Monday, 18 August 2014

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off


Forget the music, when will Taylor Swift get her own chat show?

In a livestream in front of a studio audience, she revealed new single Shake It Off and details about her forthcoming album '1989', as well as answering fan questions.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a more charming popstar.

And a popstar she is now, officially.  '1989' is being marketed as her "first pop album", which is a bit strange really when 'Red' was the album that saw her transition from countrystar to popstar.  She's described it as her most cohesive and favourite album to date, stemming from "not wanting but needing to write a new style of music".  Now she's all-out pop, with not a country twang in earshot.  It's all a bit Disney feelgood anthem really.

The main influence on the album is "late 80s pop" and its bold, daring nature - hence the album title, also the year of her birth.  Daring and bold are not words you could use to describe Shake It Off, however.  For starters she's got back together with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together songwriter Max Martin.  With its blaring horns and (to quote Swift herself) "this sick beat", she's lost her country roots for something that's utterly contemporary.  This is Pharrell's Happy for 2014 Part Two.

The video, meanwhile, is just an excuse for Swift to play dress-up in various outfits.  It's fun, frothy and self-deprecating.  And despite the twerking, if anyone can get away with cultural appropriation it's Swift, not Miley Cyrus.

In part Shake It Off is nauseating, but it's also an unadulterated pop hit.  It's no 22, but it's undoubtedly destined to be one of the biggest, meme-generating tracks of the year.

3/5

Listen: '1989' is released on October 27th; Shake It Off is available as a pre-order bonus.