumford & Sons by train on their tour.
The song’s timeline is consistent with her mourning. Gyllenhaal’s travel took place months after their breakup, and she mentions “a sweet summer erasing you.”
In “Begin Again,” Gyllenhaal shares the spotlight with Swift’s current boyfriend, Conor Kennedy – yes, as in the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Hyannis Port Kennedys. (Given the alleged curse, she’s headed for heartbreak there. More importantly, how often does Swift’s notoriety overlap with the Kennedys’? How often can one refer to the Cuban Missile Crisis and a country album in the same article?
Gyllenhaal comes up short in more ways than one. He’s only got an inch on Swift’s 5’11” frame, so she’s probably referring to him when she says, “He didn’t like it when I wore high heels.” Kennedy is a bit taller at 6’2”.
Height complex aside, Gyllenhaal apparently didn’t buy into chivalry. Swift sings about her new guy pulling out her chair and helping her in. “And you don’t know how nice that is,” she croons.
It is nice. Kudos, Mr. Kennedy.
The demonization doesn’t end there. “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause, he never did.” Swift also notes that Gyllenhaal wasn’t a fan of her music and “always said he didn’t get this song.” If that’s the case, he’ll certainly despise this album.
Gyllenhaal wasn’t the only ex included on “Red” – Joe Jonas, John Mayer and Parachute frontman Will Anderson are mentioned vaguely – but he is the only one to be quite so skewered.
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