"Speak Now" good, but still elementary

Taylor Swift carries an atomic weapon: the ability to lyrically belittle her bullies. Yet, her latest effort "Speak Now" fails at delivering that ultimate punch that could possibly elongate her career.

For a barely 21-year-old, it's incredible to fathom that two thirds of her songs are about broken love affairs.

The fact that "Dear John" and "Back to December" are about her recent flings with John Mayer and Taylor Lautner are the only things keeping these songs interesting. She cleverly says everything anyone her age wants to say after a breakup.

The melody and lyrics might be different, but they are both fair extensions of "Hey Stephen" and "Breath" from her last effort "Fearless," -- but that's a good thing for the pop/country singer.

As long as she continues to write about love over catchy riffs, she will firmly dominate the charts and capture the hearts of tweens.

Still, as she grows up, how will fans remain genuinely thrilled?

"I could still be little," she sings in "Never Grow Up." As a master of childhood imagery, she sets those fearsome feelings we get as we grow up, but the song is nothing more than a soft lullaby. The clever banjo in "Mean" gives it that extra sass and spin while the orchestra of 28 string players in "Haunted" is the only thing keeping a finger away from pressing the skip button.

She stays very comfortable only in her tender tones. Her attempt at pop/punk rock on "Better than Revenge" is a major punk thumb down.

While producer Nathan Chapman does a great job at masking her inability of reaching the high notes, her usual out-of-tune and trembling voice is simply mediocre.

Taylor Swift is incredible at illustrating those inner thoughts every young woman at some point wants to say. And while "Speak Now" satisfies what's expected of her, she undertakes a position that maybe she's not ready for.

In the long run, she will always be seen as an incredible country songwriter for her young age. But maybe she will always refuse to expand away from writing the same love songs.

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