Taylor Swift’s ‘Gorgeous’ succeeds in merging past styles and new themes

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By Audrey Bernstein ’20

When Taylor Swift announced a new album after a two year absence from the public eye in August, the media was thrown into a frenzy, attempting to predict her new sound. As an avid fan, I was overwhelmed with curiosity.

The most controversial woman in pop culture has now returned, and she has done so with a new and unheard narrative. From a first glance, I applauded it as aggressive and empowering. Yet, with the most recent release, “Gorgeous,” I have come to appreciate its delicacy and heartwarming aspects.

“Gorgeous” was released on Oct. 20 and immediately soared to number one on the iTunes charts. The sound is reminiscent of Swift’s previous albums, pairing a catchy chorus with an electronic bass and soft vocals.

The song’s melody resembles previous hits like “You Belong With Me” and “Shake it Off.” While it reflects styles that Swift has employed in the past, it is sonically opposite to the two other tracks that have been released for her new record, “Reputation.”

Titled “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready For It,” their dark natures contrast with the upbeat attitude of “Gorgeous.” The emotional variation is apparent when placed alongside the lyrics, “you’re so gorgeous, I can’t say anything to your face.”

The song provides light and comedic relief in an otherwise twisted album. “I guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats,” she sings, assuring that, contrary to popular belief, the “old Taylor” hasn’t gone anywhere.

The music consists of majorly electronic and repetitive beats, which some may argue limits its instrumental diversity. This simplicity, though, is what allows for a classic hit.

The chorus includes a pause of silence followed by the playful sound of a bell, forming a lighthearted and compelling tone. It’s easy to feel at home in the familiar charm of Swift’s music.

“Reputation,” set to release on Nov. 10, already spans emotions from anger to bliss. “The new Taylor Swift sounds like a scrapbook of pop music,” Vulture said in a review, arguing that she had abandoned her “cleverly intellectual” side.

However, with the addition of “Gorgeous,” this “scrapbook” has become the singer’s most accurate portrayal of reality yet. Swift might be controversial, but her raw style will not fall short of number one.

 

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