Taylor Swift is feeling the wub. A crucial track on the pop-country singer-songwriter’s upcoming fourth studio album, Red, includes a “dubstep-inspired bass breakdown,” according to Rolling Stone. With her October 22 follow-up to 2010’s Speak Now, Swift follows Muse and Miley Cyrus among the most recent artists to go where Skrillex never fears to tread.
Swift’s stylistic reach on Red will reportedly go well beyond bass drops, however. She has already released advance single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” a saucy electro-pop collaboration with chart wizard Max Martin that already dethroned Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” for the best-selling download ever by a female artist. In addition to a previously reported duet with U.K. singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, which Rolling Stone notes is a “sweet acoustic duet,” the album will also range as far as “State of Grace,” described as a “howling, U2-style epic with reverb-drenched guitars.” Yes, but can anyone today rock Bono’s ’80s-era mullet?
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Swift album without her usual lovelorn lyrics. Though she veered from the entirely self-written Speak Now to share songwriting credits this time around with Martin, Adele cohort Dan Wilson, and others, she’s quoted as saying, “They taught me so much about melodic sense, and they let me do what I love, which is the lyrics.” She said her past couple of years have included a “few roller coasters,” resulting in lyrics that sometimes “go to some really dark places,” but on the next track flip to “talk about how amazing it is to meet someone new.” No doubt pundits will spend too much time debating who each song is about, just like they did last time, but at least Swift was reportedly able to get away this summer with a new main squeeze: Conor Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Swift told Rolling Stone she’s hoping to take Red on tour in spring 2013, and she’s already “thinking of some big moments that are going to happen.” Which is only appropriate, given the breadth and ambition of the music she said she’s reportedly been checking out lately. “I have so many playlists full of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown,” Swift is quoted as saying. “I love Wiz Khalifa.” And of course, she recently teamed up with B.o.B on his regrettably sappy “Both of Us” (don’t forget, either, that she was teaming up with T-Pain way back in 2009).
Dubstep? Arena-rock? Hip-hop? If Swift has gone any one direction with Red, it sounds most like this multi-platinum artist might be finally embracing her natural home in pop. Let her finish.