Taylor Swift knocks out Taylor Swift

Lainey Posted by Lainey at September 5, 2017 21:08:09 September 5, 2017 21:08:09

Well. This is getting meta upon meta.

Let’s start with Look What You Made Me Do, Taylor Swift’s first single off of the upcoming album, reputation – also, by the way, like mother!, styled in all lower case. Because it’s already not hard enough to avoid typos. LWYMMD is breaking all kinds of records. Click here for a summary of some of the records the single has broken. In short, a lot. It also, as predicted, broke Despacito’s streak at 16 weeks. Which means that Despacito has tied Mimi and Boyz II Men’s #1 consecutive weeks record for One Sweet Day but will likely NOT break it.

But…you know… for Taylor, it doesn’t hurt to have some insurance.

As you might have heard, she dropped another single this weekend. And Ready For It was the song that knocked LWYMMD off the top of the iTunes chart on Sunday morning, just hours after it was released:

So Taylor knocked Taylor out of #1. Just like it was Taylor vs all the previous iterations of Taylor in Look What You Made Me Do. Taylor buried Taylor. Taylor climbed on top of all the Taylors, a mountain of Taylors. Taylor yelled at all the other Taylors at the end of that video. What Taylor’s trying to tell Taylor – but, really, us – is that the only person who can take down Taylor Swift is Taylor Swift.

Can we take a break from the symbolism though and just talk about the song? Ready For It is a muuuuuuuuch better song than LWYMMD. Just like Blank Space is a muuuuuuuuch better song than Shake It Off, which, as I previously noted, seems to be her pattern. What I don’t like about LWYMMD is that it doesn’t go anywhere. Ready For It takes you places. The way her voice goes up on “see” when she sings “I SEE where this is gon’ go” and “me” when she sings “Touch ME and you’ll never be alone” is pure Taylor Swift songwriting. She can still have her chants (“let the games begin, let the games begin”) but at least here, on this track, they pump you up instead bringing you down.

I like it. I like it so much more than Look What You Made Me Do. And I like Ready For It as a companion song to I Don’t Want To Live Forever. When IDWTLF came out, I wrote about how it was Taylor’s most overtly sexual song. She’s giving us the same vibe in Ready For It. It’s in the line “you should see the things we do” but also, perhaps more subtly, in all her extra sounds. Especially the “mmmmm” that comes right after. That’s not to say that I think she’s quite there with the sensuality yet. Taylor often seems like she’s playing at something rather than just straight up BEING something. But in terms of artistic direction, in addition to burning her enemies and getting hers, reputation might also be about her getting some.

From who?

Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend, obviously. There are some shots taken at Tom Hiddleston and Harry Styles, no doubt, but I mentioned during the season finale of the Show Your Work podcast last week that Taylor’s been really active on Tumblr, liking posts and interpretations from her fans. She’s been liking posts that speculate that Ready For It is about Joe. It’s her way of revealing the meaning behind her sh-t, without having to actually come right out and say it.

So. Ready For It is an improvement on Look What You Made Me Do. Which of course only builds anticipation for reputation. But ….can she stop rapping now? Please no more rapping.

Here’s Taylor at her best friend Abigail’s wedding this weekend in Martha’s Vineyard. She was the maid of honour. She gave a raunchy speech. Some of her fans got upset and booed her because she didn’t go over to where they were waiting to say hi. Those fans are dicks. She’s wearing the same necklace she’s been wearing for months now. The fans think that there’s a “J” on it which means it’s for Joe and maybe from Joe. I am exhausted by these fans and I wonder how she manages it but, then again, without them, she wouldn’t be as powerful as she is. And Taylor Swift is, indeed, powerful.

Taylor’s power is extending to college football. A teaser for Ready For It dropped during a college football game on ESPN Saturday before its complete release the next morning. ABC’s Good Morning America had the first preview of the Look What You Made Me Do video. You’ll recall, Look What You Made Me Do was used in the trailers for Shonda Rhimes Thursday programming on ABC a couple of weeks ago. ESPN, ABC, Disney, they’re all part of the same company. So there’s a deal happening here. And there may be more. Entertainment Tonight reported today that:

Taylor Swift is gearing up for a huge performance.

A source tells ET that the 27-year-old singer will be performing at the College Football National Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, which is set to take place on Jan. 8, 2018.

“She will headline a concert in Centennial Olympic Park during halftime of the game," the source says. "It will be a free concert. ESPN has her booked for the event and has a massive deal to release new music from [her upcoming album] reputation through its college football coverage this season."

College Football is not the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is Pepsi. Taylor’s deal is with Coke. That said, the college audience? That’s not a small audience. And it’s exactly her audience, that audience of not just cheerleaders and frat boys. But those work too. It might not be the size of the Super Bowl audience but it’s a high consumption audience for Taylor Swift and all the brands she’s aligned with - DirecTV, AT&T, whatever else, all of them looking to target a market that will spend.

Shortly after Entertainment Tonight reported that story, ESPN clarified:

However, ESPN tells ET that reports of Swift performing at the College Football Playoff National Championship are "inaccurate."

"We are pleased that Taylor chose ESPN and ABC’s college football coverage as a platform to debut her new song '...Ready For It?' however, there is nothing more to announce at this time," ESPN said in a statement.

“At this time” doesn’t sound like an outright denial. The Taylor Swift Matrix keeps growing and growing.  

Backgrid, Splash News

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