The Last Time (Taylor Swift song)

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"The Last Time"
Single by Taylor Swift featuring Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol
from the album Red
Released November 4, 2013 (2013-11-04)
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:59
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift, Gary Lightbody, Jacknife Lee
Producer(s) Jacknife Lee
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Sweeter Than Fiction"
(2013)
"The Last Time"
(2013)
"Red (2013 CMA Awards Performance)"
(2013)
Gary Lightbody singles chronology
"The Last Time"
(2013)

"The Last Time" is a song recorded by American recording artist Taylor Swift, taken from her fourth studio album, Red (2012). One of two collaborations on the album, the song features singer Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. It was written by Swift, Lightbody and the song's producer, Jacknife Lee. "The Last Time" is an alternative rock song, with influences of folk music.[1] It was added to the playlist of British national radio station BBC Radio 2 on October 19, 2013[2] and officially impacted UK contemporary hit radio on November 4, 2013.[3]

Background and composition[edit]

On the album, "The Last Time" comes after the song, "Stay Stay Stay". Swift opted to collaborate with several producers on the album. One of the resulting collaborations was "The Last Time", which was produced by Jacknife Lee, who is best known for working with Snow Patrol and U2.

"The Last Time" is a power ballad[4] that draws primarily from alternative rock,[5] and also interpolates elements of folk music.[1]

The song tells the story of a long-standing but crumbling relationship. Lyrically, the song describes the relationship as one with vicious cycles of both heartbreak and forgiveness, for instance: "You find yourself at my door, just like all those times before, you wear your best apology, but I was there to watch you leave" as sang by Swift. Orchestral swells accentuate the chorus and drama to the "instantly hummable refrain".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Joseph Atilano of The Philippine Inquirer described "The Last Time" as the most mature track on the album and positively noted that it "represents a darker tone" on Red.[1] He further commented that the song "proves she is ready for the adult-pop realm" and lends her artistic credibility.[1] Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush also praised Swift's maturity on the track, which she felt would fare well on adult contemporary radio. Sciarretto also characterized the song as "darkly romantic" and "sort of epic."[6] Randall Roberts of The Los Angeles Times responded favorably to the song's balladry, writing that the song "is well-crafted, emotional and features an instantly hummable refrain."[4]

Billy Dukes of Taste of Country was more critical of the song, as he felt Lightbody dominates the track and Swift "stretches out in the back seat"; he called "The Last Time" the "only pure skip-ahead moment" on Red.[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song premiered on November 15, 2013 on Vevo and YouTube. The video is three minutes and 48 seconds in length. To date, the video has garnered over 5.6 million views on YouTube.

Similarly to her music video for the album's title track "Red", "The Last Time" music video features concert footage from Swift's The Red Tour in Sacramento, California on August 27, 2013. This was the first time Lightbody and Swift performed the single together live.[8] The video starts off with Lightbody being lifted up onto the stage and Swift approaching him from behind. They begin the duet seated, with their backs facing each other. Throughout the video, is inter spliced with footage showing fans' hand-made signs and cheering. The video ends with Lightbody and Swift finishing their duet on stage. The video was directed by Terry Richardson.[9]

Promotion[edit]

Swift and Lightbody performed the song on the tenth season of British version of The X Factor on November 3, 2013 to support sales as a UK single.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012–13) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 14
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 73
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 15
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[13] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 25
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[15] 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Atilano, Joseph R. (November 13, 2012). "Album Review: "RED" by Taylor Swift". The Philippine Inquirer. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "BBC – Radio 2 – Playlist". BBC Radio 2. BBC. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Lane, Daniel (November 4, 2013). "This week's new releases 04-11-2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, Randall. "'The Last Time' connects Taylor Swift with Arcade Fire". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Randy (November 18, 2013). "Watch new Taylor Swift video 'The Last Time' with Gary Lightbody". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Sciarretto, Amy. "Taylor Swift, 'Red' - Album Review". PopCrush. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Dukes, Billy. "Taylor Swift, 'Red' - Album Review". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  8. ^ http://thethirdbarcom.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/capitalfm-taylor-swift-joined-by-snow-patrols-gary-lightbody-during-sacramento-tour-show/
  9. ^ Newman, Melinda (November 18, 2013). "Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody in 'The Last Time' video". HitFix. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Taylor Swift feat. Gary Lightbody – The Last Time" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  12. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  13. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "Billboard Chart Search: Artist=Taylor Swift / Title=Last Time". Retrieved November 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]