"I am not Swifties!" I have repeatedly said it over and over to those judging eyes who stare at me as if trying to accuse why a so-called-hipster, like me, listens to Taylor Swift's songs and watches her music videos. "I am not hipster either," I replied defensively. One of both statements above are absolutely wrong, of course. You know which one.
The full version of "I am not Swifties" is actually "I am not Swifties, but honestly I know every words on every songs she sings by heart, and I know whom she dates, I read what she does on media, and I watch every music videos she makes." Oh, who am I lying to.
To celebrate the release of her "Wildest Dreams" music video, I decide to run through her music videos catalog, and pick ten her best music videos.
10. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" music video is incredibly fun and cheerful despite the title of the song. Swift puts on her nerdy glasses, cute dress (did I just comment on clothes?), and it's even more fun when we see her running through several video sets to fit this one-shot video. Swift did her job quite well. There's something vintage about "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", and watching this video is like opening a pop-up book. Such a pleasant surprise.
9. "The Story of Us"
"The Story of Us" itself is indeed a great pop-country song, but this video pushes geeky side of Swift out, with those thick books, library, secret make-out session, white T-shirt, and even a nerdy love-interest. But, this is where Swift's expertise area. "The Story of Us" is a fun video, from the start to the finish. Band rocking the dean's office? Check. Paper confetti at the climax? Check.
"Mean" is what MTV calls with music video with social message. Back when Swift was still a country princess, "Mean" is what you expect from a country music video: banjo twang, bale of hays, and goats. But, "Mean" also insinuates social message, and this is the first time Swift explicitly shows her support of LGBT, anti-bullying, and feminism on her music video. It encourages people to be who they are, and Swift has done it quite successfully. Closed with such a grande performance on stage, "Mean" have spread its message very effectively.
7. "Wildest Dreams"
"Wildest Dreams" is just released, but it can still crack the top ten, showing how great and amazing this music video is. Swift joins Joseph Khan, who also directs "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood", one more time to create this 1950's music video. Taking place in African savanna, "Wildest Dreams" is treat to my eyes from the beginning until the end. Swift rocks in her black hair, acting as an actress who fell for her fellow-actor, but he broke heart. The plot itself sounds like a sappy 1950's movie, but that's what makes this video good. Flying above the savanna, the most explicit video Swift has made, there are many things that I like about the video. If you think this can't get any better, think again. The best part of this video is absolutely the end of this video where Swift states that every proceed from the video will be donated to African wildlife conservatory. A brilliant way to keep me replaying the video over and over again.
6. "I Knew You Were Trouble"
I still remember my jaw dropping when I watched "I Knew You Were Trouble". Swift shows a wild and different side of herself as she parties on a music festival, highlights her hair, and chooses a wrong bad boy. But, just like "I Knew You Were Trouble" which is the most experimental song of Swift, I think Swift also wants to have some experiment on the video.
5. "Begin Again"
"Begin Again" is just simply stunning and gorgeous despite the "underratedness" of the song. The gray tone that is used on the video somehow really suits the song, making "Begin Again" look like scenes from romantic movies. Taylor at the rooftop, looking at the Paris skyline, a good-looking (and French!) love interest, and beautiful location and cinematography. Maybe some directors can learn a thing or two how to make a beautiful scenes from this video.
4. "Picture to Burn"
Swift is known to write songs based on her past relationships. However, "Picture to Burn" is the only song where she plans to seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend. "Picture to Burn" is like MTV Punk'd where she and her crews mess her ex's house. You can't help but laugh at what they do. Not only hilarious and fun, "Picture to Burn" is also a beautiful video especially with those glowing fireworks at the climax of the video.
3. "Love Story"
"Love Story" is a song that many fans regard as one song that converts them into a Swifties. I can't argue with that, to be honest, as "Love Story" is a great song. Swift recycles an ancient Shakespeare's tragic-romantic love story, into something less tragic, but more romantic. "Love Story" is like a depiction of what young women's desire is. Swift dresses as a princess, meets her prince charming, then they live happily ever after. Yeah, I totally understand why this song makes fans convert to a Swifties.
2. "You Belong with Me"
The concept of "You Belong with Me" is like coming out from a teen-flick movie storyboard. But, this formula always works. Starting from exchanging message from a clipboard, then talking on a park bench, then the boy caught his girlfriend cheating, until finally he realizes that his love is for his neighbor, "You Belong with Me" is a comprehensive music video. Its plot is complete and real. Swift, not only acts as the sweet, kind, the protagonist, but also as the cheating, mean girlfriend. This kind of juxtaposition, well, is what makes this video deserves to be interrupted by Kanye West.
1. "Blank Space"
Arguably the craziest video Swift ever made, "Blank Space" makes fun of what media always accuses of Swift. In this video, Swift is portrayed as a rich mistress who traps young men, until they broke up, and Swift sets the trap again. This cycle is repeated over and over. Swift looks like she's having too much on this video, and it can be shown from the scene where she cycles inside a mansion, paints portrait, stands (literally) on top of a horse, until stabs a heart-shaped cake. "Blank Space" is not only a music video, but also a form of art.