Before I dive into this I want to point out I am a Taylor Swift fan. I have been to every concert, I even waited in line in 2010 to get her autograph. The girl can sing, play guitar, and master the piano. However first and foremost to me, she was a writer. She was a storyteller. As the great Peyton Sawyer would say “I am a Lyric Girl.”
“You know I’ve got this theory, there are two kinds of people in the world. There are lyric people and music people. You know, the lyrics people tend to be analytical. You know, all about the meaning of the song. They’re the ones you see with the CD insert out like 5 minutes after buying it, pouring over the lyrics, interpreting the hell out of everything. Um, then there’s the music people, like Brooke. Who could care less for the lyrics as long as its just got like a good beat and you could dance to it. I don’t know, sometimes it might be easier to be a music girl and not a lyric girl. But since I’m not, let me just say this. Sometimes things find you when you need them to find you, I believe that. And for me it’s usually song lyrics.” – Peyton Sawyer
Taylor’s music used to do that for me, her lyrics would find me before I even knew I was lost. I can still appreciate the lyrics to “ Look At What You Made Me Do”. The song is well written, but it does not make me “feel” like her older songs do. At the beginning of Taylor’s old concert’s she used to call her music “the soundtrack to your crazy”…. and she was. Her words were honest, vulnerable, unfiltered, and they were about love.
The single “Look At What You Made Me Do”” is the soundtrack to your revenge. Her words are edited, calculated, and it is out of hate not love. This is not heartbreak it is petty. We feel for heartbreak, we don’t feel for petty. We do not empathize for losing a “little game” like we do for a broken heart. After listening to “Look At What You Made Me Do” on Youtube, the next song that played was “The Last Time”. After hearing that song directly after “Look At What You Made Me Do” it was bluntly obvious that this new song was a disappointment.“The Last Time” is a duet, it is one of the few songs where we can hear both sides of the story.
This song is a plea, it is begging for this never-ending cycle to end. It is letting go, even though neither party wants to do so. It is losing each other to find themselves again. It is their breaking point.
This song has several meanings. It leaves us with timeless questions and endless answers. It is unfinished. It leaves us wanting more. “The Last Time” makes me feel so many things all at once. “Look At What You Made Me Do” makes me feel one thing. It makes me feel sorry for Taylor. Her music has turned into a war. It is no longer her outlet. It is no longer her art.
“Look At What You Made Me Do” was made to prove a point. It was her strike back. It was her “keeping face”. It was her side of the story…but this story was not worth telling. For someone who “spent their whole life trying to put it into words” this song isn’t worthy of her. Taylor you can do better. We deserve better.Taylor used to sing about fairy tales now she has become a cautionary tale. Her music used to be her catharsis, now it is her ammo.
I know artists must grow up. They must reinvent themselves every couple of years to stay relevant, but I think Taylor went too far. She stripped away everything unique about her, to become who she thought everyone else wanted her to be. Taylor’s strength was always in her words. Many people are talented, but Taylor’s vulnerability in her writing is what made her different. She sang everything we were too scared to think out loud. She showed us strength in being emotional. She taught us how to love and then she took it all back.
Taylor I know you want to be your old self again, but you are still trying to find it.