“I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone anymore. Why? Because she’s dead.”
Yup, that’s Taylor Swift killing herself off — well, her old self, anyway — in the final stretch of her new single, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ – in itself a loaded title, given its main usage as a pissweak justification for domestic violence.
While this new Tay single may not completely kill her off, it will have people missing the old Kanye… I mean the old Taylor.
It starts off with a red herring: creeping keys and swelling Disney strings, before dropping to a beat so minimal it might not be there (lemme check), and a staccato vocal melody that sounds like someone accidentally wrote it while tapping out Morse code. Then the sound morphs into Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback Girl’. She even adopts that same bratty cheerleader drawl, so you know exactly what she’s doing.
1989 may have soften fans to the possibility of Taylor as an overly-produced purveyor of glossy pop, but whereas that album was anchored by an ’80s sheen, this single pushes Taylor into the future. Well the present, anyway. The artwork clearly promises a bold new death metal sound, which isn’t audible here. I still hold out hope that Taylor will double-kick down the doors of genre-boxing.
If Gwen’s shit was, indeed, B.A.N.A.N.A.S, this single is those bananas with the red tip that you pay double for but can’t quite tell the difference.
I can’t tell if I like it yet, or even if it is any good. It probably is good. Luckily, it doesn’t matter.