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T Swift’s new song, “look what you made me do” is a flaming statement of unfinished revenge

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Gracie Elmer, Staff Writer

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     The first song from Taylor Swift’s new album, “Reputation,” may have only debuted at the end of August, but it is already foreshadowing a new Taylor Swift. Throughout her song, Swift tells a story that is filled with mysterious and unresolved consequences. This single also carries itself with a greater sense of cold-heartedness when put alongside some of Swift’s previous songs.

     “Her song is a lot more dark and aggressive and sounds less peppy than her other songs,” said senior Vivien Mickels.

     A sense of darkness surrounds Swift’s music video from the very beginning as she crawls out of the ground in a graveyard as a decaying zombie. Swift’s new song is a grim melody that combines vengeance and loathing into a solid statement of hatred. In one part of the song, Swift mentions karma, referencing her strong desire for revenge. Within another particular part of the music video, Swift shows her confidence that she will definitely be getting some revenge.

A dark sense of self-confidence is expressed within Swift’s music video as she sits atop a throne while being surrounded by millions of slithering snakes and sings, “Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.”

   In another part of the song’s lyrics, Swift makes one fact pungently clear: the old Taylor Swift will soon be no more.

   “When Taylor says, ‘I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now’ ‘Why?’ ‘Oh, ‘cause she’s dead! (oh!)’ it’s clear that she’s making a new start,” explained junior Ashlyn Tucker.

   Swift alludes to her desire to witness rapper Kanye West’s fame and wealth fall to pieces in her video as well when she sits inside a person’s gold vault while holding flaming gold bars. While all of these elements within her music video are far from the sweet melodies of Swift’s earlier hits like “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story”, one part of her video shows that she might be transforming into a Taylor Swift like none before.

   One part of her music video shows Swift standing in front of a large neon blue T while she is poised triumphantly on top of a mountain that includes several different versions of herself as they attempt to scramble upwards. As the different Taylors begin fighting and then fall, that scene is then intercut with footage of Taylor speaking on a phone and declaring that the past Taylor Swift is now dead. The footage of the different Taylors falling, accompanied by Swift’s declaration, is a large indication that Swift may be ready to let go of who she has been in the past. However, the final part of the video offers many references that Taylor may be starting fresh once again.

     The final part of Swift’s music video shows all of the different Taylors gathered together on a stage as they slightly insult one another. Several of the insults, as well as several of the different Taylors that are shown in the video, indicate that Swift is preparing to reject her previous self. When an overjoyed Taylor with glasses says, “You guys!” to the other Taylors as the crowd applauds, a zombie Taylor irritatedly replies, “Stop making that surprised face. It’s so annoying!” while a ballerina-like Taylor says, “Yeah, you can’t possibly be that surprised all the time.” Another sign that Swift is rejecting her previous self is shown in that exact scene. When a smiling Taylor holding a guitar says, “Y’all!” to the others, a Taylor in a top hat replies, “Oh, stop acting like you’re all nice. You are so fake!” In addition to the different Taylors being a reference to Swift’s new self, the album’s title within the scene’s background also serves as an indication towards her new transformation.

     The same scene of the music video also displays the word reputation (the album’s title), in neon lettering within the background behind all of the Taylors on the stage. The placement of the album’s title within the background behind all of the different Taylors is referencing that Taylor might be discarding all of her previous reputations, and that she might be creating a fresh reputation for herself. However, it is still extremely difficult to know what type of reputation Swift will create for herself.

     “After taking a hiatus for a couple of years and being really private, there’s no telling what Taylor has planned with this new direction she’s taking,” Tucker said.

     Beneath the bleak setting of the music video, I believe that Swift expresses a regal sense of confidence as she sits on a throne in one part of her video. She also displays this confidence as she lays in a bathtub filled with diamonds while curling a diamond bracelet around her hand. I also think that the video presents an overall sense of Swift’s belief that she will triumph or gain victory in her conflict with West. The video also gives an indication that Swift will no longer back down towards anyone she dislikes, as well as a feeling that West is about to receive some brutal treatment, courtesy of Swift herself. While listening to many of her tracks, I often hold the personal opinion that Swift’s directing of the songs towards certain people is simply done to fulfill an individual grudge against someone, or to state Swift’s feelings of loathing for someone who she has had a previous relationship with. However, I also believe that this single is foreshadowing the birth of a darker Taylor Swift than there has ever been previously.

   If the song’s tone is any indication, this new single may be overall referencing the fact that people are about to receive a new Taylor Swift who everyone is completely unprepared for.

 

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T Swift’s new song, “look what you made me do” is a flaming statement of unfinished revenge