The Death of Taylor Swift

By: Jansenne Mitchell, Rachel Sergent, and Madeline Williams.
If you have not heard the name Taylor Swift in the past week, you may be living under a rock. The buzz all started when she cleaned her social media accounts this past week. Swift then began to post cryptic snake videos – all as a way to publicize to the first single she has released in over two years. The newly released song shocked everyone and sent a clear message of vengeance. She has completely changed her style, no longer writing melancholy love songs or pop anthems. As the new song boldly proclaims, the old Taylor Swift is dead.
The promotional videos and merch released with this song include snakes, which many believe refers to comments internet trolls have left on her social media accounts for years. The album, which is set to release on Nov. 10, is called “Reputation” and hints to how she has been negatively viewed in the public eye. But Taylor has made it obvious she has changed and doesn’t care what the public thinks any longer.
Swift continued to captivate an audience with the release of her new song “Look What You Made Me Do” on Thursday, and the music video this past Sunday. Fans have very strong opinions on Taylor’s different sound, either loving the new song or hating it.
Livid
I want to preface this by saying that I have been a Taylor Swift fan from the beginnings of her career; the first album I ever owned was Fearless. I love all of the transitions she has been through, and I know her songs so well that when I sing along the lyrics just flow out of my mouth without any thought. After waiting three long years for music, I was confident that I would love anything that she gave to me. But I was wrong.
Her new song “Look What You Made Me Do” broke my Swiftie heart when I first listened to it. I stayed up late on the night of its release, excited about new music and unable to wait until the next morning to hear; I wish I hadn’t. What I received was a dramatic, harsh, and unflattering song that shocked me (and not in a good way).
I loved most of the lyrics, as I always do because Taylor is an absolute genius, but what initially caught my attention was how harsh it sounded. The vocals were, quite frankly, terrible. It was not a good sound for her. I am not sure what she was going for– edgy, mysterious, or sexy– but whatever it was, it was not working.
The song seemed to be childish for Taylor as well. She’s no longer feeling 22; she is actually 27. The song seems to directly target certain people she has been feuding with (specifically Kanye West and maybe even Katy Perry). Although many argue that all of her songs directly target somebody, this one seems to be different.
I miss the old Taylor. I loved the sound of pop Taylor, but as she herself proclaims the old Taylor is dead. I understand why she wants to flip the stereotypes placed on her, but the song she has produced does not compliment her vocals and makes me cringe when I listen. I feel like there was a way for her to change her reputation without releasing such a harsh and dramatic song.
I will admit that the more I listen to the song, the more I’ve grown to like it. The initial shock of the song is gone, so I find myself liking it a little more each time I listen. I liked the song even more after the release of its music video. I appreciate the sense of humor Taylor has about herself; I love the way she took all of the jokes that people make about her and made an even bigger joke. It seems like something the old Taylor would do (similar to what she does in “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space”).
Although this song was a huge letdown, I will forever and always be a huge Taylor fan and I will be anxiously awaiting the release of her full album on Nov. 10.
Dead
I was never a fan of country Taylor Swift, but I did thoroughly enjoy her newest album, 1989. I found the pop tones of the album amazing and there was not a single song on the album that I disliked. When I first heard that Taylor was releasing a new song, I immediately thought it was going to be another breakup song, but I was so wrong.
On the night it came out, I stayed up, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Taylor Swift’s first single in over two years. When it was released, I was pleasantly surprised. Gone was the old pop star Taylor, and what replaced her was a new, edgier Taylor. This song is so different from the mainstream Taylor Swift songs, and I found myself not hating that. It was time for her to change. The old, worn out Taylor was not going to work anymore.
I absolutely love the beat of the song. It has so many different sounds that have been layered over each other and blend seamlessly. The song is very well composed and sounds much more mature than her previous revenge songs.
If this song was created to show that she does not want to play the victim anymore, then her goal was achieved. This song is empowering, and the tone of the song leads any listener to believe that the old Taylor really is dead as the song claims. This song does a great job shaking off any previous labels that were put on Taylor, which is the premise of this song.
The music video only increased my love for this song. It was so well made and had many underlying meanings that were skillfully placed so she did not have to directly address any of the recent feuds she has been in. The ending is a nice twist, with Taylor actually throwing shade at herself. It further proves her point that she has changed, by poking fun at her past personas.
All in all, Taylor’s new song was amazing. The lyrics were well written and the way she delivers them gives the song a more mature sound, which was a much-needed change from her young, “teeny-bopper” pop music. The beat was empowering, and further proves that this was not another pop song. If this song is any indication of the album, I will be buying the whole thing come Nov. 10.