MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2015 |
Posted by: Don Saas
Let's talk. I don't understand what people see in Taylor Swift. I didn't get it when she was a faux-country singer shilling passive-aggressive break-up songs to teenage girls, and I really don't get it now that she's given up the pretense of country music and has embraced the fact that she's a pop star shilling tired, trope-fueled fantasies to teenage girls. But, there was this moment whenTaylor Swift broke into popdom -- either on 1989 or the record before it -- where people decided they wanted to turn Taylor into a legitimate "artist." I call bull****.
I'm a poptimist. We're all poptimists here at Baeble, and if the value of a performer is that they're fun, and they let teenagers and folks that work for a living forget about their problems for a day because they reflect something we like about our own cultural watermarks, that's fine. I respect that. And maybe Taylor Swift had elements of that when she was the heartbroken young girl getting over the fact that John Mayer used and abused her. But there's nothing about "Shake It Off" that is actual art. It's a consumer product. Everything about post-Red Taylor Swift is carefully crafted pop excess. And after watching the video for "Wildest Dreams," all I can wonder is "What the f*** does anybody actually relate to about Taylor Swift anymore?"
I think it's supposed to half be an homage to the Robert Redford/Meryl Streep flick Out of Africa and the other half is an homage to classic Hollywood in general, but "Wildest Dreams" pairs the basic and utterly forgettable synth melody of the track (and Tay-Tay's totally forgettable voice in this sort of pop track) with glossy, old Hollywood visuals. And, it's just disgusting capitalistic excess. This isn't sad, emotional Taylor Swift. This isn't feminist role model Taylor Swift. It isn't shameless, cheesy fun Taylor Swift. It's Taylor Swift buying into this hype that she's the most important pop star on the planet and that she is more beautiful and desirable than anyone else. It's all surface and cheap aesthetics without an ounce of real emotion, and, eh, give me Charli XCX or Carly Rae Jepsen or Chvrches any day.