Fine. FINE. I give up: It’s time to talk about Taylor Swift.
By now, we all know that Lady Swift has decided to formally make the leap from country-tinged pop to regular ol’ pop-pop with her upcoming record, 1989. (Did you know? It’s inspired by late 80’s pop!)
And sure, yes: The inescapably peppy, eternally grating lead single “Shake It Off” was technically Tay’s first foray into the genre. Honestly though? Fuck that song. (I know. I’m just gonna hate, hate, hate…)
The real story here is Tay’s second serving, “Out Of The Woods,” a record that turns the sneering, “and I was like, so, whatever!” teen-pop shtick of her latest big hits into something vastly more mature, more interesting and much more worthy of the hype.
“Out Of The Woods” does many, many things right, including not limited to:
– The superb beat — the hammering drums and the fuzzy ’80’s-tinged synth sheen — makes the track feel big, nostalgic and alive, like something off of Charli XCX‘s True Romance mixed with M83‘s Saturdays = Youth.
– The frantic chorus (as Taylor rightly described it herself) is an instant earworm: It’s sort of hopeful, anxious and epic all at once. You can almost see the sunlight beaming through the branches at the end, right? (The track was co-penned with fun.‘s talented Jack Antonoff, so that explains the song’s anthemic DNA.)
– Taylor’s voice, which is ordinarily a pretty but plain thing (receipts), is downright thrilling on “Out Of The Woods,” especially as she delivers that chill-inducing bridge. “When the sun came up…YOU WERE LOOKING AT MAYYYY!”
– This song is (possibly-not-but-just-go-with-it-for-the-clicks) about One Direction‘s Harry Styles! Did you know? They (maybe!) got into a dangerous snowmobile accident once while they were dating! Or, maybe that’s a story that’s just been adopted by thirsty music journalists, and the whole “20 stitches” bridge is really just a metaphor? Or maybe it’s about someone else? Swifties? Directioners? Teens? Any insight?!
– Then again, it really doesn’t matter who this song is about, because there’s no beating around the bush (nor the trees as it were) — this is genuinely a fantastic song.
In closing, one question for you: Are we out of the woods yet?
Also, just a quick follow-up: Are we in the clear yet?
Come on, then. Let us take this journey. You, me and Taylor. And you too, Harry.
“Out Of The Woods” was released on October 14. (iTunes)