When Taylor Swift announced her “very first documented, official pop album,” more than a few country traditionalists rolled their eyes. “Swift has always been pop,” they said – and they weren’t completely wrong. It’s undeniable that the superstar’s musical output has always contained a rather strong pop influence (to be fair, so has almost all mainstream country music over the past decade); and in her eight years in the spotlight, she’s never tried to imitate the robust twang of, say, Waylon or Reba.
But to claim that Swift’s catalog contains no legitimate country elements is to ignore many of her signature tracks, which evoke classic country in their instrumentation, themes and song structure. So now that Swift has officially “gone pop,” let’s reminisce on her ten countriest songs — ordered chronologically, not by authenticity.