Yesterday Taylor Swift wrote an opinion editorial for the Wall Street Journal about the state and future of the music industry. And while she might be qualified given her success and experience, it was just too damn sugary for me to buy it.
T-Swift, to me, has always seemed incredibly disingenuous. She accepts every award as if she just found out she was nominated AND won. She started out as a sweet country girl but now seems to have relegated herself to only producing Top 40 superhits. And of course, sweet Taylor writes nothing but the most poisonous breakup songs for all her ex-beaus. Even Kanye West got his own T-Swift diss track (OK, I really like that one, but still.)
You can imagine when I read the very beginning of the op-ed, I got a little excited when I saw this line literally start the piece:
Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you’re reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist
Really?! This is the girl whose most famous chorus repeats “I knew you were trouble when you walked in” over and over until every glass in America was half empty. Taylor is sneaky. So is her op-ed. Let me explain it as best I can, through quotes, words, lyrics, and GIFs.
(And if you’re feeling ambitious, definitely read it for yourself here.)
In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work
So. Cute. So. Naive. Seriously Taylor, are we supposed to pay for our music using the same currency? Heart and soul? Are you the devil???
Yup. The devil.
You’ve probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away … My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it
It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is
That’s great Taylor. But what if an artists decides they want to give their music away, which you just said you don’t support?
The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling
Here we have ex-flame Harry Styles and his mating call. This is the guy who got called out during a live version of “We Are Never Getting Back Together” at the Grammys. A passing fling indeed.
Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past
However, some artists will be like finding “the one.”
I read this. I did this.
My generation was raised being able to flip channels if we got bored, and we read the last page of the book when we got impatient.
I know, commercials are boring. Spotify ads are the worst, right?
Oh wait, Taylor won’t get that reference because she only pays for music.
I bet you a billion dollars Taylor Swift has a Spotify account.
The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie. It’s part of the new currency, which seems to be “how many followers you have on Instagram.”
At presstime, Taylor has 9,740,701 follows on Instagram. Here’s a selfie of her with actress Sarah Hyland.
A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers.
Probably irrelevant, but earlier this year Mexican singer and actress Danna Paola “beat out” Taylor’s longtime pal Selena Gomez for the lead role in the movie “Saving Sara Cruz.” Paola has a little over a million Twitter followers. Gomez has 21 million.
In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.
Taytay, why is this bad? Wouldn’t you rather give the power to find tomorrow’s stars to the American music-listening public instead of sleazy record producers like the guy you wrote “Mean” about? (Also I can’t believe this image existed on Tumblr. It’s like it was waiting for this day.)
The wild, unpredictable fun in making music today is that anything goes. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that’s incredible progress.
I actually like this part of the piece. Even though I make fun of Swift for ditching her country roots and pursuing unapologetic pop, I agree that this is sort of the way of the future. Good on you Taylor for recognizing it.
The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.
Then she ruins it with that cliche. She ruins it so bad.
All GIFs from Tumblr