Taylor Swift left the 46th Annual Country Music Awards winless on Thursday night, going 0-for-3 in a bleak end to an otherwise phenomenal week for the young singer.
Swift was nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year, but lost those categories to Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, respectively. All this despite the fact that her newly released album, "Red," sold over 1.2 million copies to top the Billboard charts.
The news is made somewhat less surprising by the fact that "Red" -- and much of Swift's recent work -- marks a departure from a country sound. Swift's new disc features pure pop tracks and even veer toward electronic dance music.
The full of list of Thursday night's winners is available below, courtesy of the Associated Press.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:
Winners of the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards presented Thursday night in Nashville:
Entertainer of the Year: Blake Shelton.
Album of the Year: "Chief," Eric Church.
Song of the Year: "Over You," Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.
Single of the Year: "Pontoon," Little Big Town.
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton.
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert.
New Artist of the Year: Hunter Hayes.
Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square.
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town.
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally.
Music Video of the Year: "Red Solo Cup," Toby Keith.
Musical Event: "Feel like a Rock Star," Kenny Chesney duet with Tim McGraw.
'State of Grace'
"State of Grace" is like if Mates of State and Temper Trap had a baby, and that baby sounded like Taylor Swift and was amazing. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-rosen/">Christopher Rosen</a></strong>
"Red" is easily one of the catchiest songs on the record and its a journey through the color scale of Taylor Swift's emotions. But if Swift was hoping listeners would relate to her songs, lyrics like "Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street," probably aren't going to resonate, since many of her fans aren't old enough to drive -- or able to afford a Maserati for that matter. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-marcus/"><strong>Stephanie Marcus</strong></a>
Can a 22-year-old have a vintage sound? When that 22-year-old is Taylor Swift and that sound is the driving, pulsing, triumphant guitar swells on songs like "Treacherous" -- which sounds like "Long Live," off "Speak Now" (never forget "Speak Now"), but without dragons and stuff -- then the answer is yes. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-rosen/">Christopher Rosen</a></strong>
'I Knew You Were Trouble.'
It's dubstep plus T. Swift. What more can one ask for? "Trouble" touches on multiple genres -- that's basically what Taylor is about. Plus, lyrically, it's finally a departure from the "guy-broke-up-with-me" tracks or "you're-my-knight-in-shining-armor" ballads. I like it more every time I listen to it. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaimie-etkin/">Jaimie Etkin</a></strong> <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> "I Knew You Were Trouble." is one of my favorite songs on "Red." Not only does Swift stray from her typical bubble-gum melody (which we all can't get enough of, come on), but she throws in a super-cool bass drop in the chorus. Does this mean she's getting edgier? I don't think Swift will give up her cute dresses, cupcakes and cats anytime soon, but thanks, John Mayer, for inspiring this tune. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leigh-blickley/"><strong>Leigh Blickley</strong></a> <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> This is not a dubstep song, and that is a lame bass drop. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kia-makarechi/">Kia Makarechi</a></strong>
'All Too Well'
Ugh, this song is a heartbreaker. You can almost smell the maple lattes in the air, right? It's like going back to your hometown over Thanksgiving and running into your high school sweetheart and then going back to your parent's house, downing some wine, and looking through old photos while remembering all those butterfly-inducing, heart-racing moments from the beginning of your relationship from almost a decade ago. (Or so I hear.) If 17-year-old me had heard this song, she would have been destroyed. And by "destroyed," I obviously mean it would have been my EVERYTHING. <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> <strong>Side note</strong>: How awesome would this have been with John Mayer singing the backup male vocals? #justsaying #toosoon? -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-fisher/">Kelly Butler</a></strong>
I have to admit, "22" cuts me deep. Sure, it is catchy as all hell, but let's be real -- I'm the ripe old age of 22 and I gotta pay my bills. This whole eating breakfast at midnight and not sleeping thing? Not super conducive to having a job. Also, Taylor, you're about to sell a million albums. I don't think any "cool kids" are hanging out at a party saying, "Who's Taylor Swift anyway ... eww." But the worst part? The more I listen to it, like every T. Swift jam, I'm getting sucked into it, falling in love, and marveling at her ability to read my soul. Now I'm gonna have to go out this weekend and dance like I'm 22. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/madeline-boardman/"><strong>Madeline Boardman</strong></a> <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> There's no denying that the "22" has a catchy chorus. We're all a little happy free confused and lonely at the same time. But what about when she wants to dress up like a hipster and make fun of her exes? Somewhere Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer and maybe even Conor Kennedy are a little pissed off. And that line where she says, "Who's Taylor Swift anyway?" is obnoxious. We all know who you are by now, TaySway. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leigh-weingus/"><strong>Leigh Weingus</strong></a>
'I Almost Do'
"I Almost Do" is kind of like "Enchanted" in that it's about Swift being unable to connect with a guy who she loves/loved out of fear. Relatable! "I Almost Do" is also one of the most country songs on the album. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-rosen/">Christopher Rosen</a></strong>
'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'
