Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”: Review Revue

For the past few weeks, country-pop songstress Taylor Swift has been the ultimate tease, dropping hints via Instagram about what many guessed was her much-awaited fifth studio album.

Well, the wait if over, folks! In a tell-all live-stream with Yahoo yesterday, Tay revealed that her upcoming LP is called 1989, which is a tribute of sorts to her birth-year and her first official entrance into the world of pop. What’s more, the now-not-so-country diva also premiered her latest Max Martin/Shellback-produced single “Shake It Off,” as well as the track’s rather dorky video, during the stream.

So, how did the rest of the music world feel about Tay’s latest attempt?  Here is a round-up of what some critics had to say about “Shake It Off” below.

:: The Guardian thought that the “Shake It Off” visual was not her best work: “The incongruent blend of modern dance, ballet, and breakdancing is fun, but the conceit falls flat. Taylor is a little too skilled a dancer for the comedy to really work, though watching her shake it in a Swan Lake tutu is nevertheless pretty great. That said, her twerking scenes — with closeups of the gyrating butts of anonymous, primarily black female dancers — come off as somewhat misguided.”

:: The Daily Beast was disappointed with the new track, stating, “We are in a new phase of Taylor Swift’s career. It is, apparently, one in which she feels comfortable using the term ‘sick beat’.’Taylor Swift is now a pop star. Ugh.”

:: Forbes predicts that while Taylor’s upcoming LP might be a late entry into the pop world, it will still come out on top: “Every August in an even year for the past several years, Taylor Swift has put a new album campaign in motion, so even before any of this was announced, the music world was buzzing, wondering if she would do it again. Swift is by far one of the industry’s biggest names and best sellers, so the timing of this release (in Q4) is no mistake. Expect this to become one of the biggest (if not the number one) sellers this year, even if it’s getting a late start.”

:: Hollywood Life noted that “Shake It Off” will not only be a sure-fire hit, but it also has a clear message to all of the anti-Swifties out there: “Taylor debuted an amazing new diss song on Aug. 18, but this time her feisty message wasn’t intended for an ex-boyfriend — it was for all of her ‘haters!’”

:: NOISEY compared Taylor to that of a one-woman boy band, saying that while she preaches not to conform to the norm, she is actually doing just that: “She loves conforming, so you get a pop paradox, where in order to be as poised and successful as she can be, Taylor has to dumb herself down, yet even this she manages to do with a weird adorable aplomb. So congratulations Taylor Swift, you’ve done it. You’re a one-woman boy band. Can’t wait till you split-up in two years and your left arm makes a shit indie solo album.”

:: Lastly, Consequence Of Sound questions the clip’s political correctness: “In the video for ‘Shake It Off’, which serves as the lead single to her new album 1989, Taylor dresses in variety of outfits, including a ballerina, a cheerleader, a break dancer, a cross between Lady Gaga and Kraftwerk and a rapper. It’s the latter that has drawn criticism from some on Twitter, specifically over the black female dancers who twerk alongside her. (The video will no doubt draw comparisons to Lily Allen’s ‘Hard Out Here’ video, which also came under fire for featuring black female dancers tweaking.)”

But, enough with these guys. What did you think about “Shake It Off”? Let us know below.

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  • Anthony Gilbert Aragon

    Thats so stupid, people are actually complaining about the black female dancers. People need to start realizing that if any dancers in general who are black, white, asian, gay, straight, whatever don’t want to be in a music video, stage performance, or whatever due to it being racist or demorilizing they don’t have to be in it they have a choice. Why fight and waste your breathe about something that’s not even in the least sense plausible.

  • Barley Blair

    In the 70s, Harvard Lampoon joked about thé “magnificence of blackness.” It was an attempt to point out the tendency of Afro-centric thinkers and their supporters to suggest black culture was exclusive, untouchable, and special–reserved for respect and appreciation; but off-limits to non-blacks. That’s the definition of “appropriation.”

    Criticisms of racism in the use of visual pop cues exploited by both black and non-black performers is, inherently, racist/racially supremacist and hypocrisy of the worst sort. It serves to reinforce differences, breed resentment, and foment conflict where there should be none.

    It is appropriate to invoke the problems highlighted in MO this past week. But it is also important to point out that much of the injury that has been caused began with the unintentional (I believe) consequence of such narrow- and short-sighted cultural territoriality and the divide it has engendered.

  • Jim Warren

    I am not a Taylor Swift fan, and I think the song is really fun, catchy, and makes me feel good. BTW, I am 56…so THERE.

  • Tim

    Whatever you think of this first single, at least give her album a chance. All of her albums so far have been great. After fearless, I thought she was done, but she has continued to prove me wrong. I personally think she’s a genius, and as long as she stays away from drugs and alcohol, I believe she can conquer the world. Not sure why she wants to, but I won’ t question the genius ever again. Seriously, four out of four albums were amazing. This would be 5. How many musicians release 5 albums without having a stinker?

  • Calm Chen

    I like it.

  • Dale

    Not a huge fan, although I knew she was a superstar after hearing her first single (“Tim McGraw”) and then seeing her perform on some show.

    This single is genius, as is the video.

  • Linda

    It’s a cute, catchy song. It reminds me of the Avril Lavigne song when the thumping cheerleader type of rhythm was popular for awhile, talking in the middle of the song and all.

    Her voice sounds higher than usual, no doubt thanks to studio technology, so it does sound annoying the first few lines of the song, but that’s no big deal because the rest of the song is catchy. The talking part is pretty cool too, lots of sass.

  • Aarushi :3

    Honestly, I LOVED the song. The audio was pretty great, with a catchy
    unique beat to it, and the whole music video had a great vibe to it. I don’t know why there is so much controversy about her twerking and stuff. Guys, she’s what? 24. She’s old enough to make her own decisions. :) No hate though, towards any of your opinions.

  • JoySpeaks

    I feel that she had 2 main messages: 1. We all have our own gifts/talents/abilities, so don’t feel inadequate if you don’t fit in to what’s popular. 2. Shake off any criticism when you do explore different things in order to find out if you’re a good fit for it. As far as the twerking: I am sure that they posted auditions stating, ‘Twerkers Needed for Video Shoot’ & Primarily black girls showed up…so that’s that! I went into specifics on what I loved about the video on my radio show here (…& I am a black 40 yr old female.) http://www.spreaker.com/user/r3coachingwithjoy/taylor-swift-inspired