Taylor Swift — “Back to December” (from Speak Now) — Back to December - Speak Now

Official numbers won’t be revealed until later this afternoon, but a music news blog which I frequent on a daily basis reported yesterday that Speak is a lock to debut at number one on this week’s Billboard 200 album chart, with first-week sales flying past the million mark — a jaw-dropping rarity in today’s let’s-just-steal-it environment — and that, indeed, roughly one out of every five albums purchased last week was this one. (Compare that with last week’s bestseller Sugarland, whose ratio was something like one in thirty-three.) I popped this record in the CD player Sunday night and listened to the first half while driving home from work (second half gets its fair shot today), and while there certainly wasn’t a howler in the bunch (with the possible exception of the simpy “Never Grow Up,” which felt like an awkward fumble, and not the greatest message to be transmitting to the teens who apparently worship this young woman with such fervent ferocity), I found many of Speak‘s opening jabs to be pleasant and perfectly forgettable, and in my estimation, only “December” — a beautifully-written, sincerely sophisticated regret-tinged tune which is rumored to be an apology to the astonishingly-abbed actor Taylor Lautner, with whom Swift shared a highly-publicized, ill-fated dalliance last year — hits the bullseye bang-on.

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