In another spark of smart marketing, this feels like a sports jam anthem. It will definitely get enough play in commercials. Anyhow, yes it has quite a bit of production and some bells and whistles but I’m just glad there’s a happy jam in there. I was scared the whole album was just going to be The Walking Dead. I just love listening to this more than LWYMMD right now.
More thoughts on the song after I’ve listened to it a few more times.
Coming up in the Calendar, if we should even care to keep a Calendar anymore the way that Taylor is releasing stuff out of the blue now…
November 10: Reputation, the new album by Taylor Swift is released!
Now I’m not sure if this merits any analysis, because this video was as meta as Taylor has ever been. There was no cameos from anybody. There were scenes of Taylor as a dead corpse, as a rich heiress, as Queen Snake and finally the cherry on top.
The Taylors. All of them, the Taylors from all eras dating back to the beginning. The ringmaster from the tour finale of Red. The nerdy girl from You Belong With Me. The actual acceptance speech Taylor from the MTV incident, even the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar. We also got some new ones. Zombie Taylor, Bike Gang Taylor… I can already picture new costumes are being worked on for the Reputation Tour.
But as much as these are past Taylors, they’re very much beloved by fans. So I’m sure that even though this is basically a parody of Taylor Swift made by Taylor Swift herself, that doesn’t mean we’re forgetting them. I think this video might have been fun as a retrospect, but it doesn’t have a storyline of its own. Instead it borrows the one that the media wrote and pokes fun at it.
I still think we’ve yet to see the central theme of Reputation. Good on Taylor to take control of her own narrative, but I also want to hear new music on other subjects.
And I find myself conflicted. To be honest, I think Taylor has outgrown MTV’s Video Music Awards and could’ve stopped attending several years ago. The show has been a magnet for controversy and high school level antics and producers are happy to play up scandals for ratings and social media attention.
The video release for “Look What You Made Me Do” will take place during the show. Odds are good it will be used to open to show, as it’s been done in the past. Other than the video and the single, Taylor Swift is nominated for best collaboration with Zayn Malik for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
All that doesn’t look like good enough reasons for her to be there. I think it would add more weight to her eventual appearance in award shows if she’s selective. Now, for full disclosure! Here at the Swift Agency (hey, bet you haven’t heard that in a while), still just a guy who’s older than your average fan, we support the idea that Taylor should become super selective about her appearance. Keep the people guessing on whether you’re there or not. In other words, I am biased – I don’t think she should go.
There’s more to be said here, but I have a bad feeling about this video release. People have been nitpicking at everything already. I really don’t feel like doing rumor control, but sometimes all this picking apart just pisses me off.
Anyhow, on to the show. I don’t plan to watch it throughout. The video should appear on VEVO soon, and then we’ll talk.
Get yourself off the floor, Taylor Nation. What are you doing there?
The stakes are unfairly high for a new Taylor Swift album. So, business as usual then? There was a time that Taylor Swift, back then an aspiring country singer, was supposed to put albums among controversy generated by other people. Now it’s gotten to the point that a lot of people genuinely think that Taylor’s entire career was veered by a single recorded phone call and that she was caught in a lie. And I know that only one line out of two were there, but that’s never mentioned. Popular opinion just decided to go with the snake motif.
Now the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar is aiming for reinvention, embracing the snake moniker. Keep in mind that incident was child’s play compared to the other incident. And yes, I’m talking about the civil court trial where the person, who is now judged guilty of sexual assault, wanted money because of his own life decisions. Some people will not focus on that one and I find it very telling and problematic when detractors highlight one and feign ignorance on the one that is an actual crime.
But on to happier notes, TS6 has now a name! REPUTATION. And a release date! November 10. And a new single coming out… tomorrow…
Stop dying already. Get up.
Coming up in the Calendar! Calendar? There’s a calendar again? Yes, there is! Woot!
August 24: New single by Taylor Swift is released!
November 10: Reputation, the new album by Taylor Swift is released!
Here at the Swift Agency, we’re aware that Taylor has a lot of young fans online. To them I might want to preface this with a warning: I’m going to touch on a lot of subjects that might not be to your liking. I almost want to set this post for adults only. I don’t because nowadays we have ample evidence that being an adult does not mean you are emotionally mature, and I’ve seen young people exhibit maturity beyond their years. As all editorials, this is only my humble (and sometimes not so humble) opinion.
