By Mike A. Bryan, Staff Writer
My MIT-educated brother-in-law has a Taylor Swift playlist on his Spotify that he personally curated. So does my freshman-year-of-college best friend, who schooled me in punk rock music back in the late 90’s, and helped me bleach my dark hair blonde numerous times. Neither man is necessarily a mainstream pop music fan; however, both use the moniker “T Swizzle” as the name of their respective playlists.
Amazingly, T Swift has an approach that combines a personal narrative with cleverly crafted pop choruses, delighting not only teeny boppers, but males in their thirties on up. Her “1989” album spawned a record-setting tour, and has three singles that reached number one in multiple countries. Without a doubt, the Nashville-raised Swift has become a household name, winning ten Grammy’s in the past ten years.
In addition to her musical fame, she has achieved notoriety in the gossip world as well, feuding with various celebrities over the years. These have included boyfriends and other musicians, and have led to numerous TMZ and Buzzfeed-worthy stories. There are literally millions of stories or interviews and reviews of her music available online, so this article will take a different approach. I will present a series of questions about Taylor and the new album, “Reputation,” to my brother-in-law and friend from college, and post their completely unadulterated answers here.
- What is your favorite track on “Reputation” and why?
Friend: “So far, Gorgeous. The baby voice at the beginning is stupid and the first time I heard it I was like ‘meh,’ but after a couple times it pulls you in. But there’s this one song with a dumb EDM chorus which is so disappointing. It’s like ‘I must be in the wrong place, I’m here to listen to pop queen Taylor Swift, not the Chainsmokers.’”
- What is your all-time favorite song and why?
Friend: “All Too Well. It’s an incredibly well constructed song and just great to listen to.“
Bro-in-law: “Style. It’s one of her most pop-style songs, and I like her pop stuff better than her country or wanna-be rap stuff. Pretty sure I should give some credit to Max Martin for it being catchy as hell. Shake It Off is a close second.”
- What is your all-time favorite album and why (even though I know that both answers will be 1989)?
Friend: “1989 Deluxe Version, however I’m still a little salty at Taylor that she put New Romantics on the Target exclusive album. Couldn’t she have done that with Bad Blood – which, I’m sorry, is not a very good song.”
Bro-in-law: “1989. Though Red was a sleeper pop album which was worth paying closer attention to in retrospect.”
- If you could record a hit single with her, what would it be called?
Friend: “We’d do a cover of Times A Wastin”
Bro-in-law: “Title Track ft. Dot Com”
- Were you single, would you date T Swizzle?
Friend: “I object to the question. I’d date Taylor Swift and I’m a married father (what’s up Esther Perel?)”
Bro-in-law: “Yes. But in secret, because I don’t think I would be able to handle the public scrutiny.”
- Who was your favorite guy she dated?
Friend: “Jake Gyllenhaal. Did you see Nightcrawler? Shit was creepy when he went into the murder house. Or maybe Ryan Gosling, which, why haven’t they dated yet?”
Bro-in-law: “The Rock. They dated, right?”
- Do you think she’s a good actress? Favorite movie?
Friend: “She’s an awful actress. Did you see her in The Californians on SNL? She’s so bad she makes Allison Williams look like Charlize Theron playing Aileen Wuornos.”
Bro-in-law: “She acts? I’m skeptical.”
- What song would you like to see her cover?
Friend: “Burn from Hamilton.”
Bro-in-law: “Swish Swish. Because I’d like to see the internet freak the fuck out.”
So there you have it folks, some brutally honest and quite funny responses to my Taylor Swift questions. No matter what your personal feelings might be about her, she is talented, and deserves respect for writing her own music at the very least. It doesn’t sound like she will be taking Hollywood by storm anytime soon, but I’m certain we can count on her for more cleverly crafted pop songs. Give her new album a listen – you might just be surprised.