I was actually going to blog about something else today, but I can’t wrap my mind about anything but Taylor Swift right now So here I am.
Because Taylor Swift, an artist I’ve been a fan of since 2007, has just released a new single.
Look What You Made Me Do & its interpretation
Look What You Made Me Do is the introductory track to Taylor’s new upcoming album reputation (small R, according to her official website). The song is darker and more vindictive than anything she’s ever done before. Taylor Swift is an artist with very distinct ‘era’s’ – with a new era starting whenever she releases new music, every two years or so. From 2006 till now, long-time fans will be able to tell when a certain song was released or a picture was taken based on her music style and fashion choices.
Since it’s release just a few hours ago, everyone left and right has accused Taylor of releasing yet another victim song. This is something I personally disagree with, at least to a certain extent. The lyrics are something I read as hyperbole, not only meant to reshape the narrative around Taylor, but also to create buzz around the album. Lyrics like ”I don’t like your kingdom keys / they once belonged to me” and ”All I think about is karma / Maybe I got mine, but you got all yours” Tell me there’s a certain type of self-awareness in this song, disguised by anger and frustration. Not to mention ”I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me”, letting us know that she’s aware of her own portrayal in the media, mistakes she’s made in the past and how it has affected her and how people view her persona.
With the song, Taylor is pointing out her own imperfections. It shows that she’s petty and holds grudges, that she never forgets or lets go. She’s not presenting herself as a hero here, she’s presenting herself as a master manipulator ready to attack. And that’s not a flattering portrait.
The old Taylor Swift is dead
Taylor is known to add spoken parts to the introductory single of a new album. She did this with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and Shake It Off as well. But for this single, it feels different. The spoken part “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh — cause she’s dead” has made more sense of the fact that she deleted all of her posts from her social media accounts last week.
She’s going through a rebrand. It’s a new era. Swift is no longer the sweet little country girl or pop princess. Instead, we’re getting a dark, vicious version of Taylor Swift. A version that doesn’t give any fucks and will show more of her imperfect side. Her angry, vindictive and petty side.
Reputation: the album
For the album, I hope to hear more of this dark, melodramatic Taylor. I can’t wait to hear slow piano melodies mixed with electric guitar and pop beats. I hope that she will address more rumors – something the album cover is alluding to – while not being afraid to admit her own mistakes (like she did with Back To December and I Knew You Were Trouble for example). It’s clear to me that this first single is a very calculated move. Taylor and her PR team know what type of reaction a release like this will cause, and in the end I’m certain it will only work in her favor.
Taylor’s first single is often very different than the rest of the album – as we’ve seen with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and Shake It Off. Personally, the very first single never ends up being my favorite, which makes me even more excited for reputation to drop November 10th.