By Allison O’Reilly
Taylor Swift released her new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Aug. 25, making it her first release in roughly three years.
The single was far edgier than the electro-pop sound of Swift’s most recent album, 1989, and is definitely a stark contrast to the country hits that shot her into stardom.
Starting with a mellow piano and strings sound, Swift proceeds to shock listeners by breaking into a harder and more defined beatshe essentially spoke over by dramatically separating her words.
The pre-chorus is the best, catchiest part of the song. The fast-paced piano and actual singing had me hopeful for the remaining minutes, but then the song dropped into its lackluster chorus, which was nothing but a pulsing beat and Swift repeating the title of the song over and over.
The most memorable part of the song, however, was when Swift chose to put her sweet and light reputation to bed by saying in a firm and slightly terrifying voice, “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now… Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!”
“Look What You Made Me Do” is the last thing I expected Swift to put out. The song isn’t a surefire hit, the rhythm is all over the place, the lyrics are dark and she isn’t framing herself as likeable. It almost sounds like something I’d expect Lorde to write and trash because she knows she could do so much better.
While it’s a good thing for artists to test their boundaries and change their sound from time to time, this song was a failed switch over to the darker side of pop owned by stars like Sia and Lana Del Rey.
“Look What You Made Me Do” is the first single off Swift’s upcoming album, Reputation, and as most hardcore Swifties could tell you, each one of her albums is considered an era. While the album will reveal exactly the message Swift is trying to send, she’s already dropped plenty of hints.
Before announcing “Look What You Made Me Do” and Reputation Swift cleared her social media accounts, then posted eerie videos of a hissing snake on her Instagram, possibly alluding to when Kim Kardashian West called out the singer with an iconic use of the snake emoji after their feud over Kanye West’s song “Famous.”
This song was a bit of a flop, despite how well it may do simply because Swift is who she is, she is most definitely capable of making better music. Here’s to hoping the rest of the Reputation era is stronger than “Look What You Made Me Do.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of user Ronald Woan via Flickr.
Allison O’Reilly is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.