Lipscomb students exhibited a variety of reactions to pop star Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do.”
Swift dropped the single at midnight August 25, informing her followers via social media that “Look What You Made Me Do” would be the first single off her upcoming album titled “Reputation.” The announcement sent waves of excitement and anticipation through Swift’s fans across the internet as well as in the conversations across campus.
Sophomore Lexi Cummings from the Contemporary Music program said “Look What You Made Me Do” is much darker and repetitive than Swift’s traditional sound.
“I think that she is perhaps mocking the traditional pop song mold,” Cummings stated, “or maybe trying to re-create her persona once again.”
The single is the latest tune by the songstress since her album “1989” was released three years ago this November. Other than a collaboration in 2016 with Zayn on “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” and a Super Bowl party performance, Swift went off the grid, working on her sixth studio album and plotting her return to the spotlight.
While Cummings heard the single when it was first released, she said she liked it better after seeing the music video.
“While the beginning definitely had me startled, I feel like she definitely created a vibe that went well with the persona she was trying to portray. You can definitely tell that the song is a lashing out however, mostly at Kanye, though I’d argue it’s aimed at a general ‘haters’ crowd as well.”
“Look What You Made Me Do” is quite a direction change for Swift, who got her start in country music and is known for her enchanting love ballads and empowering break-up anthems. Her latest single is a response to the way she has been portrayed in the media and a retaliation to those who have painted her in a bad light.
“I think she is trying to portray that she is much different now than she ever has been.” Cummings added, “not necessarily in a happy, stepping-forward way, but in a kind of ‘done with it all’ way. She has really shifted from a more kind and reserved persona to a much angrier and vengeful one. I’m anxious to see what she does with the rest of her new album. I also think she is trying to show the world that in a sense she is unbeatable, that she will always come back.”
Junior Tayler Aliff says she was disappointed with the song the first time she heard it.
“I had to listen to ‘All Too Well,’ because I felt like she had broken up with me and given me no explanation,” Aliff said. “Even if you don’t like T. Swift and you’ve heard anything other than what is on the radio, you know she’s a lyrical genius. Now I have more respect for the song, but I don’t totally love it as a musical number.”
Like Cummings, Aliff said the music video helped change her impression of the song. “I love the music video. Once again, Taylor proves to us that she is brave. I think the video and the song were a risk, but it could pay off in a big way.”
The numbers alone argue that it has. The music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” set a YouTube record for biggest debut, with 43.2 million views in the first 24 hours since it was posted. Swift also set a streaming record on Spotify of 3.8 million streams a day (Statistics courtesy of Forbes).
As many views as it has, some do not care for Swift’s new sound. Junior Myron Sailors was not a fan of the single.
“I think the song is trash,” Myron stated, “but I enjoyed the music video, because of the amount of shade she throws. It’s iconic.”
Senior Carson Panovec said while “he liked the beat behind it,” Panovec felt the song was not for Swift.
“It would be better if Kanye and Katy did it.” He laughed.
Whether people enjoyed the song or didn’t, Swift has succeeded in stirring up conversation and making her re-introduction back into the music industry a memorable one. With the release of “Reputation” on the horizon, one could wonder what the impact of the full album will bring to the music industry if just one single has caused so much buzz.
Look out for Taylor Swift’s new album, “Reputation,” set to hit shelves November 10.