State of Grace (Taylor Swift song)

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"State of Grace"
Taylor Swift - State of Grace.png
Promotional single by Taylor Swift
from the album Red
Released October 16, 2012 (2012-10-16)
Format Digital download
Recorded Blackbird Studios (Nashville, Tennessee)
Genre
Length 4:56
Label Big Machine
Songwriter(s) Taylor Swift
Producer(s)

"State of Grace" is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from her fourth studio album Red (2012). It was released to the iTunes Store on October 16, 2012, in the United States by Big Machine Records as the fourth and final promotional single from the album. It was the only promotional single from the album that was not re-issued as an official single, as "Begin Again", "Red", and "I Knew You Were Trouble", were all later re-issued as official singles. The song was written by Swift and produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift. Musically, the song is a departure from Swift's typical country pop, using influences of alternative rock while being compared to bands such as U2, Muse and The Cranberries.[1] The song has received immense praise from music critics, who have complimented its broader sound in comparison with Swift's previous material.

Background[edit]

During her preview of the song on ABC's Good Morning America, Swift described the song as such: “I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone — the possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.”[2]

Composition[edit]

"State Of Grace" is an Alternative Rock song that has a length of Four minutes-and-fiftysix seconds. It was written in the key of E Major, and has a tempo of 130 BPM

Critical reception[edit]

The song was lauded by critics upon its release. Entertainment Weekly noted the song's "Brit rock" sound and U2 influence, writing, "ethereal guitars and moody overtones ring out over a driving midtempo drum beat as she delivers a lyric you could imagine Bono singing: “This is a state of grace/This is a worthwhile fight/ Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.”"[3] Jenna Hally Rubenstein, writing for MTV's Buzzworthy Blog, was very positive about the song, feeling that "both melodically and lyrically, Taylor delves deep as she sings about true love's free fall."[4] Placing it somewhere between "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Red" in terms of genre, she also noted that "[State of Grace]'s sparkling production and powerhouse vocals definitely has the record in the realm of pop, but Taylor's country twang isn't too far behind either." Spin reporter Marc Hogan identified State of Grace as "the one Rolling Stone previously described as a "howling, U2-style epic with reverb-drenched guitars,"" and went on to praise Swift's take on the sound: "but what had gone unmentioned is how brutally effective it is. More "whoa-oh"-ing than literally "howling," but streaked with unexpected feedback, Swift recognizes that Joshua Tree-era U2 is as traditional now as country, anyway, and adapts its melodramatic uplift to her own first-person romantic observations."[5] The Los Angeles Times thought the track was Swift's most arresting and promising song yet. "It's the least obviously "re-inventing" single from the album so far," August Brown of the Times commented, "[but] this song might be the most effective." The article offered this elaboration on that assessment: "[The song] has a strong U2 streak to it, with feedback- and echo-drenched guitars and some of her most for-the-rafters vocals yet. Despite Red being tipped as a "breakup album," this one is all love-struck optimism, a setting she's worked well in before."[6] Adam Graham of The Detroit News raved about the song's "epic" production and mature feel. "“State of Grace” — the opening track on Red — feels like something of a game-changer for Swift," he says, "a big-time, grown-up rock anthem that feels like it’s wrapping its arms around the top row of the cheap seats. [...] The song’s best bit comes in the second verse when the bass drops out entirely, a moment of solemnity as Swift sings, “we are alone, just you and me/ up in your room and our slates are clean.” She’s creating moments of intimacy within the booming sonics of the song, and showing a flare for dynamics we didn’t know she had in her."[7]

Live performances[edit]

Swift performed the song live for the first time on November 15, 2012, during the second season of The X Factor (U.S.).[8] Swift also performed the song at Z100 Jingle Ball on Madison Square Garden.[9] The song also serves as the opening track from her Red Tour.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[11]
  1. "State of Grace" - 4:55

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[12] 44
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 9
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 43
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 36
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Grady (Oct 16, 2012). "Taylor Swift channels U2 on new track 'State of Grace': Hear it here". The Music Mix. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Taylor Swift New Song 'State of Grace' Preview Off New Album 'Red'". YouTube. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Smith, Grady (Oct 16, 2012). "Taylor Swift channels U2 on new track 'State of Grace': Hear it here". The Music Mix. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Rubenstein, Jenna Hally. "New Song: Taylor Swift, 'State of Grace'". MTV Buzzworthy Blog. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Hogan, Marc (Oct 16, 2012). "Taylor Swift Reaches 'State of Grace' on Feedback-Streaked Rock Anthem". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Brown, August (Oct 16, 2012). "Taylor Swift releases 'State of Grace' single". Music. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Graham, Adam (Oct 16, 2012). "Listen: Taylor Swift swings for the fences with 'State of Grace'". Poptropolis. The Detroit News. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 8, 2012). "Who Was Eliminated On Tonight's X-Factor?". TVByTheNumbers. Zap2It. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Hampp, Andrew (December 8, 2012). "Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, One Direction and More Light Up NYC at Z100 Jingle Ball". Billboard. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'Red' Tour: Her Amps Go Up to 22". 
  11. ^ "State of Grace - Single by Taylor Swift". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Taylor Swift – State of Grace". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  13. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  14. ^ "Chart Track: Week 42, 2012". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Taylor Swift – State of Grace". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  16. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-10-27" UK Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Taylor Swift – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved 2012-10-25.

External links[edit]