Taylor Swift’s latest single is an A-grade banger. No ifs or buts about it.
So, out of respect for what limited musical cred that I have, I probably don’t see myself reviewing the album, but I knew I had to review this track the moment I heard it. ‘Ready For It’ is a swaggering, gloriously unhinged track
tailor Taylor-made for the club floors. And if it doesn’t want to make you want to furiously thrust your hips and shoulders to and fro, you probably have no soul.
This is basically the kind of deliciously over-the-top, throwaway music that briefly hints at something deep and profound, despite the polished and unconvincingly edgy affectations of its production and writing. It reminds me of just why I enjoy pop music, and why I’ll always always have a soft spot for the Queen of the Snakes. I would call it a guilty pleasure – except it’s a legitimately well crafted pop song that delivers. So on that count…there’s not really much to feel guilty about. Or maybe my descent into madness is further along than I thought it was.
Despite all the darker bells and whistles, it’s still very much a Taylor Swift song, and the menace of its verses don’t last long once the anthemic chorus kicks in. Instant earworm. Lyrically, it’s the usual vanilla nonsense of a burgeoning relationship, albeit with a predictably edgier flavour – and very much a declaration of intent consistent with what we should expect from the rest of ‘Reputation’. That’s not to the say the lyrics themselves are forgettable – they’re anything but – and any perceived lack of sincerity is offset by some surprisingly clever wordplay and allusions that effectively capitalise on the hip hop approach.
Melding distorted trap beats, Diplo-esque house rhythms and some effortlessly addictive hooks, it’s unapologetically derivative and relentlessly enjoyable. The post-chorus boasts the kind of chants you’d hear in a Santigold song, and the rapped verses feel like a logical evolution from the Kendrick Lamar ‘Bad Blood’ remix.
But that’s what great pop music does in shamelessly stealing trends from a profusion of genres, and distilling it down to something that at once pushes the envelope whilst still being as tepid and radio-friendly as possible. It’s incredibly fun, and shows that Taylor Swift is ready to throw away any pretensions of maintaining some kind of image in order to just let loose and do whatever she feels like right now. And luckily for her, she’s good enough to pull it off.
Based in: Pennsylvania, US.
Sounds like: Purity Ring, Diplo, Kanye West…I think.
Say what? The diamond bath in her ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ video cost $12 million.
Over and out, Darren.