Taylor Swift’s new song might be No. 1 on iTunes as of Friday evening, but it has been very polarizing. Many people, such as this author, were glued to the radio to hear the premiere on Thursday evening. Some thought they wasted a couple hours of their lives since Taylor Swift’s new song sounds like as parody of a Taylor Swift song.
The theme of the song is similar to “I Will Survive,” in which Taylor Swift rises up from the ashes to defeat the evil Kanye West, who caused so much backlash when he (or his wife, really) revealed that Taylor Swift knew about Kanye’s song “Famous.” According to Vanity Fair, Swift only approved of the line, “I feel like me and Taylor still might have sex.” She didn’t realize Kanye would refer to her as “that b***h.”
No matter who you believe, Swift’s new song is all over the place and sounds more like “I’ll Try to Survive” than a defiant “I Will Survive.”
“I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me /I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams,” Swift hastily sings and adds that the “old Taylor Swift” is dead.
Somehow, if 2009 Taylor was able to look into the future and hear this clumsy song, she’d be ashamed of herself. Taylor Swift’s songs have always been accused of being clichés with themes of love and empowerment, but Swift’s sultry voice and her musical talent always fogged any truth of the accusations. But on her latest, Swift’s voice gets lost in the midst of all the electropop beats. The song keeps leading up to something, but it never quite hits the mark.
This is disappointing for Taylor Swift and all her supporters. After being accused of being an anti-feminist for so many years, Swift took an important feminist stand last week when she counter-sued a radio personality who sued Swift after he was fired for lifting his hand up her panties. Swift’s win was a victory for all women, and even those who didn’t like Swift praised her bravery.
One would have hoped that Swift would have come back with a powerful feminist anthem. Perhaps if she did, Swift would have been accused of using her court case to promote her new song. If Swift’s record company was afraid of that, they could have released a love song — something Swift has excelled at. Instead, we get the return of the equivalent of a drunk clown trying to throw punches at somebody and missing.
“Look What You Made Me Do” will certainly chart high at first since it’s the first single from the first new Taylor Swift album in three years. But it will likely fall down the charts very fast. One can only hope that this song is just an experiment, and the rest of Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation will bring us back the Taylor we love.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]