Taylor Swift's latest album is called "1989" because that's the year she was born, and also because the record was influenced by '80s pop. Deep! Also, the first single is called "Shake It Off," because that's what she does with criticism. She just...shakes it off. Easy.
So today, in addition to revealing the album's title and cover art via Yahoo! livestream, Swift also debuted the Mark Romanek-directed music video for first single "Shake It Off," which is fun and cute and eye-catching and also very, very annoying. I'm sure it's going to be well-received (even the critics seems to like her), but I'm not buying it. Here are eight reasons why I find the new clip so aggravating:
1. This is basically a Gap ad.
Oh, come on. You tell me the difference.
2. Taylor's "goofiness" feels like pandering.
I thought Taylor was fine in the recent "Jimmy Kimmel" sketch where she put on braces and talked about apricots, but her constant "adorkable" pratfalls are getting tired. Not because she looks like a Barbie doll, but because her nerdiness feels like a put-on. Just be fierce and own your fierceness, Taylor. Stop trying to pretend like you're a regular person.
3. Oh boy, another empty empowerment anthem.
Know what we need less of? Pop songs that conform to the same banal sentiments as every other pop song. "Haters gonna hate"? Yes, they are - but just "shaking off" the verbal grenades of bullies isn't always possible. For an artist so often lauded for her "honesty," the lyrical content here is awfully trite.
4. She just had to dress up like a cheerleader.
First off: Madonna drove a stake through the heart of this coquettish pom-pom schtick in 2012. Secondly, how many tired stereotypes can we fit into one video? A ton, apparently. This is like a production of Ryan Murphy's wet dream.
5. She's basically just trying to sell you Keds.
Did you know that there are "no rules" in fashion?
6. She uses the term "sick beat."
Hearing Taylor Swift say those words is the equivalent of hearing your dad say them. It should never, ever have happened.
7. The T-Swift fans in the video are the human equivalent of Keds.
According to USA Today, the video features "a group of fans chosen from Instagram, Twitter, fan letters and other places." "Other places" like...a casting agency?
8. This doesn't feel like an evolution.
Taylor Swift will tell you that "1989" is "nothing like anything I had done" - an actual quote - but to me "Shake It Off" sounds not so much like a new direction but like the safest possible route to continued chart success. I have no doubt the album is going to connect with a lot of people, but the adherence to formula is uninspiring.
"1989" is slated for release on October 27.
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
Let Streaming Genie help you.