Top 40 single reviews

Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran

Everything Has Changed

Album: Red

Year: 2013


          Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran share a powerful moment in the  idyllic  “Everything Has Changed.”


            A delicate guitar opens the single, setting an personal  tone. Swift turns around on her bed, propping her elbow on her pillow and grins to herself, replaying last night’s dream inside her head again. A young man with hazel eyes with freckles around the corner of his mouth, outlining his warm smile, joins her as they open a Taco Bell in the middle of the desert and then walk through his old high school, where he points his locker from sophomore year. Less than a day ago, he stopped being a person she passed in her politics class and became someone who saw a part of her. (“All I knew this morning when I woke/Is I know something now, know something now I didn't before/And all I've seen since eighteen hours ago/Is green eyes and freckles and your smile/In the back of my mind making me feel like.”)


            In the pre-chorus, she wants know what made him interested in politics and where he grew up, Sheeran, meanwhile, is thinking about why she always studies by the tree near the student activities every day? (“I just wanna know you better know you better know you better now/I just wanna know you better know you better know you better now/ I just wanna know you better know you better know you better now/I just wanna know you know you know you.”)


             In the chorus, they both recall the memory. They were walking out of their politics class and at the main building’s doors, they were shoulder to shoulder. He opened the door for her. She walked through the door, smiled and thanked him. He took it as his opening and said hello to her and asked a question about the lecture in class. She tried to answer him but she could only focus on his eyes, shining like an emerald. They introduced themselves, promising to see each other in the next class in two days.  It’s the start of something lasting. (“'Cause all I know is we said "Hello"/And your eyes look like coming home/All I know is a simple name/Everything has changed/All I know is you held the door/You'll be mine and I'll be yours/All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.”)


            His textbook sits in the center of his lap unread. The sentences aren’t making sense. He can only think of what to say to Swift tomorrow. Should he go with a joke or compliment her? When she looked into his eyes, it’s as though she knew him already. He’s spent most of his college years, lonely and upset, shutting down anyone who tried to get close. However, there is something about her that he knows he can trust. Swift, meanwhile, is getting ready to go out with her friends. Inside her, there’s a buzzing. Something’s exciting about happen to her. It drowns her out her conversations as her emotions amplify, ringing in her ears and reverberating throughout her body.  (“And all my walls stood tall painted blue/And I'll take them down, take them down and open up the door for you/And all I feel in my stomach is butterflies/The beautiful kind, making up for lost time/Taking flight, making me feel like.”)


               The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.


              In the bridge, they both wonder why it took them three years to meet while living on-campus.  After class, they agreed to go out to eat. Dreams are popping inside their heads and they both have to discover if they can exist past a daydream. (“Come back and tell me why/I'm feeling like I've missed you all this time, oh, oh, oh/And meet me there tonight/And let me know that it's not all in my mind.”)


       Swift sings part of the pre-chorus. (“I just wanna know you better know you better know you better now/I just wanna know you know you know you.”

               The chorus is sung again.

              In the final chorus, they are outside on the restaurant’s patio, sitting underneath an umbrella, looking over their menus.  She watches his fingers tap the table, realizing how nervous he really is. She thinks of the screaming matches she would have with her ex- boyfriends. He lifts his head from the menu and grins at her, muting the shouting still in her memory and erasing her heartbreak in an instant.  (“All I know is we said "Hello"/So dust off your highest hopes/All I know is pouring rain and everything has changed/All I know is the new found grace/All my days I know your face/All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.”)


           Swift’s fragile, instinctive vocals believe beyond any doubt they are on the brink of something permenant. Within 30 seconds, she became a new person, experiencing emotions she thought to be dormant.


        Sheeran’s vulnerable, tender vocals let the moment sink in as he comes to the realization he has fallen in love. Swift and Sheeran complement each other well. While they are both damaged people in the single, the distinctions in their personalities are clear. Over the years, they have learned to handle their heartache differently Sheeran has turned inward, Swift has become realistic, waiting for the illusion break. In the single, they are a single to root for.

            The hopeful  “Everything Has Changed” externalizes the shift that occurs inside, signaling the start of another beginning in life.




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