Taylor

COURTESY OF BIG MACHINE

August 27, 2017

The New Taylor

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Music in 2017 is all about politics or Taylor Swift’s feuds with other celebrities. With “Look What You Made Me Do,” we were all graced with a single about the latter. In the song, Taylor Swift addresses the people who have bullied her, and the way she so inspirationally and unbelievably rises above it every single time, giving girls all around the country new and empowering Instagram captions. As much as I’d like to pretend that this single is just aimed at some nameless grade school bully, Swift makes it more than clear that this is about other celebrities. She makes sly jabs at Kanye West and his musical career, among other artists.

When Kanye West released his song “Famous,” he included a particular line about Taylor Swift: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” Naturally, Swift was unimpressed and called out West for using her name without her consent. A recording of the phone call with her in which she gave her approval to him using her name in the song was then released. This particular argument seems to be what Swift is referring to in the line “You said the gun was mine.” Without a doubt, and ceaselessly, Swift is the victim that is attacked over and over again.

I guess that this time around it’s not about having a #GirlSquad to support you because everyone is a snake, including all women. Swift made it clear that now the “old Taylor” — who was all about feminism, finding tall boys in your dreams and women supporting each other — is dead and has been replaced with new Taylor who doesn’t trust anyone and has an ominous list of names.

The lyrics in “Look What You Made Me Do” speak for themselves and are generally unimpressive. Taylor Swift is angry again and she is going to really get her revenge this time.

Regardless, the musical style of the song sounds like something out of a bad Disney soundtrack with an intro full of strings that becomes distorted, as if a Disney princess has had enough of Kanye West proving her wrong. The chorus is simple and repetitive, which just projects the immaturity of Taylor Swift’s anger and revenge. There really is no buildup to any part of the song, which means that just because it’s by Taylor Swift, we will definitely hear it on the radio and become tired of it because it was never meant to be played on the radio.

If the song gives you the awful feeling that you’re in a middle school lunchroom, it’s because the hook is the same as the regrettable 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred, just with new lyrics. To be fair, the lyrics are a slight improvement from “I’m Too Sexy,” but not by much.

Maybe the “old Taylor Swift” should have stayed. Maybe we all want to be middle school Romeo and Juliet again, before Taylor Swift discovered “Girl Power” and the image of the invincible, unrealistic ideal woman that doesn’t feel anything but distrust toward others. While Swift should write more than love songs, preaching about revenge and detachment from others isn’t necessarily the direction to take. Taylor Swift is over all her bullies for now, but the next step for her should be forgiving, not writing names on her list in red and underlining them.

Viri Garcia is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at vg235@cornell.edu