- Speak Now
The great thing about Taylor Swift is how completely vulnerable and honest she is in her songs—she doesn’t just wear her heart on her sleeve, she makes it her entire outfit. Swift’s third album, Speak Now, is as raw emotionally as it is polished musically, marshaling its forces of indelible hooks and arena-size drums and guitars to bare the insecurities of a teen megastar trying to figure out how to grow up. Swift’s always been excellent at capturing the overwhelming rush of adolescent emotions, but here the 20-year-old also tentatively approaches adulthood in a way that’s specific to her (it’s easy to figure out that certain songs are about other celebrities) but also appealingly universal. Speak Now is a big, slick pop production that finds its greatest strength in being intensely personal.