Taylor Swift, ‘State of Grace’ – Song Review
Taylor Swift released ‘State of Grace,’ the fifth single from ‘Red.’ Has it really been that many already?! In any case, the quality matches the quantity: ‘State of Grace’ may well be a perfect pop song.
When Swift previewed the track on ‘Good Morning America,’ she described it as “about when you first fall in love with someone, the possibilities and, you know, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound, to me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.”
And the girl nailed it. Swift channels a bombastic Florence + the Machine mixed with a hint of the sound of her ‘Hunger Games’ contribution, ‘Eyes Open,’ on the track, which perfectly captures the emotions she described. Clocking in at nearly five minutes, the song has a poppy, upbeat, uptempo drum and guitar intro that primes the listener for a hopeful look at romance — think of it as the poppier ‘Begin Again.’
‘State of Grace’ is the opening track on ‘Red,’ with ‘Begin Again’ the last, and Swift has previously stated that the first and last songs are bookends of a relationship — the beginning and the end. Considering she romanticizes astrology (“Up in your room and our slates are clean / Twin fire signs / Four blue eyes“), it’s safe to say this one’s about Jake Gyllenhaal (though we still think ‘I Knew You Were Trouble‘ was a John Mayer-inspired vignette). Though ‘State of Grace’ is a downright joyous song, Swift hangs on to a bit of the heartbreak that twinges some of her other songs from the record, belting, “We fall in love until it hurts or bleeds or fades in time / And I never saw you coming / And I’ll never be the same.” The chorus is layered with “oh oh oh oh oh oh-whoa” harmonies. There are about half a dozen discernible hooks within the song, all of which are guaranteed to get stuck in your head.
“Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right,” Swift warns. So is pop music — and if this song is any indication, it looks like she’s winning. Music fans everywhere should probably send a certain ‘Prince of Persia’ actor a few thank you notes.