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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Taylor Swift’s new single strays too far from her “everygirl” image

Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” made me want to turn it off.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Swift. I love her so much that up until this single I felt like I knew her, and I still feel like that enough that it’s going to be difficult for me to call her Swift instead of “Taylor” during the course of this review.

The reason I feel like I know Swift is because her music has always been so relatable. She experienced everything I dreamed about as a kid just a couple years ahead of me.

She was like a cool big sister who was mushier than I would ever admit to being, who told me all of her secrets while I listened, amazed.

Her first several albums, which dropped during my formative middle school years, were full of fairy tale imagery and smartly written, sweeping pop-country choruses you could sing loudly in your mom’s car.

“Red,” what I would call her heartbreak album, came out during my senior year of high school, when my first real boyfriend and I broke up. To this day, “All Too Well” is my go-to song for crying in the car.

With 2014’s “1989,” Swift ditched her country sound in favor of something sleeker and more poppy.

Initially, this troubled me, but I soon got over it. Why? Because the album was still perfectly suited to my present state of life.

I had graduated high school, and had graduated from fantasizing about fairytales to fantasizing about being Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City” and the album’s first song is called “Welcome to New York.”

Swift was at it again, singing about a life that was right up my aspirational alley.

Maybe this decade of Swift relateability was all a calculated industry scam, but I do not care.

Even if it was, this single seems to be the one on which she has stopped calculating, or at least stopped calculating how to appeal to me.

Where there used to be acoustic guitar and or at least sweet-sounding synth pop, there is now creepy, clinky piano and electropop.

Where there was once the earlier mentioned sweeping, sing-along choruses, there is now the same, titular phrase repeated over and over to the tune of “I’m Too Sexy for My Shirt.”

The writers of that song, Right Said Fred, are credited as songwriters on the track.

Most importantly, where there were once admonishments and longings for ex-boyfriends, there is now only animosity to Kanye West, referenced in the lyrics with “don’t like your tilted stage.”

This is not relatable, to me, or, I assume, to anyone else who has not experienced celeb beef. I also hate when celebrities use publicized beef to promote albums.

While rebirth (i.e. rebranding) is a more relatable theme prevalent in the single, Swift’s attempt thus far comes off as more 2013 Miley Cyrus than 2017 me or 2017 every girl, and I do not think this is something Swift can pull off.

I also do not think it’s all that original—she sounds kind of like Marina and the Diamonds and looks like “Gossip Girl’s” Bad Little Jenny Humphrey, or “Riverdale”’s Bad Betty.

Call me overly nostalgic, but I just want her to sound and look like the old Swift.

Even more than the music style or the album cover, a voicemail from the single’s bridge makes it absolutely clear Swift is dropping her former self. Swift says, “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead.”

The old Taylor may be dead, but I’m afraid the new Taylor isn’t relatable enough to keep me from mourning her.

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Taylor Swift’s new single strays too far from her “everygirl” image