Track Review | Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”

Taylor Swift is back with a mediocre lead single from her forthcoming album, Reputation. “Look What You Made Me Do” has taken the internet by storm as fans rush to count the number of scores settled by the singer’s latest video. The song is a phenomenon, breaking streaming records and receiving eight million Spotify plays on its first day.

Produced by Jack Antonoff, formerly of Fun., “Look What You Made Me Do” is more contemporary and minimalistic than Swift’s previous album, 1989. Instead of ripping off the sounds of the 1980s, Swift instead copies Lorde’s half-sung delivery. Antonoff was executive producer for Lorde’s Melodrama and shows his hand with Swift’s latest single.

Amusingly, Melodrama displays far less melodrama than “Look What You Made Me Do”.

The chorus borrows the cadence of Right Said Fred’s “Too Sexy For My Shirt”; it’s a bit difficult to pick up at first, but it’s there. Accordingly, Right Said Fred receive a writing credit. Lorde remains uncredited for the influence “Green Light” has on the song.

1989, was responsible for hits such as “Shake It Off” and one of the biggest Grammy robberies since “Winchester Cathedral”.

1989 claimed 2016’s Album of the Year, over Kendrick Lamar’s densest and most challenging project to date, To Pimp a Butterfly. This is the album where we hear Kendrick confronting issues of race and his own feelings of self-hatred and shame, in what is widely considered one of the albums of the decade.

Instead, the Grammy went to an album with songs about how Katy Perry and Taylor Swift can’t share the dancers from their videos. The deafening criticism for this undeserved Grammy is one of many scores settled in the video for “Look What You Made Me Do”.

The video references the countless celebrity feuds Taylor Swift has involved herself in over the past few years, targeting Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston and of course Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. All feuds which are far too tiring to rehash here.

Just in case anyone forgot about the time Kanye West upstaged Taylor at the MTV VMA Awards, we also get to relive that moment in an attempt at humour to close the video. For reference, the incident happened in 2009 and we still have to talk about it.

The humour falls flat because of the rampant melodrama displayed throughout the song. “Look What You Made Me Do” is a song about reinvention. Swift is changing her image, declaring “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” (Oh)”

The video opens with a gravestone for Taylor Swift’s reputation and zombie Taylor emerging from the ground. She spends the whole song talking about how serious these frequent character assassinations attempts have been and then cracks jokes at the end. Taylor takes herself way too seriously for it to be funny.

“Look What You Made Me Do” isn’t great. You can appreciate what Swift is trying to do here and the message comes across clearly, but the main aspects of the song are borrowed from better tracks. The video quite amusing and much more entertaining than the song itself.

This is below average pop. Listen to Melodrama instead.

3 Roided Out Taylors out of 10

Host of Culture Hash, writer of music, TV and film opinions

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