Unless you’ve been laying under a cold, hard rock the last two months, you have heard Taylor Swift’s new music. If you’re a fan of Swift’s earlier works, you will be greeted with brutal disappointment like the rest of us. Her first single “Me!” was filled with so much promise, even boasting a Brendon Urie feature. However, what was delivered was a bubble gum pop, over saturated, children’s song that literally utters the lyrics “Hey kids! Spelling is fun!”
As a huge fan of her breakthrough country album “Fearless” and its successor, “Speak Now”, I am floored at Taylor’s artistic development. There is no doubt Swift is a lyrical genius. Her songwriting at 16 is still better than any adult on the scene. Which leaves me wondering, nearly half of her life later… how has she fallen so far artistically?
Has she lost control of her creativity? I doubt it. Lacking inspiration? Judging by her impressively handsome line up of exes, I’m going to say no. Which can only lead me to believe that she has sold out. What I’m witnessing on Taylor’s newest work is pandering to not only teenagers, but the gay community. Obviously, the target market for pop music.
I think she is not only pandering to her audience, but copying an aesthetic along the way. For the past ten years, Taylor has reigned as the queen of country-pop. Until recently, a new queen has come for the throne… Kacey Musgraves.
After taking home a whopping four Grammys this year, the country crooner has evolved from rising artist to a full blown super star. In addition to her countless awards show appearances and world tour stops, Kacey has become somewhat of a gay icon. She was even a guest judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race this season.
What I find interesting is Taylor’s sudden change in aesthetic… the candy colored whimsical theme is basically Kacey’s signature. Eerily similar, wouldn’t you say?
For some perspective, this was Taylor’s feed earlier this year.
Even more suspicious, is the timing of her new rainbow-kitten-Lisa Frank aesthetic. She began posting in this theme on February 23rd, a mere two weeks after Kacey’s Grammy sweep.
And the comparisons don’t end at Instagram, lately she has emerged in several outfits that are enough for you to tilt your head.
Perhaps what bothers me most, is the watered down production and lyrics on Taylor’s new work. There are ways to be appreciated and celebrated in the gay community without being so… literal. Kacey’s “Follow Your Arrow” is a perfect example of creating an anthem without it feeling so forced.
“Make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into.” Comes off so much more genuine than “Why be mad, when you can be GLAAD?”
Taylor has changed her identity several times as an artist, and I’m all for evolving and improving your craft. What I’m not down for, is mimicking another artists signature aesthetic. What both Taylor and Kacey are doing is important. Being ally’s to the gay community is so powerful, especially in country music. I just wish she would go about it in a way that is more… Taylor.
This isn’t to pit two women against each other, or say one is better than the other. They are both extremely talented individuals, and I wish exactly that. That Taylor would be an individual. I wholeheartedly believe she is an LGBT supporter, and I know how gifted she is, in basically every facet of music. I just hope she knows fans can see right through her glittered toned instagrams. I guess all I’m trying to say is, Taylor, you need to calm down.