Taylor Swift's new single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was released on Monday to an adoring and just rapturous public. It's now going to set the record for most digital copies ever sold by a female artist in one week. And it, like every other song Swift has ever done, is a steaming pile of rhinestone-encrusted sh*t.
Yes, I said it! Shame me like you did Kanye or anyone else who criticizes her songs. But, it is time to stop treating this woman with kid gloves. She's 22. She has a net worth of $57 million. And she has become very famous and very rich for "revenge" songs that are straight repostings from 13-year-olds' Xanga blogs.
Over the past few years, as Swift has made the critical progression from teen idol to "mature" and "bravura" songwriter, I've watched her career develop with a mixture of awe and that feeling you get when you see two roaches have sex on your toilet (call it awed disgust). Her work has not matured at all. It's still the same cloyingly sentimental and ridiculous, over-the-top put-downs of anyone she has let near her vagina, all played out to the same three chords over and over again. (Sidenote: There is no way all these dudes have done you so wrong, Taylor. You're beautiful, and you're playing this up for millions of girls who are awkwardly fumbling through first dates while not being as beautiful as you.)
Great music can be made from those familiar themes and three chords. This carefully crafted pop designed to appeal to a specific brand of awkward person, though—this is not great.
And when I say the songs suck, I'm not even really talking about their brain-deadening repetitive choruses, like the "never ever ever" in the new song. Those are supposed to be repetitive. I'm mainly talking about the stream-of-consciousness crap like this:
I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying, "This is it, I've had enough," 'cause like
We hadn't seen each other in a month
When you said you needed space. (What?)
Then you come around again and say
"Baby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change, trust me."
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, "I hate you," we break up, you call me, "I love you."
This is not music. These are not lyrics. This is babble. The new 2 Chainz album, which features the lines "She got a big booty so I call her Big Booty" has more substantial lyrics than this. I'm dead serious.
And when it wins a Grammy... well, Kanye, we're going to need your assistance again.