Unpopular Opinion: Pop Music Might Not Need Taylor Swift's Return
In classic celebrity fashion, Taylor Swift has amped up the drama to announce her new album, Reputation. With every release, she couples it with a message of sorts and this 'Look What You Made Me Do' was no different. After a cryptic week-long lead up, she sent super fans into disarray when she completely wiped her social media accounts clean, erasing #foodporn and enviable #squadgoals photos, replacing them with multiple posts of a snake.
Since her three year hiatus, the music industry and the expectations of artists have changed substantially. Miley has denounced her “twerking phase” as her awareness of cultural appropriation developed, Charli XCX continues to celebrate feminism through her music, and Selena Gomez has developed a more mature voice in a bid to drop her Disney past. Which begs the question, is there any room for Taylor’s “tween” pop?
At the beginning of her career, she stole the hearts of middle America with her country tracks, and at her peak, she wooed the rest of the world with her high-energy bubblegum hits. Vapid, catchy, infectious tunes that you can’t get out of your head. Perfect … if it were still 2013 and our biggest concern was deciphering how Britney Spears made it back into the charts.
Hear me out, since her last album, the whole foundations of the genre have changed dramatically. Not only has the soundscape shifted, but artists just can’t get away with making traditionally polite pop anymore. I’m not declaring that this kind of music has been cleared from current and future discographies completely, however it’d be naive to think that pop artists haven’t taken this into consideration.
I’m also not questioning Taylor’s physical ability to produce music with a catchy hook and a more adult stance, however my main concern is how disingenuous it would look if she did. She’s been preened, prepped and moulded into this lean, pop machine. She’s worked tirelessly her whole career to deliver an unmatched pop experience, for a young audience in mind. Any deviation to her schtick will lack a certain sincerity that we get from her peers.
This is not a plea for her to run political commentary, adopt a breathy moan, or discuss sex and drugs to seem mature, but if she wants to shed her polarising reputation, a change is probably in order.
me and my non taylor mutuals in a few hours pic.twitter.com/dPAljYmf3R
— anna (@robbcstark) August 25, 2017