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Google Announces Shut Down Of Its Google Hire

The Google Cemetery will soon have an addition, as the search engine has disclosed that it is all set to shut down its services Google Hire which is a job application tracking system that was launched two years back. The Hire was developed with a focus to simplify the hiring process along with a workflow that integrated things like searching for applicants, providing feedback about potential hires in to Google’s G Suite and scheduling interviews.

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Taylor Swift - Speak Now Music Album Reviews

Today on Pitchfork, we are taking a critical look at the rise of Taylor Swift—from country underdog to pop superstar—with new reviews of her first five records.

After two hit records, Taylor Swift decided that her third would be longer and more personal, and she would write it entirely by herself, no co-writers. The songs would concern major events in her life, many of which occurred in the public eye. The lyrics would take the form of letters, direct addresses, one-on-one conversations where she always got the last word. She wanted to use her newfound wisdom to reflect on her parents, her dreams, and how it felt to stand on stage and notice a bigger crowd every night, shouting the words back at her. The working title was Enchanted, though she didn’t always feel that way. After 2008’s massively successful Fearless, Swift wrestled with her outsider persona and sudden celebrity, and the dissonance weighed heavily on her relationships. But she was learning fast.


Swift was 20 when the album, eventually titled Speak Now, came out and sold over a million copies in its first week—a record high in 2010. She had, and would continue to have, bigger hits, but these songs were breakthroughs in their own right. Co-produced by Nathan Chapman, the album is patiently sequenced; the average song length is just under five minutes, giving Swift enough time to pace her hooks—which had never been bigger—and her lyrics, which had never sounded more careful or wise. It’s an album focused on growing up, something she was learning would often be confusing, sad, and uncomfortable. It’s her most unabashedly transitional work: between adolescence and adulthood, innocence and understanding, country and pop. She was at a crossroads, and she was feeling lucky.

Swift had already become known for her intimate and intense relationship with fans. On these songs, she took a more authoritative role. There’s “Sparks Fly,” an early song that developed a big reputation after a live acoustic version circulated online. It appears here with all its fireworks and rain-soaked drama, a call to arms for people who’d been following since the beginning. There’s also “Never Grow Up,” a quiet acoustic ballad that draws the clearest line to her old material. Only now, Swift is wistful and sentimental, sounding far older than her years as she urges girls younger than her to savor every moment: “I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone,” she sings softly. It’s a heavy thought for a young songwriter, and the key word is just. As in, this is all happening right now, and if I don’t document it, it may disappear.

Here is where Taylor Swift found a lasting source of inspiration: the inevitable rise and fall of life and love, recast as emotional emergency. In the past, she had written sweet, airtight story-songs by turning the characters in her life into archetypes—nice guys, popular girls. Now she was dealing with a more complicated set of characters, so she adjusted her scale accordingly. “Dear John” and “The Story of Us” are likely about the same older musician. One is a crushing six-minute ballad about a famous guitarist emotionally manipulating a teenage songwriter. The other is a comic send-up of the night they ran into each other backstage at an awards show after the romance ended. The magic is how she wrings their hyperspecificity for universal truths—the older musician could be the sophomore jerk from the football team; the CMA Awards could be an after-school assembly. The message was clear: Swift was moving on, but she wasn’t leaving you behind.

And while it’s no great revelation that the mechanics of high school don’t end after graduation, Swift was not content to simply reapply old morals to new stories. So many of these songs rely on the tension of hindsight—a perspective she always longed for but never wielded quite so artfully. Hear how regretful and apologetic she sounds in “Back to December,” the increasing desperation in each chorus of “Last Kiss.” Even “Innocent,” her much-anticipated response to Kanye West stealing her mic at the 2009 VMAs, takes a nurturing approach as she guides her tormentor through his old ambitions and career highs, asking how close he is to the man he dreamed of becoming. (After all, she acknowledges, public adoration can be a fickle thing, and one day, it might be her wondering what went wrong.) She affirms in the chorus, “You’re still an innocent.” It’s a strange, writerly phrase that she must realize sounds phonetically identical to “You’re stealing innocence”—a particularly Swiftian way to accuse and forgive in the same breath.

