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“Normally when someone comes back that’s a high-profile celebrity, they take a group picture with everyone, but she took a picture with every single cast and crew member who wanted a picture – hair, makeup, the people from the orchestra – she took pictures with everyone,“ he says. 

He added, ”She’s so genuine, that’s the thing. I could tell people all day about how sweet she is, and the second they meet her, they’re just like, ‘She is incredible’. Like the entire cast can’t stop talking about it, and it’s been a week since she’s been there. And they’ve all been coming in and saying, ‘Thank you so much. It was not only really cool to meet her, but also so inspiring because she’s just a sweet person that when you’re around her, it just makes you want to be a nicer person. It makes you want to go donate money or something, like go to a children’s hospital or something every time I hang out with her because she’s really, really sweet.

-Todrick Hall (via billboard) 11/29/2016 The day Taylor saw Kinky Boots 

Billboard: Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' Is An Acidic Departure: Critic's Take

“I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.” “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me.” “I got mine, but you’ll all get yours.” These phrases read like lyrical samples from a particularly pissed-off hard rock song – not from the new single of the pop romantic behind the sunny “Shake It Off.”

Taylor Swift has flashed her fangs on occasion before, but she’s never released anything as venomous as “Look What You Made Me Do”; the anger, the dead-eyed way she repeats the titular phrase, is almost unrecognizable from her previous singles. The title and artwork of Swift’s forthcoming Reputation album suggested a clapback at her perceived wrongdoers from last year, but the coldness on display here is a far cry from the tongue-in-cheek self-satire of “Blank Space.” Swift could have once again joined the chorus of those laughing at her; instead, she’s “got a list of names” and plans to go full Terminator on them.

A sea change like this demands ambition, and indeed, “Do” – produced by Swift and her “Out Of The Woods” cohort Jack Antonoff – slams a ton of different sonic ideas on the table. A combustible hook that interpolates Right Said Fred! A second verse that sounds like a group of sneering cheerleaders over evaporating synths! A bridge that’s essentially the haunted-house mirror version of the breakdown of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”! There are traces of Lorde in the melody (Antonoff just helmed Melodrama, after all), but “Do” would sound at home on a CSS or Ladytron album from the mid-00s. More than anything, it’s utterly weird, from an artist who’s taken several risks throughout a sterling career but never approached this level of idiosyncrasy.

“Look What You Made Me Do” is imperfect – the transitions between its movements are sometimes too jarring, and some of its lyrics (“The world goes on, another day, another drama, DRAMA!”) express a curt cynicism that doesn’t feel inclusive enough. Yet it’s hard to imagine a song this raw and personal being preoccupied with universality. Swift surely knew this would polarize, but cared more about capturing this fury on tape than playing safe and topping the charts. The old Taylor already did that. The old Taylor, she points out, is dead.

Where does Swift go from here, with the rest of Reputation? We’ll find out in November if the rest of her sixth album is as caustic as its lead single. “Look What You Made Me Do” is fascinating as a gloriously spiteful opening statement, and sets up what will likely be Swift’s most challenging project to date. Look what we made her do – something she never has before.

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When “Look What You Made Me Do” entered Billboard Hot 100, this happened:

…and now that “…Ready For It” has also entered Billboard Hot 100, Taylor has officially surpassed The Beatles. With 72 songs that charted on Billboard Hot 100, that makes her 3rd most successful female on this list, bested only by Nicki Minaj (80) and Aretha Franklin (72).

The beat drops. Taylor Swift clears her throat. The best response to controversy is more music. It’s only fitting that “…Ready for It?,” the second single from Swift’s upcoming album Reputation, premiered last night via a trailer for ABC’s fall season. This is the perfect song for soapy, don’t-call-it-a-guilty-pleasure television, all too appropriate for a woman who named her cat for Meredith of Grey’s Anatomy.

If 1989 was Swift’s attempt to rewrite pop music in her own image, “…Ready for It?” finds her doing Top 40 pop on everyone else’s terms. The ingredients are familiar - a beat borrowed from Sleigh Bells’ “Kids,” her voice channelling Ellie Goulding, Sia, Rihanna. Swift has never sung more expressively, nor sounded more in tune with the way modern pop production uses the voice as an instrument. Some will call it a concession to pop radio - where all roads lead back to Rihanna.

But the lyrics, which tick off a dark list of fantasies, are unmistakably Swift. “Me, I was a robber first time that he saw me/ Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry.” Is she confessing that she’s a maneater? Or is she mocking her public image? Unlike “Blank Space”, which was a clear wink at the camera, she might be doing both at once.

Instead of accelerating into an anthemic chorus, her voice floats up into the heavens. “In the middle of the night, in my dreams/ You should see the things we do, baby”. It’s not just a major-key, traditionally Swiftian chorus – it’s one of the prettiest melodies of her career. Deep down, she’s still the same wide-eyed romantic Taylor Swift. Or is she? “I know I’m gonna be with you / So I take my time.” The beat drops; she pulls the rug out from under us: “Are you ready for it?” Is this a dream, or a nightmare?

And how long has Taylor Swift been holding onto that “He can be my jailer/ Burton to this Taylor” line – a reference to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor that could only be pulled off by a mind-bogglingly famous woman with the same name? Liz Taylor was an acclaimed performer whose fame often overshadowed her art; sounds familiar. Alongside Richard Burton, her most (in)famous husband, she co-starred in 11 films. Were their tabloid controversies a distraction from Liz’s art, or did her whole life – her characters, romances, public image – become one grand performance?

Taylor Swift, like Madonna before her, refuses to let the media control her perception. But Swift’s not asking us to buy into her personal drama here – in fact, she’s never taken herself less seriously. “Look What You Made Me Do” opened with a line widely interpreted as a Kim/Kanye diss – “I don’t like your little games.” On “…Ready for It?”, she responds emphatically: “Let the games begin!” Swift’s playing the villain, and she knows it.

The accepted wisdom is that Taylor Swift uses her singles to strike back at her exes, or fuel feuds with celebrities. But pop songs are about identification. They’re not literal press releases about public figures – or why would we, the listener, find any emotion in them? While the internet speculates over her politics, argues about how likeable she is, Taylor Swift reinvents herself. That’s what pop stars do. It doesn’t matter whether or not you like these singles. If you acknowledge that this is a new Taylor Swift, she’s already won.

Ultimately, “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready for It?” aren’t about Kanye, Katy, or Calvin. They’re about Swift herself, and her lesson to us: you don’t have to give a damn about your bad reputation.

Billboard