“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
I know, I know. This one will take some explanation.
Taylor Swift hits the sweet spot in the category of “pop culture things I hate.” She was a teenage phenom, something I generally abhor. Worse, she came from the country music realm, an area I have zero interest in. A country music teen phenom? Forgetaboutit. As she got older, she moved into a third area of our modern culture that I hate: a queen of celebrity gossip. It wasn’t necessarily her fault that people were obsessed with her relationships, but she also was never shy about speaking out about her romantic woes.
So three strikes. No need to ever consider her songs.
Her music drifted more toward mainstream pop. Just as our girls were discovering Radio Disney. Which meant Dear Old Dad was spending most of his time in the car listening to music aimed at Tweens/Teens. So, in addition to learning all the words to songs by Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Bridgit Mendler, so too did Swift’s lyrics get stuck in my head. Try as I might, I could not keep my defenses up. Before I knew it I was singing along with “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
So, barriers battered, I pretty much got sucked into the first single from 1989, “Shake It Off,” without too much complaining. I didn’t love it – I thought Charlie XCX’s “Boom Clap” was a better song – but I didn’t hate it, either.
And then this song came along. I tried to avoid it during the holidays, hiding behind a stout wall of Christmas songs. But here and there I would catch snippets which, along with the constant praise I kept reading on music sites that were not inclined to love Swift’s music, had me nervous. When the holidays were over, and my protective blanket of Frank and Bing had been taken away, could I withstand Swift’s aural assault?
No. No, I could not.
This is a god-damned perfect pop song. I keep finding myself singing the chorus to myself for no reason. And I freaking love it.
One note of concern: we heard it on the way home from school yesterday. C. turned to M. and said, “That line where she says, ‘I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream’? I keep thinking about that but don’t know what she means.”
Hopefully she won’t get that for another decade or so.
- Notable exception, 16-year-old me was really into 17-year-old Debbie Gibson for about six months. Specifically the version of Gibson from her “Shake Your Love” video. She was awfully cute. ↩
- That second “WEEEE!” in the chorus of “Never Ever” is freaking wonderful. “We! (WEEEE!)”. ↩
- “So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames. You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain.” Give me a freaking break. I couldn’t hate that if I tried. ↩