Get ready for the VMAs in a special edition of BopShop featuring our faves from taylorswift13, LadyGaga, OfficialMonstaX, and more
Plus, one pick for who just might be at the VMAs next year
songs (because I have nothing better to do on my commute), I was surprised to realize that"I Knew You Were Trouble" no longer held the top spot on my list. In fact, it has been superseded by"Style," which mtvU has been playing in the lead-up to the VMAs.
What makes"Style" so great, outside of Max Martin and Shellback's propulsive and seductive '80s synth beat, is how well it showcases Taylor's songwriting and arrangement. In the verse, we quickly meet our two characters: lovers for whom things maybe aren't going so great. Then, as Taylor does so well, she uses the pre-chorus as a literal breakdown – in this case, using the pause to spell out that the real problem is that the relationship is toxic but addictive for both parties. Finally, the big climactic chorus cleansing hits, and it's Taylor summing up everything you heard in a chant-able, cathartic way. Then she does it all again starting with the second verse. It's basically using verse-pre-chorus-chorus as a three-act structure, and it's the coolness and simplicity of"Style" that sets it apart from her other songs that do the same thing.
Taylor's strength since her country days has been her ability to turn stories that hinge on familiar tropes into immediately memorable ear-worms for maximum emotional impact. With her new album out today, I can't wait for her to sing a few more stories, even if I already know how they end. —Read more: MTV NEWS »
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