Taylor Swift, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ | Track Review
Taylor Swift returns with her boldest, most polarizing song to date with “Look What You Made Me Do,” the promo single for her new album, ‘reputation.’
Stop where you are! Taylor Swift has released a new single! Any time the “Swift machine” returns, it’s ‘kind of a big deal.’ Taylor is known for her irresistibly catchy songs, not to mention her three, million selling albums in week one (Speak Now, Red, and 1989). Multi-platinum is not a problem for this blonde-haired juggernaut. So, with the release of the highly-anticipated “Look What You Made Me Do,” the ‘beat goes on,’ right? Um…not as much? An article by Chris Mench, published on Genius, speaks on the revenge-seeking single.
By far, “Look What You Made Me Do” is unlike anything else that Taylor Swift has released. It is completely left-of-center of the country-pop that made her famous. Furthermore, it’s completely different from the spirited, major-key pop of 1989. This is Swift at her darkest, clearly making the boldest statement of her career. The problem is, just because a statement is bold, doesn’t make it accomplished or arguably, as enjoyable and fun. Here was my first reaction to “Look What You Made Me Do.”
The new Taylor Swift single is…um…not what I expected… pic.twitter.com/TbX41Huw88
— Brent Faulkner (@brenthemusicman) August 25, 2017
From the start, “Look What You Made Me Do” doesn’t sound like the Taylor Swift we all know and love. Vocally, she sounds about the same, but favors a darker tone. The backdrop is a complete change, sporting hip-hop-infused, urban-pop production work. There are dark synths, drum machines, and of course, a minor key. Urban-pop and Taylor Swift? Adding to the shock are her unpitched, tongue-n-cheek vocals on the titular line.
“Ooh, look what you made me do / Look what you made me do…”
There’s even more of the unpitched gimmickry, which isn’t rap – just unexpected spoken word. This is definitely a departure. At one point, Swift says:
“‘I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.’ / ‘Why?’ / ‘Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!’”
Read through the lyrics, and it’s fair to say, Taylor Swift truly doesn’t “like your little games.” She’s not playing around, and she’s angry as a four-letter word. We all know she’s probably mad at rivals who shall remain nameless because, their obvious, right? But enough about who she’s mad at, how does the song stack up itself?
Ultimately, “Look What You Made Me Do” is definitely not what anybody expected from Taylor Swift. In some regards, it showcases her artistic restlessness and eclecticism. However, if we’re giving it a first-impressions-only judgment, it’s not up to snuff compared to her many gems. That attitude and feistiness are respectable, but the song itself, even if she’s fundamentally writing about people who she feels has wronged her, is odd and perhaps too uncharacteristic.