The moment the teaser for Taylor Swift’s new music video for “...Ready for It?” dropped earlier this week, fans began dissecting the merely 15-second clip and spinning elaborate theories. Her nude bodysuit could be a response to Kanye West’s “Famous” video! The copious lightning featured in the video must be a reference to the artwork for ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’s single “This Is What You Came For,” which Swift co-wrote under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg (who, along with the Old Taylor, is now dead)!
Joseph Kahn (#1–10 of 4)
“Um, I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative?” says one Taylor Swift to a dozen-plus others at the end of her decadent new music video for “Look What You Made Me Do.” The video is an expression of melodramatic outrage tinged with the macabre that offers a better indication that Swift is in on the joke than the song itself does.
As if the threat of having a scathing pop song written about them weren’t enough to make the world’s eligible young bachelors think twice about shacking up with the country starlet turned pop star, Taylor Swift’s new music video for “Blank Space” portrays the singer-songwriter as, to quote the song’s lyrics, “a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” In the clip, directed by Joseph Kahn, Swift and model Sean O’Pry (who, like Swift, was born in 1989) spend an über-romantic weekend at the former’s lavish mansion. When she suspects him of texting another woman, she flies into a mascara-streaked fit, taking a switchblade to his portrait, scissors to his dress shirts, a torch to his clothes, and a golf club to his sports car. By the time Sean discovers a hallway lined with the defaced portraits of Swift’s former suitors, it’s obvious the singer is lampooning her (perhaps unjustified) reputation. Just to make sure it’s clear she’s in on the joke, a disclaimer reads: “No animals, trees, automobiles or actors were harmed in the making of this video.”
There wasn’t a whole lot of buzz preceding the premiere of Lady Gaga’s new video, “The Edge of Glory.” And following the overwrought and shoddily edited “Judas,” I expected it to be the first Gaga video since “Bad Romance” not to receive its very own write-up here on The House. Even after the first viewing of “The Edge of Glory,” there didn’t seem like much to write about. The video is unexpectedly simple, surprisingly low-concept. Gaga looks good and it’s shot beautifully, but what else was there to say?
But then I watched it again. And again. In fact, I found myself coming back to it again and again last night, its references—or maybe just my projections, but no matter—slowly starting to reveal themselves. The intentionally barren, old-Hollywood backlot sets recall Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” and Janet’s “When I Think of You.” There are even shades of Singin’ in the Rain. The bombastic “Edge of Glory” may have begged for an equally grandiose visual treatment, but the pretense on display here perfectly complements the track’s garishly ’80s sonic milieu.