The new Taylor Swift: childish, narcissistic and petty

On the first taster for her new album, she takes swipes at Katy Perry, Kanye et al

Taylor Swift: in with the new, unfortunately. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Taylor Swift: in with the new, unfortunately. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

 

TAYLOR SWIFT
Look What You Made Me Do Big Machine Records
★★ 
“I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” a chipper-sounding Taylor Swift announces at the end of her new comeback single. “Why? Oh … cos she’s dead.” In a way, the singer might have a point. On the first single from her last album, 1989, the old Taylor firmly took the high road. The heartbreakers were going to break, the haters were going to hate, but she would rise above it. By contrast, on this taster from her forthcoming album, Reputation (due November 10th), the new Taylor plunges right into the tabloid fray, taking cack-handed lyrical swipes at Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (whose blameless Saint Pablo-era tilted stage bizarrely gets caught in the crossfire at one point.) It’s childish, narcissistic and petty.

KATY PERRY ft. NICKI MINAJ
Swish Swish Capitol Records
★★★
The poet Patrick Kavanagh reckoned gods make their own importance. A great epic poem like The Illiad, he pointed out, was based on nothing but a local quarrel. But even Homer would struggle to put much meat on the bones of the staggeringly boring Taylor Swift/Katy Perry feud. (Something to do with a backing dancer, was it?) Where Taylor is stewing over old wounds, Katy has recruited fellow Swift foe Nicki Minaj and pushed the button marked WTF. I haven’t the faintest notion what point she’s making here.

BECK
Dear Life Capitol Records
★★★
The lead single from Beck’s 13th studio album opens with an joyous piano flourish reminiscent of The Beatles’ Martha My Dear. But the mood quickly darkens on a song that is as bleak and despondent as anything we’ve heard from the man since Sea Change. “How long must I wait before the thrill is gone?” he laments at one point. (About 20 seconds, is the answer in this instance.) Colours is out on October 13th.

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