Swift's songs pack a powerful punch

BERNARD ZUEL
Last updated 10:19 28/11/2012
Taylor Swift
LUCAS JACKSON/ Reuters
POPULAR: Country musician Taylor Swift has crossed the mainstream divide.

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Nothing happens casually in the world of Taylor Swift.

Her people ''don't like surprises'' we are told before the interview, hence the need to provide in advance the questions and information on the type of microphone being used.

This may seem excessive given the 22-year-old, a star since her mid-teens and the biggest name at tomorrow's ARIA Awards in Australia, is plenty smart and more than capable, as some of her critics and her ex-boyfriends know all too well, of putting a smack down in song on anyone who crosses her.

But who is going to argue with a career with sales in excess of 20 million, including this year's fourth album, Red, which sold more copies in the US in its first week of release (1.2 million) than anyone had managed in a decade.

While Red has caused some controversy for its open embrace of pop music more akin to the likes of Katy Perry than Taylor's beginnings as a country star, Swift says she still thinks of herself as making country music ''because for me the storytelling involved in country music is what threads together my music''.

One thing that hasn't changed is her signature style of personal lyrics, the kind which excoriate those who wronged her.

And she isn't for regretting that.

''It's kind of the way I've written songs since I was about 12,'' the tall and slender Swift says.

''I would have a really hard day at school and you are dealing with like, rejection and insecurity and loneliness and all these really complicated things and I would say to myself, it's OK, you can write a song about this later when you get home.''

- Sydney Morning Herald

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