There are very few subjects I can say I’m well versed in, but when I get the opportunity to gush about them you can be sure I’m going to tell you all about it. The venn diagrams of my interests rarely cross over, but now that we’ve got a Taylor Swift music video featuing all sorts of science fiction nods, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Although the country community felt the sting of when Taylor Swift decided her latest album, 1989, was going to be an all-pop production, and many more felt the loss when she removed her music from Spotify, it’s hard to fault her when she’s having so much fun in all of her music videos.
This one for her latest single “Bad Blood” (featuring a remix from Kendrick Lamar) tops all of her other craziness so far. Directed by Joseph Kahn (from Detention and that Power/Rangers fan video from a few weeks back) We’ve got numerous shout outs to sci-fi films like The Fifth Element, Sucker Punch, Mad Max, and awesome cameos from Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellie Goulding, Zendaya, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, Ellen Pompeo, Mariska Hargitay, and f**king Cindy Crawford.
I’ve been a big advocate for wacky music videos all my life. In fact, I think wackier music videos actually saved music artists in the digital age thanks to how much sharing through social media accounts for notoriety now. Taylor Swift just gets that.
Take the video for “Blank Space” (which was one of my Top 10 Pop Songs of 2014) for instance. Such a goofy video for an admittedly generic song helped launch her into several blogs like this one. Although she really doesn’t need more attention, she gets it by taking risks. Swift plays around with the visual landscape in order to get your attention (and thus, your all important clicks) because she’s got enough pull to do so. She’s at the point in her career where she can’t really make a bad decision, and can experiment with her brand. It’s sort of like how Nicki Minaj gets crazy sexual in each of her videos, yet never quite goes over the line of decency in order to further get her name out there. Nothing the two artists do actually hurt their brand, and if an experiment fails (like Minaj’s unfortunate “Nazi” video or Swift’s slightly racist “Shake It Off” video) they bounce back.
Where Swift ultimately succeeds is her “pop princess” persona. It sort of brings down the fun in the “Bad Blood” video (it’d be much better if she didn’t perform it and just let it all play out), but her “happy go lucky” style really works wonders for how weird she’s taking 1989. I can’t wait to see what she does next.