In today’s day and age, seems everyone is pursuing one or several social issues, sometimes a little too fervently, sometimes in a misguided sense. Politics is everywhere these days, to the point that celebrities from all sorts put out their opinions. The fact that someone is a good singer or a good actor does not necessarily makes them a good judge in the political arena. Yes, they might sing your favourite song or have put on a wonderful performance in that movie you like or be the star of your favourite TV show. That doesn’t translate into wisdom in a different field. However, if you have a platform and an audience that you can reach, it’s considered almost wasteful not to use it to push an agenda for a cause you believe in. And so, we have singers, actors, performers and celebrities of all sorts pushing social issues and political leniencies.
Taylor Swift has opted for being mostly silent. She has encouraged people to vote, but other than that she hasn’t shown a preference for a particular political party. This has been interpreted by some people in social media comments to mean she supports a particular political figure or a controversial social issue but won’t say. Silence is hardly evidence. Taylor has no political credentials and plenty of reasons not to get into it.
Taylor has shown flaws in social issues before. I don’t need to remind you, or perhaps I do, of that awfully condescending tweet to Nicki Minaj about letting her come onstage if Taylor won. Yes, that was a little too much from a place of privilege. I’m sorry about the reminder, I know it hurts and I know it was a painful lesson for her. I also wasn’t a fan of using the performance of “Style” to turn the runway into a model’s catwalk during the 1989 tour. Give me a duet with another artist anytime, but a fashion/celeb spotlight felt out of place. You can draw on this to imply lack of awareness, insensitivity or even insincerity but I find it hard to find ill intent in these mistakes. Even in the very polarizing subject of feminism, she’s changed her stance with time. That’s as far as I mean to go. I don’t have the credentials to police anybody on that topic.
Taylor has done wonderful things for people. She’s visited sick children in hospitals and unlikely shown up at weddings and birthdays. She’s given gifts and money to schools, libraries and even regular fans. You can argue the publicity angle here, but she’s still done those things. She may not be an activist, but she does comes off as a philanthropist. You can call it all an act, but the time was spent, the money was given and the charity work was done. And yet, when she tweeted her support for the women’s march, so many comments spoke about her absence while others assumed it implied a political leniency kept in secrecy.
Has stardom changed Taylor? She’s grown in fame and popularity. That means now there’s a security detail, a very reserved and more meticulous schedule and a different circle of friends. I know someone’s going to bring up her relationship with the band. I have to be honest here, there was a golden period when she and the band would almost seem as friends. That working relationship may have seemed very close back then, but nowadays it is a lot more distant. Taylor still rehearses and sound checks, but she doesn’t hang around with the band like in the old days. Some of the former members of the Agency actually stay in touch with each other and remain friends. Some are even nice enough to still talk to the crazy and weird fans (I count myself here). I know I’m digressing from the subject of this post, but I just had to reminisce a little.
I don’t buy albums from politicians. I don’t particularly take political advice from music artists either. Yes, there have been people that use their platforms for activism, but they must first spend time in the trenches before they have something to say that is worth a listen. Furthermore, it’s a bit jarring and somewhat embarrassing to hear politics spoken at a concert when you’re there for the music. That’s why I’d rather artists would keep their political affiliation and their professional work separated.
The strangest thing is how there seems to be this notion that anytime you disagree with an extreme position, you’re immediately boxed in the opposite extreme side. Not every person is full blown liberal or democrat. There’s more sides than two. Reasonably, people will have opinions that fall in a wide array across the political spectrum. Some opinions might be easily categorized, some may not. Same with people, not everyone has to have a position that falls neatly in one camp. If there’s a particular topic you feel passionate about shouldn’t you speak now…? Or would you rather be silent in case you lose some of your fandom? But should you choose to say it out loud, the topic will have many experts ready to judge your words and intention.
It’s harder and harder to see Taylor. Long are the days of local festivals and small venues. She’s become her own brand. She’s a company and a marketable name. Her time and her attention are a commodity that feeds a larger machine. That for better or worse, is stardom. She does peek from behind the curtain once in a while, but those instances are few and far between.
Her lyrics are still there. Sometimes, not so much in the made-for-radio hit single, but in that rather obscure ballad with the crazy bridge hidden inside the album, cocooned between other songs that maybe experimental or single themselves. You know it because it won’t hit the radio, and it will only be sang by a few hardcore fans. But the moment it gets its time on the stage, that track alone will command silence and attention. I think that’s when we get a rare unadorned view into the songstress herself. Miss it and it’s gone.
Did I get off track…? My apologies to you then. I guess you expected some sort of exposé on the Sparkly Dressed. Or perhaps some evidence about how she’s worth or not worth your time. I think you can decide on your own and chances are good that you already have. But I also think that before you can truly say that you’re done with the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar, you have to know how that next album is going to sound. After all, if the music still has the allure to bring you back, then you have been a fan all along.