Taylor Swift’s New Song Is The Perfect Soundtrack To Your Martyr Complex

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The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. Such is the case of Taylor Swift.

With the introduction of Swift’s first single from her upcoming album Reputation, we were supposedly given a glimpse into a whole new Taylor. She had embraced the role of the villain, giving us snake imagery, choreography and a complicated music video that clearly alluded to getting revenge on not only her enemies, but the “old Taylor.”

“Look What You Made Me Do” attempted to usher in a new era. Its follow-ups were not necessarily as smashingly received. “Are You Ready For It?” was a lukewarm and more radio-friendly choice while “Gorgeous” was a frothily vague love song. They were all in the name of bringing us a new Taylor Swift, of showing off Swift’s sexier and edgier sides.

And now, Taylor Swift is showing us that for as much as we thought she’d changed, the old Taylor isn’t dead. In some ways, that’s not an entirely bad thing.

“Call It What You Want” marks itself as the notable anchor of the four songs, the much-needed and familiar memory in a new era of Taylor Swift. For those who sighed forlornly as they attempted to find the Swift music they loved over the vintage beats and aggressive lyrics of “Look What You Made Me Do,” the new single feels like a phone call from home.

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The lyrics, which obviously allude to her relationship with Joe Alwyn, are reminiscent of TS albums of yore. They speak to giddy, silly romance, something that feels frivolous but that Swift captures in a relatable, self-aware way. It’s a triumph in terms of arrangement because as much as listeners may have delighted in Taylor as the queen of snakes, the thing that made Taylor Swift into a superstar was the ability to talk about that which we can all understand. It’s about heartbreak, hurt and new, true love.

It’s not all good, though.

Let’s be honest here. Taylor Swift delights in playing the victim. She wittingly played the villain for “Look What You Made Me Do” and clunkily pretended to play seductress on “Are You Ready For It?” but we all know that Taylor is at her most Taylor when she’s discussing how she’s been wronged or slighted (without accountability) and how she’s coping with those obstacles. It’s been said time and time again: Taylor Swift has a martyr complex. Occasionally, it’s in the name of feminism, though other times it’s for the purpose of a narrative or a romance. In this case, Swift is playing the victim of “drama queens” and “gun fights” so that she can show her descent into love.

It’s not ideal, but it’s catchy and it feels right. Does its listenability reconcile its morally unsound lack of responsibility? It doesn’t. Taylor is perpetuating old tropes, but damn if she doesn’t do it well.

We are all complicated. Many of us fall into a victim mentality or a martyr complex, especially when it comes to heartbreak and relationships. Taylor Swift is a multifaceted person, one with the duality of character that she can claim to be the villain, the damsel and the heroine all in one. It doesn’t make her right, but it does seem to make her music feel much more genuine.

Swift seemed to nod towards this in the music video for “Are You Ready For It?” by using the story of two selves, one seemingly her true self and the other being a public persona. Perhaps one of the roles is better than the other and maybe one is a little less morally “corrupt,” but either way, they are roles she’s had to play because of her master status and complex humanity in the public eye.

And you know what they say. The more Taylor seems to change, the more she stays the same.


Listen to “Call It What You Want” on Spotify

Taylor Swift’s new song “Call It What You Want” is available for Spotify users with login information.


Listen to “Call It What You Want” on iTunes

You can buy the song on iTunes for Apple Users with a pre-order available for her entire album or stream on Apple Music.


“Call It What You Want” Lyric Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V54CEElTF_U


“Call It What You Want” Lyrics

[Verse 1]
My castle crumbled overnight
I brought a knife to a gunfight
They took the crown, but it’s alright
All the liars are calling me one
Nobody’s heard from me for months
I’m doing better than I ever was, ’cause

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

[Verse 2]
All my flowers grew back as thorns
Windows boarded up after the storm
He built a fire just to keep me warm
All the drama queens taking swings
All the jokers dressin’ up as kings
They fade to nothing when I look at him
And I know I make the same mistakes every time
Bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right
I did one thing right
I’m laughing with my lover, making forts under covers
Trust him like a brother, yeah, you know I did one thing right
Starry eyes sparkin’ up my darkest night

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

[Bridge]
I want to wear his initial
On a chain round my neck, chain round my neck
Not because he owns me
But ’cause he really knows me
Which is more than they can say, I
I recall late November, holdin’ my breath
Slowly I said, “You don’t need to save me
But would you run away with me?”
Yes (would you run away?)

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

[Outro]
(Call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
Call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want
To

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