The return of Everett True | 102. Taylor Swift
This one has taken me by surprise. I was hoping stuff like this would happen – and it has, several times already – when I began this series a few short days ago. I didn’t expect it to come from this quarter, though.
I had to go with this first: so immediate and so compelling. Listen with open ears.
Or don’t. Prejudice and distortion is what makes music so damn entertaining a lot of the time. You may well have valid reasons for despising Taylor Swift and all who sail in her. Me? I’d had her dismissed as an OK-bordering-on-annoyingly-bland country-pop singer ages ago, but her recent brace of pop singles – try this for starters – have me choking back on my words, and listening to her album 1989 of my own free will. It’s bright and breezy and moody and more than a little depressed. It sounds like Martina And The Diamonds. I love a well-produced pop album that doesn’t rub its genius and higher musicianship in my face, just gets on with the songs the way Madonna always used to. I doubt if I’m ever gonna get down and dirty with her lyrics – I hear sounds as shapes not as poetry normally – but I can totally hear that, with its miniscule incremental volume and tempo changes, and reboots, it’ll be a great record to slip on my headphones and work out to down the gym. Maybe that’s the least pop can aspire to, to work out to – but really? What else is there?
This song is almost motorik in its fierce repetition and layered nuance. It feels important – it gives off the illusion of importance. I ain’t gonna be arguing authenticity here.
It’s a great pop song with an insidious churning motherfucker of a refrain to keep it buzzing. A slow burner with a sussed backbeat. That’s all I ever demanded from Neu! and that’s all I’m demanding from Taylor Swift today. Get me out of the fucking woods, indeed. And this Ellen performance is near magical. I wanna hear it played LOUD in a stadium, waves of noise crashing down around my ears for minutes and hours before it starts, pump the bass. Screaming in the aisles.
Right now I believe in Taylor Swift the way I cannot believe in the boy-boy bearded faux seriousness of The War On Drugs. Her dance, her hair, her stare, her pained expression, her pleading. The build-up, the build-up.
I wanna hear this song expanded and extended, 15 minutes of pop bliss.
She controls me.
It is 500,000 times more vital than anything U2 has produced, ever.
Third verse, same as the first.
If this was Warpaint, you’d be loving it.
I am going to have to go back and re-evaluate. I am not worthy.