Sweeter than Fiction

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"Sweeter than Fiction"
Taylor Swift - Sweeter Than Fiction (Official Single Cover).png
Promotional single by Taylor Swift
from the album One Chance: The Incredible True Story of Paul Potts: Motion Picture Soundtrack
ReleasedOctober 21, 2013 (2013-10-21)
LabelBig Machine
  • Jack Antonoff
  • Taylor Swift[2]

"Sweeter than Fiction" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for the British film One Chance (2013). The song was written and produced by Swift along with Jack Antonoff, best known as the guitarist for indie pop band Fun, and was released through Big Machine Records as a promotional single from the soundtrack album on October 21, 2013.

Background and release[edit]

One Chance producer Simon Cowell approached Swift with the idea of becoming involved with the project. The song was co-written by Jack Antonoff, who claims "Sweeter than Fiction" has a John Hughes vibe, and who tweeted he "[LOVED] working with" Swift.[3]

Swift revealed in an interview with country music blog Taste of Country that she viewed the film as a love story in addition to a chronicling of a man's road to success, and approached the songwriting process from that perspective: "I’m very inspired by the concept of love. And this movie is, in a lot of ways, ... a story of the love his wife … has for him," Swift explained. "That was the story that hit me and really affected me. I wanted to tell a story musically from that perspective."[4]

The song was released to digital retailers as a promotional single from the One Chance soundtrack on October 21, 2013.[5] After its release, Swift admitted she had to fight her label to be allowed to release "Sweeter than Fiction", as she tries to maintain a dormant period between album releases. Big Machine reportedly told Swift "no new music until the next album comes out", but Swift explained that after seeing the film, she insisted "I have to be a part of this."[6][7]


"Sweeter than Fiction" is a "rock-tinged"[8] bubblegum pop song that also contains influences of synthpop and new wave music.[9][10][11] Critics have deemed the song reminiscent of 80's pop.[9][11] The song is musically and lyrically upbeat, with Swift singing from the point of view of a longtime friend or fan who has always believed in a performer's talents. "There you'll stand, ten feet tall", Swift sings in the chorus, "and I will say, 'I knew it all along.'" It was written by Swift along with Jack Antonoff and is in the key of B major with Swift's vocal range between the octaves of F Sharp3 and D Flat5. It has a tempo of 135 beats per minute[12] and lasts three minutes and fifty-four seconds.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The song was well received by critics. Entertainment Weekly praised Swift's approach to the subject matter - "The track ... is uplifting without being hokey and sweet without being cloying." - and described the song as "addictive".[9] Rachel Mcrady of US Weekly felt "Sweeter than Fiction" possessed "all the makings of another hit" in Swift's career.[13] MTV blogger Jenna Hally Rubenstein summarised "Sweeter" as "a masterfully crafted pop song that should do a killer job of soundtracking any and all uplifting moments in "One Chance.""[14] Carl Williott of Idolator called the song "pretty great", saying "it's a ... sweet song, but the confident synth-pop/New Wave stylings keep it from being an overly saccharine affair, resultingly in a surprisingly bold offering from Swift."[11]

Spin editor Larry Busacca gave a more mixed review. Though deriding the song for being "[not] the least bit groundbreaking", Busacca did admit the song was "too catchy and effortless-sounding to resist."[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

"Sweeter than Fiction" was nominated for Best Original Song at the 71st Golden Globe Awards.[16] This was Swift's second consecutive nomination in the category, after "Safe & Sound" the previous year.

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
Golden Globe Awards Best Original Song Nominated [17]

Chart performance[edit]

"Sweeter than Fiction" debuted at number thirty-four on Billboard Hot 100, her forty-third top forty hit, thus tying with Aretha Franklin for the second-most top forty entries among women in the chart's history. It also Swift's fifth movie song to crack the top forty, following "Crazier" from Hannah Montana: The Movie which reached number 17 in 2009, "Today Was a Fairytale" from Valentine's Day which reached number two in 2010 and two songs from The Hunger Games: "Safe & Sound" with The Civil Wars which reached number thirty in 2012, and "Eyes Open" which reached number nineteen in 2012.[18] On Hot Digital Songs, "Sweeter than Fiction" entered at number six with 114,000 downloads sold. It is Swift's twenty-eighth song to reach the top ten of the Digital Songs chart, thus tying with Rihanna for the most top ten hits among all acts.[19]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[5]
  1. "Sweeter than Fiction" – 3:54


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[20] 44
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[21] 17
Ireland (IRMA)[22] 38
Italy (FIMI)[23] 83
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[24] 26
Scotland (OCC)[25] 39
South Korea International Songs (GAON)[26] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 45
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 34


  1. ^ One Chance: The Incredible True Story of Paul Potts: Motion Picture Soundtrack (Compact disc liner notes). Sony Classical. 2013. p. 10. 88843010472. Recording date: 2013
  2. ^ One Chance: The Incredible True Story of Paul Potts: Motion Picture Soundtrack (Compact disc liner notes). Sony Classical. 2013. p. 10. 88843010472. Produced by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff
  3. ^ Jacobson, Ivy. "Taylor Swift Releases New Song 'Sweeter than Fiction' - Listen". Hollywood Life. PMC. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  4. ^ Vinson, Christina. "Taylor Swift Dishes on Inspiration for 'Sweeter than Fiction' at 'One Chance' Premiere". Taste of Country. Townsquare Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c iTunes and Amazon references:
  6. ^ McGeorge, Alistair. "Watch Taylor Swift's Sweeter than Fiction video as she reveals she had to fight for One Chance song". The Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Taylor Swift 'Fought' For New Song Sweeter than Fiction". MTV UK. Viacom. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  8. ^ Payne, Chris. "Taylor Swift Releases New Song 'Sweeter than Fiction': Listen". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Smith, Grady. "Taylor Swift goes 80s bubblegum on new single 'Sweeter than Fiction' -- LISTEN". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Grow, Kory. "New Taylor Swift Song 'Sweeter than Fiction' Surfaces". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Williott, Carl. "Taylor Swift's "Sweeter than Fiction": Hear The Shimmery, Jack Antonoff-Assisted Tune". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  12. ^ "Digital sheet music – Taylor Swift – Sweeter than Fiction". Musicnotes.com. Alfred Publishing. October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Mcrady, Rachel. "Taylor Swift Releases New Love Song "Sweeter than Fiction": Listen Here!". Us Weekly. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  14. ^ Rubenstein, Jenna Hally. "Taylor Swift's 'Sweeter than Fiction' Is So Sweet, It Actually May Have Come Out Of Her Easy-Bake Oven". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  15. ^ Busacca, Larry. "Taylor Swift's '80s-Tinged 'Sweeter than Fiction' Is Lighter than Air". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  16. ^ "Golden Globes nominations 2014: The complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  17. ^ Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-golden-globes-nominees-winners-complete-list,0,6845028.story#axzz2nH5yJiu3. Retrieved December 12, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Grein, Paul (October 30, 2013). "Week Ending Oct. 27, 2013. Songs: Women Roar, Twerk & Crush The Competition | Chart Watch - Yahoo Music". Music.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Trust, Gary. "Chart Moves: Taylor Swift Makes 'Sweet' Start, Tyga Teams With Justin Bieber on Hot 100". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  20. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Taylor Swift – Sweeter than Fiction". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  21. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Chart Track: Week 43, 2013". Irish Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Tutti i successi del 2013" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  24. ^ "Charts.nz – Taylor Swift – Sweeter than Fiction". Top 40 Singles.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  26. ^ "International Digital Songs" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  27. ^ "Taylor Swift". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 09, 2013.

External links[edit]