Review of Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble” Music Video

My past few posts have been a little on the downside, so I figured it’s time for a review of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” music video! As I’ve mentioned I am by no means a music professional, although I have posted about T-Swift a lot – perhaps I should write my next pop post about another artist. Anyway, here are my thoughts, coupled with screenshots and random captions.

The video starts with Swift waking up amongst a tarnished battleground. And by tarnished battleground, I mean the site of her crazy rave last night.

The video starts with Swift waking up in a tarnished battleground. And by tarnished battleground, I mean the site of her crazy rave last night.

This song and its music video were complete changes for Swift. In an interview, she stated that she wanted to go for something different – hence, the crazy antics and the wig. She successfully showed her ability to try something new and to act in a way most of her fans had never imagined. She didn’t quite reach Rihanna heights, but still shed her good girl look for a more risque one.

If I were sitting in a restaurant booth and randomly saw two people making out, I'm not sure what I would do. It's Taylor Swift and Reeve Carney, but still...

If I were sitting in a restaurant booth and randomly saw two people making out, I’m not sure what I would’ve done. It’s Taylor Swift and Reeve Carney, but still…

I really like the song itself. People shouldn’t attempt to categorize it as country, because it’s purely pop. Yes, Taylor Swift produced a pop song. It’s not super amazing, but it’s catchy and contains a nice blend of dub-step, infectious beats, and easy lyrics to sing along to. One of Selena Gomez’s friends choreographed an impressive dance to it, which Gomez performed and posted online, of course.

Oh snap, she's watching him get a tattoo. Not going to lie, tattoos scare me... so do spiders...

Oh snap, Taylor Swift watching Reeve Carney get a tattoo. Not going to lie, tattoos scare me… so do spiders…

I did have issues with the music video though. One of the main things that irked me was her narration at the beginning and the end. It felt pretentious, like she was trying to insert some deep philosophical meaning into a simple relationship gone wrong. What she said wasn’t specific to the song or the video, and when the music started, it didn’t connect – it went from “deep dark my love life has been irrevocably shattered” to a sing-songy “once upon a time, a few mistakes ago…” The one line about the worst part not being about losing him but about losing herself reminded me of my post about why high school relationships fail.

She looks like a paranormal creature after seeing her guy kiss another girl... or a ghost.

She looks like a paranormal creature after seeing her guy kiss another girl… or a ghost.

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of character development. This isn’t so much a criticism as it is a comment – I guess I shouldn’t expect that much from a pop music video, but I have high hopes when it comes to Taylor Swift. In her interview she said she wanted to show the story of a good girl who gets corrupted by a bad boy and changes who she is; to me, that means that it’s a bildungsroman about building yourself as opposed to relying on boys to make you who you are. But the video didn’t portray her whole journey, just the parts where she’s participating in the bad stuff and how she ends up lying on the cold, hard ground afterward.

I suppose her dropping the necklace he gave her could be seen as a sign of development though. Woo, symbolism!

I suppose her dropping the necklace he gave her could be seen as a sign of development though. Woo, symbolism!

Overall, a good music video. Swift took more of a frenetic energy approach than I thought she would, but it turned out okay – not spectacular, but it could have been worse. I did like the flashbacks at the beginning and how she fleshed out the plot in a circular fashion.

What did you think of the video? What about the song? Or Reeve Carney – hot or not? Just kidding on that last one. Sort of.

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2 Comments

Filed under Pop

2 responses to “Review of Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble” Music Video

  1. I happened upon your site, and I am a big Taylor Swift song. Okay, this is not my favorite music video, and when I first saw it, I didn’t like it. As I watched it and showed it to my daughter, I began to see myself in it. I have been in a relationship where I did things I never would have done without that person. As with many of Taylor’s songs, it has grown on me. Honestly, very few of her songs are instant hits with me.

    I enjoyed reading your review. Check out my blog any time. I’m definitely checking out yours.

    http://mydevotionalthoughts.com

    • Wow, I’m somewhat surprised that you showed this music video to your daughter, unless she’s in her teens! Also, I’ll check out your blog – thanks for reading and commenting!

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