Taylor Swift’s latest music video launched at the recent MTV Video Music Awards and without looking too much into the event, it was full of drama, big egos and lots of celebration. Taylor’s newest release from the 1989 album is ‘Wildest Dreams’, a song that I fell in love with as soon as I heard it. It’s sexy, sultry and full of wonderful sounds that you would associate with being in love, or in a happy place and it just screams ‘Taylor Swift’.
Set in the African plains among lots of safari animals and surrounded by a vintage camera crew, Taylor tells us the story of how she is in love with her co-star in the movie that she’s playing in. In true Swift fashion, the relationship doesn’t end well, but the message of the song is not bitter. Her idea of having wildest dreams shows us that the memory of a happy relationship / happy time is the most important thing and knowing that something is going to end soon does not mean it shouldn’t be a good time. She stresses that the memory of the relationship is what we need to keep, because not everything lasts forever.
I’ve already read some negative press about Taylor’s new video, regarding it as a step back towards her Fearless (2008) or Speak Now (2010) days when she was known for writing often bitter songs about relationships and how they turned sour. Progression is important and Taylor was indeed a much younger version of herself when these albums were released; however, I’ve always seen her as an important and mature role model. I agree that ‘Wildest Dreams’ does ring similar to her previous stuff, but why should that be a step back? Taylor’s music is Taylor’s music, she makes that very clear and even though she’s taken a massive turn and change of trend in the 1989 album, she still has her own style. I’ve read that it’s regressive for her to be in love with another man who doesn’t want her back, or even for her to wear a ‘princess style dress’ to the premier in the music video and I wholeheartedly don’t understand why we can’t have love stories anymore or wear princess dresses. It’s not a step backwards to see a woman wear a huge dress or cry over a man, over love. We see men plenty of times cry of women and over love wearing tuxes, or just shirts and jeans. It doesn’t matter.
The song itself, being soft and gentle on our ears, is relaxing and sexy. It’s message about love is modern, and encourages people to just enjoy life, even when they know something is coming to an end. It tells us not to be bitter, while also showing us beautiful images of lions and zebras. It’s an unusual location for a music video and I can’t say I ever expected it, but it works and it’s so pretty to look at. Watching it for the first time did confuse me a little when the location switched instantly from the African backdrop to a simple scenery board behind the two actors, and then all of a sudden there’s a premier, but after watching it a second time it made more sense to me. The concoction for a music video never requires a simple and obvious storyline now, does it?
After she realises in the premier that their relationship is definitely over and done with when she sees him linked arms with another lady, she runs away and gets straight into her chauffeur driven car to (I assume) go home and start over. What we see is her man (played by Clint Eastwood’s son) running out of the premier after her, but stops in the middle of the road when he sees that she is gone. It tells us that he apparently didn’t want her to leave and that he too enjoyed their relationship. To me, it says that he will remember her in his wildest dreams because you don’t run out of a premier when you don’t care about said person.
I disagree with what people have said about this video being a step back. I think it’s a big step forward in that Taylor clearly accepts who she is (she hasn’t been afraid to show that lately) and she knows her own style and she knows it well. She’s one of the most talented women in this day and age and I can only hope she never stops. As she has so famously said, haters gonna hate.