So T. Swizzle released her new single off of her upcoming fifth studio album titled 1989, which is the year she was born. The album drops on October 27th, 2014. With that, I give you my thoughts on the song and disregard the music video entirely.
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest Taylor Swift fan in the world. But there's something that kind of feels frustrating to me, when fans reiterate their desires and Taylor's ambitions that she's more of a pop star than a country star. I get that, she's evolving with her music and as a person, and this new album would also mean that she ditches the country feel off of the album. I have a little problem with the country aspect of the song.
When I Knew You Were Trouble was released as a single, and even before that was We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, the reception was near appalling to very tense polarizing by fans and critics/reviewers alike. I am feeling the same with Shake it Off, the lead single off of 1989. The reason I compare this track to the previous ones are how similar in tone they are. If I'm going to match it, I'd go with 22, and I'm not a big fan of that song. However, this track might just be the one thing that makes or breaks Taylor's transition from country and pop, to solely pop.
Don't be mistaken; Shake it Off does have some sort of semblance to Red (the album), but the way that this track goes about issuing the responses to the 'haters', her social aspect and the media, felt very ordinary. The lyrics don't stand out, the signature trumpets and beats fall flat. Even her vocals and the break down after the second chorus felt messy. But, there's something that this track kind of separates from the other singles, and this is from my perspective.
Red was a commercial success; I'm not going to say it's a bad album because there are main elements in the album that was emotional and she kills it. But, some of the aspects of her songwriting evolve around solo songwriting aspects, rather than getting in outside, rather just-before-hitting-their-peak songwriters to help craft the song. And this grinds out to a very, insanely mundane, generic pop track that is, to me, very forgettable.
Yes, she does shake things up and guitars don't necessarily fall in line with the track (they're almost removed, and guitars are signature for a Swift track), and it does show that she does kind of have the grit to take these things off and wander in a new direction. It's not bad, but the execution is.
I don't feel the hate that's coming her way in the same veins when she parties hard with 22. People say Red didn't have good lyrics, and that wasn't true. Maybe Taylor can do something out of the ordinary with her work, but at the moment, I'm worried that this new album not only strays too far from her roots, but also becomes an inter-scope of the music industry on a whole. Experimenting isn't a bad thing, but you don't make a big leap with a new album. Change dissolves slowly because Shake it Off, on first listen, left a bad taste on my mouth.
Don't mind me, because this song is going to be a hit within days. This is going to be the new pop anthem for weeks and maybe months, but let's take a step back and assess what Taylor can offer. Teardrops on My Guitar, Enchanted and even to a certain extent, Red, were tracks that Taylor feeds off of with manic relieve. And this helps not only her to create songs that are very creatively sounded and feels authentic and raw, but to the audience and the fans, it feels genuine. And some of the tracks of such caliber has the genre 'country' subbed in it.
So for me, Shake it Off isn't revolutionary to Taylor's change because she's done it before. And to an extent, shows strength of what she's capable of. Maybe I'm missing the mark of my review, because I don't feel it is one? I would say this is more of a discussion than anything else. Do I expect something big from Taylor in 1989? Definitely not. Do I think she will deliver? Yes. But is she going to hit a home-run? That is the big question.
For my single reviews, I will revert to sentence reviews now. I'd say that this track is fun and enjoyable, and I've added it to my playlist. But to be honest, it's not that great.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.