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Tony Zizza

Yes, Taylor Swift Can Sing
By Tony Zizza
Feb 21, 2010 - 12:10:38 AM

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A backlash against Taylor Swift? Seriously? That's almost as stupid as what Kanye West tried to do to her. Look at him now. This is where the anti-Swifters will be who keep saying she can't sing, especially on awards shows like the Grammy's. Idiots, really.

I found Tennessean Senior music writer Peter Cooper's column, ("First buildup, then backlash", Feb. 7th) to largely be a breath of fresh air amidst a cultural tide that is hypocritical at best. Cooper may be correct in stating that Taylor Swift is "an imperfect singer", but no singer is perfect. He should have just come out and said that no matter what, she is still a good singer. He also adds that she struggles with "pitch control." Um, - at the age of 20 mind you - she is not afraid to tour and sing her heart out every night. What singer doesn't struggle at times with any facet of their voice?

Peter Cooper is spot on though, in that Taylor Swift is "a pleasant, respectful, and bright young woman." In a disturbing way, perhaps this is what irrational critics of Taylor Swift actually hate about her. She's genuine. Fearless. I can't really say the same for them. If what Cooper said is true concerning her Grammy awards performance last month, "She didn't run her vocals through an auto-tuning processor", then again I'm confused as to the issue alleged music fans and alleged music critics have with her. Incredibly, they seem to think only their ears can tell if a singer can or cannot sing.

However, the hypocrisy runs oh so much deeper.

Enter music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz. For him to blog that her Grammy performance was "dreadful" and possibly a career killer is asinine. I mean, this is the same person who properly hails her performance at last October's sold-out "All For The Hall" concert benefit in Nashville, yet a month later has the audacity on November 20th to tell Reuters after her CMA awards show performance, "I think it is a sad state of affairs when one of the biggest artists in the world can't sing." Excuse me???

Stop the madness. Stop the lies. Stop the jealousy. Taylor Swift CAN sing. To say she CAN'T is a lie. Would Keith Urban, George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley have her as their opening act over the years before she started headlining at the age of, let's see, 19, if she couldn't sing? I don't think when Scott Borchetta saw her showcase years back at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville he was thinking, "Based on what I just heard, I'm going to start Big Machine Records with someone who can't sing." Do you see what I'm driving at?

There is a very good reason why Taylor Swift is where she is today, and why other lesser souls some decades and decades older than her are just, well, blogging about her. Life is funny, is it not?

Think about it. Real hard. Please. To say Taylor Swift can't sing is to deny your own responsibility to understand that just as there are no perfect people walking around the Earth, there are no perfect singers singing perfectly to your liking every night. What's not to get here?

Taylor Swift is here to stay. Get used to it. Don't hate the good in life or the good that can somehow surprisingly exist in our dynamic culture. Embrace it. I listen to Taylor Swift every day. Oh, mornings and evenings too! Her voice and lyrics and attitude strike a much larger human chord than anti-Swifting elitists on-line dare comprehend.

Then again, something tells me that for some people if Taylor Swift were doing bad things for all the world to see, they would have no issues with her voice.

Tony Zizza is a freelance writer who lives in the Nashville area.
He is a Taylor Swift fan.

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