Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is one of the biggest names in the music industry. From her humble beginnings as a wannabe country music star to selling out arenas and records worldwide, Swift’s incredible success has gained her a net worth of over $280 million. Swift has been noticeably absent from the public eye over the past year but she is making her way back to the music scene with full force—and she is making sure everyone is listening.
After going through a storm with social media and the press over the past year Swift managed to remain completely out of public. She unceremoniously deleted all of her social media accounts including Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, leaving many fans curious as to whether she was done with making music for good until she left a mysterious post on her Instagram this past August.
A video of a snake slithering in darkness was the only hint she gave her fans. Day by day she would post similar videos until Aug. 23, when she announced her new single “Look What You Made Me Do” as well as the cover art for her new album “Reputation.”
When first listening to “Look What You Made Me Do” it is obvious that Swift is heading in a different direction than her past music. Gone are the dramatic and youthful days of “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Blank Space” because Swift is bringing an edgier, almost grunge feel to her songs, with lyrics like “The world moves on, another day, another drama-drama / But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma.” Swift is possibly taking a dig at the events of the past year with these lyrics. After getting dragged by the Kardashians and Kanye West and being known as a “snake” in the music industry, she is fighting back in her new music.
Towards the end of “Look What You Made Me Do” the audience hears a phone call taking place, and Swift answers it stating, “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now / Why? Oh! / Cause she’s dead!” A tad bit dramatic? Yes—but since when hasn’t Swift been known for her over-the-top dramatics? This line signifies a new Swift coming into the music industry, one that is not going to be easy to bring down.
“Look What You Made Me Do” debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart at No. 77, but quickly soared up the charts and landed at No. 1. According to Billboard, “Look What You Made Me Do” broke the record for the most streams ever for a song by a woman with 84.4 million in one week, surpassing Adele’s 2015 hit “Hello” which had 61.6 million streams. “Look What You Made Me Do” spent three weeks at No. 1 until it was beat out by Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”
Two more singles, “…Ready For It?” and “Gorgeous” have been released since “Reputation” was announced. “…Ready For It?” made it to No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, remaining on the chart for eight weeks. Her third single “Gorgeous” also did well on the charts, securing No. 13 in Billboard’s Hot 100.
The music video for “…Ready For It?” was released last week on YouTube and it was met with contrasting opinions. The video centers around an “evil Taylor” complete with a black-hooded cape and an army of robotic creatures who are keeping another Taylor prisoner. The “prisoner Taylor” eventually breaks free and destroys the “evil Taylor” and her army. This video could symbolize the new Taylor emerging into the public, the title itself asking: Are we ready for this new Taylor?
Personally, I think the answer is yes. Although extremely different from what we are used to, this new Swift is edgy and fierce and her music reflects just the change. I’m sorry to disappoint all those T-Swift haters out there, but she isn’t going away anytime soon.
“Reputation” is being released Nov. 10!
Taylor Stenroos is a fourth-year student majoring in English writings with minors in journalism and French. She can be reached at TS833344@wcupa.edu.