Taylor Swift’s Ultimate Break-Up Song

Disclaimer: I’ve previously mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of Taylor, so if you’re a fan, be prepared for some tough love. For the past couple of weeks, Taylor Swift has been hinting at this big Yahoo! Live Stream, but didn’t give any hints as to what she was going to talk about besides the fact it was on Monday at 5pm. Turned out, she made a “huge announcement” in a room at the top of the Empire State Building, telling the world three big things: 1) She has recorded her first official all pop music album 2) She has a new single, Shake It Off, and also premiered the new music video 3) That new album is called 1989 and will be released in October.

In the live stream, Taylor talked about how she wanted to do something completely different than what she’s done in the past – i.e. not country music. If anyone’s heard any tracks from her last album, Red, this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Songs like I Knew Your Were Trouble, 22, and the lead single, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, are all more pop than country. Not to mention, all three were co-written by one of the best pop songwriters in the business, Max Martin, the Swedish powerhouse who also wrong songs like BSB’s I Want It That Way, which we briefly mentioned yesterday. Incidentally, he also co-wrote Shake It Off, but more on that later.

The reality is that Taylor Swift hasn’t really made a legit country record since her first self-titled one in 2006. If you listen to songs like her very first single, Tim McGraw and Teardrops on My Guitar, you can clearly hear her (Pennsylvania) twang and imagine yourself drinking moonshine on your front porch. But to her credit, there has always been a pop undertone in all her albums. It’s why she’s become such a big superstar and why you hear her songs on Top 40 radio and not just the country music station. But once Taylor came out with that first album, country music embraced her. They really hadn’t had a young, beautiful, talented, humble, mainstream crossover in the genre in a while, and they scooped her up fast. Throughout her seemingly short eight-year career, she’s won 11 Country Music Association Awards, 7 Academy of Country Music Awards and last year, she became only the second person (after Garth Brooks) to win the CMA’s Pinnacle Award, honoring her for her outstanding accomplishments. Like, this was an award that was given to her by 5 big country music superstars, including George Strait, Brad Paisley, and (full circle) Tim McGraw. Some critics pointed out that this was country music’s last ditch effort to convince Taylor to stay in the genre instead of fully crossing over to the other side. ‘Look, Taylor! All these people love you! There are probs about 20 other artists who deserve this more than you, but we don’t want you to go!’ Apparently it didn’t work.

And the CMA didn’t take it lightly either, tweeting (then promptly deleting) this after her big announcement:

Good luck on your new venture @taylorswift13! We’ve LOVED watching you grow! #TaylorSwiftYahoo

— Country Music Assoc. (@CountryMusic) August 18, 2014

In addition to all those country music awards, Taylor’s also won a few prestigious songwriting prizes (which I personally don’t agree with, but whatever), and everyone knows that the key to a great country song is good storytelling. You know, all the ‘I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up four wheel drive’ and the ‘I’ll take you for a ride on my big green tractor’ and ‘You were Romeo I was a scarlet letter’. And in this new Shake It Off song, these are the actual lyrics:

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

First of all, I’m pretty sure she stole part of this from 3LW. Second, I gotta hand it to Taylor – when she says she’s going all in to pop music, she’s going all. in. And this is coming from a self-professed (former) teenybopper. This song has everything pop music dreams are made of: a catchy tune, easy to learn lyrics that sometimes make no sense, and repetition. Even the music video is something that will have fans watching over and over again, because Taylor performs like 8 different styles of dance, is surrounded by professionals but fails miserably and relies on her usual dorky self to win over their charm and finally realizes there’s nothing wrong with “being herself”. The problem now is that Taylor has hit a point in her career where she really is multiple versions of herself. Just in this music video, she’s got a little bit of Lady Gaga a little bit of Audrey Hepburn in that Gap commercial and a little bit of  Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey – the latter of which is most likely attributed to the fact she said she was highly influenced by late 80s pop for this album. You know who else was big in the 80s? Madonna. You know who is still big now? Madonna. The Queen of Pop is known for her evolution over the years, thanks to her ease in reinventing herself every time she comes out with new music and makes herself relevant. The difference between Madonna and Taylor Swift is that Madonna always stayed in a pop/dance genre, while Taylor Swift seems to be completely abandoning her country roots.

It’s a risky move and it will be interesting to see how all her fans take it (although I’m assuming since they’re mostly hardcore, they’ll be all, ‘omg like this is the best song ever’). But from this blogger’s point of view, it’s kind of a cop out. I’m all about trying to find yourself and being true to who you are, but to me, Taylor’s always had an air about her that she is trying too hard to be cool and ‘down to earth’. This new era just makes her look like she’s the chosen one – the Tai Fraiser of Clueless, the Laney Boggs of She’s All That. The girl who managed to be in with the ‘in crowd’ and is showing the people she left behind that she’s still the same girl, just with better clothes. So, here we are. A pop-ified T Swizzle. RIP Fifteen. Now all we need is a good old fashioned breakup song, because it seems like Taylor and country music may never ever get back together. Like, ever.


7 thoughts on “Taylor Swift’s Ultimate Break-Up Song

  1. I love what you said about Taylor and completely agree with it! I’m sure most of her fans will embrace the “new” Taylor. I have to admit though, the song is catchy as hell lol


    • thanks! and yeah it definitely is catchy! i watched the video a few times while writing this so i was glad it’s not the worst song in the world!!


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