Worst Taylor Swift Songs... Ever

Taylor Swift
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Taylor Swift's Five Worst Songs

Taylor Swift is talented. And she's won every country music award there is. But her elfin charms and precocious musical ability don't make the singer immune from writing some pretty bad songs. It's enticing to jump on the Taylor Swift bandwagon, but let's keep it real, shall we?

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5. Dear John (from 'Speak Now')

Taylor Swift is an autobiographical songwriter. John Mayer broke her heart. I empathize. But that doesn't make this seven-minute guilt-trip a great listen. It doesn't even make it a good comeback. (If Mayer didn't care then, he's not going to care now.) The moral: Unless your revenge song can compete with Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," it's best to keep listeners out of settling your personal scores.

The Defense: "'Dear John' deftly skewers rumored ex-paramour John Mayer . . . whose already battered reputation may never recover." - Allison Stewart, The Washington Post

Taylor Swift's Worst Offense: Proving that revenge is a dish best served outside the recording studio.


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4. Haunted (from 'Speak Now World Tour Live')

This live version of "Haunted" starts with portentous gongs that make it sound like the rev-up for a boxing match. But that's nothing compared to the damage done by Swift's desperate vocals -- missing notes and gasping for breath. This is one concert performance that shouldn't have been preserved for posterity.

The Defense: Some believe that Swift sang the song in that style on purpose, to make the performance more believable and heartfelt.

Taylor Swift's Worst Offense: Sounding like she's performing to a karaoke bar rather than a stadium crowd.


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3. Innocent (from 'Speak Now')

Years after Kanye West booted her off the mic at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, this song is a time capsule for a scandal that no one cares about anymore. Obviously, I'm all for capitalizing on ephemeral controversies (it's sort of my job). But when Swift's lyrics match Mr. West for arrogance ("It's okay, life is a tough crowd / 32 and still growing up now") it doesn't exactly make for sympathetic listening.

The Defense: ". . . there's no country precedent for a song like "Innocent," her loving, moody scolding of Mr. West . . ." - Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

Taylor Swift's Worst Offense: Self-righteous lyrics that preach to the choir.


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2. I'm Only Me When I'm With You (from 'Taylor Swift')

"I'm Only Me When I'm With You" is a bouquet of cliches, starting with the title. Swift was just sixteen when the song appeared on her 2006 debut album. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any easier to stomach lyrics like "Just a small town boy and girl / Living in a crazy world." Switch "crazy" with "lonely" and you've got the first line to Journey's "Small Town Girl."

The Defense: "It's an innocent song about love with nothing to worry about for tweens and teens." - Common Sense Media

Taylor Swift's Worst Offense: Trying the patience of anyone who's not sixteen years old and totally in love.


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1. Forever and Always (from 'Fearless')

Taylor Swift has a thing for the rain. As many have pointed out, it only matches her fondness for mixed metaphors. Swift's weak spots as a songwriter collide in this jilted love ballad that's even more waterlogged in precipitation than the album's "Fearless" ("In a storm in my best dress") and "Hey Stephen" ("Can't help it if I wanna kiss you in the rain so"). One more thing: It's about a Jonas Brother.

The Defense: "With this situation, I feel like I owed it to my fans to be like, 'Look, it happened, you weren't crazy,' and address it." - Taylor Swift on MTV News

Taylor Swift's Worst Offense: "Cause it rains in your bedroom everything is wrong / It rains when you're here and it's rains when you're gone"