If Taylor Swift Wasn’t So Try Hard I’d Probably Be Into The Album

From the 30 second snippets we previewed on iTunes, lol

If Taylor Swift Wasn’t So Try Hard I’d Probably Be Into The Album

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Published on

Taylor Swift isn’t very good at indifference. She seems to really care about things. She’s clearly bothered by what people think about her and this whole ‘Reputation’ concept is evidently a pretty big deal for her. And that’s fine. For all we have a habit of talking about Taylor like she’s anything but human, Taylor is indeed just another individual who’s also susceptible to feeling all the feels. The only issue is that this faux ‘I don’t give a fuck about being a social pariah’ kind of vibe that she’s trying really hard to radiate really isn’t working. In fact, it’s a little condescending.

You see, Taylor Swift may be many things, but she’s not an outcast. Like it or not, a huge chunk of the world (ahem, the internet) revolves around her as one of the biggest musical artists in the world. Taylor has real power. A power that she has used for good in the past. A power we saw in both the act and reception towards her publically taking a stand against sexual harassment and suing DJ David Mueller this year. But with the power that we all know Taylor Swift to be holding, comes an accountability that the fans and haters alike are particularly unwilling to let slide (see: Taylors initial poignant reluctance toidentify with feminism and the backlash to her delayed tweet about the Women’s March earlier this year).

Regardless of how she uses her stance as one of the most eagerly observed, analysed and - like it or not - listened to young women on earth, she’s very much at the centre of the controversy that she allows to surround her. The hard work that it’s undoubtedly taken to build the Taylor Swift empire is undeniable, but Taylor Swift has probably been the most consistently readily received recording artist of the years we’ve spent listening to her music. It’s with open arms and willing ears that we sang along to songs about great loves and shitty boys by a girl who held just enough relatability to identify with a whole generation of young women. It wasn’t until Taylor tried to switch the narrative of who she wants to be, got caught out by Kim Kardashian of all people, that she ever so slightly shifted a step or two towards the pop culture periphery.

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But she’s fine. She’s still there, right at the centre. We know it, she knows it, and the new album proves it. The old Taylor may well be dead, but from the outside, this contrived portrayal of rebellious outcast Taylor is actually quite insulting to all of the IRL outcasts of the music world. You know, the ones whose music fans actively seek out and becomes popular organically as opposed to having manufactured album awaiting around every corner of social media.

It’s a shame really because tepidly defiant Taylor is clouding my enjoyment of the new album. Reputation, despite my excessive eye-rolling and initial eye rolling, makes for relatively pleasurable listening (from the preview clips we listened to on iTunes seeing as no, I didn’t want to buy it and no, it’s not available to download anywhere else right now).

Save for the frustrating blame game narrative reiterated by ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and ‘Don’t Blame Me’, the vibe reminds me of the type of pop record that might’ve been released as an artist’s third album in the early 00s. A little more mature than previous albums (there’s a swear word in this one, kids), smooth and ever so slightly sensual, highly personable and boasting infrequent hints of a hip-hop and R’n’B influence in the music. I’m on board. At least, I was on board until I remembered all of the low-key jibes at Kim and Kanye that have pretty much defined Reputation’s entire existence.

Indifference is a beautifully fascinating concept. Wouldn’t it be great to genuinely not give a shit about stuff and go about the rest of your days all carefree and nonchalant? The trouble is, however, as I’m sure those of us who have done that thing of pretending not to care in the hopes that it would make someone else care about whatever it is you secretly do care about already know, genuine indifference is really hard to master. And I’m sorry Taylor, but that’s not something you do well.

Like this? You might also be interested in…

Make No Mistake, Taylor Swift Still Owns The Internet

Here’s Another Thing That No One Made Taylor Swift Do

9 Songs Taylor Swift’s Song Sounds Like

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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