I know you get this a lot, but I’m a huge fan of yours. Love Story was the first song I downloaded when I got my iPod in the sixth grade. Speak Now got me through high school and—if I’m being completely honest—most of college, too. I wore your Wonderstruck perfume on my first date. My sisters and I huddled together under the stands of the Eagles stadium when a thunderstorm delayed your Red performance in Philadelphia. I sweated my ass off in a fox costume two summers ago when 1989 came to Washington, D.C. It was only when my mom decided to turn my bedroom into a guest room that I begrudgingly removed the posters and magazine articles bearing your face from the back of my door.
Like I said, I’m a huge fan.
But here’s the thing. Your new single…Well, how do I put this? After hearing “Look What You Made Me Do,” I feel like I might wake up in the middle of the night to find you standing over my bed holding a knife. And, for the record, I’m not Kanye.
Ok, now don’t get all defensive on me. I know this song is about him. Even I got the “tilted stage” reference and I am anything but a Kanye fan. Did you hear that? I don’t like Kanye either, but that hasn’t turned me into a raging psychopath.
Last summer when all the Kimye drama was going down, I loudly declared, “Say what you want about Taylor Swift, but I will defend her to the death!” to which a concerned coworker responded, “Julia, no one is asking you to defend Taylor to the death. We just asked you how your weekend was,” as she patted my shoulder lightly with a look of the utmost discomfort. Frankly, I don’t care how that phone conversation went down, but I’d also be pretty pissed if someone referred to me as “that bitch” he “made famous.” Kanye’s obnoxious, so why stoop to his level?
“Look What You Made Me Do” is a cop out and, in my opinion, is the worst thing to happen to pop (what even is your genre these days?) music since Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons.” This song is repetitive, the melody oddly reminiscent of “I’m Too Sexy”, and just plain creepy! What happened to the lyrical genius behind “All Too Well” or even “Better Than Revenge” for that matter? You know what’s better than revenge? Writing a smart, subtle, smash hit. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see this single top the charts, “Look What You Made Me Do” is neither smart nor subtle.
Also can we talk about this title for a sec? Taylor, girl, no one is making you do anything. Isn’t that what this trial was all about? You countersued for $1.00, for God’s sake. No one made you take this to court; instead, you did so to show young women that their voices and experiences matter when something as serious as sexual assault occurs. This whole ordeal (bravo, by the way) was based on your ability to take a stand and make a decision not only for yourself, but for women whose voices aren’t amplified by the privileges of fame and celebrity. Kanye’s lyrics were vulgar and offensive and did nothing to improve the artistic integrity of his song, but “Look What You Made Me Do” is not taking the high road. It proves nothing other than the fact that he got to you. This single is fighting fire with fire and is a far cry from “shaking off” the haters.
I understand you’re trying to reclaim your Reputation ™, but is this really the way to go about it? This song lacks the irony of “Blank Space” or even the head-bopping irresistibility of “Bad Blood.” “Look What You Made Me Do” is best suited for the end credits of Saw V.
I miss the old Taylor—you know, the one who’s dead. Oh any by the way, thanks for sugar coating the bad news.
The old Taylor rocked Keds and turtlenecks and grandma sweaters and baked cookies in her limited down time. The old Taylor forgave Kanye’s Grammy’s interruption with “Innocent.” The old Taylor taught teenage girls that there was so much more to life than, say, “dating the boy on the football team.” The old Taylor called out bullies with clever lyrics, catchy banjo riffs, and the class of a 1920s movie star. Your fans loved the old Taylor. So who’s this chick with the slicked back hair and generic tattoo font on the cover of her album. We didn’t fall in love with that Taylor.
So please don’t let us down again on November 10th. Give us more love songs, more anthems, more “You Belong With Me.” Give us guitars and banjos and soulful piano ballads. Give us a soundtrack to our next heartbreak or, hell, even our next run on the treadmill. Please give us anything but more goose bumps.
A concerned and slightly terrified fan