Aidan McClain: Taylor is now known for her reputation, not her music.
I will admit that the pre-chorus to “Look What You Made Me Do” is somewhat catchy — or maybe it’s trash and just happens to be the catchiest part of this song. When the chorus hits I feel as though I’ve gone brain dead; or maybe it’s Taylor that’s gone brain dead if she thinks this music is worthy of being released.
Taylor Swift genuinely believes that she’s some badass or a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. But when she sings “…the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because she’s dead,” she reminds me of nothing more than a 13 year old going through an emo phase.
Most people were okay with Taylor’s transition from country to pop, but I question the sanity of people who continue to support her most recent transition. Her time is done, so let’s make room for the artists who can remain relevant without having to make people feel bad for them.
Kristen Larson: The music should count, not her character
Let’s be real here, most people’s issue with this song, and with the album in general, is not the actual content. Taylor Swift returned with 75 percent of the population hating her, and still made major waves, despite everyone rooting for her failure.
I think that if you take away this hatred that everyone seems to be holding on to for way too long, and look at the song for what it is, you’ll realize that Taylor is just as sick of her old self as you are. Hence, why the old Taylor is dead and cannot come to the phone right now. I also love that Swift acknowledges her past hiccups, but shows that she is moving on from her mistakes in the nick of time, and we all should too.
The song is catchy, and the music video is genius (who knew so many easter eggs could be in one video) and that final scene is just brilliant. Even her other track “…Ready For It?” is being used as the college football anthem this year. If that isn’t a comeback, then I don’t know what is.
Kristin Washagan: With nonsensical lyrics and her obsession with tired celebrity feuds, Swift made a 4 minute and 15 second long video that said absolutely nothing
While the production quality of the “Look What You Made Me Do” video was incredible (though, I’d be more shocked if it wasn’t, considering the bathtub filled with jewels was worth about $10 million alone), there is little about both the song and video that I can compliment. As Swift attempted to redefine her image to be edgier (#TheOldTaylorIsDead), everything about the storyline of the song and video felt forced and “extra.”
Various props in the video, from the “I <3 TS,” shirt that her ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston famously wore, to the bathtub of jewels — which some believed referenced when Kim Kardashian was restrained and robbed of an estimated $5 million of jewelry while wearing a bathrobe–felt tacky and overboard. I will say this 500 times if I have to (though, I’m ashamed I must say it at all), you cannot write an empowering song while simultaneously taking a jab at violence against women, or inferring that a woman would make up this “perfect crime” for attention.
Nothing about the video or song came across as empowering. Swift focused on tired celebrity ‘beefs’ and ex-boyfriends, using unspecific language and throwaway lyrics, above actually making a relatable message.
If she had only focused more on her recent sexual assault case against David Mueller, instead of on celebrity feuds that she herself had agitated, perhaps the message of the song would have felt more powerful.
Connor Allen: Even loyal T-Swift fans faced disappointment after her new singles, which felt reminiscent of bad Soundcloud rappers
After diving headlong back into 1989 this summer when Taylor’s catalog once again appeared on Spotify, my excitement for the new Taylor album rivaled that of drunk girls at the bar when “Work” comes on. Sadly, the first two singles indicate a decline in quality from Taylor’s prior work.
Both songs have their moments, “Look What You Made Me Do” took only a few listens to get stuck in my head, I actually love the pre-chorus and I still believe in its ability to become a massive hit.
While “…Ready For It?” has a chorus that echoes the best part of a Taylor Swift song, wistful longing that unfortunately inevitably leads to regrettable 3 a.m. texts.
But the overall sound that Taylor has chosen to pursue in these two songs has significantly decreased my level of excitement for Reputation. These songs remind me of a bad Soundcloud rapper’s rip off of Yeezus.
The lyrics of “Look What You Made Me Do” clearly target Mr. West, but Taylor has made the mistake of thinking the best way for her to win this fight lies in ripping off Kanye’s sound and doing it better than him. Unfortunately for Taylor, Kanye will always be better at being Kanye than anybody else.
Jeremy Frodl: Dignity?
I haven’t listened to anything Tay has put out. I have dignity.
Peyton David: Compared to Queen B, Taylor can’t compete
Okay so this bitch tried to be Beyoncé in her music video. No one can be as flawless as Beyoncé so obviously it was a failed attempt.
Frankie Hermanek: Character flaws eclipse the music
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t torn about Taylor Swift. One part of me wants to lean towards supporting her — is it true that a male artist’s release of a revenge album would dub him a gifted genius rather than a calculating, maniacal bitch? Perhaps.
However, is Taylor all of a sudden incredibly vocal after a year of staying quiet during a bonkers election — one in which a woman of Taylor’s stance and influence could have possibly made a difference? It is a little strange. After all this time, she breaks her silence with clips of a CGI snake and an intent focus on her death and resurrection — it’s all about Taylor Swift, and oh, look what you made her do.
Here’s the thing though — if it was anyone else, I would have thought this secret revenge album shit was so badass. But a part of me can’t help but be irritated with Swift’s fixation on herself and her reputation when frankly, I don’t give a damn. Maybe I’m bitter with Swift for not using her overwhelming power as a successful female artist to make some much-needed change in this world, and it’s something I can’t look past. However, I will say: “Look What You Made Me Do” has grown on me. Like a parasite. Love her or hate her, this chick is making a ton of money.