Unpacking T-Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do”

Taylor Swift has finally dropped some new music after a long-awaited three years, even though it feels like only yesterday that my ears were subjected to the constant repetition of Bad Blood on every commercial radio station. Just weeks ago, Taylor won […]

Taylor Swift has finally dropped some new music after a long-awaited three years, even though it feels like only yesterday that my ears were subjected to the constant repetition of Bad Blood on every commercial radio station.

Just weeks ago, Taylor won a court case against an American morning show host and DJ, after the court found he had sexually assaulted her at a meet-and-greet. She sued him for an iconic $1 US, claiming it was based on principle financial gain.

A few days later, she wiped all her social media accounts, leaving fans in a frenzy. Then she made a comeback via Instagram, by posting a creepy as heck video of a snake’s tail, which most think is a reference to her public feud with the Kardashian-West clan. Ah, Hollywood.

Now, fans’ prayers have finally been answered as her new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ was added to YouTube recently. The lyric video continues with the snake theme, and looks like it was created by Tim Burton, while the newly published film clip holds the same production value and cinematic endeavours as Bad Blood.

The lyrics themselves somehow hold a 50:50 ratio of bleedingly obvious and weirdly ambiguous. After only a few hours of existence, there were already theories surrounding the inspiration of the song, and yep, you guessed it: everyone thinks (knows) it’s a response to the whole Kim and Kanye sitch.

The song starts off with some creepy synthetic strings that almost sounds like the beginning of SAFIA’s Counting Sheep. Then we go into some deep bass and monotonous husky singing, and I hate to say it but my first impression was that Tay Tay was trying to rip the sound off my girl Lorde, who we all know I absolutely love, so my feelings around this song are very confused.

Then, we jump into some intense keys and higher singing and finally the song is picking up pace a little, but it still sounds like a home brand version of Lorde and the whole thing is more dramatic than this season of The Bachelor.

And just when you thought this song could be a catchy diss-track that you can dedicate to all your toxic high school friends while cruising down the highway, it dies again. The chorus is just the repetition of the words ‘look what you made me do’ for what feels like an eternity. The worst (or possibly best) part of the chorus is that, whether intentional or not, it shares the exact melody of the 1991 classic ‘I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt’ by Right Said Fred. Listen to them side-to-side and get back to me.

After telling every single person I know about the similarities between the choruses, something amazing was discovered: Right Said Fred are actually credited as co-writers and I have no idea how to react.

Repeated lyrics are the foundation of this song. While there’s some cute and/or creepy metaphorical lyrics about kingdoms and such, the whole song

is basically just “look what you made me do” and “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me” over and over. The song doesn’t specify what it is that they made her do, but it is a tune that sounds like it could precede a murderous rampage, and the black and blood-red colour scheme of the video doesn’t help to diffuse that.

Just as I thought the song couldn’t get any weirder, we hear some spoken word muffled through a phone line: “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh… ’cause she’s dead.”

As much as it may seem I’m dragging the hell out of Taylor, I do have a confession. Back in her country days, I was a massive Swiftie. The first concert I ever attended was the Sydney leg of her Speak Now tour back in 2012, and I cried because she touched my hand.

So really, I don’t want the old Taylor to be dead. I want the old Taylor to resurrect and sing to me about her oh-so-relatable boy troubles. You know, like… when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.

We saw a gradual transition between the Speak Now album and the release of Red, which got noticeably poppier and way less country. Then, 1989 completely ditched the banjo and went full Top 40 and it seemed obvious to me that her whole image got flipped on its head, and with it, so did her song writing.

While lyrics of Look What You Made Me Do were thought to be solely about Kim and Kanye, the imagery in the video provides a much wider picture, with the song really being a response to the hate she has received throughout her entire career, no matter what image she held.

Every single second of the video is filled with super-subtle jabs at the media, like so subtle I wouldn’t have even noticed them if it weren’t for people having kept tabs on Tay’s career over the past eight years, and analysing the hell out of the clip.

Towards the end of the video, we see the “new Taylor” (‘cos the old Taylor is dead, remember) on top of a mass of her clones, dressed in some of her memorable outfits from the past. Then, the song finishes and we see fifteen different Taylors all arguing with each other, hurling the same criticisms back and forth that she has received throughout her career.

Say what you want about the song, but the video is incredibly clever in the way that it deals with her looming identity crisis. It’s like Miley in We Can’t Stop but with a little more class and a lot less teddy bears.

So, without trying to be too harsh on Taylor, for fear of her sneaking into my room and murdering me in my sleep, I give this new single 2 snake emojis out of 5.

Have a listen and have your

own say, and I’ll count down the days until we can go back to teenage Taylor and her ringlets.