Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” Video: Review Revue

Sam Lansky | October 24, 2012 9:43 am

Taylor Swift‘s video for her new single “Begin Again” is a gossamer dream of pastel silks and dreamy walks through the streets of Paris — and it’s one of her loveliest to date. Reviewers felt that the clip, while a bit sedate, evokes Adele‘s video for “Someone Like You” and Swift’s 2011 “Back to December” vid (only much happier); they also praised the video’s elegant style and fashions. Is it predictable? Probably — it doesn’t pack many (or any) surprises. But it’s gorgeously rendered, and fits the song’s bittersweet sound nicely.

Read on to see what reviewers had to say about “Begin Again.” 

:: Entertainment Weekly thought the video was “another classic bittersweet Swift joint,” writing: “Though her boyfriend doesn’t laugh at her jokes and bores her with stories about his family’s Christmas movie-watching traditions, she finds the ultimate salve: Wandering through the streets of Paris, chuckling with handsome dudes in a café (and probably snacking on snails or something) It’s a lovely clip, but a little bit sleepy. Also, there’s something about it that recalls ‘Back to December’  — is it the color palette, or just the general moodiness?”

:: Vulture helpfully broke down the song’s lyrics and poked fun at Swift’s snapshot-happy beau: “Quick refresher from the Taylor Swift Rosetta Stone: ‘Begin Again’ is about how Jake Gyllenhaal was a butthead who mocked Taylor’s music taste and wouldn’t let her wear high heels, so she found a nice guy (Conor? the Parachute guy?) to hang out with. In the video, Taylor upgrades to a hot French dude, who is apparently so nice that he can get away with creepily taking photos of her twenty seconds after their introduction. But he really is handsome!”

:: Spin noted the similarity to Adele’s “Someone Like You,” although conceding that it’s a different emotional twist on the same concept: “The clip resembles nothing so much as a sort of bizarro version of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ video, where the British Bond girl could be seen strolling past some of the same Parisian landmarks. Except where the black-and-white Adele video is heartbreakingly sad, Swift’s is colorful and tingling with new romance.”

:: The Huffington Post observed that Swift indeed sports heels in the video, amidst a panoply of other gorgeous clothes: “‘Take a deep breath in the mirror / He didn’t like it when I wore high heels / But I do,’ Swift sings on the song. (See: Heels!) The video shows the pop star walking through Paris streets with the slumped shoulders of George Michael Bluth. It’s not until a young and handsome guy steps off the pages of a J. Crew catalogue walks over to her in a cafe that things start to … begin again.”

:: We can’t hold it against Fuse that they were a little jealous over the ultra-twee preciousness of the Swiftiverse: “For her second single off of her latest album, Red, Taylor Swift left her dancing plushie friends in the states as she set off to Paris for her ‘Begin Again’ video. Taylor dons vintage-inspired frocks (twee!) and rides a bike in slow motion down the streets of France (more twee!) before a total stranger/hunk falls in love with her from afar in an adorable cafe. Why? Because Taylor Swift leads a hella charmed life.”

:: Dose also expressed some mild envy over the privileged world that Swift depicts, even though it’s stunningly rendered: “And while not everyone can fly to France when heartache strikes, not everyone is Taylor Swift, either. So if you happen to be sobbing over a bucket of French Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge today, let Swifty live the good life for you. Watch her ponder life by the banks of the Seine, sample pastries, sip cappuccino, bike down cobblestone streets, model gowns as frothy and light as a macaron. And then, watch her find a Gallic Ryan Gosling to share her perfect, Anthropologie-catalogue holiday.”

:: Celebuzz commented on Swift’s romantic style in the video: “The 22-year-old singer-songwriter, who just dropped her fourth studio album Red, dons bold red lipstick and soft romantic hues as she strolls through the city of love. While doodling in her notebook, she happens to catch the eye of a handsome stranger in a cafe — and the rest, as they say, is history. Swift traditionalists will be happy to note that the song embraces the young singer’s country roots and long-winded wordplay.”

Do you agree with the critics about Taylor’s video? Tell us in the comments, then sound off on Facebook and Twitter!