Dive bar on the East Side, where you at Taylor Nation?
Taylor Swift won the iHeartradio Music Award for Female Artist of the Year. She not only accepted on the spot via video but of course introduced the music video for “Delicate” herself. I think it was the best choice, this was a very, truly personal video. Even a little too vulnerable for an artist of her stature. See for yourself.
The video starts with a closeup of Taylor’s face, a happy but almost contented one. Then it takes us into a typical Taylor Swift day getting back to a hotel (the Biltmore hotel in Los Angeles) and with a lot of fans waiting outside. She receives a foreboding note that seems to sparkle. Although flanked by her impressive bodyguards, Taylor does take the time to take a quick snap with some young fans. That seems to cost her dearly as a crazed page lunges at her only to be tackled by her security.
At this point, this can’t help but remind me of the lyrics of “Lucky One”, but this is one is actually, specifically about Taylor. As she sits inside the hotel’s massive ladies room, Taylor makes faces in front of the mirror. They’re not dramatic, they’re goofy, they’re unappealing, there’s rather bluntness about Taylor in this video. She’s not playing a role, she’s… It’s Taylor herself. And then, the magical note seems to grant her one thing she has not had in an age.
Taylor becomes invisible to everyone but the camera. No, it’s not a genie, it’s not a wish granted, you can chalk it up to magic or whatever plot contraption you want. It’s not the how that the video focus on.
Taylor dances. It’s not an elegant, artistic, dance. It’s a free style, goofy, nobody’s-watching, completely carefree dance. And although you feel a joyful freedom for her being able to do that, there’s an innermost sadness that seems to be expressed here. It’s like this is Taylor, a prisoner of her image all over again.
As she leaves the hotel and into the streets, there’s a bit of a nostalgic image as she’s literally… dancing in the rain in her best dress… An image that took me all the way back to Fearless and made me smile and cry at the same time. Is that what Taylor can never be again, no matter how much she or other people want her to?
For the final scene, she’s soaking wet walking into a bar with everyone staring. She doesn’t really care, she’s just looking for someone. And when she finds that person, her face lights up.
It’s another video directed by Joseph Kahn, who I know has his detractors due to his personal views, but I’m judging solely on his directorial skills here. I respect other people’s opinions and how some have decided not to watch the video, but it’s Taylor choice who she chooses to work with.
For this video there was no male lead, very little special effects, no robots, nothing special regarding casting and a ton of Taylor dancing. Sometimes, it feels like she’s letting herself flow with the music, other times she has a bit more of a choreography. Nevertheless, it seems like a cathartic moment in the real life of the Sparkly Dressed. It makes me just a little worried about her state of mind, but fortunately she has love in her life and that’s all she needs.
Bonus! Now you can watch the vertical version of “Delicate” on YouTube below.
Coming up on the Calendar!
- May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.
(Sources: Taylor Swift via VEVO)