Why I'm Done With Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift might have been “smashing records” at yesterday’s American Music Awards but she also smashed my once Tay-Tay-loving heart to smithereens and we are "Never Ever Getting Back Together".
I first began my "Love Story" with Swift when I heard her acclaimed hit "Mean" from one of her earliest albums, Speak Now back in 2010. The honest, authentic and genuine words sung with her once pronounced country twang spoke to my heart because they just seemed so real and resonated with me on a personal level. From that point, in my eyes, she could no wrong.
Recently though, while at a friend’s house my mind began to change about the country-turned-pop star. As we discussed Swift’s most recent hit, "Lover", conversation turned to a comparison of the track and a 90s Indie song, "Fade into You" by rock group Mazzy Star.
"Fade into You" seemed to share a few similarities to "Lover", as observed by my music-loving friend. But she is not the only one who has connected these musical dots. Online there are many comparisons between the two tracks and also (naturally) a mashup of the two songs as evidence.
Yes, the reality is that many songs, by many artists do sound similar -- they often have the same chord combinations, the same sounds and similar melodies, but I had always trusted Taylor to be unique, genuine and authentically ‘Swift’ -- doing it distinctively her own way.
Between this and some of the most recent Swift headlines being about yet another high-profile feud that she has been ‘caught up in’, my once positive view continued to falter.
This time, her feud is with music executive Scooter Braun. The bitter fight kicked off in June, after Braun gained control of Swift's old music label Big Machine Records, and with it, the rights to her back catalogue of hits.
Swift has been critical of Braun purchasing them, even accusing him of not allowing her to perform her own songs.
She recently tweeted that any of her performances until November 2020, including an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life, would be "a question mark".
But according to Braun and Big Machine Records, stopping Taylor from performing her own songs was “false information” and Swift can, and did, perform her music on television, including a medley of her greatest hits as she accepted the Artist of the Decade Award at yesterday’s AMA’s.
So, who was telling the truth? Well honestly, who knows? But what struck me was that this exchange of words sounded remarkably similar to another involving Swift.
The infamous Kanye West and Taylor Swift feud which seems to have been going on for nearly as long as her entire career, also includes a very similar series of accusations and disagreements.
While I was very much on Team Taylor at the time when Swift alleged West had lied about her giving permission to be referenced as a “bitch” that “he made famous” in his misogynistic song, "Famous", I am now not so sure.
Yes, again there are two sides to every story, but Swift appears to be one of the sides in MANY of these hostile stories.
From this feud, to her infamous one with Katy Perry, as well as fights with Nicki Minaj, Joe Jonas and many of her other exes like Calvin Harris and John Mayer (just to name a few).
While many people in the spotlight seem to do their work with little conflict, Swift seems to be involved in every second celebrity argument there is -- and I'm not sure that what this says about her is positive. As they say, usually where there is smoke, there is fire.
And with this fire, Swift not only seems to fan it herself, but also weaponises her fans, her ‘Swifties’ to aid her, explicitly pleading for their help.
On November 14 she tweeted:
“Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this…Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this -- I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote."
And with Swift’s plea, her army lined up and fired away, even, according to Braun, sending him and his family death threats. In response Braun tweeted a plea to Swift asking her to stop publicly commenting on the issue for the safety of his family.
“I assume this was not your intention but it is important that you understand that your words carry a tremendous amount of weight and that your message can be interpreted by some in different ways. While I am frustrated with your accusations and respectfully disagree with many of your statements, it is important that I am clear -- no artist should ever feel cornered or bullied.”
He concluded this tweet with a screenshot of an apparent DM he received that reads, “Hi, why dont you just die withyour children??? I will buy a gun tmr and them shoot you allin the head [sic].”
Notably and disappointingly, Swift has yet to respond, allowing the fire to continue to burn.
So, it seems, just as Taylor’s music itself has changed, from vocals with a thick country accent and authentic words, to pop melodies and a Reputation that are arguably not so authentic, so too has she -- or at least my perception of her has.
And with a new view, I begin to envision Swift’s face on emoji snakes -- just like the kind in Kim Kardashian West's tweets.