Taylor Swift - reviews of 'crowd-pleasing' Red tour

The staggeringly nice pop songstress delivers a sparkling masterclass in working the crowd

LAST UPDATED AT 07:48 ON Tue 4 Feb 2014
What you need to know

Critics are calling American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, currently touring London, the "consummate crowd pleaser". Swift has won seven Grammy awards for her narrative country-pop crossover songs about her experiences as a young adult. 

Best known for hits such as Love Story and You Belong to Me, Swift has sold over 26 million albums and 75 million digital single downloads worldwide. She appears at the O2 Arena tonight and 10-11 Feb as part of her Red tour.

What the critics like

Swift is "a consummate crowd pleaser", who is both "staggeringly nice" and who knows how to put on a show, says Rebecca Nicholson in The Guardian. In addition to the sparkles, which are truly fun, there are frequent reminders of the quality of the songcraft, while genuinely wrenching ballads like All Too Well bring a welcome crack of vulnerability.

Swift's all-conquering, all-singing-and-dancing, almighty Red tour featuring a dozen dancers, fireworks and hydraulic stages, is "the consummate 21st-century event", says John Aizlewood in the Evening Standard. Her songs match their setting with a depth, breadth of ideas, invention and sharp songwriting that confirms Swift as Madonna's less sexualised, less needy heiress.

She delivers a "two-hour masterclass in working the crowd", says Will Hodgkinson in The Times. Swift's show strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and intimacy with ruthlessly professional staging - it's impressive.

What they don't like

Swift is at her best when she accompanies herself, but alas, "this simplicity was lost in an overproduced show", says Alice Vincent in the Daily Telegraph. Her real talents lie in her songwriting and musicianship and she was captivating whenever she got near a red rhinestone guitar or baby grand. · 

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