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Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off': For & Against

Yesterday, Taylor Swift released her much anticipated new single Shake It Offrom her forthcoming album 1989. While the single has topped the iTunes charts all around the world and amassed almost 10 million YouTube views in just over a day, she is already drawing criticism for being racist and generally annoying. We've taken both sides of the argument. Watch the video below and then click to read why Shake It Off is pop brilliance and also why it's utter shit.

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Against Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off'

AGAINST

Sam: “I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain”, well the second part is probably right but I can imagine Tay Tay having a lime spritzer and then going home to chat on MSN messenger to Selena. People obviously say a lot about Taylor but should we really be feeling sorry for her with that hot bod and cash that she no doubt swims in.

A lot of it feels like a bit of a ploy to cash in on a very vulnerable teen market that will no doubt be shaking off all the haters in front of their bedroom mirror. And the video? Well, she looks phenomenal the whole time and while she’s being embarrassing some of the time, it’s more of an “OMG this is SO EMBARRASSING, let’s post it on insty” moment. She knows she looks hot and even hotter in comparison to the dorky teens that plague the end of the clip.

As for the racism thing, I am not completely buying it. It seems she and her team were completely aware of all the criticisms and have tried to avoid them by having a very careful mix of races in the video and going through dances that cover all types of races. That’s the very problem. The whole thing feels incredibly measured for a song that’s essentially about reckless abandon.

Also, she’s clearly a liar with intent to bring down society. When she sings “I’m dancing on my own”, she’s joined by a plethora of dancers. What about those that truly are dancing by themselves Tay Tay, like Robyn?

If I want to shake it off I’m going to go to Florence and the Machine or Mariah Carey. But probs not for the next few months cos I’m kinda in love with this song tbh. BRB.

Bianca:

“Haters gonna hate.” Yes, I am. There is nothing clever nor groundbreaking about this song and Taylor’s transparent attempts at acting both endearing and nonchalant about the inevitable backlash from her transition to pop are embarrassing.

The character-referencing gaff is beyond dated and the fact that Taylor is the one in the costumes is not helping the situation. Her role-play and fake ‘attempts’ at twerking and performing ballet are neither cute nor funny and we are not buying your desperate ‘damsel in distress’ guise.

Swift’s clumsy intermingling of the hip-hop term turned popular internet catchphrase ‘Haters gonna hate’ with a plethora of pop culture jabs is such a sickly-sweet, cheap, blindingly-obvious way to reach her target audience and she should be punished for it. Instead, she’ll be receiving a throng of admirers, prompting comments like “OMG Taylor’s twrking is so lol, it’s so gr8 she can laugh at herslf <3” (sic) and “She’s just like us!”

I’m not even going to go into how I feel about the spoken word breakdown. What a joke. The only shaking I’m doing is of my head.

Taylor Swift, I’mma not let you finish. #TeamKanye

Lizzie:

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Someone had to do it.

I have emotionally and physically prepared myself the uproar that is about to occur after this article is posted. Tay Tay fans, I apologise, I do not like and have never liked Taylor Swift. Sure she’s probably a great gal pal to her celeb friends and fans (I’ve dabbled on Instagram). And I know her voice is like a country angel plucked fresh from the fields of Nashville.

However, what really grinds my gears...is that her cookie cutter demeanor, rosey cheeks, red lipstick and blond ringlets are all a facade for this inner whiney break-up bitch. At age 21 Adele wrote a beautiful yet feisty album about one dickhead ex, and damn it was good.

At 23, Swift has a catalogue of ex-boyfriends and BFFs backdating to her teens. Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Cory Monteith, Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron, Jack Gyllenhall, Connor Kennedy, and Harry Styles. Plus she has recently been linked to Ed Sheeran, and said “I would do a ginger. I like Rupert Grint, the guy from the Harry Potter films:” STAY THE [email protected]#K AWAY FROM RON!

But why do I care about she is dating? Because every song is about her break-ups. If you have ever dated this young temptress, which means basically everyone in Hollywood, or even looked her in the eye even, then you are sure to be in the firing line. Prepare to be hit not with a bullet (which would arguably be better), but with a catchy melody, sprinkled with a “don’t you get what I’m talkin’ about girls” chorus, then topped of with the backing vocals of her 50+ Twitter fans.

Why doesn’t she put up a pathetic Facebook status and get over it?

Read the argument for the track.

 

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For Taylor Swift's 'Shake it off'

FOR

Sam: Taylor has done a total Delta Goodrem and proved gracefully that she’s the arrhythmic white woman. I’ve always had my difficulties with Taylor Swift. She seems sickly sweet but then also able to churn through boyfriends at the rate of knots and then leave them read-faced in the corner as she writes a song about them. The beginning of my turning point was 2012’s Red. It seemed no longer was Swifty making bland break-up songs, but Max Martin-produced pop gold, that saw her become the greatest country-crossover since Shania Twain.

As a guilty pop addict, Red ticked all the boxes but it still had some complete stinkers (that Ed Sheeran ballad for one). Now we’re back for pop Tay Tay round 2 and she’s nailed it. The Lady Gaga’s and Rihanna’s of the world have slept this year and allowed Taylor to come through and give a pop single that’s going to be hard to beat in 2014. The video is dorky yet strangely cool and Taylor is completely at ease with not being able to dance.

As for the song, what else could you really want in a pop song? I’ve had the word haters in my head for two days now and those little punches of brass are pure Max Martin brilliance. Every great pop song needs its iconic moment and for me that comes with the Hollaback Girl-esque rap. “You could’ve been getting down to THIS SICK BEAT”, is both ridiculous and hilarious but it somehow sounds genuine. This is going to be the biggest selling song of the year, without a doubt. And you know what, she probably deserves it. *takes a gulp, tucks pride away*

Bianca: As a pop song, Shake it off is text book. Catchy hook, simple drumbeat,  cheerleader-inspired chant and repetition all mixed up to formulate an over-produced piece of commercial radio-friendly music. And it is with this blatant in-your-face corniness that Tay Tay has been able to expertly get away with her obvious transition from country bumpkin to ‘pop star’.

Her tongue-in-cheek lyrics accompanied with the music video oscillate between totally cringe-worthy and humorous that one is left confused as to how to feel. This leaves you with no other option than to embrace its catchiness and almost admire the awkwardness of a lanky, ‘girl-next-door’ blonde chick trying to make it in a world full of haters.

Lizzie: Okay, so Shake it Off was kinda catchy. But don’t take that as sign that I may want to listen to her regularly. This entire exercise has forced me to Google Taylor Swift, which I have not actively chosen to do before. My computer history now feels dirty.

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Read the argument against the track.

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Haters gon' hate in Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'

Read our for & against arguments here. 

Just like clockwork, two years after we heard Tay Tay's We're Never Getting Back Together, she's delivered the first single, Shake It Off, from her new album 1989. The track sees her move even further away from her country roots but keeps very much with the theme of ex-boyfriends, rumours and haters. It's all good though because she's just gonna shake it off. She shows this in the video from parodying pop clips with twerking, cheerleading and Gaga-esque oddities. Love her or hate her there's no denying this is another huge hit and will most likely leave another ex quivering in the corner.

 

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