by Kori Beal
What do, snakes, tombstones, and a bathtub all have in common?
I don’t know what you were thinking, but I was referring to the new Taylor Swift video, “Look What You Made Me Do”.
Despite being released a few weeks ago, it has already reached number one on the Official Singles Chart.
Why? What has the pop artist released this time that would add to her fame?
In the first 30 seconds of “Look What You Made Me Do”, it is easy to tell that Swift has taken a completely different approach from her previous songs.
But before we dive into the music of this smash hit, let’s address the visual side of this spectacle.
Both the song and the video are a collage of different pieces. The song incorporates a number of different genres and the video switches scenes every 15-20 seconds, and because of that it is difficult to determine what exactly Taylor was trying to address.
If you haven’t already seen this unique creation, let me break it down for you:
The video has an intriguing start with a slow pan over the initials TS in a graveyard. We then see a gravestone that reads “Here Lies Taylor Swift’s Reputation”.
Clearly, Swift is still trying to transition from the good girl image the media had portrayed her as.
The video then proceeds to jump between clips of her in a bathtub filled with jewels, to her sitting on a throne surrounded by servant snakes. Suddenly, an expensive gold car bursts out of nowhere and crashes head-on into a lamppost. The clip is once more replaced by another creative yet strange scene, then another, and another.
The rest of the four-minute song carries on in this constantly shifting manner until, during the bridge, every version of Taylor Swift from her career and all of her previous albums climb over each other to form a mountain.
The last scene has the many Taylors lined up in front of a plane, arguing.
So, what just happened?
My first impression was that this hodgepodge of scenes had nothing to do with each other. It almost seems as if Taylor completely ran out of ideas and wanted to achieve as many outrageous concepts as possible at once.
None of the clips fit together, and they have nothing to do with the actual lyrics. Fortunately, the song is extremely catchy and fun to sing along to, but the video seems pointless.
“Look What You Made Me Do” starts out slow and steady. It builds momentum and by the time it hits the chorus, it has successfully prepared listeners for another spectacular hit.
Unfortunately, the chorus does not live up to expectations. It’s pitched and repetitive, but for die-hard-fans of other Swift songs like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space”, “Look What You Made Me Do” will be tough to compete with.
There are several conspiracies floating around about what the video is implying, (something to do with Kanye West and clones?). However, I would recommend basing your first impression solely on the audio, and ignoring the music video.
“Look What You Made Me Do” is a great song with an ill-fitting music video, but it is sure to stick around for a while.
Kori Beal is a sophomore communications major and an Arts and Entertainment writer for Cedars. She likes stuffed animals and has a pillow pet lion named Tiger.