Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it off’ – A Step in the Wrong Direction?

This week 23-year old Taylor Swift brought out yet another upbeat, catchy and downright annoying new single. All about shaking off comments people make about her on a daily basis, the song reflects Katy Perry, Lady GaGa and Ke$ha, and the lyrics are a mindless and repetitive list of criticisms. The music video is a touch more creative, though, it is a witty criticism of the dancing styles of various different genres. Of course, she can’t resist throwing a random fan or hundred in there, dancing with them at the end.

As sweet and ‘oh so Taylor’ as I find all this, overall the song doesn’t scream ‘song of the year’, and if the rest of the album follows suit, I can’t imagine she will be awarded ‘album of the year’, either. No-one is perfect, of course, and yes she defends herself very modestly at the Yahoo Worldwide Stream this week, as she says ‘I’ve never done anything like this before!’ It is in vain, however, as I do recall a similar style of music in 2012’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’.

Taylor Swift Shake it off

Rights; Eva Rinaldi

Whilst the follow-up album, Red, holds bittersweet and meaningful lyrics, it is clear that the she creates a false image of her music in her singles. This wasn’t always the case, though, with first single ‘Tim McGraw’ and the very popular ‘Teardrops on my Guitar’ being strong and poignant accounts of her love life. It is essentially these first songs which gave Taylor her ‘sound’, and back then we thought that was that. It was raw, and stripped of any needless instruments or ‘break-downs’. There was no talking or rapping of nonsense and Taylor Swift was loved by many pre-teen girls.

She was the perfect role-model, but is she still? It was universally known back then, and perhaps taken for granted, that Taylor Swift was not like any other popstar. She sung, wrote, recorded, and campaigned for her own songs. She has confessed that she had to fight with her management for the release of smash hit, ‘Love Story’. With recent singles, such as the bitter and sarcastic ‘Shake it Off’, it seems as though either her music taste has radically changed, or she is just really mad at the world.

Either way, the track resembles nothing of the raw Taylor sound, which is in every one of her other songs. As a fan and admirer of her talent and person, I am all for change – but is this poppy, Miley Cyrus-esque track a step in the wrong direction for her career? If the album is anything like this I think it’s safe to say that – as her 2012 hit said – ‘Everything Has Changed’ and certainly not for the better.

‘Shake it Off’ is out now.

About the author

Sarah Kiernan

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Third year student at the University of Bolton doing an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing. Originally from Brighton. Love writing, reading and researching.