For the record, I don't hate the country-pop superstar known as Taylor Swift. I respect and admire that she writes her own songs, plays her own music, she supports LBGT issues, and the fact she built up her fan base via social networking sites. I understand her appeal: she's pretty, but not supermodel hot; her doey-eyed optimism and young girl angst makes her easy to relate to. Swift is the girl next door that your mother would be proud to call her mother-in-law if you ever had the good sense to look past the hotness factor and see the radiant and mature woman that she is. She hasn't fallen into the trap of transforming from Ms. Innocent into an over-sexualized Britney Spears clone, and for that, we are all very thankful that young girls still have an idol to look up to in an age where too few of said idols are around. And I think we can all say we were on the Swift bandwagon after Kanye stormed the stage saying that Swift didn't deserve the award for Best Female Video at the 09 MTV VMA's. We all wanted to give Swift a big ol' hug when it was reported that she was crying furiously after West ruined her big moment, and give West - and his ego - a nice, hard kick in the ass.
Unfortunately, overexposure and her stunted growth as a recording artist have swallowed up most of the goodwill she received after Kanye-gate, and to an extension, the last three years. Most of her songs, from "Fifteen", "You Belong With Me", "Teardrops On My Guitar", "Speak Now" and "Back To December" all deal with either one of the following themes: Her having a crush on a boy, experiences in high school, or a breakup with a boy. How many times can an artist return to the same drinking well before that baby is tapped out completely, or when does it reach a point where people just get sick of hearing the same song over and over again and tune her out.
Apparently, not anytime soon, as Swift has released her new single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" from her fourth LP, Red due out next month, and as I speak, it is now the no.2 song on Billboard's Top 100 charts. What makes Taylor's latest break-up anthem insufferable to listen to? Well, ladies and gentleman: she's officially sold herself out.
Let me explain: despite Swift falling back on themes of first love, teenage angst, and bad breakups, I'll admit there was a certain sincerity to the songs; you felt that she had a true connection to the words and lyrics she crafted, despite how annoying and overplayed Swift eventually became. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", by contrast, sounds like something that was written by studio hacks; it's the kind of soulless, yet highly polished, bubblegum track that sounds almost nothing like the artist that sings it. But it's not just the predictable hooks or the fact Swift ditches her signature Folk/Country sound for the bland, already-been-chewed, slickness that is pop music, it's the lyrics themselves which make the song even worse than it already is.
As you might have guessed by the title, Taylor is involved in yet another failed relationship (breakup no. 28, if you're keeping score at home), but this time, after all the drama and bullshit she's been through with this guy, she's finally (like, for real this time) ending it with him.
Now that we've all had time to digest this song (and if somehow the chorus and this line, "You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me," gets stuck in your dome, I suggest you avoid all top 40/pop music stations for the next few days and drown it out with Radiohead's The King of Limbs), you may have spotted some problems within the song. Let's discover them together, shall we?
I remember when we broke up the first timeSaying this is it, I've had enough, 'cause likeWe haven't seen each other in a monthWhen you, said you, needed space (what?)A month? Seriously? I'm no expert on relationships, but if a guy wants space and doesn't see you for a month, chances are he's either moved on from the relationship, or he's playing you like a fiddle, in which case, you had every right to dump his ass and probably don't need him around!
Then you come around again and sayBaby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna changeTrust me, remember how that lasted for a day?I'm not sure what I find more sad and pathetic: the fact you still took him back when he basically said 'Sweety, i've changed my ways, for reals this time, and I wanna be with you forever, promise baby!' (or most commonly called, a man's lie), or the fact that it took less than 24 hours for the boy to fall back into old habits. Again, i've never had a girlfriend before, but I doubt that it takes this long for anyone to fall back into old, destructive habits that doom a relationship! This is more of a caricature than a supposed mystery ex from Taylor's love life.
Oooh we called it off again last nightBut Oooh, this time I'm telling you, I'm telling youWe are never ever ever getting back togetherWe are never ever ever getting back togetherYou go talk to your friends talkTo my friends talk to meBut we are never ever ever ever getting back togetherTaylor, your valley girl accent doesn't make this song witty, more upbeat, or catty, it makes this song more annoying than it already is. The valley girl accent didn't make Ke$ha any more tolerable, it got really repetitive when Alicia Silverstone played a Cher Horwitz-clone in the animated series Braceface and hearing girls (it wasn't just regulated to white girls, let me tell you) talk in that holier-than-thou, smug sense of superiority over everyone else all through my high school experience reminds me of a person taking a rusty nail and scraping it across the chalkboard. It's not cute, it really makes me want to slit my throat.
I'm really gonna miss you picking fightsAnd me, falling for a screaming that I'm rightAnd you, will hide away and find your piece of mind with some indie record that's much cooler than mineI'm having a hard time buying Taylor Swift listening to any indie records, unless she's confused Drake or Nicki Minaj as being apart of the indie scene in music. I'm skipping over the second chorus because you don't want to hear it again, much less see it again in this review. Next part!
I used to think, that we, were forever ever everAnd I used to say never say neverYou want to know a good way of making a song even more insufferable? Pour on more aggravating, girly catch phrases that should have died out at the end of the 90's. Hell, the coffin should have been slammed shut and buried six feet under when "reality TV" shows like Laguna Beach and The Hills finally came to a close!
Huh, he calls me up and he's like, I still love youAnd i'm like, i'm just, I mean this is exhausting, you knowWe are never getting back together, like everSHUT UP!!!
My God, I don't think i've ever encountered a song this terrible, this aggressive in letting the listener know that Taylor Swift, the good country girl who writes optimistic and heartfelt, yet overplayed teenage ballads, has become a shameless sellout with this already-been-chewed pop song that we've heard waaaay too many times before! And you want to know the really sad part about this song? There's a better song out there that deals with a woman kicking her no-good douchebag of a boyfriend to the curb:
Say what you will about Beyonce, but when she says, "I can have another you in a minute / matter fact, he'll be here in a minute", I believe her. She's got the attitude and the forcefulness this song calls for, and does it fairly easily, too. Taylor Swift's attempts at being peppy, witty and bashing her loser ex come off as "not over it" written all over her face. Her newest single will probably please the fans who like this sort of "boys suck!" anthem, but to everyone else, this cookie-cutter pop song will leave you feeling empty and disappointed.