Taylor Swift “Shakes Off” Another #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

For the past twelve hours I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s new single “Shake It Off” on repeat.  That may have been a slight exaggeration, but it does not hide the fact that this song is incredibly catchy, optimistic, and makes you happy to be alive.  #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

Swift stated upon releasing “Shake It Off” that she wanted to create a song that she and her collaborators, Max Martin and Shellback, had not created before.  The result apparently was this song that features a fast tempo drum beat and an intriguing horn that makes you want to get up and shake your booty.  And if that wasn’t enough for you, it has this amazing chorus:

Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And I think it’s gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off

It doesn’t matter what age you are, who you are, or where you are in the world, we all face criticism.  We all feel dejected at points, and, like Swift said in her Yahoo Livestream, you can let that get you down or you can just shake it off.  It’s also worth noting that it’s rather a rare song in that the singer actually sounds really happy and excited about life.  You listen to this song and compare it to other Swift hits or anything else being played on the radio, and you realize just how happy Taylor Swift really is.  And that happiness is infectious.

During her livestream yesterday, Swift released her new single and music video (see below…it’s fantastic), and announced her new album, 1989, will hit stores October 27, 2014, which is like sixty-eight days away!  She also revealed that she has shaken the country girl off of her and is now making a pure pop album. Which I have mixed feelings about.

If you’ve ever read comments or opinions on Taylor Swift’s albums (don’t, by the way, they make you feel awful about yourself…that’s how rude people are), you’ll realize that as they go along, more people complain about her style of music.  In fact, I remember people being infuriated when “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was logged as a country song on iTunes.  “It’s not country,” they cried.  Really, it was a country song that pushed the boundaries of what people thought was contemporary country and it challenged those stereotypes.  People, especially where I’m from, assume country music requires one to sing with a southern drawl, play the banjo, and lament in their songs about trucks or drinking while working for the man.  Yet people don’t realize that country music is a style of songwriting that requires the writer to speak their own truths and requires their songs to reflect a story.  Any kind of story…which is why you get songs like “Harper Valley PTA” where Jeannie C. Riley sings about “Mrs. Johnson” and her affairs with the “Harper Valley PTA.”  Swift did that with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” She told the story of breaking up with someone, trying to get back together with them, and then ultimately being so frustrated that she got rid of them for good.  It’s just Swift didn’t sing it in a strong southern drawl and she didn’t have a fiddle or mandolin playing in the background.  She did it her way.

Transitioning into a full pop album like she has reflects that Taylor Swift is the kind of artist who grows and challenges herself.  She could’ve gone the way of other artists and continued to put out the same sounding music after her hits “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me,” but she continued to challenge herself.  She tried to work outside her comfort zone and push herself to make music that she hadn’t already made.  Which really has paid off for her.


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