People want to be friend’s with Taylor Swift but they want to be Beyonce. My friend once said this to me and it has stuck with me ever since. Taylor’s newest songs have gone from being shocking to somewhat sexy to plain right confusing. I’ve always identified with Taylor based on the fact we’re roughly the same age and global superstars. I jest.
I was never really a fan of her original country music but like the majority of the population came in at ‘Red’ and fell in absolute love with 1989. It’s not new to say that Taylor’s career and life have been scrutinised some questions have been asked of her that were unnecessary and some were asked because she seemed to put answers out that needed one. A recent episode of The High Low podcast explored Taylor and her newest song, which at the time was What You Made Me Do. One of the points made by Pandora or Dolly (I am still trying to decipher whose voice is whose) was that she is a young woman changing, and there is a kick back to that. I’m not suggesting that as a pop star Taylor is making crappy music because she doesn’t care what people think, but I can’t help but thinking Swift is trying to reassert boundaries in a way she hasn’t done before. Previously she needed her Swifties (is that right?) but perhaps those young women who once idolised her don’t know what to do with her right now so they’re taking solace in Bieber. An absolute dickhead, by the way, who I don’t think has endured anywhere near as much scrutiny as Swift even though his growing up involved offending the majority of people (besides his fans for some weird reason) and peeing in public.
I think we’ve all been there when we are still hanging out with the same people but want to be different. There is resistance. And majority of it is coming from our old self. I don’t condone the ‘the old Taylor is dead’ because nothing is more cringey but I kinda get it like when you wear an outfit that’s too much or decide that you want to be called something else, not your childhood nickname, or you would like to be referred to as a woman instead of a girl. I think Taylor was insanely accessible for a while, she was awkward and a bit of a dill and now she’s trying to cut the crap and perhaps nobody knows what to do. I’ve said a fair few awkward conversation enders in my time and sure they make me cringe but I don’t think I’ve nailed being adult every single day of my life.
The other element to this is that Swift’s newest incarnation is for a different audience, similar reactions happened to Gaga’s Joanne, I don’t know much about Lady Gaga but I watched her documentary which basically makes me an expert , and it seems that this latest album was a personal one. Maybe more for herself than the fans, but maybe that’s where Swift has tripped up, she always seems to be mysterious or watching who’s looking instead of just making music. It’s a distraction which gives people ownership and access where perhaps there is none, who the fuck cares which guy it’s about? Just make a good song. Or maybe I liked her music for a while and don’t at the moment. That’s possible too. I do like that Bloodpop /Justin Bieber song (it’s taking all my willpower not to delete the last line).
Image from here