When you think of American singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, you think of a unique fusion of pop/country that has flourished through her albums since her debut self-titled album back in 2006; steadily her sound has been making a transition from her trademark pop kissed country to a purer pop. In the lead up to the release of her fifth studio album 1989, Taylor has given the world a taste of what’s to come; her own anthemic swipe at her haters, the boppy lead single Shake It Off.
Shake It Off begins with a kicking drumbeat, almost like a cheerleading chant; Toni Basil’s famous one-hit wonder Hey Mickey springs to mind. Before too long Swift’s vocal kicks in, with the steady beat and brass to back her up; she addresses issues commonly talked about in regards to her love and social life. “That’s what people say”, repeats Taylor in the first verse as she speculates about people’s speculations of her. The chorus is a fun, repetitive hook that you’ll learn easily so that soon you can sing along and hum to it without realising; you’ve heard Taylor do pop before, but not like this people!
In the second verse, Taylor tells us some of the things she’s great at and how people don’t notice those abilities because they’re too busy focusing on putting her down; the pre-chorus assures us twice that Miss Swift won’t stop being herself because the music in her head says so. The bridge kind of lost the meaning behind the song; it went from being about shaking off the disses to dissing her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, only to call on the “boy over there with the hella good hair”, at least it’s still catchy so in the world of pop she’s forgiven. The accompanying music video is just as fun as the track itself.
Shake It Off will be popular amongst existing Taylor Swift fans and should make her some new ones, its catchiness soon develops an addiction that you just can’t shake. Just when you thought songs about the ‘haters’ were getting really old, Taylor comes out to reinvent herself once again and puts them in their places swiftly in less than four minutes. It will be interesting to hear what else is in store with the new album, bring on 1989!