In 2014, Taylor Swift released the first Single off her then-upcoming Album, giving audiences the very first official glimpse of the Country Pop heroine’s eventual turn to the dark side of straight-up Pop music – “Shake It Off” makes itself known right out of the gates, hitting hard with a high school marching band percussion rhythm & some seriously groovy baritone sax melodies that instantly lodge themselves deep within your brain, seemingly on repeat within your mind’s music library for the foreseeable future. As the track goes on, Swift’s lyrics directly call out the culture of tabloid rumours & dating gossip which surrounds her career within the first verse with lines like “I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain” & “I go on too many dates […] at least that’s what people say,” referencing the media’s obsession with how quickly she ran through boyfriends – subsequently writing songs about each one’s flaws – & the fact that she was growing up too fast, solely based on their image of innocence that had been associated with the singer since she’d been in the public eye from a very young age; It was an entertaining way for her to come out & say “I’m not that little girl anymore, leave me alone” without breaking down like so many stars before her – lookin’ at you, Britney Spears – who were also child stars.
As with any attempted reinvention of personal image in the music industry, “Shake It Off” was launched alongside a brand new music video; It features her in various fashion styles, essentially trying on different personas & lifestyles as a way of counteracting the inevitable critiques she’d receive about changing her persona, eventually ending with her in a pair of plain black garments as she awkwardly dances among tons of her fans, somewhat acknowledging that though her sound has changed she is still just as nerdy as she was before. This display of activities showcases various scenes of break-dancers in streetwear, ballerina in swan outfits, a pretty accurate Lady Gaga impression, a line of twerkers & a set of cheerleaders, providing viewers with tons of entertaining vignettes to watch over & over as they “get down to this sick beat,” as Swift so embarrassingly puts it – Whether you’re a Swift fan or not, this change of pace was a welcome addition to the Artist’s sonic library & an infinitely danceable tune to boot, though it’s unfortunately a precursor to the poorly written, egotistical Pop tracks of her current career, so maybe it’s just as much a blessing as it is a curse.
Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback
"Shake It Off" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from her fifth album, 1989 (2014). Swift co-wrote the song with its producers Max Martin and Shellback, it is an uptempo dance-pop track considered to be a departure from Swift's earlier country pop music style. "Shake It Off" is the sixth track on the album and serves as the lead single. The song premiered during a Yahoo! live stream session on August 18, 2014 (also streaming internationally online); its music video was also released the same day. Several hours later, the song was made available for digital download.