What starts off with a lonely 808 snare hit with a small synth in an echoing chamber blossoms into a flourish of instruments, complete with acoustic guitar, a nice thick pad and even sleigh bells. Yes, sleigh bells have made it into T-Swizzle’s latest hit and contrary to my initial assumption when I first heard it on the radio in November, I assumed it was just a holiday mix only for radio. I was proven wrong after listening to the album version on 1989, which has the same cheerful sleigh bells, arguably my favorite part about this arrangement.
Over the next verse, Swift paints a picture of a lusty girl’s inner monologue as she contemplates her next romantic escapade, prepared for the equal chances for heartbreak or magic that could ensue. Boys, romance and the emotional turmoil that can come from dating is a source of endless inspiration for Swift. It feels natural, thanks in part to the full throttle nature in which she seems to enter her relationships: at high speed, fearless and eventually slamming into a brick wall of heart ache. She doesn’t care, and probably does it each time out of complete optimism and hope, the lure of a spectacular thrill just around the corner. Fully comfortable with this storytelling style of songwriting and singing, Swift makes the track shine with her playful delivery punctuated with full-stops and whispers, such as when she first promises, “I can make the bad guys good for a weekend” and then more casually threatening, “‘Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” It all works so well for Swift, we are familiar with her style and love her for it.
A radio-ready hit like Blank Space is a bold new direction for Swift, but one that fans already saw coming, after her departure from pure country since Red in 2010. This track is definitely proof of the success Taylor Swift has had and should continue to have in the glimmering world of pop.