tothissickbeat

Here’s Bob Lefsetz take:

Once upon a time Taylor Swift became the biggest star in the world by testifying from the depths of her soul.
And now she’s soulless.
Shake it off? Isn’t this one step away from the rappers boasting how much better they are than us? I’d say this is tone deaf, but then the Swifties would bring up that song she wrote about me, how I excoriated Ms. Swift for her duet with Stevie Nicks on the Grammys.
But the truth is Taylor Swift was our best and our brightest, our cutting edge star. You don’t become the biggest star in the world by being phony, but honest.
You remember honesty, don’t you? It comes right after despair and right before laughter.
When Taylor Swift sang about being a geek, about having crushes, about being mistreated, we could all relate, because that’s the human condition. We’re all terrorized by intimacy, but there’s nothing we want more.
Now the video is excellent. Ms. Swift has put in her 10,000 hours, or at least 6k, she’s no longer geeky, she seems comfortable in front of the camera, she radiates charisma.
But what is her message here? That she’s untouchable?
Every day people e-mail me that I’m a shithead, believe me it gets to you, but that’s the price for playing. And if you play to the haters, you’re never gonna be embraced by the lovers. Because the lovers know life is hard and it’s easier to stay in the shadows and judge as opposed to play.
And Taylor Swift was most famous for playing. Not only music, but life.
That’s right, she became a national punch line for dating and writing about it, but isn’t the truth that she was living out the rock star fantasy? How come it’s all right for guys to become famous and utilize this to screw their fantasies but for some reason it was not cool for Taylor Swift?
She earned it. As for writing about it, she was young, and inexperienced in life, but that’s what her fans loved about her, her honesty.
And now she blinked.
She was working in that bastion of truth known as country music, now she’s just another faceless pop singer, boosted by Max Martin and Shellback. There’s no difference between her and Katy Perry and the rest of those young women backed up by the old men. They bought insurance. It’s as if your parents hired someone to take your SATs for you, so you could get into an Ivy. Sure, you achieved your goal, but don’t you feel crummy inside, isn’t there a telltale heart?
Then again, Taylor Swift never went to college, she never got to grow up outside the spotlight. She’s been stunted by her fame. Despite our Facebook/social media economy, the truth is most people are anonymous.
But the biggest stars are bigger than ever, like Taylor Swift.
Sure, she’s allowed to make her pop album. But if you consider 1989 to be a good year, you had to be born in it.
I’d prefer Taylor had gone into the studio with the late Gus Dudgeon, someone who could produce a sound to match her lyrics.
But those were the old days, when we bought an album to hear what the artist had to say, when the artists were clueless and didn’t even know if they had a hit, and the label couldn’t force them to record one.
It doesn’t matter. She’s got her deal with Keds, she’s winning at the only game America cares about, money.
But the truth is America is about its underbelly, the loneliness and heartbreak of being a number in this overwhelming world. Taylor Swift used to write about this. She was our best exponent. She was a hero.
Now she’s just a usual suspect.
And that’s sad.
We need hope.