Make us your home page

Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' shakes up pop world (w/video)

Taylor Swift, she of the saucer-eyed surprise face and cutthroat business acumen, rah-rahed back into our lives Tuesday with Shake It Off, a single from her upcoming "first documented official pop album."

The new LP will be titled 1989 (psst: the year she was born) and releases Oct. 27.

The "official" pop switcheroo is mainly hype; 2012 album Red wasn't exactly Loretta Lynn. Swift has been pretty poppy for a while. But by consciously uncoupling from her Nashville beginnings, the 24-year-old pride of Wyomissing, Pa., at least quiets those nagging folks who still bother debating what genre she is. Heck, at this point she transcends genre.

Set to a marching band beat and a slight persecution complex ("I go on too many dates / But I can't make 'em stay / At least that's what people say"), Shake It Off is nowhere near as inventive, or subtly caustic, as 2012's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. No matter: Swift could burp the alphabet and hit No. 1 overnight. Predictably, Shake It Off is already the top seller on iTunes. Social media reaction has been tsunamic and favorable.

The likable, if safe, new cut will no doubt be the only thing you hear on the radio for a while. You'll know every word by Friday — whether you want to or not.

And she's true to her pop promise: Super-produced by Max Martin and Shellback, Shake It Off doesn't have a hint of her country past; instead, it has a giddy Gwen Stefani vibe to it, an innocuous slice of late-summer fun with a fast beat and a determination to overthrow Ariana Grande at the top of the charts.

An accompanying video was also released, showing Swift alternating between sexy and goofy. (She's good at both, and she knows it.) In the four-minute vid, she tries on various guises —a ballerina, a breakdancer, a cheerleader, a Lady Gaga clone — until finally gamboling with the masses in a big let's-love-ourselves dance-off.

(She's also really good at pretending she's JUST LIKE US. Yep, just a regular gal … who dated the hairy kid from One Direction and has a separate house for her Grammys.)

So here we go with full-on Swiftian domination: The girl next door has shaken off her cowboy boots and roots once and for all. Something tells me she's not losing any sleep over it.

Sean Daly can be reached at Follow @seandalypoplife.

Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' shakes up pop world (w/video) 08/19/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.


    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  2. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  3. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  4. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]