Well, it will definitely be a hit. As the first single off of Taylor Swift’s first ever pop album, “Shake It Off” has all of the qualities for a big summer hit – it’s fun, it’s catchy and the obnoxious hook and chorus are going to be stuck in your head until the autumn leaves begin to appear.
It’s not secret that Swift could write anything and it would shoot to number one in a billion different countries – the world has Swift Fever and “Shake It Off” is sure to induce the sickness to many more this summer.
However, from a critic’s perspective, one who has been listening to Taylor’s music since she was singing about Tim McGraw and some guy named Drew, this latest single from the country turned pop singer is, well, mediocre.
Before I begin with what is wrong with the song, I will give Taylor the benefit of the doubt – this song definitely is a big middle finger to the media. Addressing the rumors and assumptions that have been tacked on her back since she rose to fame, she is letting anyone and everyone know that the negative stories being said about her don’t even phase the starlet.
With “Shake It Off”, however, she could have done a lot better. As a tune that has already begun to irritate me, the repetitive chorus and lack of artistry behind this song really isn’t the style that Taylor is known for – something that could be good or bad for her career. This song should have definitely been given to a singer who has been irritating the world with overproduced and repetitious pop songs for years – like Avril Lavigne.
Taylor has a lot more potential than what this first single shows – she can write better lyrics and construct loops and bridges with far greater quality than anything this single showcases. The unveiling of this track was very disappointing and frankly, if the entirety of 1989′s going to be a batch of songs like “Shake It Off”- I am not at all interested.
As a song that is also completely out of her vocal range, I can’t imagine how it is going to sound live, and is very similar towards tunes that Gwen Stefani has produced in the past, this doesn’t seem like the greatest step forward.
It is clear that with this being her fifth album, Swift is changing up her sound in efforts to stay on the radio and compete with other songstresses that are slowly creeping up behind her. “Shake It Off” is the perfect PR she needs for this upcoming album. The kids will love it, moms too, and it will be played on the radio every ten minutes for the rest of the summer.
On the industry side, however, “Shake It Off” is just another generic summer pop song that will do very well on the charts, but certainly isn’t going to help keep her established in the industry. As someone who has worked to be taken seriously in the music world, “Shake It Off” wasn’t her smartest musical move.
As a country-pop superstar who is ditching her southern roots for the pop world, it will be very interesting to see if Taylor Swift will be able to keep her spot at the top with this album cycle or if she will eventually get clumped together with all of the other washed up pop divas.
By Rachael Dowd