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The 21st Century Bob Dylan

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Written by Devon Mitchell

I was faced with an interesting question that I have been deeply pondering since asked. The question being, is Taylor Swift the Bob Dylan of our generation?  

My first thought was, “no way!” Bob Dylan’s storytelling through music and dedication to his art is unparalleled to contemporary artists today, and Taylor Swift is the same person who said in a song, “Hey kids, spelling is fun!” Obviously, they are non-comparable. But then I thought about it.   

Bob Dylan has often been regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. He used music to call his audience to action on social issues through songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They are a-Changin’”. While Taylor Swift is more well known for her songs about heartbreak and love, I argue there is a similarity between “exile” and “Rolling Stone”. The reason these two artists are so highly regarded is because of their unique way to tell a modern, yet timeless story in both a traditional and modern way.   

While I will admit that albums like Reputation and 1989 can’t compare musically to albums like Highway 61 Revisited and Slow Train Coming, they still highlight a unique period in music and masterfully tell stories of rebirth and life. We also need to remember Taylor Swift came to popularity when she was 15 and had little control over what her music was. Bob Dylan was in his 20s by the time he began producing music and was a similar age to Taylor Swift now when he rose to fame. As an adult, T-Swizzle is finding her voice and making a way in the music industry similar to Bob Dylan. I guess only time will tell if Taylor becomes the Bob of the 21st century.