It might not be the worst thing if you haven’t heard Taylor Swift’s latest singles, “Look What You Made Me Do” (LWYMMD) and “…Ready For It?,” but it is something worth talking about, especially considering Swift’s absence for the greater part of the past two years to write them.
Two ing Magazine writers sound off on what they REALLY think about “LWYMMD” and “…Ready For It?”
First up: long-time fan Maggie Morgan on how she learned to appreciate Taylor Swift’s newest singles
When I first heard “LWYMMD,” I was appalled. As a long (and I mean long) time fan of TSwift, I’d come to learn that Taylor has exceptional songwriting capabilities. This song was not what I was expecting or used to. I was used to sappy love ballads, break-up songs that I could cry to and power anthems that just make you feel good. Upon hearing LWYMMD, my initial reaction was that it was cringeworthy. The lyrics reminded me of when you’re breaking up with someone, and you’re throwing every single insult that you can think of out there. Then I listened to the song again. And again. And again.
Now I’m obsessed with it.
I’m a big fan of perfectly calculated responses, and this song, along with its music video, is just that. In my opinion, the song is TSwift’s response to the pressure that the media places on her, not only as an artist, but as a human being. I think that the “you” in “LWYMMD” is the media, not Katy Perry, Kanye West, Calvin Harris or any other celebrity who can somehow be linked to her name. Taylor has been pretty much MIA for the past year, avoiding paparazzi, skipping awards shows and planning her return. I’m almost positive that she has used the majority of this past year to write new music, create a new image and rebrand.
While her new single and its accompanying music video initially come across as petty and shady toward other artists, they’re actually deliberate digs at the media. The symbolism of the “death of Taylor Swift’s reputation” is not the actual death of her image or her message. It’s the death of the way the media perceives her, and the death of the way the media expects her to act.
As for “…Ready For It?” I was in love from the first time I heard it. The verses are almost rapped by Swift, and the chorus is reminiscent of “Wildest Dreams.” It’s definitely not the direction I thought she’d be going after “LWYMMD,” but I’m welcoming the change! I think if Swift follows this trend of making music she wouldn’t typically make (anyone else hoping for a death metal song?), fans will be pleasantly surprised! Overall, I’m excited to see what’s next in the Reputation era of TSwift, and I’ll always be a fan!
And finally, Hannah Bullion on why Taylor Swift needs to CHILL OUT
Honestly, I love Taylor Swift. I’m critical of her and the platform she (constantly) refuses to use, but mostly I love her music. Red is still the soundtrack of my favorite season, fall, and 1989 made me fall in love with my life again. But this new “era” of Taylor is unfathomable.
Everything about her new single was absolutely awful, except for the “I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead” line. It’s funny. It’s not smart, but it’s funny and I really like it.
Personally, with Taylor taking so many years to work on this album, I really just wanted things to be executed in a smarter way. She has truly become a joke and I think there are smarter ways to dig at the media, at Kanye, at Katy Perry, etc.
Though there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Taylor Swift IS a performer, and this new era is certainly a performance. Her newest single, “… Ready For It,” was more of what I was hoping for. The rapping might be atrocious, but the the chorus is why we all love her. I’m hoping her album follows suit to be more “… Ready For It” and less “LWYMMD.”
Hannah Bullion is a senior professional writing major with New York City dreams. She is also the Editor In Chief of MSU’s fashion publication, VIM Magazine, and an intern for the College of Arts & Letters. Keep up with her on Instagram (@hannahbullion).
Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in professional writing with a concentration in creative writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.