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Taylor Swift, ‘Eyes Open’ – Song Review

Taylor Swift
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The full version of Taylor Swift‘s second ‘Hunger Games’ soundtrack contribution, ‘Eyes Open,’ hit the web today, revealing an accessible melody with a cautionary lyric about realizing the world isn’t always such a perfect place.

The track bridges the gap between Swift’s typical radio-friendly tales about the teenage experience and her most recent release, the mature, haunting ballad ‘Safe & Sound.’ While most of Swift’s pop hits have had at least a hint of country music in them, ‘Eyes Open’ might be the least country-sounding song Swift has ever recorded, as the track instead rides a strong drum beat frequently accented with electric guitars.

The 22-year-old sounds pretty even as she sings about some depressing realities: “Yesterday we were just children / Playing soldiers just pretending / Dreaming dreams with happy endings / In backyards winning battles / With our wooden swords / But now we’ve stepped into a cruel world / Where everybody stands and keeps score.

Swift appears world-weary and even slightly cynical when she adds, “Everybody’s waiting for you to break down / Everybody’s watching to see the fallout / Even when you’re sleeping, sleeping / Keep your eye-eyes open.” Writing from the viewpoint of the characters in the film seems to have expanded Swift’s lyrical perspective and resulted in a healthy level of artistic growth.

‘The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond,’ which also features music from Kid Cudi, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert and Arcade Fire, hits retailers next Tuesday, March 20.

Listen to Taylor Swift, ‘Eyes Open’

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