October 13, Taylor Swift released a short clip on Good Morning America previewing her new single “Out Of The Woods” off her fifth studio album, 1989. The song is available to purchase on iTunes and the official audio is on YouTube
I’m about to say something that will probably alienate some people and shock those who know me as an unabashed Taylor Swift fan.
While “Shake It Off” was a great pop song if lacking in the lyrical depth department, I think this new single “Out Of The Woods” doesn’t quite measure up. Now I’m really worried about what the rest of the album is going to sound like. All that sticks out to me about the song is Swift incessantly repeating “are we out of the woods” over a boring, vanilla melody. Swift has always managed to grab us lyrically with the verse and the chorus. This hook doesn’t do it for me. It’s too repetitive and it doesn’t even grab me. It has the musical attractiveness of a nursery rhyme.
Taylor, why are you doing this to me? Your loyal fan and one who adores the ’80s?
I appreciate your music. I admire–no I think worship is the right word here–your introspective song lyrics and your unapologetic take on relationships in your songwriting. You tell your stories so well.
Naming the album “1989” causes many of us to expect the music to sound like the ’80s.
I think this album so far sounds very 2014 with the repetitive lyrics in the chorus and the rhythmic beat likely achieved by Swift’s collaboration with fun’s Jack Antonoff. I suppose one’s adoration of this song depends mainly on two factors: 1) how much of a Swift fan are you and 2) how much of a Antonoff fan are you. Musically, I don’t think the song stands alone as great.
I’m alone in feeling this way though. In the article in Billboard, we learn Swift and Antonoff came up with the song as a kind of homage to John Hughes, creator of the legendary films “Pretty In Pink”, “Some Kind of Wonderful, “Sixteen Candles”, etc. Swift and Antonoff wanted to make an “anthemic” song that captured the level of emotion we felt when we heard Simple Mind’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in the credits of the iconic ’80s film “The Breakfast Club”:
I am curious. Do you think the album “1989” will hearken back to the music of the late 1980s and live up to its expectations? Or is it a marketing ploy to our generation’s sense of nostalgia for the culture of ten, twenty, thirty years ago?