Roxanne Timan, Managing Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster
Taylor Swift has left fans hanging without a new tune for the past three years after the drop of her album “1989”. In the past two weeks, Swift let the world know she’s back with two singles off her upcoming album, “Reputation”.
After a half year full of pop star fire like Lorde’s “Melodrama” and Paramore’s “After Laughter,” Swift is desperately looking to grab some hits of her own, but clumsily trips over her own feet.
With “Look What You Made Me Do” and “...Ready for it?”, Swift is definitely promoting a new style while letting the world know the old Taylor is dead.
The first single released, “Look What You Made Me Do” came as a surprise to the pop community, reaching the Billboard top 100 out of curiosity for the singer’s new sound after a long hiatus. A solemn, heavy beat provides a strong start, but the unoriginal lyrics cause the downfall. Her laziness lashes out with “I got harder in the nick of time, honey I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.” The lack of genuine innovation is strike one for the reinventing artist.
Given that “Look What You Made Me Do” packs in as much symbolism and costume changes as a cirque de soleil show, it still feels stale and lame. The only small feat happens halfway through the video when Swift positions herself in front of a tongue and cheek crucifix of the letter T. Her past selves from older music videos bow and reach out for her power, making a bit of a statement from an artist who once sang “asking God if He would play it again”.
Besides the religious imagery, we are left limp. Her attempts to change her character aren’t being taken seriously, at all.
Her second single, “...Ready for it?”, is a grumbly attempt at rapping from the whitest woman in pop. Her attempts at jabs seem to work as well as a prank dagger. She has yet to release a video for the single, but chances are it won’t be worth the time.
Trying to change your style as an artist is a tough equation for all pop stars — Gaga’s change to a more somber-twangy tone in 2016 lead to a lackluster release of “Joanne,” and in contrast, Katy Perry’s album “Witness” tanked at the beginning of 2017 for being too “hard” and being riddled with bland diss tracks.
Swift has a lot of work to find that sweet spot in order to top the charts with her album.
Overall, the general public has proven their disdain for the new Swift, from a new collection of memes to being booed off the Fitz’s Pub playlist on Thirsty Thursdays. If the new album continues in the same track, more than just her “Reputation” will be at stake.