The Taylor Swift media and merchandise blitz arrives tonight at midnight. So does her CD, called “Red,” which will be downloadable starting at midnight. Usually CDs come out on Tuesdays, but “Red” is a whole different story. Five singles have already been released over the last five Tuesdays. They’re all over iTunes. Tweenage girls and maybe even country music fans (and kids, this is not country music any more) have been plunking down their money to get it all Swift-ly.
What’s more: Swift, who spent the summer by dating the 18 year old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy Jr in the tabloids, will play live twice on “Good Morning America” this week. She’s also be on David Letterman, Katie Couric, and The View, and she’s on the cover of Rolling Stone. She’s also got a big syndicated radio event on Friday out of Nashville. It’s doubtful a single interviewer will ask her about the fact that Conor Kennedy is four years her junior, is still in high school, or any of that. It will be a week of vacuous flattery.
And let’s not forget the merchandise: the Swift machine is in full gear, with plenty of endorsements, licenses, and a website selling housewares. Fans can also buy Taylor Swift’s fragrance, which rivals the Krystal Carrington perfume from the “Dynasty” collection decades ago.
And oh yes: is “Red” any good? Not really. It’s rated mostly B plus reviews. Rolling Stone, which usually panders to its cover subjects, gave it only a 3.5 out of 5. The catchiest songs have been released; the music for most of them is written by the Max Martin machine to give them a ready-for-radio sameness. Taylor Swift is like really good Campbell’s soup on a cold day. There’s nothing homemade about it, but it works on a basic level.
So stand by for midnight. The person taking the most notes will be Justin Bieber, wondering how this is all done. And, of course, the Kennedys will be paying attention, too.