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Adam R. Holz

Album Review

Taylor Swift knows how to write love songs.

Over and over again, the 22-year-old pop country singer has proven that she has a nearly preternatural knack for casting herself in the role of the approachable girl next door as she muses about life and love. And she’s done it again on her latest hit, “Ours,” her 15th-consecutive Top 10 country hit (a feat no other female country singer has managed).

“Ours” is a playful, simple, down-to-earth ballad contrasting the struggles of a young woman’s harried workaday hassles with the empowering knowledge that no matter what happens, her man loves her.

Her day begins in a cold, impersonal elevator full of anonymous office workers dutifully not talking to one another. “Elevator buttons and morning air/Strangers’ silence makes me want to take the stairs/If you were here right now, we’d laugh about their vacant stares/But right now, my time is theirs.”

The balance of the song alternates between Taylor’s discomfort with others’ judgments about her relationship with her boyfriend (“Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves/They’ll judge it like they know about me and you”) and the joy she finds in his love and encouragement (“And you’ll say/Don’t you worry your pretty little mind/People throw rocks at things that shine/ … The stakes are high, the water’s rough/But this love is ours”).

One of those critics is her feisty heroine’s dad, as we hear Swift sing, “Any snide remarks from my father about your tattoos will be ignored/’Cause my heart is yours.” Elsewhere, her courage renewed, she tells her man, “I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith/With this song for you.”

The video loosely parallels the song’s story, with more of it taking place in a cubicle-filled office environment than we actually hear about in the song. It gets into gear with Swift watching a home video of herself and her beau kissing, cuddling and making heart shapes with their hands. (It’s implied that they’re living together.) Then she rushes off—presumably headed home. But in fact she’s on her way to the airport, where her man—dressed in Army camo—is returning from a long deployment.

As the pair embrace and kiss in the street, we’re invited into another one of Taylor Swift’s now nearly patented aww-inducing love-and-not-sex-filled Hallmark moments. The kind of moment that makes pop culture observers like Rachelle Friberg write, “Taylor [Swift] is a prime example that young women do not need to use overt sex appeal to be successful. When so many stars are selling their sexuality as an attempt to garner fame, it is refreshing to see a young starlet of Swift’s caliber rise above the pressure of selling one’s body in order to sell records. Taylor is a breath of fresh air and shows young people that it is OK for them to savor their innocence and feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

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