Let’s set aside the rumors that Taylor Swift is a secret pal of the alt-right, and instead consider the unmistakable dance-floor diva attitude that’s accompanied each new musical makeover. In an ideal world, a scruffier Swift might be informally jamming with Americana stars — but this is far from an ideal world. The biggest fault in Swift’s emancipation is her attribution of importance to pop-star spats with the likes of Katy Perry. There are indeed many fine arrangements and paeans to empowerment on Reputation
, such as “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day,” but they carry that odd feeling of early-1980s Ms.
magazine articles that encouraged women to win in a man’s world by emulating ruthless CEO behavior. Swift is such a great songwriter, she still has a chance to get back on track by limiting self-centeredness and superficiality. Unfortunately, there are few signs she’s headed in that direction.
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