The old Taylor Swift is dead ... but it's okay

After an almost three-year hiatus, Taylor Swift has released a new single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” About a week ago, Swift released a series of cryptic messages including a ten-second clip of a snake. Then there was an album cover and announcement for her single. After this news, many were waiting patiently for the single to drop. 

This Taylor is definitely not one that fans were expecting.  The single itself is far from Swift’s old work, embracing a pop vibe almost reminiscent of early Britney Spears. 

Swift embraces a darker, scary tone with "Look What You Made Me Do," and fans of her sugar-sweet, country-turned-pop sound will look in vain to find it in this first glimpse into her sixth album. The single appears to be about her committing murder, but only because someone made her do it. During the bridge, Swift says, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why?  Oh, 'cause she’s dead!” That one line encapsulates her attempt to rebrand herself with this new album and is probably one of the reasons she dropped this song first. 

Relating it back to the song, it makes sense that the old Taylor Swift had to “die” because the media made her. In the single, she is writing to the media and touching on the fact that all the publicity she has gotten has done more harm than good. In her album art, Swift even seems to be branded by newspaper articles. Her new album, set to release on Nov. 10 of this year,  and its title “Reputation,” is written in a font very similar to that of The New York Times. 

The name, the mixture of hints and the rebranding on Swift in general speaks to how angry she seems to be at the media. She even deleted her social media accounts and started anew a little while ago.  

After a few listens, the single started to grow on me, but I still don’t love it. I prefer 2008 Swift, and even though the single is already doing well, I don’t know if I’m a fan of the rebranding. I will, however, say that I respect her for doing it. It had to be a hard thing to do, and I think that Swift thought about it a long time. Of course I will always be a Swiftie at heart, I just may not jam to this particular album.


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