Video Review: Taylor Swift “New Romantics”

From the aerial view, the stadium has been refashioned for the Taylor Swift concert. Thousands of people swarm inside to their seats. Over screaming and waving fans, she explains that “the fans are the best part of the tour.” Little girls in light up skirts bounce up and down. Young women put their hands to their mouths in excitement while others wave glow sticks in the air. On stage, she puts her hand on the pole, while wearing a black bra top and a skater skirt. She tilts her head back and forth. She flips her short, cropped blonde hair.

She rises up to the stage in a white halter jumpsuit with gold sequins. Then, she throws her head back at the piano, wearing a nude Balmain catsuit.

Backstage, wearing a bomber jacket, black crop top and high-waisted skirt. She puts her earpiece in, while wearing a leather catsuit. Back on stage, she performs in a silver sequined jacket, black crop top and skirt. She dons a black onesie, complete with sequins.

The fans wave their glow sticks as she reaches her arm out and then dramatically pulls back to herself. She plays her guitar, wearing a black bustier and skinny jeans.

At rehearsal, she dances on the stage, water in hand and then takes a break on the foot of it. Wearing sunglasses, she waves to the crew. Then, she points to the audience (in the black bra top and skater skirt outfit).

She flies over the audience, throwing her head back in white shirts and a strapless tank top. She waves to the audience.

In the Balmain catsuit, she bends down and points towards the audience and then walks back up the steps to the center. She puts her arms out.

A gymnast scales the bars. She sits back to back with one of the dancers. She blows a kiss to the audience. Smoke flares up and she holds onto the microphone with all her might.

After the show, she waves again to the crew.

In rehearsal, she and her dancers perform the routine on the platform. She gives a high-five to one of the crew members. She rides the elevator up in the venue. The dancers parade around with lilac parasols embellished with lights and then flip them up in the air. She’s in a pink LED bandeau top and skirt, also embellished with lights. After the set, she screams at the camera.

On stage, she opens the door and the dancers come out. She leans against one of them. Fans wear 1989 headbands. Fireworks light up behind her in white halter jumpsuit. On a bench, the dancers lead her to stage and put it down. She lies down. The dancers and backup singers rehearse while she says “I don’t want to forget anything that happened on this tour.” She rolls her shoulders back and forth, trying to get a step down.

Before the show, she and her crew exclaim “1989” and then leave the huddle. The smoke goes off. She lands in a chair and kicks her feet up. With her hands on her hips, wearing a fringed blue crop top and matching high-waisted shorts, the foot of the stage revolves around as glitter falls.

After a set, she hugs a member of the crew, holding a bottle of water. Back on stage, she walks to the foot of the stage, treating it like a runway and returning back. Backstage, she hugs two people. They bounce up and down. They do jazz hands up in the air.

She sings the last lyric and descends into the stage. The stadium goes back and the fans cheer for more. She explains “looking out into like an endless ocean of crowd, that was everything.”

Rating: 2/5

Taylor Swift may attend Fashion Week and get snapped in the front row, but there isn’t any love for couture. Unlike Gwen Stefani, she doesn’t seem to breathe it and dare to go beyond the minimum effort.

The music takes a step back to the fashion show on display. As she tries to become the biggest star in the world, she cribs from her Pinterest Icons Signature Moments board and then has a fashion designer replicate them: Marilyn Monroe, Katy Perry (the LED dress, which can be considered a Teenage Dream leftover) and Britney Spears (nude bodysuit). Otherwise, she sticks to crop tops and high-waisted skirts with a jacket in several variations.

In rare moments, she is shown in a t-shirt and rehearsing on the stage, counting the steps and making sure she has it right. For 30 or seconds or so, she’s not perfect superstar Taylor Swift and it humanizes her. But then it’s back the fashion show and awkward arm moves with misplaced sexiness.

Throughout the video, it’s as though she’s a museum piece enclosed in glass, untouchable and out of reach. For as much as she stresses fan interaction, the video doesn’t really let them speak. She is the one that does the talking about the experience in the self-serving three monologues while the fans scream and wave their glow sticks.

Director: Jonas Akerlund  Year: 2016


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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