Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” Reviewed (Stream It Here)
Taylor Swift couldn’t maintain it forever, nobody could. Not every new album can be introduced by something as undeniable as “Shake It Off,” where Taylor deals with the slings and arrows of great good fortune by shrugging them off and getting the world to dance all over their troubles. She couldn’t do it and three years later, with only a break for three mediocre pop moves, the best of which featured a different One Direction, she couldn’t do it again and she didn’t do it again. “Look What You Made Me Do” isn’t “Shake It Off” but it is something and it is Taylor.
“Look What You Made Me Do.” is a pop move as icy cool slapdown, is its target Calvin, Kanye, Katy, Tom? It’s all of them and more, some of them we don’t even know. Her response is an exacting revenge, and while it isn’t “Blank Space,” it isn’t bad, it has seeds of greatness ruined by a boring chorus.
Swift is Michael at the end of “The Godfather”: “Today, I settle all family business”. “I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red underlined,” harkens right back to her long list of ex lovers, and that bridge (blown up like it lay across the River Kwai) promises a great song lurking beneath the surface of a very good song. She’ll return to greatness before the track is over, “the world moves on, another day another drama drama, but not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma” sings even better than it reads and it reads brilliantly. That song seems to have gotten stuck inside the bland “look what you’ve made me do” hook-chorus is deadly, it’s like lead around the songs neck. You know I’m gonna blame Jack Antonoff -its got his clever 80s messing about, as dance goes, maybe as anybody else goes, it’s a terrific song. For Taylor? Nah hah.
Look, if this was the third single, if it took the place that “New Romantics” does on 1989, you think, well Taylor has always had problems with deep album cuts, but this is the first single off her first album in THREE YEARS. Why a loss leader? “I’m sorry the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because she’s dead…” This is so close to greatness and it will be a big hit but big enough? I dunno… Maybe it’s that ol’ karma…
Grade: A- (yeah I know but IT’S TAYLOR SWIFT)