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Taylor Swift: My Fourth Album Is About 'Crash-and-Burn Heartbreak'

Singer opens up about romantic red flags in 'Vogue'

January 17, 2012 2:20 PM ET
taylor swift
Taylor Swift attends the annual Nashville Symphony Ball at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Royce DeGrie/Getty Images

Taylor Swift is famous for turning her personal romantic troubles into multi-platinum hits, and her fourth studio album will not deviate from this winning formula. "There’s just been this earth-shattering, not recent, but absolute crash-and-burn heartbreak," she says in a new Vogue cover story. "That will turn out to be what the next album is about. The only way that I can feel better about myself — pull myself out of that awful pain of losing someone — is writing songs about it to get some sort of clarity."

The singer, who has scored hits dealing with the fallout of her relationships with stars such as John Mayer, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner and Jake Gyllenhaal, offered the magazine a list of red flags from her romantic disasters. She's wary of anyone who is in love with her without having spent much time with her ("You can't be in love with a Google search"), and she has no patience for men who feel a need to cut her down in order to "level the playing field" or dismiss her as a diva for having bodyguards.

Swift also doesn't want to date a guy who is obsessed with privacy. "People kind of care if there are two famous people dating, but no one cares that much," she says. "If you care about privacy to the point where we need to dig a tunnel under this restaurant so that we can leave? I can’t do that."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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