On Speak Now, the way things sounded became just as important as what they meant. Swift was honing her skills as a pop songwriter, imagining a future where “country” was a biographical detail as opposed to an accurate descriptor of her music. Her arrangements were louder—an anxious string section tugging its collar through “Haunted,” a harmony-layered coda unfolding at the end of “Enchanted.” “Better Than Revenge” is a pop-punk bloodletting that owes its existence to Paramore, and it foreshadows the work to come: “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Bad Blood.” Taking aim at a budding actress now dating her ex, it’s fascinating for how wildly Swift changes her perspective while maintaining focus: burning holes in her enemy’s eyes during the verses, pleading to her ex that “she’s not what you think” during each chorus, acknowledging the power and futility of her own response (“She thinks I’m psycho ’cuz I like to rhyme her name with things”). You imagine her singing it, barging into a crowded room while everyone covers their mouth and avoids eye contact.

It’s the cathartic freakout during an otherwise elegant party, full of personal revelation. She has a moment of ecstasy in “Mine,” where she and a new love vow to “never make our parents’ mistakes,” which is precisely what you do at your first hint of independence and stability. In “Mean,” she puts her personal life on the backburner to deal with the people antagonizing her professionally. Its lyrics are proud and snappy, as banjos pluck around her like sarcastic bluebirds on her shoulders. “One day I’ll be living in a big ol’ city,” she promises a man who tore her down in reviews. Does it actually hurt a critic to know that the artist will always be more powerful and rich? Probably not, but it’s not really for him anyway—Swift already got what she wanted. In “Ours,” a bonus track as good as any song she’s ever written, she sums it up with a smile that you can hear in her voice: “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind/People throw rocks at things that shine.” She knew she was approaching her supernova phase.

The ensuing tour was a blockbuster moment she had been preparing for. The intricate, explosive set design involved a full band, dancers, actors portraying the characters in her songs. There were fireworks, a massive bell she hurled herself at during “Haunted,” and a Shakespearean veranda that soared over the audience during “Love Story.” It was a little ridiculous. But for all the fans in attendance, this was how they always saw her: a superhero borne from their subconscious, someone larger than life and unafraid to look absurd. For the rest of the world, it was Swift’s reintroduction: Drop everything now—I have arrived. It’s the character she’d play for the rest of her career.

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The concerts would begin with a recitation over the loudspeakers, a piece that also appears in the album’s liner notes. “Real life is a funny thing, you know,” it began. “There is a time for silence. There is a time for waiting your turn. But if you know how you feel, and you so clearly know what you need to say, you’ll know it.” It reads as inspirational but, in retrospect, it was also a warning: Things won’t stay the same forever. Life can be jarring, full of little interruptions. You won’t be prepared for everything. Near the end of the show, Swift introduced a heartland anthem called “Long Live,” tearfully confiding that it was written for all her fans, her whole band, and the team behind her. “It was the end of a decade,” she sings, “But the start of an age.” The young crowd roars, as if in anticipation.

This was all ahead of Swift as the album was nearing completion. Late in the process, she was out to lunch with mentor Scott Borchetta—among the first industry people to take notice of her in Nashville, offering a deal with his fledgling label Big Machine. By the end of the decade, he’d be just another on her long list of friends-turned-enemies. But for now, he was a confidant. She played him songs from the new record and discussed her plans for the rollout. She was excited. Borchetta was, too. But the working title didn’t seem right. Enchanted? He thought of princesses, fairytales, childhood. The old Taylor. This seemed different. Maybe she felt miffed by someone second-guessing her vision; maybe she was grateful to be challenged. After all, this music was precisely about these moments when your fantasies no longer apply to reality, when you have to grow up and make a choice and live with it on your own. She excused herself for a moment, and when she returned, she had a better idea.


View my Flipboard Magazine.

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