Junior’s favourite bit is the line “hide away and find your peace of mind with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine” – as much for the delivery, of course, as the actual lyric. Taylor Swift has grown up, become caustic. When she called a boy “mean” on Speak Now, well, that was never going to cut anyone to the quick. But she has the arsenal now. Where once a chap could make “a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter” now he just bleats away on the phone while Taylor rolls her eyes, exhausted.
When this starts, with its curious forestalled guitar intro where ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Long Train Running’ meet, Junior shouts, “Taylor!” That’s the crossover talking. I’ve mixed feelings – I loved Fearless and Speak Now but can’t begrudge her smart step into the straight-up pop market. She should be heard by everyone and this is a wonderfully joyous, barbed, free, sarky, emboldened record to pull that trick with. It does everything right, with glee.
So all hail Taylor Swift’s leap up from billion-seller to billion-and-one-seller. She’s really made it now.
Next up, Junior and I will tackle 1980 and get all tiresome about Dexys Midnight Runners. Although I think I said that last year.