Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” Review

Bridget Reed Morawski ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Taylor Swift’s new single “I Knew You Were Trouble” from her upcoming album “Red.” Photo Courtesy of Taylor Swift.

October 9, fans of the hit country-pop sensation Taylor Swift were given the gift of a third promotional single, “I Knew You Were Trouble” several days prior to the release of her fourth studio album, Red. Since the tune’s release, it has gathered slightly over 2.4 million views [at press time] as well as hundreds of thousands more views through alternative links by non-official YouTube channels.

The fans that have been with Swift since she first broke out into the music scene with her hit breakout single “Teardrops on My Guitar,” have most likely taken note of the slow but distinctly noticeable transformation the star has undergone. From country to country-pop to, well, just pop music, Swift most certainly is trying to connect to an audience that likes their electronic instruments and auto tune in all the right places – and by all the right places I mean embedded within a plethora of the hits on the Billboard Top 100.

With a fresh new sound, Taylor Swift sounds less and less like the sweet, country girl we grew to love and respect and more and more like the traditional stars of our time. Despite the complete genre reversal, Swift proves she is adaptable and just as talented when she ranges outside her comfort song. “I Knew You Were Trouble” is a pop-electronic tune with catchy lyrics that engage the listener. There is zero sappiness inthe new single; Swift knows what was to come with this new beau, and went for it anyway. No sympathy here. Her lyrics don’t ask for sympathy either, unlike the lyrics of old songs such as “Tied Together With a Smile.”

Swift always has a surprising knack of being able to engage the listener with most every song of hers in a way that brings the listener a strange, nostalgic happiness. Even with the lack of innocence that usually encompasses Swift’s albums, she maintains her ability to relate to the average listener.

Oddly, however, “I Knew You Were Trouble” sounds remarkable similar to another hit single by sugary sweet artists. Recall the golden weeks of the summer of 2007 when sister band Aly & AJ released the first single “Potential Break-Up Song”off of their sophomoric album Insomniac. In the chorus of “I Knew You Were Trouble”, Swift employs an almost identical rhythm found within “Potential Break-Up Song.” While “Potential Break-Up Song”certainly has a stronger electro-pop sound than can be found in the lighter, less edgy “I Knew You Were Trouble,” there are most definitely strong parallels to be drawn between these two singles regarding rhythm and pitch.

“I Knew You Were Trouble” is available on iTunes for purchase and download. As for Swift’s new album, Red is set to be released on October 22nd by record label Big Machine. It is Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, with a promotional interview scheduled for Good Morning America just hours prior to the release.

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2 Comments

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