The choice to make any Taylor Swift single one of 2009’s best singles is sure to be wrought with some sort of pseudo controversy. There will be longtime fans of country music who will say that she doesn’t belong anywhere near a country music list and then there are others who think that her music is sophomoric and not all that good. Fortunately for Taylor Swift, these folks are outnumbered by millions of people who not only like her music but like it enough to request it all over the place. These fans are as loyal to Taylor as she seems as loyal to them. Count Roughstock as somebody siding with those fans who thinks she not only has a place in country music but she deserves that place in country music.
Why you ask? Well it’s simple. Country artists, for the most part, love their fans and are grateful for those fans. Being nice and friendly to your fans should be a given in the music industry as it is the people who buy tickets and albums who make an artist what they are yet virtually every genre outside of country music – particularly rock, pop and hip-hop – seem to see fans as nothing but a ‘cost of doing business.’ Not so with Taylor Swift. She stands and signs autographs, she takes time to thank the people who made her 2008/2009’s biggest artist in all of music. She also gives them remarkably written music and when a song’s as good as “Fifteen” is, it’s easy to become a fan of Taylor Swift.
Written for incoming freshmen everywhere, the song is a rallying cry to remind kids that who they are or were perceived as in middle school is not who they are or will be in when they enter those High School doors. They also won’t be the same person each successive year. Taylor reminds her fans that they’re growing and changing and that it’s ok to allow yourself to do that and in the end what she’s really doing is telling these kids to be themselves and not try to be somebody their not, particularly when they’re not sure who they want to be yet.
Who can’t relate to a song like that, even if you’re not school-aged anymore, you can certainly remember when you had similar feelings, can’t you? It is the strong songwriting and steady production of this song that helps give Taylor Swift our 32nd favorite single of 2009.