Taylor Swift

For the debut album from a 16-year-old, there is nothing childish or immature about Taylor Swift’s self-titled release. Continuing country’s trend toward a more rock/pop influence, Swift seems to draw from Sarah McLachlan and Avril Lavigne as often as she does from Shania Twain and Tim McGraw, whom her first single is titled after. The song eerily recalls with perfection a first girlfriend, complete with secret rendezvous on rustic and hot summer nights, and the inevitable bittersweet love that will be carried forever into adulthood. Lyrically and musically Swift toys with the listener, instantly convincing you she’s a seasoned pro before slipping bits of playfulness into her 11 self-penned songs as if saying with a wink, “If I can do this at 16, wait ’til you see what comes next.”