This album sucks so much I decided to make a drinking game out of it to get my money’s worth. I PREORDERED IT. Go on, laugh. I was hoping for another Fearless or Speak Now, okay!? It’s Thursday and the work day’s done, so you have exactly 24 hours to pick your poison. I’ve made it extremely easy for you to celebrate the end of the week in a drunken stupor peppered with intellectual observations (borrowed from me, of course) about this precocious pop culture baby. Just raise a glass to your lips any time Taylor does one of the following things on 1989, her latest masterpiece:
-Rips off Lana del Rey. Whether it’s by name-dropping James Dean just like Lana did on Born to Die, or straight lifting lyrics from that pouty-lipped wannabe Lolita, take a swig every time Taylor Swift exposes her own lack of creativity and originality through homage to Lana del Rey.
-Repeats the same phrase more than two times in a row. In addition to shameless plagiarizing, Taylor also exposes the creative block she clearly experienced in writing the songs on this album in bouts of lyrical repetition that progress to the point of absurdity. For example, each time the chorus plays in “Out of the Woods,” you will — I kid you not — hear the phrase “out of the woods” nine times in a matter of thirty seconds.
-Nauseatingly refers to herself as a good girl. In “Blank Space,” she says “I can make the bad guys good for a weekend.” Other than exposing yourself as an incredibly boring person, I have no other ideas about what purpose this line actually serves. And then, in the space of the same song, you talk about how insane you are – “a nightmare dressed like a daydream” – as if you’re proud of it. You don’t sound that good to me, doll.
-Draws attention to the fact that she wears red lipstick and pretty dresses. We get it, you have a vagina. Most of the rest of us who have vaginas, and probably even some of us who don’t have vaginas, have also participated in these incredibly fascinating activities at one point or another. OMG, cute.
-Sets the bar extremely low for men. “All you had to do was stay,” she whines. Or, better, in “How You Get the Girl,” she instructs dudes to just creepily show up randomly at girls’ houses after six months of not speaking with the mind-numbingly simplistic explanation that “you were too afraid to tell her what you want.” Yeah, no. Don’t try that one on me.
-Uses an overtired, basic metaphor like the weather to convey the changing seasons of love. Just, don’t.
-Makes obtuse platitudes about love that suggest she’s never actually experienced it. In Welcome to New York, she says vaguely of the city: “like any great love / it keeps you guessing / like any real love / it’s ever changing / like any true love/ it drives you crazy.” K, girl, I don’t know about you, but I can’t love someone until I know them. To love is to know completely and accept anyway. And when I know you, the guessing game is over. Love doesn’t keep you guessing, and that can be the most maddening part of it. Humans are creatures of habit, and predictable, even the so-called unpredictable ones (it takes one to know one). Ever-changing? Again, no. Well, maybe, in the sense that a seasoned love can feel forever modern despite the turning of the years. But the great thing about love is that there’s something about it that’s unchanging and essential, existing outside of space and time. The only one she’s kind of right about is the “drive you crazy” bit, but I feel like she’s just guessing.
Full disclaimer: this rant was probably just fueled by the jealousy of this has-been writer, also born in 1989, who’s had to put her writing on the back burner and blog about shallow stuff like this in her free time. I’m probably just pissed Taylor Swift gets to do it for part of her JOB and this is the only shit she can come up with. Jealousy aside, the girl’s got seven Grammy’s. She’s clearly talented, but I guess I’m still waiting for her to have the types of experiences that would lend her art the kind of depth it should have at this point in her life. Will I keep listening to the piece of shit album? Absolutely. It’s too catchy. And now I’ve got this amazing drinking game to play while I do it. Cheers.