Taylor Swift hits back on ‘Look What You Made Me Do’
“I’m sorry but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now… Why? Oh, ‘Cause she’s dead.” Taylor Swift is back, but she is not the darling of pop or America’s sweetheart anymore! Swift’s carefully created image started to crumble in the past years when her ex-boyfriends started to speak up and of course the whole ‘Kim Kardashian exposes Taylor Swift’ drama happened. The internet started to call her a ‘snake’, but Taylor is happy to reclaim that name! In the past few days she teased a new release with videos of a snake on her instagram and now the lyric video for her new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is out there. Not surprisingly, there’s a few snakes in there as well!
With her incredibly successful album 1989 released in 2014, Taylor Swift completed her transformation from country singer-songwriter to proper pop star and she continues on this path with ‘Look What You Made Me Do’. The beats are harder than ever before on a Taylor record, thanks to the production by Jack Antonoff, who worked extensively on Lorde’s most recent record Melodrama. Not surprisingly, the track does have some sonic similarities to this record by her pal, but unfortunately, Taylor, Jack and friends forgot to write a proper chorus for this one. The verses suspensefully build up to something big, and one can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed when the repetition of the title kicks in. Even a subtle sample of Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’ can’t change that. Not all hope is lost with this track though, because the middle-eight is still proof of Taylor’s melodic and lyrical genius. “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me. I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams”, she sings and all I can think is: if only they made a chorus out of that.
Pop fans were eagerly waiting to find out if Taylor Swift would fully embrace her new bad girl image in the lyrics of her comeback, but the answer is not that simple. Of course ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is all about a transformation from innocent little girl to a femme fatale and seems to be directed towards the enemies she made through the years. At the same time she still wants to clear herself of blame, by addressing the people who did her wrong: “The role you made me play of the fool, no I don’t like you. I don’t like your perfect crime”. Taylor Swift does not like to admit she might have been in the wrong at some points as well, but she certainly makes clear you should not mess with her. ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is a comeback that will do its job in terms of grabbing all the headlines, but for the next one, let us hope we get something more musically exciting.
Can we also take a moment to appreciate the lyric video!? As far as these things go, this one is actually well produced and entertaining! Taylor’s new record Reputation will be out on the 10th of November, but we will certainly hear more from her before then!
UPDATE: Taylor Swift premiered the music video for ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and it does show the track is more tongue in cheek than her critics are giving her credit for at the moment. We see Zombie Taylor crawling out of the grave of her reputation after which a fast paced editing with a lot of different set ups and outfits follows. She gets her tea poored by snakes, struts around with a baseball bat, cuts off the wing of a private jet and performs a routine with high heeled male dancers. In the middle eight however, we see the ‘new Taylor’, ‘reputation Taylor’, standing on top of a tower built up of the old Taylors trying to climb back up. No surprise they all end up falling down! In the final scene of the video, Taylor is dressed up in some of her most famous looks, while the old Swifts are making bitchy remarks towards each other. “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative”, one says. “Oh shut up!”, the others reply. It turns out Taylor is capable of having a laugh with the whole situation and maybe, just maybe, a little bit with herself as well. The video is quite a lot in terms of different sets and editing, but it also is the extra and over the top video that makes a track like ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ work!