Taylor Swift <em>basically</em> writes all her own music, but not this time. For the first single off "Red," she teamed up with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, whose influence bleeds all over the track. It's a pretty brilliant piece of pop theater, with hints of rap-style skits and instrumentation that falls off a cliff to reveal a simple, pulsing kick drum that lets Swift go all in on the vocals. Plus, there's the added benefit of Swift, perhaps the most humorless of all pop stars, winking at the fact that her music is now 100 percent radio-ready (did we talk about Max Martin yet?) by mentioning that her ex would "hide away" and "find peace of mind with some indie record that's much cooler than mine." -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kia-makarechi/">Kia Makarechi</a></strong>
'Stay Stay Stay'
"Stay Stay Stay" is arguably the happiest song on this album. Finally, she's singing about a guy who treats her well! And he has a football helmet and likes talking about her problems! It's also a little bit country, a much-needed throwback to Taylor's pre-pop days. -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leigh-weingus/">Leigh Weingus</a></strong>
'The Last Time' (ft. Gary Lightbody)
Though I appreciate the fact that this song taught me that the last name of Snow Patrol's frontman is Lightbody, her interjections in the chorus remind me of the children's chorus at my synagogue. Not a fan. But I imagine it'll be featured on "Grey's Anatomy" soon, which is probably Taylor's goal in working with Lightbody anyway -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaimie-etkin/">Jaimie Etkin</a></strong>
I like just about every song on "Red," but "Holy Ground" is the song I have on repeat. It's a ballad disguised as an upbeat track about looking back on what was once a really special relationship. Favorite line? "Tonight I'm gonna dance for all that we've been through / But I don't wanna dance if I'm not dancing with you." -- <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-fisher/">Kelly Butler</a></strong> <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> Whether it's the mention of New York or the image of Carrie Bradshaw she conjures up with "spinning like a girl in a brand new dress," the fast pace "Holy Ground" encompasses everything I love about living in a big city and Taylor Swift. I just hope she isn't secretly singing about Nashville. (<em>Ed. Note -- Unless it's "Nashville"?</em>) -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leigh-weingus/"><strong>Leigh Weingus</strong></a>
'Sad Beautiful Tragic'
"Sad Beautiful Tragic" is a great way to describe this waste of a song. Swift prides herself on interesting lyrics, yet this might be the most boring tune she's ever written. The repetitive lyrics "We had a beautiful magic love there/What a sad beautiful tragic love affair" highlight Swift's romantic delusions of grandeur and habit of turning a very brief relationship into a torrid love affair. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-marcus/"><strong>Stephanie Marcus</strong></a>
'The Lucky One'
I don't really have a problem with the actual musical arrangement of this soft-rock track, but there's basically nothing I dislike in a song more than when a pop singer bitches about his/her hard life as a superstar. "Lucky" is my least favorite Britney Spears single (sorry, Brit) and Taylor's even using a <em>very</em> similar title. Plus, she croons, "All the young things lined up to take your place." Really? Girl, you're 22. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaimie-etkin/"><strong>Jaimie Etkin</strong></a>
'Everything Has Changed' (ft. Ed Sheeran)
Picture it: You're in the elevator with this adorable guy/girl who is just your type, you share a quick chat full of jokes and smiles and laughs and before the elevator ride is over, you've planned out your entire relationship, in your head, in just 5 short floors. The next day you follow that same path to see if the adorable stranger will be on the elevator again to see if serendipity can strike twice. That is this song. You don't know this person -- and 99 percent of the time, you're not going to -- but in a world where your life is an actual romantic comedy, you'd strike up a conversation and the rest would be history. <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> Add the sweet voice of Ed Sheeran and you've got a song that is perfect to mend the almost-broken heart you almost got from that guy you almost talked to in the elevator. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katelyn-mullen/"><strong>Katelyn Mullen</strong></a>
The more I listen to this song, the catchier it gets. (5th repeat in a row and counting...) I am now even finding myself bobbing my head, which is progress. My real issue with this song, however, is that I'm sort of creeped out by it. I get it, Tay, you're super in love with your new man and is family is just the best. They are the Kennedys for heaven's sake, but it's a little aggressive that you're writing a song for/about his grandmother, Ethel. Take it down a notch, play it cool. I'd imagine they are a tough bunch to crack, and laying it on too thick might not be the best avenue to travel. I feel like a nice sweater or tea pot would have been a sufficient gift. I know she's probably a cool lady, and may or may not have had a hand in your budding romance, but it's still a little weird. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katelyn-mullen/"><strong>Katelyn Mullen</strong></a> <br clear="all"> <br clear="all"> The beginning of this song reminds me of Cobra Starship and Leighton Meester's "Good Girls Go Bad" for some reason -- and that's a good thing. When have you heard a pop song reference a yacht party? Exactly. I expect to be dancing (or "dancin', dancin'") to "Starlight" alone in the bedroom shortly. There's even a part to play faux electric guitar -- "Risky Business"-style. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaimie-etkin/"><strong>Jaimie Etkin</strong></a>
"Begin Again" is a classic Swifty country tune. Not only does she reminisce about one of her past crappy relationships (as usual), but she sings about a new guy in her life who gives her hope for the future. P.S. This song is totally about Jake Gyllenhaal and Parachute singer Will Anderson, who she dated eight months after the actor broke up with her. Hints? Swift not only mentions her eight-month heartache, but she throws in a line about James Taylor, who is allegedly one of Anderson's favorite singers. Love. Love. Love. -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leigh-blickley/"><strong>Leigh Blickley</strong></a>
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