Taylor Swift, You’re Killin’ it
IS SHE TALKING TO US?
Wow! Did I just really say that?
To preface: I get it, it’s TAYLOR SWIFT. Like, really?
If you know me really well, you know I can be a sucker for some good pop culture. Lady Gaga? Yeah, I messed with that at some point. Maroon 5 (or, should I say, Purple Four)? — it’s been known to hit my Spotify playlist every now and then while I’m in a “private session.” Taylor Swift? I SEE YOU NOW— you’re killin it this year!
Why/how/WTF? This past extended Thanksgiving day weekend I heard one of her more recent releases “Shake it Off” over the radio. I had tracked her ascension in popularity intermittently throughout the past week via social media— someone saying that she had spotted her in NYC, as well as the loud fan fare associated with her most recent album — but didn’t pay much attention to it.
In addition to hearing “Shake it Off,” I had the pleasure of reading an article at my parents house in CT in the New Yorker about Swift’s overwhelming success this year in the music industry. She had sold more albums already than Beyonce, and the total number of albums sold in the entire year from every artist was only a fraction of what Swift had sold so far.
Her and “her people,” as I had read, had also chosen to keep the album off streaming sites, like my beloved Spotify. Album sales are, apparently, through the roof. Kudos.
I had always thought as this blonde-hair musicians as a country singer, right? But if you listen to the new lyrics in “Shake it Off,” you can tell she’s gotten mainstream — and why not, really, it’s America, and if you’ve got a brand, you’re gonna make it rain.
“I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain… that’s what people say… But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop movin.” We get it — nothing too complex here, but doesn’t everyone out there need a little pick me up at some point? Shouldn’t we all keep cruising — no matter what people say? (see what I did there).
It’s a simple message, but maybe that’s why it works — and, of course, the song is catchy. And what am I really saying? Is this amazing music, sure to endure until the ages of rock and roll come to a creeping ebb? Is Swift more than a passing cultural icon, sure to be swept up in the latter half of this decade? Who knows!
But I see you right now! November, 2014: you’ve got a new brand, you’re channeling this (maybe not so complex) American psyche, and, let me tell ya, we’re all freakin’ listening!
(well, maybe some of us).