This week’s Song of the Week comes courtesy of Taylor Swift and her latest vengeful number.
Taylor Swift is finally back with new music. It’s been three years since 1989 and we can only replay ‘Blank Space’ so many times.
The pop star dropped her latest single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ on Aug 24, her first after a year-long break from the limelight. The last we heard of her was during her ugly spat back in 2016 with reality star Kim Kardashian West over lyrics in Kanye West’s hit song ‘Famous’.
Swift also announced a release date of Nov 10 for her sixth album, reputation.
Two weeks ago, she cleared out her social media accounts to build excitement. The cleanup was followed by a series of mysterious teasers featuring a serpent — a nod to the title she earned from the Kardashian West debacle.
Then she dropped the bombshell that is ‘LWYMMD’.
The song is undeniably darker than her previous works, with a significantly reinvented sound. Gone is the old Taylor (‘oh, ‘cause she’s dead!’) and in her place is a bona fide pop star who is unapologetic, sexy and bold — reminiscent of Britney Spears and Fergie at their peak.
She reclaims the snake imagery as a symbol of the proposed new-and-improved Swift. It appears repeatedly in both the lyric and music videos, from CGI snakes surrounding her on her throne to a tattoo snaking down her right thigh.
The song aptly samples ‘Operate’ by Peaches, which was used in a scene in Mean Girls (2004). Longtime rival Katy Perry previously compared Swift to the movie’s villainess Regina George in a tweet.
With ‘LWYMMD’, Swift is embracing her role as the pop music industry’s top mean girl.
However, some things just don’t change. Although Swift insists that she is no longer the old Taylor, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is yet another petty song written with her age-old formula of salty revenge tracks.
From this lead single, reputation is shaping up to showcase an edgier and sexier repertoire. All the same, it looks like Swift will continue to focus on payback for her old and new foes, former lovers and friends.
Perhaps the old Taylor isn’t that dead after all.